WINK Radio Back In Fort Meyers Studio

Radio broadcasters, the local everyday folks who live and care about the community and share in both smiles and heartaches are in our hearts and back on the radio broadcasting from their studio. Thanks for what you all do at WINK.

From CNN…“Southwest Florida news station WINK headed back late Monday afternoon to its Fort Myers studios after having spent days broadcasting from a makeshift studio setup at its transmitter site. (Photo above.) The station had been forced to take extraordinary measures to stay on the air after storm surge from Ian coursed through its offices last week, damaging much of the outlet’s equipment and forcing staffers to temporarily move to that remote location. WINK’s senior EP Lenny Smith, however, shared the update that employees had returned. “I left my headset in the [WINK] control room when [Ian’s] storm surge started flooding our building,” Smith tweeted. “Five days later, I’m putting it back on.””

Last Snowman, First Robin On Madison Isthmus

While out for a walk today I came across the perfect images of March.  The last snowman of the year—and looking its age—as it gazes out onto a frozen Lake Monona.  High in a tree that will cast a shadow in summer upon the space where a child made the snowman, a robin was perched with a welcome to spring. 

With the awful news from Eastern Europe, a thought came to mind as I took photos of the robin.  An aunt wrote this week a line that seems most appropriate at this time. “If we could be assured of everything as we are of the arrival of Spring what a wonderful world it would be.”

MUST SEE: Intense Tornado Video From Inside Iowa Car

THY most intense tornado video I have ever watched. This is something we can almost actually feel as the funnel lands, moves, whips, destroys. The footage is from this past weekend when a multi-vortex EF-4 tornado near Winterset, Iowa blasted its way across the land.

Madison Kites On Ice Recalled By Historic Facebook Page

For a number of years, there was a most remarkable event held in Madison during the coldest month of the year. The ice on Lake Monona would be frozen solid and scores of people would flock together, bundled for the January weather to enjoy ‘Kites On Ice”.

Today Historic Madison WI Photo Group on Facebook posted a photo of James Wilson and myself on the lake while thrilling to the sights and sounds. (And no, we are not the ones on strings!)

There was no way not to become a 7-year old when out on the ice with the colorful and huge array of kites flying about. And these were no ordinary kites!  From all over the world people would come to showcase their talents with the artistry of kiting. Inside the Monona Terrace, there would be workshops and chances to meet the talented ones who mastered what many of us as kids never did.

As I looked out at frozen Lake Monona today I thought how exciting it would be if the event were still a Madison moment about to happen.  There is enough ice for the whole event this year!  I am not sure as to the reason why the kiting event left the city.  Perhaps attempts to make it too big back-fired, or someone wanted too much money to host the event, or funding dried up.  Those are usually the reasons good things in the city disappear.

Those who recall the event can smile over the magic of the kites and the way January once was on the Madison isthmus.

Kids Of All Ages On Frozen Lake Monona

The first time this season James and I ventured onto frozen Lake Monona…WOW–fun!! I only had one lens for the camera so the pics here are not perfect with the light—but if they could smile like my face!! Pictured is an iceboat, the neighborhood as seen from the lake, the Capitol, along with the power of Mother Nature as it pushed at least foot thick slabs of ice about like potato chips on a plate. Be a kid like us in the wintertime, too.

New Doty Land Podcast: “Sure Does Feel Stormy Today”

Podcaster Gregory Humphrey goes back to childhood days in Hancock, Wisconsin to prove weather of all sorts should be viewed up close.  Nothing is better than grandma’s arm around a shoulder as the thunder crashes or as a boy walking into the bracing winds of a winter snowstorm.  Nostalgic warm memories for anyone wishing to trek back in time. (7 minutes)

Memories Of Trans American School Of Broadcasting Doty Land

With fondness and laughter Bruce Miller, George Manesis, and Gregory Humphrey trek back 41 years to reminisce about the Wausau, Wisconsin broadcasting school.  From how these young men saw themselves at the time, to how radio impacts their lives today, this podcast episode surely mirrors the hundreds of graduates over the years.  From the school owner, Ray Szmanda, to the iconic Scott Street Pub these three guys regale memories that will transport all those who once harbored 'radio fever' to a place of youthful nostalgia.  An episode that has a professional touch,  a human connection.
  1. Memories Of Trans American School Of Broadcasting
  2. Elvis, Thunderstorms, Dan Rather, And Local Radio
  3. Sparking Moments Of Joy And Remembrance During The Long Goodbye
  4. Acting With Humanity In Time Of War Makes For New Film
  5. "Sure Does Feel Stormy Today"

You can hear Doty Land and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartradio, Spotify, Castro, and many other sites.

Letter From Home “Snow Squalls” 11/12/21

Every year since we arrived at this home in 2007 there are certain traditions that are now part and parcel of our lives. We love to get the Adirondack chairs out as soon as the first hint of spring is in the air. Watching fireflies on a warm summer night with a cup of tea or watching heat lightning on the horizon is utterly relaxing. Raking leaves into piles just knowing there is one neighborhood kid who will take advantage of them before they are bagged.

And then there is the yearly event which occurred today.

It can be generally assumed that in the last days of October, into the first couple of weeks in November, a day will dawn downright chilly. The skies will be somewhat clear so that even though the sun shines brightly at times, clouds can also bank about in the sky. Across the lake, on the Madison isthmus, there will be a whitish-gray that slopes out of the sky and skirts across the gray cold water, and as it does so flakes of snow fall. As the flakes arc across the lake and then up over the shoreline and onto the rooftops and sidewalks the wind picks up and dances the white wonders in the air. In short order, the snow stops and the sun shines again.

There is no doubt about what is happening. The first snow squalls of the season have arrived.

This week, knowing the cold weather was planning its arrival I trimmed the rose bushes and cut the blooms that had sprouted over the past couple of weeks due to unusually warm weather. As I did the work on the bushes I smiled at the thought of allowing them to linger outside, with snowflakes settled upon the blooms. That would be just as Sonny James sang in his song When The Snow Is On The Roses.

I readily admit to a bittersweet feeling when putting the gardens to bed for the winter, storing rakes away, and bringing the snow shovels up from the basement to the outside shed. I love putting on shorts and colorful summer shirts while wearing sandals.

But that feeling fades when the sights of today come down from the clouds, crosses the lake, and the feel of the wind ramping up hits my face, as the flakes fall.

The Catalpa tree in our yard is the last of the season to release its leaves. During the recent brisk winds and rain, the large plate-size leaves pelted the house as they let go, allowing the winds to careen them through the air, making for a nice sound when they plunked on the siding. There was a nice-sized pile after I raked them today.

But as I bagged them, one of the squalls moved overhead. The little ice crystals tinged on my hat and dusted the tar pavement. It was perfectly timed. I cleaned up a few other items needing attention and went inside. After hanging my work jacket up, and my hat in its location I opened the back door to the kitchen.

James had shallots simmering in a frying pan for the start of our ham omelet lunch. I poured another cup of coffee to take off the outdoor chill.

The start of another winter is underway. And it feels good.

And so it goes.

“Icebergs Floated In The Gulf Of Mexico”

One of my reads this summer, that I am thoroughly enjoying, is The True Flag by Stephen Kinzer. There is no way to have predicted the reading of this book would be timed with the events playing out in Afghanistan.

At issue in the book, and in our daily newspapers, is a question that we never have resolved as a nation. How should the United States act on the world stage?

The book examines the events of 1898 and 1899, from Cuba to the Philippines, and points in-between as witnessed by the larger-than-life names of the time. With detailed writing that illuminates the intensity and convictions of both sides in this most consequential time for the nation, the book is both a story of the past and a lesson book for the future.

Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst were most earnest about expanding the scope and power of our nation. Meanwhile, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie urged restraint in the lust for new lands and international intrigue. The same roiling arguments then over events around the globe are of the same order to the ones still driving us towards foreign wars in a desire to deposing governments. As in Afghanistan, while we retreat—but history proves this cycle of international involvement never ends.

Kinzer writes with the aid of old newspapers and Senate journals and has created a most remarkable account of how this aspect of our nation started with our war against Spain.

Today I am reading about the vote in the Senate regarding the Philippines, during February 1989, when this description of the weather in Washington, D.C. was presented.

I love history, there is no doubt. But I also am most fond of weather phenomena and find the events that were the greatest, biggest, worst, coldest, or hottest most worthy to further investigate.

As with the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899.

The Great Arctic Outbreak didn’t just bring cold to the nation. It also brought snow and ice and lots of it. By the time blizzard conditions ceased in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Cape May, New Jersey, record over 30 inches of snow, as did Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. On February 17, ice was even witnessed flowing down the Mississippi River, past New Orleans, and into the Gulf of Mexico. And, a one-inch thick layer of ice formed at the mouth of the Mississippi in East and Garden Island Bays in Louisiana.

Over 100 people were estimated to have lost their lives during to the Great Arctic Outbreak. The outbreak damaged or destroyed numerous crops, and countless livestock perished. In Georgia, many orchards of young trees were killed outright, and farmers had to completely replant them. Ice in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes completely halted barge traffic. The cold, snow, and ice also heavily damaged buildings and infrastructure across much of the country.

I continually find the best books are the ones that open still more doors with questions or curiosities. Score a solid win for The True Flag as Kinzer recognizes the present in the past. And is most capable of conveying the lessons of history we need to know as we move forward.

And so it goes.