Saturday, February 18, 2006

Farewell to Don

In a few more days, we won’t be waking up with Don.

Don Forsling has been in radio longer than I have been alive, and has hosted “The Morning Report” as long as I can remember. From 6:00 to 7:00 AM on weekdays, when every other NPR station in the country is giving us yet another hour of news, WOI lets us spend an hour listening to whatever Don likes.

The show opens with a peppy jazz tune called “Have a Nice Day.” (Remember theme songs? But I digress.) There is a brief recap of world news, followed by local news, sports, and weather. (Local weather, in Don’s world, includes the coldest temperature in Minnesota or the strongest wind gust in the country.) The majority of the show alternates between NPR features from a few days ago, and music. The music tends toward jazzy, but it’s no surprise to hear “Sioux City Sue” or “City of New Orleans”, or "Three Little Fishies" for that matter. He’ll read some funny news stories, and some made-up ones, usually side by side and without distinguishing which is which. Occasionally, he will take off on a curmudgeonly rant about careless grammar in reporting, or read jokes and puns sent in by listeners.

If you listen to NPR, you may have heard them talk about “Driveway Moments”, when you become so engrossed in a drive-time story that you sit in the car listening until it is finished. With Don, we have “Bedroom Moments” when the stories and music are flowing so effortlessly, we just can’t drag ourselves out of bed.

Don has had a long career in broadcasting, and an illustrious one, having been involved with the founding of NPR back in the day. Lord knows he has earned his retirement. But, sadly for the listeners, it’s a Clear Channel world these days, and it is cheaper and easier if everyone programs all of the same shows.

Don't get me wrong. WOI is still a terrific station with some wonderful voices we will continue to enjoy (I'm talking to you, Hollis and Karen.) When Terry and I travel, we listen to local public radio, and frequently comment, "They don't have as much personality as WOI."

On a few occasions when Terry and I have talked about the possibility of relocating to another state, the ticking off of pros and cons always includes, “I’d miss Don.” Sad to day, beginning February 27th, there will be one less reason for us to stay.

Happy trails to you, Don. We wish you the best as you pursue your dreams.

And WOI? Could you please keep running The Writer's Almanac at 6:45? That's how I know it's time to get in the shower.


Terry Haimann said...

I really miss the Coffee With the Classics that he and Charity used to do, where we had to identify classical literary quotes such as "Gone With the Wind" and "Ethan Frome"!!!

The Thaimann

Cheryl said...

Yes, I forgot about Coffee With The Classics. Remember, the last of the multiple choice answers was always "Puerto Vallerto Squeeze" by Robert James Waller.