Friday, December 23, 2022

Media Notebook--12-23-22


A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago…



*Robert Feder’s Chicago Media In Memoriam—2022

=He’s still keeping his eye on his old beat. Feder covered many of the people on this list for decades.

=My “In Memoriam” column for Illinois Entertainer will be coming out in a few weeks. I have a few stories about some of the people mentioned by Feder.


*Pat Foley Returning to the Radio Booth

=At least for one game in 2023. Foley has agreed to do the national radio play-by-play for the 2023 Winter Classic between the Bruins and the Penguins at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday, January 2.

*Snowstorm Revisited

=As Chicago recovers from what was supposed to be the worst storm since 2011, it seems like a good time to revisit the dramatic reporting of WGN’s Roger Badesch during that 2011 storm. It’s in his book The Unplanned Life. I posted a free excerpt from that book this week. It’s a hell of a story.


*John Gallagher returns to Chicago

=Gallagher has been a radio executive in Chicago for many different radio stations and station groups over the years (Nextstar, Hubbard, Cumulus), but most recently he had been helming the Little Rock cluster for Salem Broadcasting. This week they promoted him. He’s back in Chicago to take over the reins of Salem stations here (WIND/WYLL) as of January 1st.

*Bob Sirott’s Musicpeople Memories

=On New Year’s Eve, Bob Sirott revisits morning show interviews with musicians and singer-songwriters from 2022 featuring Graham Nash, Tommy James, Mike Love, Smokey Robinson, Peter Asher, Dion DiMucci, Gene Chandler, Lee Loughnane of Chicago, Paul Muldoon (who edited the Paul McCartney book “The Lyrics”) and more. Bob Sirott’s Musicpeople Memories” airs Saturday, December 31 from 9pm to midnight.


*Rob Hart and Matt Spiegel

=If you don’t know the original Simon & Garfunkel song, it features a newsman reading headlines over the music. Inspired casting by (WSCR’s) Matt Spiegel, the front man of Tributosaurus, asking his Audacy colleague (WBBM-AM) Rob Hart to fill that role on stage.

 =I’ve interviewed both Rob Hart and Matt Spiegel in the past, if you’d like to read those interviews here and here.


*Dan Bongino Quitting Radio When Contract Runs Out

=His show runs on WLS Radio in Chicago. According to this article, he’s going to leave radio altogether when his contract runs out. Fans of Dan…don’t worry. Non fans…don’t get excited. His contract doesn’t run out for another 18 months.


*Podcast Corner

=After the pandemic, there are fewer casual podcast listeners, but substantially more regulars.

=Part of President Obama’s burgeoning media empire is the podcasting department. The company has announced it is investing more in this area, bulking up on podcasting staff.


*Former Chicago Radio update

=Wayne Randazzo is a former Chicago sportscaster (the Score) who has gone on to pursue his play-by-play dreams. For the past few years he has been doing Mets games on the radio. That era is now over. According to the Athletic, he is moving west, and into the television booth, to do play-by-play for the Los Angeles Angels.


There won’t be a column next week, so I’m also mentioning people who would have been mentioned next week.


*December 17, 1989--The Simpsons makes its television debut.

=Happy 33rd birthday to the longest running scripted television show in history.


*December 18—Susan Wiencek’s birthday

=Former newscaster and public affairs broadcaster for the likes of WXRT, WTMX, WLIV, WDRV.


*December 18—Phil Inzinga’s birthday

=Phil worked at WABT and the Loop before going to Kenosha, Charleston, and Miami. He is now entrenched as morning man in Oklahoma City.


*December 18, 2013--Death of Larry Lujack

= During the last few years of his life Larry and I spoke multiple times, swapped books, and developed a friendship. At one point I told him that he actually was charming and delightful. He swore me to secrecy. He told me some great stories about his radio days, but there was one thing he didn’t tell me. I interviewed Larry for Illinois Entertainer just a few months before he passed away and he didn’t even mention he was sick.

=In early 2013, Lujack asked me to send him a copy of John Landecker’s book Records Truly Is My Middle Name in which Larry is mentioned prominently. (You can read those Larry stories here). He sent a note back saying “Tell Decker I loved his book, but I didn’t need to read about his dick!” (John describes a funny emergency room encounter in the book). When Landecker appeared on Windy City Live promoting the book, I convinced Larry to come on the show as a mystery guest to surprise John. Landecker was visibly moved by Lujack’s gesture. Hard to believe he’s already been gone nearly ten years. He was truly one of the all-time greats.


*December 19--Jilly O’Silly’s birthday

=The former Kiss-FM jock is now in Nashville doing middays at the Rock.


*December 19—Paul Goldsmith’s birthday

=Goldsmith was formerly marketing director for Salem broadcasting in Chicago, and is currently based in Nashville and running his own media company.


*December 20—Steve Ennen’s birthday

=Ennen was a long-time Chicago radio executive, formerly VP/GM of WUSN/US-99. I first got to know him when he was staff director of WPGU in Champaign-Urbana in the early 80s.


*December 21—Tom Serritella’s birthday

=Tom began his radio career at the Loop as part of Chet Coppock’s boyquarium (the nickname Steve & Garry gave to the studio Coppock’s producers worked prepping for his show). Serritella later worked at Sporting News Radio and ESPN.


*December 22—Greg Jarrett’s birthday

=The former WGN morning man was an interview subject of mine back in 2009 (for Chicago Radio Spotlight). I also ran into him once on an airplane. We were both coming back from South Africa after the 2010 World Cup, and we both got stranded in Amsterdam on the way home when our flights got canceled. Let’s just say that the buttoned-up newsman has another side to his personality. We had a great time in Amsterdam. 


*December 22—Diane Sawyer’s birthday.

=Sawyer did it all in her stellar TV news career. World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 60 Minutes. She also co-hosted CBS Mornings. I spoke with her co-host Bill Kurtis for my podcast once, and he told me what it was like working with her.


*December 22—Neil Sant’s birthday

=Neil is a former WLUP producer on the Danny Bonaduce show. In the politically incorrect 90s, Danny referred to him on the air as Haji. Sant has gone on to great success in the business world.


*December 23, 1924—Floyd Kalber’s birthday

=Floyd would have been 99 years old today. He wasn’t just a famous anchorman in Chicago (at WMAQ-Channel 5, and later at WLS-TV Channel 7), he also anchored network newscasts for NBC, and mentored a young Tom Brokaw. Floyd passed away in 2004.


*December 24—Dave McBride’s birthday

=McBride was a huge part of the Murphy in the Morning crew at Q-101 during Murphy’s straight jacket days. The veteran newsman later had another good run as part of Steve Dahl’s show on WCKG. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2010.


*December 24—Rana Tufail’s birthday

=You may not recognize his name, but you probably remember his many radio contributions as Piranha Man from Jonathon Brandmeier’s show.


*December 24, 2017—Death of Dick Orkin

=The legendary voice-over artist (Chickenman on WCFL, the First American Bank commercials, and so much more) was kind enough to chat with me for Chicago Radio Spotlight back in 2012.

*December 25—Cheryl Burton’s birthday

=Channel 7’s news anchor has been the subject of controversy over the past few years (especially around the firing of Mark Giangreco), but she is still going strong at WLS-TV. 2022 marks her 30th year on the air there.


December 27—Dana Kozlov’s birthday

=The Channel 2 anchor/reporter was featured this year in my Illinois Entertainer column


December 28—George Ofman’s birthday

=George has worked at the Score and WBBM News Radio, but he now hosts a podcast about sports broadcasting. I featured him in the Illinois Entertainer in 2021


December 28, 2021—Death of Jeff Dickerson

=ESPN’s Dickerson was beloved by his co-workers. Rarely has there been an outpouring of affection for someone like there was last year after Dickerson’s death. The fact that his wife had recently passed, and they left behind a young son, just made the story even more tragic. I spoke with his colleague and friend Randy Merkin about him for my podcast


December 30—Kris Erik Stevens

=Stevens is a major voiceover star based in Hollywood now, but in the early 70s he helmed the night shift at the Big 89, WLS. I interviewed him for the Illinois Entertainer in 2021. 



*RIP Drew Griffin

=Sad news. Drew was a native Chicagoan, a University of Illinois alum (my classmate and co-worker at WPGU), and an award-winning investigative reporter at CNN. He was only 60. He leaves behind his wife Margot (another U of I & former WPGU alum), three children, and two grandchildren. This obit does a good job of highlighting Drew’s career. If you saw Don Lemon's reaction when he tried to report the news of Griffin's death, you know how beloved he was amongst his colleagues.


*Steve Baskerville on HBO Max

=Baskerville, like his buddy and former Channel 2 colleague (and podcast co-host) Howard Sudberry, has become an actor. Check it out…


*World Cup Ratings in Chicago

=I still say it was the best World Cup final in history, and I’ve seen all of them since 1974. It was also the highest rated in American history (25.78 million viewers). On the other hand, it wasn’t quite as big here. Chicago, the third biggest market in the country, only had the 22nd highest ratings. Top 5 were Washington DC, New York, Richmond (?), Boston, San Francisco.

=My soccer podcast Free Kicks has a full recap of the World Cup in this week’s episode, if you’re interested.


*NFL Season-Ticket Package Heads to YouTube

=Since 1994, DirecTV has had this package. Now, for the next seven years (at a cost of $2 billion a season), it will be on YouTube. It will be available as an add-on for YouTube TV, or as an ala carte item.

More information is here.

*TV Newser Interviews Famous Anchors/Reporters about Overcoming Current Media Challenges

=Some good stuff here. Among the people interviewed; Dana Bash, Christiane Amanpour, Judy Woodruff, and Nora O’Donnell

*Serenading Al Roker

=Roker has been sick, so the Today Show went to his house to serenade him with Christmas Carols. Actually quite touching.


*Cable News Corner

=The Education of CNN’s Chris Licht

=Meanwhile, over at Fox News. Sean Hannity’s testimony in the Dominion Lawsuit, regarding Trump’s claims of voter/election fraud: “I did not believe it for one second.” Full story here.




*Elon Musk To Step Down as Twitter CEO When (if) He Can Find a Replacement

=He did a poll asking Twitter users if they wanted him to stay or go. He said he would abide by the results. Twitter users told him to go. I suspect that Tesla stockholders (the stock has been tanking since Musk bought Twitter) were among the happiest to see those results. Let’s see if he really lives up to his promise. It might not be so easy to find a replacement. It should also be noted that Musk will remain the owner of Twitter no matter what happens.


*Can Bari Weiss Bite the Hand That Feeds Her?

=The former New York Times writer has a new media company, The Free Press, and recently posted a story about alleged bias at Twitter.. Semafor founder (and media writer) Ben Smith wrote a lengthy piece about Weiss. A small taste: Last Monday, Bari Weiss asked me what my angle was in writing about her. I told her I wondered whether, showered with adulation, investment and information from Elon Musk and his allies, her new media company The Free Press could be truly independent. You can read the whole piece here.


*New Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Ban on TikTok on Government Phones

=Seems like a reasonable approach considering Chinese ownership of TikTok, but the more performative-minded members of Congress are sure to object. Nevertheless, TikTok has already been caught improperly using data of users, including journalists.




*Jay Mariotti, Sports Media Critic

=If you haven’t been following his career since he left town, former Chicago Sun Times sportswriter Jay Mariotti is now a sports media critic. This piece defending Jerry Sullivan is a good indicator of his approach on substack. Slightly gratuitous shot at Rick Telander included.


*Mick Dumke moves from Propublica to Block Club Chicago

=On the local news front…

No Media Notebook column next week. It will return on January 6th. As always, if you have any media story you’d like to share or think that I might be interested in sharing, drop me a line at or

Eckhartz Everyday

It's a Father Knows Nothing classic, and today's the day to post it...

*Today is also guitarist Adrien Belew's birthday. Adrien rates a chapter in Bobby Skafish's great rock and roll interview book, We Have Company.

*Two other celebs have birthdays today, and both of them make it into the pages of Randy Merkin's book Behind the Glass. Happy birthday to Eddie Vedder & Jim Harbaugh.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Back in the D.D.R

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Molly Hagan

 Molly Hagan has appeared in classic shows like Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Friends, & more! She’s currently starring in Walker on The CW. Our last Minutia Men Celebrity Interview of the year. Fun chat with a down-to-earth Midwestern gal.

Listen to it here.

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2018 we had our first-ever Eckhartz Press Christmas party. Quite a few of our authors could make it, and we had a wonderful time. Here are a few photos...

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Dansby Swanson

 This is the way to make a good first impression on Chicago...

Free Excerpt from The Unplanned Life

 On February 1, 2011, Chicago was hit with a horrible snowstorm. Eckhartz Press author Roger Badesch was caught in the storm in a way that would forever make him famous. It inspired the cover of his book The Unplanned Life. With another snowstorm of this magnitude on it's way to Chicago tomorrow, we present that portion of his book as a free excerpt.


The great blizzard of 2011 along Chicago’s lakefront was the event that legends are made of. A moment that many WGN Radio listeners can remember where they were when they heard of my exploits trapped in my car on Lake Shore Drive.

This is the true story:

For a couple of days before the event, I knew of the coming storm. There was hope among the staff at the school that school would be let out early. On the day of the blizzard less than 50% of students showed up and nearly all were gone by noon.

CPS did not release the staff early, though some teachers bolted by 1:00 p.m. either knowing their students were all gone or had worked out a deal with other adults in the building to cover their classes and punch out for them.

Being the conscientious teacher that I was, I stayed through the end of school at 2:45 p.m. along with the handful of my students who stayed because 1) they live close to the school and weren’t worried about the storm, or 2) they were too scared of my grading system to not show up and lose their class points for the day.

I kept checking the websites to see where the storm front was and how traffic was moving. When I left my classroom at 2:45 p.m. I had calculated that if all went well I could get home before the bulk of the storm made a mess of things.

Yes, I had heard all of the warnings about staying off the drive. Yes, I knew I was taking a chance. My thinking was that it was my shortest distance to get home as opposed to heading over to the Dan Ryan and trying to make it up to Touhy Avenue on the Edens—a longer drive and more cars to deal with. I also knew that the focus, should things become unmanageable for the city, would be on the main roads including Lake Shore Drive and, should I become stuck there, rescue would be forthcoming.

As it turned out, it didn’t matter if I had gone to the Dan Ryan, stayed on Lake Shore Drive, or taken Western Avenue or some other main north-south route. Traffic was screwed up all over.

As I was walking towards the main office to clock out, Jerral Stringer, one of my colleagues, was leaving his classroom and asked if I could give him a ride home. I’d often given him a lift as he lives on my way.

I headed out to Jeffrey Avenue and drove north to where it merges into Lake Shore Drive. The flow of traffic wasn’t bad and the roads were still easily passable. We quickly made our way up to Roosevelt Road and got stopped by the traffic light.

By now, traffic on the Drive had increased as more and more people had gotten out of work early and were trying to get home. While the city had issued warnings during the day, there was no city presence on the Drive—no plows, no police, no tow trucks, no nothing.

At Roosevelt, I contemplated for a minute pulling onto Roosevelt and trying to head west to the Dan Ryan, hearing on the radio that there was less precipitation there than there was along the lakefront. But then I heard that traffic on the Ryan and Edens was just as crowded as it was on the Drive, so I stayed on the Drive when the light turned green.

I moved smoothly between lanes and cars, trying to anticipate drivers who would cause traffic to stop and get stuck. I made it past the stalled CTA bus near Fullerton, weaving through the lanes, picking my spots, and my speed was at least 30 miles an hour.

I’d heard that traffic was starting to build because of a jackknifed CTA articulated bus on the exit ramp at Belmont and kept my eyes open hoping we could get through. As we passed Fullerton and continued toward Belmont, the intensity of the storm increased at least 20-fold. It was no longer just heavy snow, it was now windblown snow and ice off the lake, which was a mere 200 or so feet along my right side as I continued northbound.

I could barely see ahead but was anticipating that traffic would be stalled along the right lane of the Drive waiting to get off at Belmont. And I was right. I kept moving to the left inner lane, still moving along at a decent 15 miles an hour or so.

I was right about the traffic in the right lane. What I didn’t anticipate were drivers who had waited until the last second to move left to get around the stalls and then getting stuck themselves behind the car on their right who was stalled. This effect turned into what I’ve described in the past as a ‘snake’ winding its way from the right lane to the inner left lane.

As I approached, I saw what I thought was a space wide enough to get through along the inner left lane, using the extra couple of feet between the lane marker and the island divider as my last resort. But I had to slow to a crawl to make sure I didn’t clip the car that had stalled to my right.

I truly believed then and still do today that had I not been forced to slow down like that, I could have made it through the space on the left, moved over to the right, and made it through that Belmont curve of the drive and gotten past the worst of the storm.

It was right there at the curve that the winds were the strongest coming from the north-northeast off the lake—50-mile-per-hour winds pulling moisture from the lake and slamming ice bullets into the cars, combining with the snow falling at a record rate.

But it wasn’t to be. Jerral and I sat there in the car, heater warming us, phone charging on the cable plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet. Not moving. We could hear the wind. We could hear the crackling of the ice bullets hitting the car.

I was quietly angry at myself for having gotten that far in a tremendous feat of driving and getting stuck at the last second. At first, we were content with just sitting there and waiting things out. I had at least a half tank of gas and knew that the mayor would not let a repeat of the blizzard of 1979 happened again.

I was wrong. The clearing of Lake Shore Drive after the sun went down was a disaster by the city. I remember looking at the nearly clear southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive as a phalanx of city snow plows came roaring past us headed the wrong way.

Sometime later, Chicago police officers on snowmobiles rode through asking if everyone was alright and to just hang in there. A short time after that, a CTA bus came in the southbound lanes and picked up people who didn’t want to stay in their cars. At this time I thought we were still okay and would eventually be plowed out and make our way home.

As the evening went on and I was listening to WGN Radio, I was also checking my emails on my phone and noticed one from a producer at WGN TV asking if anyone knew anyone who was stuck on the drive. For some reason, after getting stuck, I had not thought of filing any stories—only of trying to get home.

I decided to respond and the producer asked me to call in, which I did. I then decided, like a true journalist (or a completely brain-dead driver), to do a “scene setter” report for WGN Radio.

I stepped out of the car (now knee-deep in snow, with my too-thin winter jacket on and no boots on my shoes), and called the newsroom and filed a report. My jacket was coated in ice. My feet starting to freeze up. It wouldn’t be the last time I stepped out of the safety of the car to file reports for the station that night before my phone battery died.

Sometime after that, we noticed a handful of people walk past us towards Belmont—either bus passengers or car drivers or both. And not long after they passed us, we saw them walking back—the snow too deep to get through.

We also saw a group of men who either came from the Belmont area or from other cars who walked up to the line of cars in front of ours and started to help push those cars out of the drifts and helping them get back on the road north.

I could see enough ahead of us to see the outline of an articulated earth-mover for a few minutes and then watching it disappear, not to be seen again for at least 20 minutes. It appeared and disappeared in this pattern most of the night, working its way ever-so-slowly towards my car.

But the group of men made it to my car before the plow did. And they did their best to help me out. Most of the cars in front of us in the inner lane had now moved out. The cars to our right snaking across the drive had not. And the cars and buses had continued to pile up behind us.

The men tried to clear out around my car and then tried to push me back and forth, as I shifted between drive and reverse. The problem was that my left rear tire kept sliding back against the wall and I wasn’t getting enough traction to move forward. If one of them could have gotten back there to help the rear of the car from moving further into the packed snow I could have gotten out of there.

The constant shifting of gears put an undue strain on the car, and it just burned out. And the guys trying to help moved on to other cars.

I’ve always been asked why we didn’t get out of the car and walk over to Sheridan and Belmont. Good question. Neither I nor Jerral were dressed for the weather outside. Though we could see Sheridan Road far to our left, there was a huge park between us and Sheridan piled high with more than three feet of snow in some spots.

During this entire time I filed reports with TV and radio. I was on live with Steve and Johnnie on WGN Radio overnight trying to keep people up to date on what was happening, though nothing was happening. And then, unintentionally, I threw a scare into everyone.

When the car died, I couldn’t keep my phone charged. It was an old phone anyway and the battery didn’t hold power for long. I can’t remember if I had reported that the phone was dying out, but I heard later from many at the station and on Facebook that they thought I’d perished since they hadn’t heard from me for hours.

There was a knocking on the passenger side window not long after the car died. Jerral opened it up and a guy said something to the effect of “You’re Roger on WGN. If you want to get warm, come on back to our car.”

We decided to take him up on his offer. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask which car was his before he left us and went back to his car. We got out of our car and trudged a few feet before realizing we didn’t know which car the guy was in. We headed back to my frozen car, got inside, now wet and sweating and frozen and shaking.

We’d been sitting, wet, inside the frozen car for way too long, out of food and warmth. It was just after 4:00 a.m. Suddenly, along the southbound lanes, a CTA bus shows up. A police officer gets out and walks through the road divider towards our car and the others behind us. He tells us we need to abandon the car and get on the bus and we will be taken to a hospital.

Jerral gets out of his side and quickly moves to the waiting bus while I grab my computer/school bag from the rear seat, though the officer tells me to leave everything in the car. I’m glad I didn’t listen to him.

We struggled through the snow and over the road divider and made our way into the bus. It was as cold inside the bus as it was outside. There was no heat. We continued to pick up people. Many had no coats, gloves, or boots. The bus gets filled up and starts heading towards Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital on Wellington.

I’m at the back of the bus, standing so others can sit, and two things happen—one very embarrassing. Mother Nature called again while I was on the bus—big time. I tried desperately to wait until I got to the hospital, but the pain was too much to bear.

I took out the empty drink container from my lunch bag and unscrewed the top. Under the cover of my winter jacket I aligned myself and met the call, so to speak. I covered the container and put it back in the lunch bag shortly before we arrived at the hospital.

Since the bus wasn’t heated, my wet feet inside my wet socks inside my wet shoes started to get colder and colder from standing on the cold floor of the cold bus. As we walked from the bus to the hospital, I found a bathroom in the hallway – as did many others. I poured out the contents of the container into a urinal and threw out the container.

We walked past tables in the cafeteria where they were taking our information and asking if we needed any medical assistance. The hospital had opened and stocked the cafeteria with lots of hot food, all free. There were ample amounts of coffee, hot chocolate, water, and other drinks. There were extra phones installed so people could call families and friends. There were extra computer stations installed. The hospital really went all out to take care of us, as several busloads had made their way there.

At the registration table, the second thing happened. I walked up to one of the hospital aides standing near the table and asked, “What does frostbite feel like? I don’t think I can feel my feet.”

The aide immediately got me in a wheelchair and rushed me to the emergency room. I remember wondering where Jerral was and concerned that I didn’t have time to let him know I was not going to be in the lunchroom with him.

In the emergency room, a nurse prepared a tray of lukewarm water, and I soaked my feet in it. While talking to the nurse, I found out her mother taught English and journalism at CVCA. Of course I knew her mother, and the nurse and I started talking up a storm. While we were talking, in walks Jerral.

After a while my feet started to gain some feeling. I don’t remember the exact time, but it was about 5:00 a.m. when I asked if I could use a phone to call the radio station. As I was being interviewed, I remember noticing some of the faces of the staff who suddenly realized I worked for a radio station.

While Jerral had bid goodbye and made his way home on the now-running CTA Red Line, I was scared. I didn’t want to get caught out in the cold again. I noticed a taxi or two leaving the hospital so I called for a cab—and waited for more than four hours before realizing one wasn’t coming.

It was now almost 11:00 a.m. I hadn’t been home for about 28 hours. The free food in the cafeteria was gone. The computers were shut down. I screwed up my courage and stopped feeling sorry for myself and headed across the street to the red line station. The sun was out now and I stood on the station platform facing west, the sun flooding over my face as I closed my eyes.

My clothes had dried out while at the hospital so I wasn’t worried about freezing again, though my toes were still tingling. Finally, a train came by and I got on board and headed to the Western Avenue stop on the Ravenswood. I got onto a Western Avenue bus headed north. Western had been plowed and traffic was moving, though light in volume.

The bus got to my stop about 1:30 p.m. and I was faced with dozens of my neighbors shoveling out the street and their cars covered in at least two feet of snow. I walked the block from the bus stop to where we lived and greeted Bridget and our dog, Rufus, with big hugs. A refreshing double espresso and something to eat preceded a long nap.

There was no school for a couple days as people tried to dig out from the storm and find their lost cars. Cars left on the Drive and other roadways during the storm had been cataloged and towed to several lakefront parking lots.

Our son came over and we used Bridget’s car to drive to the lots looking for my car. Not only did we check with the lot attendant and their computerized list, but we walked around the lots and checked on the city’s website for my car. There was no listing. It had disappeared.

I called into the station for a couple more interviews that day and night mentioning that the car was lost. The next morning I got a mysterious phone call—“Your car is at the corner of Halsted and Wolfram” CLICK!

I remember Steve and Johnnie telling me that someone from Streets and Sanitation department had contacted them the night I was stuck on the Drive asking where I was located. So maybe that’s who called me. Our then-son-in-law and I drove to the location and there was my car. The car had no snow on it, leading me to think that it got towed to an inside facility as opposed to one of the outside lots..

I got in the car, put the key in the ignition, turned it, and after a couple of seconds, it started up!! Amazing!! But my smile turned to a frown about three minutes later when the engine slowly sputtered and stopped. It wouldn’t start up again. And as we opened the hood, we saw why. The entire engine was frozen in a block of ice from top to bottom, left to right, front to back.

We called a service station near where we lived, Bee Zee, and they sent out a tow truck to pick us up. Our then-son-in-law drove back home while I rode with the truck driver back to the auto shop. The workers were amazed at what happened and took pictures of the frozen engine. Then they put the car on a rack and raised it as high as it could go to face a large heating unit hanging from the ceiling.

That’s where the car stayed while the ice melted away from the engine. I got a ride home, and the next day, the repair shop called to say the car was ready and in good working condition. They had to replace some parts but it was none the worse for the wear.

Three days after frostbite, a missing car, and a frozen engine, I was back on the road and working my regular shift at the radio station. What an experience.