The Baseball Radio Interview at Everett

Ginny had her hand on the car door when she saw Dan lean over and motion frantically at her. It was the international sign for “come here,” or “look, there’s something wrong with my arm and my hand’s gone to sleep.”  Ginny thought, “What the heck?” and started gawking around the parking lot looking for some exciting site that she was missing. Ooh, perhaps a robbery, or a police show-down. Or maybe Dan’s hand had just gone to sleep and he was shaking it to get the pins and needles out. No, the look on his face was more insistent than that. Vaguely she began to hear him yelling from inside, “Get in! Get in!” So she did what any curious person would do: took another scan of the surrounding cars and mall entrance. Nope, no action there. So she opened the door. After she slid into the passenger seat, Dan pointed to the radio, making a stern face. Chatter emanated and Ginny looked at him puzzled. With eyebrows raised and a more intense “listen” expression, Dan once again pointed to the radio. Then she understood. She heard Dan first, then herself, talking about baseball and our trips across the country. Wow! We were on the radio. In Seattle, Washington!

But we should back up a bit. Let’s start with why we were in Washington in the first place. Like some of our trips, this one was family-related—Ginny’s brother Mike was getting married. Thus we were tacking on our baseball trip. We arrived in the state a week early, spent some time with Mike and his bride-to-be Colleen, which included attending a Seattle Mariners’ game (another story unto itself), followed the next day by a visit to the Everett AquaSox. When we arrived, there was already a line outside the gate, so Dan got a place in while Ginny went off to take pictures of the outside of the park and their sign. Of course, Dan did his natural thing, started talking to the people around him.  Baseball fans love to talk, and those that get to the park early wearing the jersey of the home team, holding seat cushions with the same logo or even bringing their own lawn chairs, are, by goodness, rabid fans, as were the few in front of Dan. They had their lawn chairs set up smack in front of the gates having staked out their territory even earlier than we.

Dan inquired curiously about the unannounced doubleheader and why in the world they only opened the gates five minutes before the first game was suppose to start.  The couple explained that due to the rainout the previous night and since the opponents would not be able to return that season and since they hadn’t called the rainout until all of the staff had been sent home, there was no convenient way to get the concession staff in any earlier than when they normally arrived. It was obvious to these fans that we were not locals, so it was their turn to be curious: what were we doing in their fair city.  Dan explained that we travel the country visiting minor league parks. “Why just the minors,” they asked and Dan rattled off all our reasons, ending with a smile and telling them that, usually, the local people are much more friendly at the minor league parks.

Just as he had gotten to this point, the gates opened and everyone participating in the conversation scattered towards their seats or some other destination within the park. Shortly after we got settled in to our seats, meaning that Ginny had filled out all the players’ names, numbers, positions in the appropriate order in her scorebook and we had eaten our hotdogs, a young woman approached us and asked, “Are you the couple who travels around to different minor league parks?”  Dan nodded and she said, “My name is Katy Khakpour, and I work for KSER Radio with the AquaSox game show. Can I interview you for the show?  It won’t be live, I will do it on my tape recorder.”  To say the least, we were taken aback—why in the world would anyone want to interview us— but we thought what the heck, it was a local radio show and nobody we knew would hear it. Dan turned to Ginny who was looking at him, and we gave each other that mutual shrug of the shoulders indicating that why not—let’s do it.  With that Dan turned to Katy, and said, “Sure, since I have the ideal face for radio, it wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. But can we do it in between the two games so that we don’t miss anything?”  She said sure and that she would return in between games.

Thus shortly after the Everett AquaSox (short season single A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) lost to the Tri-City Dust Devils (an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) 5 to 7, Katy showed up again with her tape recorder.  She informed us that the interview would be initially broadcast during their Saturday morning baseball round-up show and that she would edit out anything that we might say that would be inappropriate or that would be “bleeped out” during a live broadcast. Thus assured that we would not get ourselves into too much trouble, we proceeded with the interview. Interestingly enough, her questions were very similar to the ones we get all the time: How many parks have you been to? Why do you do it? Which is the best or which is your favorite park and/or team? What else about doing this interests you? And the such. After it was over, we exchanged addresses and Katy promised that she would send us a copy of the tape because we were sure that we would not be in the area when it was to be broadcast on the following Saturday morning. We didn’t think much about it afterwards except that we now realized that we were about to become famous radio personalities in the airwaves of Everett, Washington. We watched the second game, which the AquaSox lost again to the Dust Devils 1 to 3, then went on our merry way to the hotel.

The next morning we proceed on our tour of the ballparks of the Pacific Coast League(AAA) and the Northwest League (Short Season A), visiting the Vancouver Canadians and the Tacoma Rainers before proceeding to the main reason for the trip, the wedding, which was held on Orcas Island in Puget Sound in a small hotel right next to  the ferry, which blasted its arrival and departure horn at God-awful times in the early morning. Otherwise, it was a wonderful event. The next morning we were back on our baseball trip, which took us to Oregon and through Washington state.

On the last day of the trip we headed back toward Seattle for our flight that didn’t leave until midnight. We had arrived in town at 6 pm but had no desire to sit in the airport for six hours. What to do? Then Ginny proposed going to the movies, another one of our favorite pastimes. So the new problem was that we were in a town that we hardly knew at all looking for a movie theater. It can generally be acknowledged that even the maps from the American Automobile Association do not list movie theaters—but they do identify malls on the city inserts and we figured, if you can find a mall you can find a movie close by.  So we headed to the closest mall; however, we failed to locate a theater. It had to be the only mall in Washington state not to have a movie theater near by. But then Ginny had another great idea (she’s a smart girl—sometimes).  We could go into the mall to find a public telephone (yes, there were still a few around back then) or at the very least ask someone. And since the task at hand included the possibility of asking someone for directions, the task naturally fell to Ginny. Dan is a man and it goes against his genetic makeup to ask for directions. Instead he parked the car, while Ginny headed into the mall for directions.

Since he needed something to while away the time, Dan fiddled with the car radio trying to find anything but opera or rap, when he heard “the most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard about baseball,” then he realized that he was the one speaking! Just at that point, Ginny had emerged from the mall and was walking toward the car.

So there we were, on the radio.  As the interview ended, we looked at each other in amazement that “we” were on the radio. And then Dan began shouting at Ginny that when he was flailing his arms about desperately trying to get her to do something, that it was a good idea to do it! It might just save her life! She really still hasn’t grasped the concept, even after Dan watched her almost get killed in Nashville—yet another story.

Several months after the trip, when we had completely forgotten about the interview, we received a package in the mail. A cassette tape (yes, now an historical artifact) with a very nice note from Katy thanking us again for the interview. It’s with the rest of our stuff, jumbled up in a drawer somewhere. We’ll have to get it out someday soon and play it before our old tape deck goes the way of all technology—to the Salvation Army.

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