All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A "sticky note" to the late Rita Miller!

 Thanksgiving Day, November, 1954 (Age 18, at the “sunrise” of my life) 

As the newest announcer on the staff, I would be the only person on duty at WMUS on Thanksgiving Day. With only a daytime license, the Muskegon radio station would sign on at 8:15 AM and sign off at 5:15 PM. My loving mom would prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for me. My dad would deliver it. 

I flicked on the lights at the Giles Road studios, and discovered that the tiny office was speckled with yellow sticky notes. Before locking up on Wednesday, Rita Miller, our creative and innovative commercial writer, had and posted stickers everywhere! Thank you for telephones! Thank you for typewriters! Thank you for desks! Thank you for chairs! 

It was fun, but I had work to do. 

Little did I realize that I was at the beginning of an exciting 29-year radio career. That I would later embark on a fulfilling 21-year career selling church organs. And that, at age 65 when many people retire, I would respond to the calling of my life and form an organization that would offer compassion and hope to thousands of prisoners. 

I had no idea that, years later, I would be thankful for a loving wife, wonderful kids, delightful grandchildren, and a list that would go on and on. 

The big boss from Grand Rapids, a true scrooge, stopped in later that day to check on things. He immediately yanked off all the sticky notes and threw them into the waste basket (which also had a note on it!). 

But he couldn’t yank the memory from the mind of that enthusiastic teenager! 

Thanksgiving Day, November, 2021 (Age 85, at the “sunset” of my life) 

I don’t know how the years slipped by so quickly, but today I’m still thinking of Rita’s sticky notes. 

There’s an old gospel song that goes like this: 

Could we with ink the ocean fil
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade

To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

That’s the way it would be if I had sticky notes today. I’m so thankful to God for so much. In trying to make a list, I’d run out of time and out of sticky notes. 

See what you started, Rita Miller? 

I realize that it’s far too little, far too late, but here’s posting a sticky “thank you” note for helping me see the true meaning of Thanksgiving!



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