"It was 1990. I was a year out of high school, in process of half-heartedly changing colleges for my second year since the first had gone less than well. I was 19-going-on-20 and had been working off and on as a carpenter's helper to earn money. I was still living at home and had left the carpentry job for some stupid reason that made sense to idiotic Young Me. I was watching the local small TV market cable-only 5pm news, which I almost never watched. The anchor was interviewing a local popular radio personality who I knew only from listening.

Working at the college radio station was one of the high points of that first year of college, so I pulled out the typewriter and wrote a letter to that radio personality. I told him who I was a kid who did a little college radio, and I asked him simply how I could break into the commercial radio business.

He had no idea!

I put it in an envelope, addressed it to the station, mailed it the next day, and went about whatever dumb Young Me did. A few days later, as we're about to sit down to dinner (I'm 19, living with my mom), the phone rings. I answer. It's the popular radio personality introducing himself and asking if I could come in to the station for an interview.

A week and a half later I was working at the radio station, on Christmas Eve, running the 10pm to 6am reels of the annual Christmas Show, all by myself and alone. About three years later, I was promoted to Program Director and Operations Manager (and PM Drive Host) of a sister radio station. I've long left the radio business, but everything I learned and was given the opportunity to do back then gave me the launching pad to a life I never would have had if I had continued on the directionless path that I was on."

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