Monday, October 18, 2010

Post 1400 – A Love Story

Welcome to the 1400th post of Bevboy’s Blog.

I am going to discuss something this evening I have alluded to before, but am pretty sure hasn’t been mentioned in detail.

I had heard stories about guys proposing to their girlfriends over the years.  I had heard the highs.  I had heard the lows.  I wanted to beat them all.

Rick Howe was host of The Hotline on the late and very lamented 920 CJCH from 1998 until the day before that station was taken off the air, and replaced by the abomination that took its place, whose name will never be mentioned on this weblog. 

During the 2006-06 Hotline, Rick would, from time to time, invite listeners to be a co-host for an hour.  He had some 17.5 hours of air time to fill in the run of the week, no discernible budget, and just about zero promotion.  It was reasonable for him to come up with this idea of getting someone to come in and help him kill an hour.

He invited listeners to write him and explain why they would make a good co-host.  I applied, but was never accepted.  You can ask him why.  Patricia applied, and was accepted. 

Patricia would be a guest co-host on the Hotline on the Thursday before Good Friday, 2006.  She was a nervous wreck!  In the days before the appearance, she waffled and hesitated over doing the show at all.  She learned that the open hour would include some calls out to some people, including a professor at Acadia University, and they would talk about some lost books of the Bible. 

Patricia was freaking.  She wanted me to sit down at the radio station’s waiting room.  I told her that I had a meeting right after lunch, right after her appearance on the program.

That was a lie.

You see, I had contacted Rick earlier that week and asked him if it would be all right if I called in to the show and proposed to  Patricia, right on the air.  He wrote back, announcing it as a great idea, and gave me a special phone number so that I wouldn’t have to wait in the phone queue. 

Thursday came.  I made arrangements with my then-boss, Rod, to use his office to propose, saving me the burden of calling in from cubeville.   At the appointed time, 12:40, I called in, and the producer, Amber, picked up the phone.  I told her who I was.  Amber told me that I could do this, and put me on hold.

Rick and Patricia finished talking to their previous guest, a cabbie in Newfoundland who has an uncanny talent for guessing gas prices.  Rick opened up my line, and I identified myself. 

I had written out the proposal beforehand.   I read it, my voice breaking and cracking the whole time.  I struggled through every word.  Finally, I asked, “Patricia, will you please marry me?”

“You big goof!”, she said.

Then, Rick said something that surprised me to my very core.  He informed his listeners that Live at Five had been there the whole time to record the show.  Rick had told Patricia something to placate her.  Then, he wouldn’t let Patricia answer my proposal until after the commercial break.

It was a really long two minutes.

Turns out some folks at Patricia’s work were listening to her and heard the whole thing.  A meeting was just getting out at that very moment, and these women told the meeting attendants what had happened.  “Well, did she say yes?”, they asked.  “We don’t know.  They haven’t come back from commercial yet!!”

They all rushed to the room where the show was streaming on someone’s computer.  The commercials were over.  Rick recapitulated the fact that for the first time in his career, and probably in Halifax radio, someone had proposed to his girlfriend on the air.   He turned the microphone over to Patricia, and allowed her to answer.

She said “all right”.  Yay!

Rick talked to me, on the air, about how Patricia and I had met.  I told him, and Patricia chuckled.  We rang off.

They resumed their call outs, and the callers were congratulating Patricia.  They took that call from the Acadia professor.  Patricia asked some cool questions. 

The show finished at one pm.  There was some discussion at the station with the staff, as Patricia was congratulated by the women in the building. 

That evening, on Live at Five, they ran a 30 second highlight with me asking Patricia to marry me, and the result.

Rick got a lot of free publicity from us that day.  I got an acceptance to my marriage proposal.  And, we’re still not married.  There are many reasons why, and they would surprise you, maybe even sadden you.  I will save those reasons for another post, maybe #1500.

Rick published a book a month or so ago.  I have leafed through it, but haven’t bought it yet.  I don’t know if this story is in it or not, but when the Hotline was cancelled in 2008, Peter Duffy wrote a column about the demise of this program.  Peter was kind enough to mention this, and I had a chance to thank him when I interviewed him last year. 

I managed to combine two loves, Patricia and radio, in this post, and in the proposal.  Are you impressed yet?

Bevboy’s Blog began 1400 posts ago, and I didn’t know where I was going with it.  It began to take on a life of its own, and a shape that doesn’t resemble the very early posts.  I have learned what makes a BBB post, and what doesn’t.  I leave the political stuff to the other uninformed folks out there with blogs.  Johnny Carson is a Mark Evanier specialty, so I let him write about him. 

BBB is about Bevboy, and the things that have happened to him over his 46 years.  Some of those things have been funny.  Some of them have been heart breakingly sad.  Some have been interesting.   Some of these posts, more than a few, have been about radio, and Bevboy’s passion for it, and the medium that has made him well known in radio circles, to the point where radio jocks write him for interviews.

And some of the posts, like this one I hope, are just special enough that if it were published in a newspaper, you’d take your scissors and clip them out.

A fella can dream.

Have a good evening.



Ken said...

Great story! Congratulations on Patricia saying yes as well as on blog post # 1400. Your next 1400 will be easier - I think you're really getting the hang of this blog thing!

I wanted to work in radio when I was in high school. Never did, except for university radio!

Vince said...

I did hot-button talk radio on a full power am station (50K watts day/10K watts night) in Georgia back in the mid 90s. Produced a few shows. Had my own for a couple years. I share your love of radio.

I have been married twice. The first time for 4 years. The present marriage is 12 years and rolling. 12 years due to mercy and forgiveness rather than the amazing understanding of women I wish I had, so keep that in mind. Maybe that qualifies me. Maybe that disqualifies me.

But guys often misread the situation. You thought you were being romantic. Really, it was a trap. Guys think women dream about scenarios like that, but, really, she was trapped. If she had said "no," she would have been a villain. She would have ruined everyone's good time. She had to say "yes." And you knew it.

Had you been the one on the air in the studio and called her and asked her, that would have been putting yourself on the spot. Vulnerable. Heroic. Sweet. As it is, you put her on the spot.

The show was about her; not you. You usurped that and made it about you, but you disguised it in romanticism... and left her in a trap. You come off as romantic on the air... but was it really romantic to her in that position?

Just a stray thought from way south and way west.

I'm terribly sorry that I didn't nurture our friendship through some pretty tough years. I hope you are OK.


Unknown said...

Patricia got it right the first time... you are a big goof... but it works for you & it's part of what makes you and Patricia work.

As I've said before ... keep writing there's a book in there somewhere!