My wife and I returned to my home area, Grey and Bruce counties, on Thanksgiving weekend earlier this month. Part of the visit involved a trip into Owen Sound, my birthplace and the largest community in either county. I’m proud of being from Owen Sound and I like to come home for various reasons every few weeks.
We had our grandson, Briar, with us. Briar is five years old and, like me, he was born in Owen Sound, but he has not lived there since shortly after his first birthday. Because he does not remember living in Owen Sound, his father and I make a point of sharing our knowledge and our memories with him.
On this particular occasion, I wanted to share a lesson in public history, but I was the one who ended up learning something. (Not a good thing.)
When our Digital Public History class was told we each had to do a podcast as a class assignment, and it could be about anything, in any format, as long as it was historical, I knew immediately what I wanted to do.
You may already know that I worked in radio for a couple of years last decade. I started as a reporter and then I became a newscaster, and for the most part it was pretty cool. (Terrible pay, but a cool experience.) But what I really wanted to be was a disc jockey.
I grew up surrounded by – no, immersed in – music. My mother was a semi-professional singer, and my sisters were talented singers too. My father and his brother played the guitar. Either a radio or a record player was always on at our house. And because my parents were into country music while my older siblings were ’60s and ’70s kids who loved Top 40, I received a very eclectic musical education at home. Nobody was surprised when I eventually started playing the guitar and singing too.