an old story reflected me-just carry on!
September 9, 2007 3:29am CST
"Everything happens for the best," my mother said whenever I faced disappointment. "If you carry on, one day something good will happen. And you'll realize that it wouldn't have happened if not for that previous disappointment. " Mother was right, as I discovered after graduating from college in 1932, I had decided to try for a job in radio, then work my way up to sports announcer. I hitchhiked to Chicago and knocked on the door of every station--and got turned down every time. In one studio, a kind lady told me that big stations couldn't risk hiring an inexperienced person. "Go out in the sticks and find a small station that'll give you a chance, " she said. I thumbed home to Dixon, Illinois. While there were no radio-announcing jobs in Dixon, my father said Montgomery Ward had opened a store and wanted a local athlete to manage its sports department. Since Dixon was where I had played high school football, I applied. The job sounded just right for me. But I wasn't hired. My disappointment must have shown. "Everything happens for the best. " Mom reminded me. Dad offered me the car to hunt job. I tried WOC Radio in Davenport, Iowa. The program director, a wonderful Scotsman named Peter MacArthur told me they had already hired an announcer. As I left his office, my frustration boiled over. I asked aloud, "How can a fellow get to be a sports announcer if he can't get a job in a radio station." I was waiting for the elevator when I heard MacArthur calling, "What was you said about sports? Do you know anything about football?" Then he stood me before a microphone and asked me broadcast an imaginary game. The preceding autumn, my team had won a game in the last 20 seconds with a 65-yard run. I did a 15-minute build-up to that play, and Peter told me I would be broadcasting Saturday's game! On my way home, as I have many times since, I thought of my mother's words: "If you carry on, one day something good will happen. Something wouldn't have happened if not for that previous disappointment. "