1 week, 3 days ago Mary Griffith
I claim St. Patrick's Day as my start date anniversary for my career at WTAD radio. I can't say for sure it was my first day of work, but I remember walking in the 1988 parade with my then "radio husbands", Jeff Big Dog Dorsey and Dennis Oliver. I know I was working in March because one of my first requests was to take April Opening Day off to go to Busch to see the Cardinals start the season. Asking for a day off less than 2 weeks after you start a new job is pretty gutsy, and mild compared to my demands these 29 years later. My boss Mike Moyers describes me, accurately, as high maintenance.
For the past 29 years, I have had the privilege, the pleasure and the responsibility of delivering the news to WTAD morning listeners. As time has passed, my role at WTAD has grown. Now I get to wake up the Tri-States with news and a funny story or two and a great on-air partner, Steve Boll. I even have my own talk show. Best of all, I get to decide the content of the morning show and the Mary Griffith Show. I can interview anybody I want. I don't have to talk to anybody I don't want. My mouth gets me in trouble a lot. But management gives me free rein -- and I gallop until I break my own leg.
When you have worked at the same job for 29 years, you have seen a lot of co-workers come and go. You've had a lot of partners and side-kicks -- and been the side-kick. You've argued for your point of view and lost. You've gotten a lot of praise and attention and a little hate. But you keep coming back every morning because you love it. It's what you do. In many ways, WTAD radio is who I am. Which is scary. And soothing.
People often ask me about the most exciting person I've ever interviewed or the biggest thrill on-air. Today, on my 29th anniversary, I want to tell you that it is my relationship with you, my listeners, that I cherish most. Every once in a while, I get a note telling me that a charity event I helped promote topped its fund-raising goal, or that parents with children of a rare disease found others in the same dire straits and now have a new support system. Recently, a caller to the Mary Griffith Show thanked me for saving his life. He listens every morning. He'd been having some tightness in his chest. When my guest that day, a cardiologist, gave the warning signs of heart attack, this listener went to the ambulatory clinic immediately. Just days later he had surgery to open up several blocked arteries. He called to thank me. No sir, thank you.
I truly feel I am blessed. It is you, my WTAD listeners, that inspire me. The listeners make WTAD. WTAD makes Mary Griffith. Without the power of that microphone and listener support for 29 years, I would be nothing. 29 years from now, somebody else will be waking up the Tri-States. I hope I'm alive to listen.