The Big Dog Coming to Quincy is Filled With Irony
How many of you can remember what you were doing 40 years ago today? Probably few of you do, but I remember because it was my first day on the air in Quincy. After a four year tenure in Kansas City at what is now KCFX Radio (formerly KIEE Radio) I agreed to take an on-air and play-by-play position with WTAD here in Quincy. I never even applied for the position.
It was a freak occurrence that led to my coming to Quincy. By chance Gary Schmedding, the Operations Director of WTAD, was in Kansas City and heard me on the air and out of the blue offered me the position. That offer only came after Mel and El Tappe decided they didn’t want to continue to do play by play at WTAD which opened up a spot for me.
This all occurred after I had returned from a vacation in the Boston area. After being offered the job, I thought I was headed right back there to Quincy, Massachusetts. For some 24 hours I was considering a move back to the east coast. It wasn’t until 24 hours later that I realized the offer was to Quincy, Illinois, a place I never knew existed. The rest is history.
So was it destiny that I came here or not? I think so. I say that because one week after I arrived in Quincy I was introduced to Sherrill Hanks, the Quincy College head coach of the team I would be doing play-by-play for in a few months. The minute a saw him and heard his distinctive voice I remembered seeing him on Kansas City television months earlier during the Hawk's NAIA Basketball Tournament visit. Little did I know then that we would eventually work together.
A side light to that story is the interviewer on KCMO-TV was sportscaster Jack Harry. I found out from Coach Hanks that Harry was from Quincy as well which explains why Coach Hanks was there in the first place.
Another reason to think Quincy was my destiny was after I met Gene Hutter in Quincy. We were introduced to each other and after he found out I was coming here from the Kansas City area he told me his son Jeffrey worked at WDAF-TV in Kansas City. Some 8 years earlier (1970) it was Jeffrey Hutter who, between Arrowhead and Royals Stadiums, interviewed me as a sports fan for what I thought about the new Truman Sports Complex. What are the odds of that happening?
The bottom line is, destiny or not, I know I chose the right Quincy 40 years ago today. My how time flies.