Friday, June 02, 2006

'Round About Midnight

My time of day. The smaller AM radio stations have shut down for the night and the distant stations come in loud and clear. After a while, from my home on the East Coast, I had heard a station on each AM frequency, from 540 all the way up to 1600. That took some doing and it took a lot of hours after midnight.

I did a fair amount of driving then. I worked at some radio stations where I'd do evenings to sign-off and I'd drive back to where I lived. If I didn't have the road to myself, it was nearly so. At one station, I'd occasionally drive the other way, to where my parents lived, leaving the station after its 12:07 a.m. sign off and arriving around 2:45. Me and the truckers. Or, from their point of view, the truckers and that guy in the old VW 'Ghia.

The newspaper I write for is also the one that provides me with copies of the paper for the radio program I do for the blind. Sometimes I go over there when the press run starts around 12:15 a.m.; more often, around 1:30, when the press stops for reloading and it's quiet in what's called the mailing room where the bundles are made up. A noisy newspaper operation becomes still for fifteen minutes while people stand around and chat.

'Round about midnight is the name of a song, but it's also the anthem of the nighthawks among us, the people whose lights are on when you look out your window on a sleepless night, who are the voices on the radio in the wee small hours.


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