The Big Dog Almost Ended Up in the Wrong Quincy
An important anniversary of my arrival in Quincy took place 39 years ago today. 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 (now KCFX) 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 25, 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 me was very much appreciated. As it turned out Hal and I got to meet each other shortly thereafter and became good friends and shared a drink from time to time talking about radio of course.
What this is all leading up to is that some 39 years ago I arrived in Quincy, and as it turned out, it was the right Quincy to go to.