The Big Dog Almost Ended up in the Wrong Quincy
An important anniversary, my arrival in Quincy, almost surprisingly passed yesterday without my recognizing it. The year was 1978 when I got a call out of the blue from a Gary Schmedding of WTAD Radio and KHQA-TV on a warm May day. I was working on the radio in the Kansas City area on KIEE Radio in Harrisonville, Missouri. Mr. Schmedding called and identified himself to me and complemented me on my play-by-play that he had heard some weeks ago on the station. He then asked if I would like work in Quincy doing college and high school play-by-play and also hosting a regular radio show on WTAD.
Having just returned from vacation in Massachusetts, I thought he was talking about Quincy, Massachusetts and never questioned him about it. I had never heard of Quincy, Illinois. I contemplated the offer for a day and agreed to take the job “in Massachusetts” and began planning for living on the East Coast again. When Mr. Schmedding called me back the next day for my decision, it became obvious that the Quincy I was planning on moving to was not going to be the Quincy I ended up at.
My first day on the air was May 24, 1978. When I finished that first shift I received a phone call from the legendary retired Hal Barton who was kind enough to tell me that he was listening and thought I did a “wonderful” job. First days at new radio stations are never wonderful but the fact that he took the time to call was appreciated. As it turned out we got to meet each other shortly thereafter and became good friends and shared a drink from time to time talking radio of course.
What this is all leading up to is that some 37 years ago I arrived in Quincy and as it turned out it was no doubt the right Quincy to go to.