I watched a radio show Saturday morning.
You read that right. Saturday morning my wife Jenny, son Joe, and I drove to Oxford to watch a radio program. Why would I do that, you ask?
Why do men do anything? To please their spouse, of course.
It all started a number of years ago when Jenny started listening on Saturday mornings to Michael Feldman’s “Whad’ya Know?” on public radio. The show, which has been broadcast since 1985, is a mixture of humor, talk, a live band and a live audience. Several times she had mentioned that she would like to see the show in person, but it is broadcast from Madison, Wisc., so that was not likely to happen.
Then one day I was looking at the upcoming events at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on the Ole Miss campus, and there it was. “Whad’ya Know?” was going to be broadcast from Ole Miss. It turns out Feldman takes his weekly show on the road eight times a year and Ole Miss was a place selected this year.
I went online to the Ford Center box office to see how much tickets cost. $33 plus a $5 handling fee each. Ouch. I noticed on the show’s website that tickets in Madison are $10, reduced to $5 for seniors and students. There must be a surcharge for living in the South, I thought.
Anyhow, I bought the tickets and surprised Jenny with them. When the alarm went off at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, I was wondering if the show would be worth it. It was.
Not only was Feldman his usual funny self, but he also had top-notch guests. Dr. Robert Khayat, former chancellor of the university, told interesting stories about his life as a college and NFL kicker for the Washington Redskins and his return to Ole Miss, where he led the university into its modern, progressive era. Perhaps his most entertaining story was about Gertrude C. Ford, whose money built the Ford Center. The eccentric lady, given to wearing clothes wrong side out, had two passions: preventing animal abuse; and proving that Shakespeare was a plagiarist, that his plays were written by someone else.
Another guest was Ace Atkins, an Oxford author who was selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the adventures of the iconic Boston private eye, Spenser. He talked about his new books.
John Currence, the Oxford foodie who started City Grocery and several other Oxford restaurants, pitched his new recipe book; and singer-songwriter Shannon McNally, who lives near Oxford, sang two songs from her new album.
Soon the blinking “Applause” sign had clicked off for the last time and two hours of live radio were over. Jenny was happy to have seen the show and even our Ole Miss student, Joe, said he didn’t mind being there.
We topped off the morning at Soulshine, near the Oxford Square, for some of Jenny’s favorite pizza (mine, too) before driving home for an afternoon of football on TV.
All in all, major spouse points for me.
I’ll need them. This weekend Jenny is going to Kansas City with me to attend my 50th high-school reunion. She’s doing a good job of containing her enthusiasm, if you get my drift.