We have a neighbor who lives behind us, an elderly gentleman who loves radio. Whenever he stops by or comes over for dinner he has to discuss the latest regarding the radio station he still works for every Sunday morning. He loves announcing the birthdays that people send in, as well as playing folk and music from years past. He loves radio and can answer any question regarding stations and studio equipment. One day after talking with him, my husband Joe was hit with inspiration for a story, and so today I am going to post his story.
THE FORMAT - PART ONE
By Joe Simmons
It was two days after Thanksgiving. Tyler Mannion, the station manager at WEZL Radio, was sitting at his desk listening to the Morning Show with Don Reno.
"You are listening to WEZL, with Don Reno. The song that was just played was Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops Orchestra. That song is one of my wife's favorite songs of the holiday season. Coming up is a request from a friend who recently informed me that she has been diagnosed with cancer. We do not usually take requests during the show, but after hearing her story I felt I could not refuse. Coming up is her request, Oh Holy Night. As you listen please say a prayer for this lady. My friend, this song is for you."
As Don began playing the song, Tyler quickly walked down the hall to the studio where Don was broadcasting. Tyler walked into the studio. While Oh Holy Night played over the monitors, he called Don over to talk to him.
“Don, I realize that you are upset about your friend, but you must remember that it is only two days after Thangsgiving. You must stick to the program format. Our advertisers and listeners don’t like hearing any overly spiritual songs until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Neither do we want the phones to ring off the hook with crazy requests. Our secretary will not be able to handle the phone lines if that happens. When this song is finished I want you to repeat the fact that we do not take live requests during the week. Only during the EZL request show on Sunday mornings will we take requests."
"Sure thing, boss,” Don answered respectfully.
Before Tyler left the studio, he turned back with concern, “I hope your friend gets better.”
Benny, the sound engineer, announced over the monitors, “10 seconds to live.”
“Thanks, boss.” Don said to Tyler as he left to go back to his office.
“This is Don Reno. You just heard Rhema Marvanne, singing Oh Holy Night. Rhema was only seven years old when she recorded that song. Rhema’s mother passed away from cancer about a year before the recording. To all those affected by cancer, my thoughts and prayers go out to you today. Now we will hear an old time classic from Bing Crosby. . .”
Several minutes went by, and Tyler was sitting in his office when he heard a knock on his door. Tyler answered, “Come in.”
Tyler’s secretary, Melody Grant, who had worked for him for over twenty years, entered the room. Melody had a concerned look on her slightly wrinkled face and Tyler knew the look well. Whenever he saw that look it reminded him of his mother.
“I hope Don is not in trouble,” she stated inquisitively.
“No, he is fine, but you of all people should know how many letters I get from offended people every year after we start to play the more spiritual Christmas songs. I am not ready for that harassment just yet.”
“It sure is a different world than when I was young." She turned to leave the room, then paused as if she was not finished. "I thought you might like to know who requested the song Don played.”
Tyler looked up and saw a look on her face he did not like. He hoped his intuition was wrong. “Was it you, Melody?”
Melody responded a little somberly, “Yes, breast cancer, early stages.”
"Oh no, that is awful. . .do you need a couple of days to process?” said Tyler.
“No, the girl scouts are coming in for a tour of the radio station today, and I made brownies and cookies for them,” Melody answered, a big smile on her face.
“Isn’t it their job to bring you cookies?” he responded with a smile. Her happiness was contagious.
“Oh, I love them. Mr. Grant and I were never able to have children, so we kind of adopt every child that comes our way,” stated Melody smiling bigger. “I plan on being here at the station until I can’t get out of bed in the morning. Besides you need me too much for me to be away. I have Jesus to help me through the day. I will be fine."
Tyler stated sincerely, “I wish I had your faith.”
Melody appeared to get excited, “We can take care of that right now.”
Tyler shrugged off the comment and answered, “Not now. I am too busy with all I have to do right now. Maybe later.”
“I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we have this conversation," responded Melody.
“Maybe so,” answered Tyler. Looking behind Melody through his open door, he noticed a bunch of giggly girls in uniform enter through the front door.
Melody heard the commotion, “Excuse me, Tyler, my Girl Scouts are here.” Melody walked quickly toward the scouts, and began the tour of the station.
After the tour was finished and the girls had eaten their snacks, they each gave Melody a big hug. Tyler thought it too bad that she had never had any children of her own. She had such a big heart for them. After he waved goodbye, he went back into the office and wondered what the future held for Melody. Melody was more than his secretary; he loved her like she was his own mother, and would hate to see her suffer with cancer. He had met many Christians in his life, and thought that they were all frauds, but something he had seen in Melody and her husband Bill was different. They seHe hoped this situation would have a good ending, but there was no telling what would happen.
A knock sounded at the door and Bob, one of his sales staff members poked his head in. "Are you ready for our meeting?"
With a nod, Tyler came back to the moment and put all his worries aside. He could think about those deeper things later.