Today I had a day rarely granted to mortals. I experienced the profound sadness of saying goodbye to a studio and staff and audience I loved. I had the chance to do so behind a microphone, sitting in my most comfy chair and looking out an actual window to see the trees blowing and the sun setting. The studio at WSTC/WNLK has been my second home for 5 years. We’ve grown close. Today would be the last day I would sit in that chair; by Monday morning the studio will be dismantled. A new owner with its own studio is taking over.
Unbeknownst to me, my producer Jaimee Kelsey had been working feverishly all day with my board operator Giulia Cammerota to give me a send-off in true Oprah style fashion. Testimonials from politicians, guests, family members and listeners piped out into the atmosphere. Among the most touching was a tribute from my own son. Who knew I was actually having an effect on his morals? Certainly not I. My husband Bill had sent flowers not only to me, but to Giulia and Jaimee as well. So did our “ustream gang” and special fan and friend, Mike Schweitzer. Of course, I had to remove them all from the studio because I immediately started to sneeze. But it was a very nice gesture.
Such planning, such thoughtfulness, such organization! Such love. I kept thinking about the love. All that love at one time is hard to take in.
I haven’t been sad this week. I’ve been busy trying to find a new home for The Lisa Wexler Show. No other place will be 10 minutes from my house, even in terrible weather. No other antenna will cover all the towns of Fairfield County in one broad stroke. Every other station presents pros and cons- only WSTC/WNLK was a perfect fit for my lifestyle and my ambitions. But with challenge comes opportunities. I am hoping this kick in the pants will force me to widen my reach, broaden my audience, and even, dare I say, improve the bottom line. This past week, I have been anxious, busy, determined, confident, scared and hopeful. But not sad.
Today’s show zoomed by at a faster pace than normal. That was most likely because every time I tried to say anything, Giulia interrupted with a testimonial as to my wonderfulness. (let me make up a word now and then- trust me, I know when I’m doing it) . All of a sudden, it was six o-clock. Closing time.
Still, I was not sad. My program director and I kicked around small talk for an hour. At the third yawn, we knew it was finally time to leave.
Famished, I made my way to the center aisle at Stew Leonard’s, while eating the inside of a vegetarian wrap. Mozzarella balls and chicken wings would soon follow. I couldn’t help but be reminded of that poor pregnant woman at a Safeway supermarket who had her kid removed to foster care because she forgot to pay for her sandwiches. Clearly that would not happen to me; my wrappers were firmly placed in the cart, prominently displayed for both me and the cashier as a reminder to pay.
Somewhere right around the leftover Kit Kat multiplex aisle, I wept. Just like that. Not heavy bawling, just a tear or two. It finally hit me- no more WSTC/WNLK studio. No more routine of going into that station every day to see familiar faces and prepare for the day’s stories. No more Sugar on my lap, licking my nose during commercials. No more looking out that particular window, lost in an on-air reverie about nothing in particular. All gone.
Like so many big events in life, this one too will take time to penetrate. As Steve Jobs reminded us, our lives only make sense from a rear view mirror. People keep telling me the best is yet to come, but really, how do they know? How can anyone know? What is more important is to face tomorrow with energy, optimism and confidence. All that love will be my reservoir when my reserves of energy, optimism and confidence are diminished. Thank you all, but especially thank you Jaimee. Whenever I need love, I can just listen to today’s show.