On this special day, Papa wishes he were still in the broadcasting business. There are times when nothing compares to running a radio station – especially a black radio station – when it comes to political satire, irony and just plain good-natured silliness.
Back in the day… at WAOK Radio in Atlanta, Georgia, we had things like “Commander Neville DuPree’s Fighter Jet Traffic Reports” – always flying too high and going too fast to ever see any traffic jams down below – and our locally famous series of “Celebrity Interviews” minus, of course, the actual celebrity we were supposed to be interviewing. Yes, we made it all up. Yes, you were supposed to figure that out if you were listening. Yes, sometimes there were a few listeners who… missed it… And no, we never got sued.
What would I be doing today, if I still could? I would have news reporters – live! – all across the southern states, broadcasting from the gravesites of people like Governors Wallace and Faubus of Alabama and Arkansas, Senators Strom Thurmond and Herman Talmadge of South Carolina and Georgia… and any one of a dozen or more places you could name. We’d call it “Earthquake Watch ’09,” and we would be looking for the ground to start shaking and the bodies to begin rolling over. And, yes we would – we would have the radio station’s Science Reporter (we'd have to make that up too) on full alert to report on "Hell Freezing Over" today - at the stroke of noon.
Today, in America, a black man will be sworn-in as President of the United States.