Radio Days

I received a request for a radio interview, which doesn’t happen very often.

A little bit of backstory is worthwhile:  My sister, Martha, is both a high school Spanish teacher and a lawyer.  Most of her legal work is with a very interesting guy named Ken Fiske.  Ken is the go-to environmental lawyer in McHenry County, Illinois, where my extended family has lived for seven generations.  Much of McHenry County’s preserved open spaces, forest preserves and other natural and environmentally-protected areas – and there are a lot of them – are because of Ken’s dedication to that cause.  Ken Fiske, now with the help of Martha McConnell, is a hero.

Fiske knows a fellow named Dean Rowe, who is a video documentarian, and has put together some really interesting documentaries for the area, whose history goes back to the time when my ancestors arrived there in 1835.

Dean also hosts a radio program, the Dean Rowe Show, on a radio station in Huntley, Illinois.  To borrow the cliché, “back in the day” Huntley was hardly more than a wide place in the road that had the typical farm town’s assortment of grain elevator, railroad tracks, saloon and a handful of churches.  Huntley has almost 30,000 people now, and I hear my grandfather’s voice when I reminisce about where corn fields used to be.

The day for the interview arrived, and Susan and I made it into a bit of an outing.  We stopped for coffee and headed over to the studio.  Dean and his producers scooted me up to a microphone the size of a tomato can, and we started to talk.  Dean had lots of questions about the Manhattan Island swim coming up in June, but also drilled into some of the old stories about the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Les Turner ALS Foundation and even Diana Nyad.  I felt like we were on a bit of a roll in discussing the fascinating world of marathon swimming, and our time was up.

The interview will be 30 minutes, and will be broadcast during the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, March 4th, at 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 5th, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 6th, at 11:00 a.m.
  • Friday, March 7th, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 8th, at 11:00 a.m.

To listen, go to, and click on the red “Listen Live” button during the times above, or go and the interview will be saved for posterity among the podcasts.

I hope you enjoy it.  We sure did.

See you at the pool.  I will report back.