Father Figure

17Sep13

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I don’t think my dad ever understood why I didn’t want to be like him.

He was a hard hat construction worker most of his life. He worked as a piping supervisor on petro-chemical plants all over the world, a real man’s man. He used to describe anyone who stood on a stage, in front of a camera or behind a microphone as a “poser”. I’m not sure he ever worked out what I actually do for a living but he knows it has something to do with “buggering about”.

I remember when I told him I was giving up being an air-conditioning engineer to get into radio. It was over twenty years ago and I’m pretty sure he thought I’d lost my mind and was about to run away and join the circus.

I never told him but he’s the reason I first got interested in broadcasting. I can’t remember if it was my 9th or 10th birthday but I remember the present. It was a second hand, reel to reel tape recorder. I used to record everything that made a noise including the soundtrack of whatever was on TV.

One day I recorded the broadcast of the marching bands during the annual Trooping of the Colour. I was playing it back to him when he noticed a button on the tape recorder called “superimpose”. After a quick read of the instruction book, he rewound the tape, pushed the superimpose button and started talking into the microphone, “Welcome to the Trooping of the Colour. There is the Queen, sitting side saddle as is the tradition on these formal occasions.” He paused, then went on, “Oh my goodness, the Queen, she’s fallen off her horse…! Prince Philip is helping her back on… Oh no, he’s pushed her too hard, she’s fallen off the other side now…!”

When he played it back, his voice was “superimposed” over the original track of the marching bands. It sounded like he was actually there, I was amazed. In that moment my life changed. Suddenly one and one didn’t always HAVE to equal two. It could be anything you wanted it to be.

And what I wanted to be, was just like him.

Craic on!

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If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link. If you’d like to talk to me about it, call me on +44 1438 422106 between 6 and 9 weekday mornings (UK time) on BOB fm.

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