We’ll Start the War From Right Here.

Howdy.  I mulled over so many different titles for this blog.  It was tough, because this is one of those “personal” posts, revolving around the events in my personal life.  Specifically, about the recent decision (not mine) to end the eight-year run of the TNT Morning Show on 98.9 the Bear, Ft. Wayne’s legendary rock station.  I thought of the words used by Rob Roy’s wife: “Whatever cannot be helped must be endured.”  I thought of  T.S. Eliot: “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang, but a whimper.”  But those both have such a depressing finality to them.  Instead, I chose something that better reflects my attitude.  The title I settled on was used by Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. (Yes…President Teddy Roosevelt was so bad-ass that his seed was strong enough to kick a hole in the Nazi fortress of Europe) who, upon finding that Allied plans had gone amok during the chaotic D-Day landings decided to tell his troops that, fuck it all…”We’ll start the war from right here.”  And that’s what I have decided to do, in a metaphoric sense.  Things didn’t work out the way I’d planned.  Doesn’t matter.  I have a job.  I have a microphone.  I have a voice.  And goddammit, I’m not going to sit here in the sand with bullets whizzing over my head and cry like a baby.  Just ain’t my style.  Plus, I get to use the word “goddammit” again.  That is such a bonus.

Here’s the thing.  Our COO-types recently made the decision to do away with the classic rock programming on our sister station, 92.3 the Fort.  Instead, that station will now carry a simulcast of news-talk powerhouse WOWO.  As a result, some of their staff was let go.  Others, reassigned within the company.  And the syndicated Bob & Tom show was going to either be left without a station or gobbled up by a competing radio station in this market.  Uh-oh.

So the decision was made.  From my past experiences as a program director, I know it wasn’t an easy one.  At one point, the powers that be thought better of it and shelved the idea of putting Bob & Tom on the Bear.  Then they waffled.Then they re-committed.  At another point, our program director took a stand saying he could not and would not be part of this decision.  Cooler heads talked him “down from the ledge” and he’s still our boss, thankfully.  So they broke the news to myself and my co-host, my partner, my friend, Barry Thickk (may not be his real last name.)  And it was like being hit in the gut.

But there is and was a silver lining.  I was told that I could either take a generous severance package, probably much like the one given to my long-time compatriot and class-act Drew Cage, or stay on and do the custom-created 1p-4p time slot on the Bear.  Let me be absolutely clear about this: this radio station thought enough of me to carve out an on-air shift where one had not existed before.  They could have easily cut their ties with me, said “good game” and shown me the door.  It’s happened before.  It will happen again.  That’s radio, baby.

Now, I’m also not stupid.  I know that this company likes to hedge their bets.  If, by some chance, Bob & Tom don’t “work” on the Bear, the bigwigs want a safety net.  They want me and Barry around, just in case.  For the record, I think B&T will be a huge asset to this radio station.  Yep.  I said it.  Imagine most (let’s say 75%) of their audience following them to the Bear.  Then add, say 50% of the TNT Show audience (it will likely be much more than that.)  On a huge 50,000 watt signal.  And followed by the amazing Jenna, myself, John the Mexican (the most talented jock in the midwest.  No hyperbole.  He makes me laugh.  Hard.) and then wrapping up with the night-time horniness of Barry Thickk (okay, NOT his real last name.) well…that’s the recipe for an unprecidented powerhouse rock station the likes of which hasn’t been heard for decades.

So now the war starts in earnest.  I haven’t done a solo radio show in over eight years.  So now I bang the rust off my blades and put on the gear.  So now I go out for a regular shift.  So now I’m on the checking line.  No matter.  I’m going to throw my weight around, shut down the other team’s scorers, and God willing put the puck in the net a few times myself.

Next summer I will have been doing professional radio for twenty years.  Eight of those years were as co-host of the TNT Morning Show.  Had I not landed the TNT gig in January of 2004, there’s a good chance I would have been out of radio altogether.  It had become tiresome and political.  Too many consultants, too many budget cuts.  Doing morning radio again gave me new life.  I was able to just enjoy the whole awesomeness of it all.  On a bad day, I flipped on a mic and told jokes while listening to rock music.  That, my friends, is a good gig.

But now, with my mornings free for the first time in almost a decade, I intend to branch out.  More writing.  And I mean REAL writing.  Maybe I’ll try working on a stand-up routine.  I know for a FACT that I’ll catch up on my masturbation.  (Making the bald man cry whilst Barry peers over the console divider is not as easy as you’d think.)

So, in closing, I’ll simply say thanks.  Thanks to everyone who listened, everyone who offered support and encouragement, and certainly to my loving wife and family.   As Stan “The Man” Lee would say…Excelsior!

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90 responses to “We’ll Start the War From Right Here.

  1. Great statement dude, you got balls! That’s the reason I’ve been listening almost solely to WBYR in the past 5 years: The Bear is not just another radio station, it’s got spirit, like in the old days, thanks to a brilliant staff! Good luck and rock on!

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    • Thank you, Conny. Yes, this station is one of the few left in the USA that has a personality, a presence of its own. That’s why so many people were against the Bob & Tom move: they thought it would diminish that personality somewhat.

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  2. You should start a YouTube daily Vlog channel. get views, get subscribers, get partnered with YouTube, make really good money by allowing Google and YouTube to put simple ads on your channel, and at the beginning of each video. A man named ShayCarl, who was also a radio personality, dj, or whatever the fuck you guys like to be called. anyway, 3 years ago, he started doing daily vlogs, quit his job, and did videos on YouTube full time. I have listened to you for years, and know damn well that you are way more funny than ShayCarl. However, 250,000 people a day watch his crappy videos! The range from a few minutes long, to 40+ minutes. Every day. You can do what you want on there. People will watch! You already have a fantastic fan base to build from. If ShayCarl can get over a million subscribers, and make well over 150,000 dollars a year by being an unfunny jackass, then an actual funny guy could do very well on there! I miss your morning show already! I can tell you that I would watch daily videos from you. It’s easy to do. Even an idiot like me got partnered! Just a thought, Turner. Goodluck with the future! I will be listening in at 1-4 everyday!

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  3. Way to be cavalier about the whole thing, Boss. While the TNT Show was the highlight of many long drives to school a while back, your individual time slots have the potential to be just as choice. As for writing, that’s wicked awesome. As for masturbation, well… Fight for your right. Oh! And stand-up is one helluva idea. Coming from someone with TWO whole five minute sets under his belt, one of which wasn’t a complete clusterfuck, stand-up is a grand ol’ time. All the best to ya in whatever you choose to do with your free time, Chief.

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  4. That sir, shows why you guys have such class. The morning drive wont be the same without you and Barrys shennanigans, but im glad you guys are still there.

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  5. Let me know when and where your first stand-up gig is and I’ll be there. To this day, there is still no one that can make me laugh like you TW.
    I’m actually looking forward to hearing your solo shift (on the stream of course).

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  6. Turner, I understand both sides of the coin. I have been listening to the Bear for over 15+ years and have heard morning shows come and go do to politics, but the TNT show was by far the the freshest and the best. I think this was definitely the wrong call by big wigs. Bob and Tom are stale and have done the same things over and over and have become stagnant. It is a shame, and should be a crime, to remove local programs for syndicated programming. I am glad they at least had the common sense to keep you and BT around. I am going to miss BEAR Metal and you better find a way to keep Keg and Eggs around!

    I still think we should rally and do it FFDP style and take back control with our knuckles 🙂

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    • Ha! No bloodshed, please. As for Keg & Eggs, they’re working on a solution for that. I don’t think it’s going away. As for the metal on Saturday, I believe “Full Metal Jackie” will be joining us. Barry actually started Bear Metal back in the day, and he says Jackie is awesome.

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  7. You two had the greatest morning show on the radio and it saddens me that you guys will not be together in the morning but I am so glad you are still on the air and i will be listening .

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  8. Here is my 2 cents. I loved TnT morning show when you guys were actually talking. I despise most of the music on the bear. In reality, the only reason I tune into the bear for anything besides the DJ’s is because I’m far too fat and lazy to grab my CD’s out of the back of my car.
    That being said, Bob and Tom is an “alright” alternative. i say that because most of their shows, unless they have a funny guest (see Heywood Banks) are just annoying. Tom is by far one of the most annoying people I have ever listened to in my 25 years of living.
    It is my opinion that most of the people who listen to Bob and Tom are older (35+{lol at you Turner}) and really don’t enjoy most of the music on the bear, so will probably go right to 103.9 afterwards. The people who enjoyed TnT were I would say 16-34, thus will not enjoy Bob and Tom.
    In the end, it all evens itself out. Oh, and GAME OF FUCKING THRONES STARTS SUNDAY!!!
    ~The End~

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  9. But…BUt…BUT….what about me and Heidi’s favorite part of the show, Boob sizes for prizes?!?!? Heh. I kid. I kid. Now get to that writing. Love you. Good luck on the solo gig, brah.

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  10. I really hated seeing you guys go. I love listening to you in the morning. One good thing is that you all care about this area. Bob and Tom could care less. I’m sorry but Bob and Tom is for the older generation, that would rather listen to talk then music. The great thing about your show was you still played a lot of music on your program. That’s the thing the bear is a rock station, not classic rock. I really don’t understand the politics of radio, but I am a firm believer in the saying “If its not broke why fix it”. I hope one day soon they realize it was really not that important to keep Bob and Tom around, and that they need the TNT show back. Thank you all for the fun we have had in the past years. You sir are a funny mofo…..

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  11. I don’t even know what to say. I almost cried when i found out. I remember the time you did a Shaggy(singer) impression, i texted you guys saying “that was a great Shaggy impression.” You read the text and were like ” I didn’t even do a shaggy(scooby-doo) impression. Zoinks!”
    I texted you back, ” no i meant the singer shaggy.” and you were both like “ohhhhhh.”

    I almost drove off the fucking road because i was laughing so hard. The big-wigs may not appreciate all of your hard work. But every single one of us listeners did. Thank you for the great start to my mornings for so long.

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  12. I will miss the Tnt morning show! It really made my mornings great after working 3rd shift. I will not listen to bob and Tom, I find them boring and mundane. I will still listen to the bear and just start listening to my cds that have been collecting dust. Can’t wait to hear you and Barry solo shows:)

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  13. Grr… I really miss listening to you in the morning already… I want you back!!! When my mom told me about Bob & Tom are going on the Bear I think I had a heart attack… I turn the radio on this morning and cried a little….

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  14. I can’t say that I blame the station for putting bob and tom on in the morning. However I would just like to say that my parents grew up listening to that! I grew up on the TNT morning show! B&T are just not my cup of tea! Maybe when I’m 50 they will be funny but I doubt that! But what can you do. I will be listening to another station on my way home from work! But the rest of the day is going to be the bear! Good day sir!!

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  15. My morning drives to school will never be the same, but I’m more then thankful to be able to listen to you on the way home. Good luck to you Turner.

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  16. Turner, I love you and I listen to the bear mainly because of you—it doesn’t matter to me if you are in the morning or your new time—-I feel for you guys kinda getting the shaft and I will miss Drew Cage TONS…I think it is awesome that you have the guts to set the record straight and let all of us confused listeners know what’s going on over there…..Thank you for always making us laugh!!
    Your Faithful listener, Megan
    P.S….You and Barry will ALWAYS be better than Bob & Tom ever thought about being—-just sayin =)

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  17. I am not, nor will ever be, a Bob & Tom fan. I was also a fan of the 92.3 the Fort, because I just love rock, period. However, sorry Bear, much as I love ya, never going to happen that I will pick Bob & Tom over any other station’s advertisements all morning. As far as that goes, I’m over it. I’m not a morning person anyway. 🙂

    Turner Watson, you had me at the hockey references! Not only do I love Komet hockey, but my stepfather was the late Tim Hoke, one of the broadcasters of Komet hockey games for 20+ years on Access Fort Wayne local cable. You made me remember him and smile, and I appreciate that. Thanks!

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  18. I didnt read the other comments, so if repeat, oh well. I say tnt podcast! Or do the livestreem thing like another radio host I know of. Met yall at st. Pattys day bar bash, instant fan after that. Best o luck to ya in what ever you do next.

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  19. I have said it once and I will yell it from the mountain top many times over. You are a special, funny, loving, caring, witty, awesome husband & father, beer drinking, hockey playing (try to), karaoke singing helluva pretty all around great guy, wrapped in class act and I am humbled by your outlook on life. I am so happy to have met you and have you in my life as a friend (your hot wife too). You both have changed Nick and I ‘s life and for the better. I will continue to listen and support 98.9 and smile every time I do!

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  20. Well I guess I won’t be listening to The Bear in the morning anymore. I quit listening to another rock station from Toledo many years ago cause they had Bob & Tom on in the morning. When I turn on a rock station in the mornings for my drive to work or just to listen to great music, I want to hear music. If I wanted to listen to people talk all the time I would tune into a talk radio station. I guess I am gonna have to break down and buy an ipod to plug into my radio in my truck for the ride to work since no more rock stations in my area will have music on in the morning.

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  21. i have to say i really do not like the bob and tom show it is not nearly as good as you guys was in the am. i have tuned into another channel in the am but after that i go back to the bear. pls come back to the am show it was sooooooooo much better with you guys on it. missing the tnt show julie

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  22. I was/am very disappointed that the TnT show is gone. Hopefully not for good. For the first time in a long time i actually turned the channel to a different radio station once I heard the canned laughter of Bob and Tom. I LIKED that my ( and The BEar has become MY radio station over the years) morning show talked about what was going on in MY town, with people I could meet ata hockey game, rock show in a club, or just walking down the street or in a store. Bob and Tom does not, nor will ever, have the soul that you and Barry have. I will miss listening to you guys and 98.9 in the mornings as i will now be listening to either a podcast or some other random station until Bob and Tom is over. I will still be listening later in the day though 🙂

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  23. Im gonna miss TNT…you guys always cracked my shit up. Always looked forward to the show. Thanks for the good times.

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  24. Dude this sucks so badly I’m truely sorry for u guys bnt suck not funny at all loved the not so much now leaning twards 103.9 rock 104 grew up on it changed to bear for better newwer music now I have to go back don’t want to but no choice sorry if uall cum back ill cum back good times r gone

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  25. Turner I agree with you completely, I will still support you and the Bear. Hopefully the powers to be will see the true effect TNT had on their listeners. I don’t know if it means anything but I’m still a loyal fan and TNT soldier! Thank you blakjak265

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  26. Well said…I still can’t believe they replaced the TNT show with bob and tom…..all that fake laughter makes me wanna puke…good luck to you, from now on ill have to listen to my ipod with my pre-work coffee!

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  27. I want the TNT show back!! No offense to Bob and Tom, but TNT is much better. I hope whom ever made the decision to get rid of the TNT show will change their mind, because now I have nothing to listen to in the mornings!

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  28. I thought it was a mistake to take off the TNT morning show because 107.5 wzrx fm already has them on and the comedians are usually extremley offensive so I didn’t like the idea.

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  29. Turner, I’ve actually been listening to you since your days with 99X. Onslow County represent! Then I move up here 7 years ago only to discover you again. Your were/are the only jock I’ve ever known that had websites dedicated to you. Remember the “we hate turner” sites from back in those days? Always have been my favorite. I don’t care if its a morning show or a 1-4 slot, I’m listening. And I’m excited at the idea of you doing standup. Whatever you do, best of luck with it.

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  30. well i miss hearing the music in the mornings already maybe i am just unlucky and have not been in the room when they play something but i am not a fan of bob and tom. I have yet to laugh at them. I will miss you two goofy mother fuckers in the morning….. that being said you rock. love the attitude about it (on your part not mine i am still bitter) i wish the station and both you and berry all the best. i hope it isn’t such a change that it comes crumbling down.

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  31. i agree i listenend to the bob and tom show this morning and i was not impressed BRING BACK MY TNT!!!!!! i just loved you guys in the morning i miss your hilarity. this is not a good change i
    have no reason to listen to the radio in the morning now i guess il just have to wait till the noon hour and listen to jenna and the rest of the bear cast but now my mornings are kinda boring

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  32. I won’t pull any punches, I fucking hate Bob & Tom. Not personally, mind you, I don’t know them. I mean their show. The murder of the TnT show in the furtherance of their career is just one more case of why I hate regular shmoes. Cancel Arrested Development, 2 and a Half Men is insanely popular. Truly funny shit goes over the head of most people. Which is why Bob & Tom is so popular. Picture a standard bell curve. That big chunk in the middle? That’s your Average Joe, hyuk hyuk-ing at dick jokes. Enjoy your Bob & Tom. Enjoy your fart gags.
    I know its all about ratings. I know this. It doesn’t stop me from being pissed off when quality shit is canned because it doesn’t move product enough. Its the same reason our political process has been fucked. Blowhards get a big enough audience and people start listening to them, and they don’t even realize that the whole kettle of fish is to sell commercials.
    Well belly up to the trough, rubes. Dine til you can dine no more on boob gags, sup until you’re bloated on song parodies. Gorge on the same tripe that has been cranked out of the machine for years. Because, hey, who needs real flavor, right? Who needs something fresh? Let’s all shop at the same Walmart, eat the same McDonald’s, and listen to the same goddamn radio show palaver that is as vanilla as vanilla gets.
    God fucking speed on your show, Turner. Embrace the shit out of what is you, be you, as hard as you can be you. Pull no punches. Because the Bear is going to need a bracing shot of scope to rinse out the morning’s comedy gruel.

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  33. Turner were the best. For the past 8 years I woke up to you in the morning. Though things have come and gone in my life work has changed and certain outlooks have changed. The only real constant was that every morning the tnt morning show was on. I woke up the other day to bob and tom and felt like something was taken from me. Thank you for all the great memories from you and Tommy to you and Parker Thomas even barry. You will be missed and I hope when bob and tom fail you give the bear the old fuck you when they won’t you back in the morning!

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  34. The TNT morning show was ours… the Bear listeners. Its been there through all of our good times and bad times. To us, you guys are family! You guys are awesome! We are all hoping for a speedy return of TNT.. Rock on Turner!!!!!!

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  35. Hey Turner, I am really bumed out that the TNT show is done. I know that you guys are still on and spread out through out the day but it still sucks. You guys were coming on as soon as I was getin off of work and I would listen to you all the way home and then even when I got in the house. When you guys signed off the other morning, it was a sad time. The next day when I herd Bob & Tom, I was like man fuck this shit. No offense to those guys, but it wasn’t the same. They didn’t have that spark that TNT presented. I know you said that now the Bear has a great line up, but tell you the truth I hope B&T don’t work out and T he TNT show can go back to the way thins were. But anyway it works out, I just want to give you props for all the fun that you guys made for the show. Good luck in your new adventures. God bless.

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  36. I still don’t understand… I thought WOWO already had an fm station? What happened to that? Why did they have to move to 92.3? And I like Jenna and Jon but didn’t Drew have a lot more seniority?

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    • No, WOWO has always simply been 1190 AM. The chance to be on the FM and attract a younger audience was too great. As for seniority, you are correct. However, seniority means zilch in radio unless you have the ratings and such to back it up. Jenna is very popular. Check out her Facebook likes. She has more than anyone on the Bear.

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      • If F. D. Roosevelt ran for president today he’d never been elected. Yes, Jenna is cool, but she’s also beautiful. And sex and looks sells in this day of facebook. Everybody likes Jenna to see more pretty pics.
        I’m glad you’re still on the air, I’ll try and listen because I like your brand of humor mixed with intelligence. But I think your overestimating the number of TnT listeners that will tune into BnT. I avoided 92.3 because of bob n tom, (which is how I started listening to you and Parker) because I wasn’t interested in talk radio and fart jokes. After your show I went back to the fort for the rest of my day. I don’t know dude, you are man class on honor, (from the vibe you throw off under the childish humor and what boob jokes) I have a lot of respect for that. I just hate that everyone got screwed in this deal. except WOWO…like the most listened to radio station in the city really needed to be FM…come on.

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  37. Turner, I am very against the move to B&T because WZRX out of Lima current has them and you guys share a big portion of listening area. So I as a listener must endure not only a double dose of B&T, who I find not even romotely funny, but also not listen to any music untill 10am rather then off and on with 2 very funny guys in the mean time with you and Berry.

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  38. Turner, you guys rock plain and simple all of you at the Bear do! Im sorry but i can’t stand BoB and Tom they have a shitty since of humor. I always turn the station when I cross them on there other station ! good luck man !

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  39. Hello Turner, I’m writing this for my entire family. Our morning just isn’t the same taking my kids to school and my drive to work. This was a horrible decision to put B&T on. They just dont have the balls or the rock sense that represents 98.9. Like my kids say they sound like they’re half asleep and f’n old. My kids are heart broke as am I. You are very strong man to take it the way you are. I’ve been a listener for literally half of my life. Can respect a station who doesn’t respect it’s listeners…….

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      • Well, tell your wonderful family that I truly appreciate the sentiments! Time will tell, I suppose, but for now I am truly grateful for all the kind words from listeners. That sort of thing has helped me through this transition quite a bit!

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