Most commentators read their public radio essays.
But that doesn’t work for me. I can read Braille, but I’m very slow. So Joe DeCeault, one of my favorite producers, puts me in front of a microphone, asks me what my essay was about, and I retell the story. Joe refers to my printed essay while we record, which was especially helpful for this car-driving piece. Anyone who has been around me in the past month knows how I can go on and on and on about that Mustang I drove –using my written piece as a guide, Joe cut me off when I gushed over race car driver Tommy Kendall too much. He interrupted if he found something I’d forgotten to mention.
“Tell me about your sister’s 1967 Mustang,” he’d say. Or, “What did they tell you during the safety drill before your ride?”
The resulting radio piece is, in my humble opinion, a joy to listen to. The folks I worked with during my drive in Phoenix sent some sound clips from the event– Joe wove them into the piece. He used some priceless rock ‘n’ roll tunes in the background, too.
Joe’s sound-bit magic brought me right back behind the wheel again. In the driver’s seat. The piece aired this morning on Chicago Public Radio’s 848 show. If you missed it, you can take a listen online. Just be sure to buckle your seat belt first.