In my first three years of college, neither my academic nor my job performance was exemplary. I had to struggle for every C in class while inevitably getting fired from almost every job I had. After serving as a bank messenger and a trading-stamp-premium stock clerk (remember S&H Green Stamps?), I became a bookkeeper for an oil company, then an accounting clerk for a distillery (loved those discounts!), and finally a playground instructor for the county parks system. My favorite job was delivering flowers on Mother’s Day. All the moms were thrilled to see me, and they all gave me tips.
But as my senior year began, I was determined, as I told my dad, that the anything-for-a-paycheck period was over. It was going to be radio or nothing. It could be argued that WHEL barely qualified as radio, but I was happy to be there.
New Albany, Indiana, is located at a bend of the Ohio River opposite the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. The southernmost part of Indiana offers the only relief from the state’s relentless flatness. Indeed, New Albany’s hills bear the colorful name of Floyd’s Knobs. Honest. The village’s principal architectural feature is a power plant on the riverbank, and its biggest tourist attraction is a steamboat museum in a fine old Victorian mansion. In 1968, the hot spot for entertainment was the piano bar of the Robert E. Lee Inn. Still, it was a charming town with a quaint quirk or two. Parking violators found a small envelope on