I crawled out of my tent early on Tuesday, my twelfth day on the road. Today I’d not only be outside, but talking about the outside.
A month previous, as I was talking with Joshua Hatcher about moving A Taste For The Woods from Blogspot to WordPress and its own URL, he’d advised me that if I came to Bradford “I’d be doing some work on vacation.”
“Have you ever done a radio interview?” he asked.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Well, you are now.”
As part of his plan to promote the website launch, I was booked for Liveline, the noon interview program on WESB in Bradford. To fill my morning and calm my nerves I stopped at Marilla again and walked the path around the lake. The old growth pines had the expected calming effect.
From Marilla I followed PA 346 east, and stopped at Willow Dale Cemetery. In addition to the expected stones and memorials, Willow Dale also boasts a small park and duck pond. I spent a few minutes here, and chased the ducks around in the morning heat.
From there I drove into downtown Bradford, and crossed the city to the WESB studio. I met Liveline host Anne Holliday a few minutes before the broadcast and she gave me instruction on what to expect. Again I was nervous, but when in the studio and the light went on I felt completely relaxed. Almost on cue my fear went away.
“Thank you Anne, its great to be here in Bradford.”
We spoke for twenty minutes. I learned a couple of things from the interview. First and foremost, you can prepare, you can memorize pitches and soundbites, but the interviewer is ALWAYS in charge. In this case I came prepared to speak about advocating for the outdoors and Holliday kept steering the topic back to weight loss. I don’t ‘market’ myself as a weight loss or fitness expert the line of questioning was odd. I felt I was relaxed enough to follow her lead, but I found myself having to try to steer her back onto A Taste For The Woods and outdoor advocacy. And to bring up that I was giving a speech the following night to mark the website launch.
And that’s the other thing I learned. I’m GOOD at radio. Surprisingly so, since I am a recovered stutterer. One of my regrets is that I never followed up on the invitation to audition for Philadelphia’s classical station WFLN twenty years ago. Paths not taken, etc.
After the interview I had a celebratory lunch at what turned out to be a disappointing diner, and planned my next move. I headed north and crossed into New York, traveling to Allegheny State Park and entering in what turned into one of the oddest experiences this trip.