No, I’m Not Recording You

My – love at first sight – career in communication, digital media, and news media was, in part, sparked by a family purchase at Radio Shack when it was a bigger thing than ever.

It all started with the trusty black rectangular Realisti-brand cassette recorder. It’s funny now to think about the fact in the 70’s it was normal to have a ‘family tape recorder.’  My dad kept it like new in one of those safe dark high up places in the house. It was about the most spectacular toy a grade school kid like me could imagine getting my hands on (that is, except for my Coleco Football Electronic game and my electronic Merlin…sigh). It was worth a little sneaky detective work to find it when I could. The funny thing is I used it much more than the adults in the house which mirrors the way my son snags my iPad now. He uses THAT more than I do.

I hoarded the space on the one green sticker clear Fuji 120-minute cassette tape that lived inside the machine taking great care not to record over my precious coy interactions with family when they had no idea our talk of what’s for supper was being archived under the recliner for my later study of human dynamics, linguistics, and strategic culinary planning – as best a nine-year-old could anyway. I remember hiding it under the organ to catch my little sister goofing around squandering her practice time by rolling around on the organ bench and swinging her limbs off of it instead of learning that ole’ standard song Bill Grogan’s Goat.  Yeah…I’ve mellowed a lot since 4th grade.

The point is that’s how it started. My fascination with communication, human interaction, and motivation. The clumsy study I didn’t even realize I was embarking on with my dad’s audio cassette recorder held secrets I longed to understand about how we connect and the meaning in it.

That meaning fuels my career in a myriad of ways now.