Of course…it wasn’t the program that was changing my life…it was Henry.
He was charming. He was interesting. He was comforting. He was funny. He could be outrageous.
I soon realized that I was really looking forward to calling in and talking with him…more each time.
Sometimes I purposely stayed awake for the whole show…until I heard the familiar strains of “In the Still of the Night” playing in the background at the end.
I didn’t call in a lot…although there were some who did. Some of Henry’s listeners called every night and Henry always talked to them.
It was as if he knew they were lonely…and just needed to say “hello”…
But… more importantly…I think Henry knew they just needed for him to say “hello” back. And he did. He always did.
One night…after a few months of occasionally calling in and talking with Henry…he asked me to stay on the line when he went to commercial break after my call.
What was this all about? I actually sat up in bed and glanced over at my dresser mirror to see how I looked…which was pretty crazy. This was radio!
It turned out that Henry had heard about an art and antique show this weekend in the Canal Park area by Lake Superior.
“It sounds like it might be interesting…” he had said. I had learned that Henry liked antiques and that he collected antique Christmas ornaments.
“Would you be interested in going on Saturday? We could meet at the Canal Park Cafe around noon, have lunch first and then just browse around. My treat…of course,” he said.
And then he chuckled…and I wondered for a moment if he was just joking around…but then he quickly continued…
“Of course, if you want to pay for yourself…you surely can…” Then he laughed again. “You know…if you want or feel the need…you can pay for me too!”
Earlier that week he’d had a controversial author on his show. She had written a new book about how women actually “enjoy” paying their way when going on dates with men. Some even feel insulted when men offered to pay for them.
It had been a heated discussion with many listeners participating. I had chosen not to call in that night.
“Yes.” I said…probably too quickly. My pulse was racing. What was going on?
I think I surprised Henry with my speedy reply.
“Oh! Well…good then. That’s great! I’ll see you Saturday…at high noon!”
Then he paused and said more softly…
“I’m looking forward to meeting you…Annabelle from Rocky Point.”
I apparently had forgotten everything and anything I may have learned about social niceties…for all I managed to say once again was…