December 27th, 1986 - A Day That Led to a Major Decision in My Life
December 27, 1986 - A Day that led to a Major Decision in My Life
This day, 25 years ago in 1986 was a key day in major changes in my life – going for bigger dreams, new goals that included living on Lake Norman in Charlotte.
I was working at Super 102 Radio in Charleston, had been the # 1 salesman since the first week at the station which was September 20, 1982. I loved radio, loved selling radio and the team at the station. In September, Beasley Broadcast sold the station to Ardman Broadcasting and my GM and Sales manager for a time since 1983, David Chandler moved to Charlotte as Beasley bought a couple radio stations in that market.
I started dreaming about living in Charlotte and on Lake Norman a few years earlier as I would pass The Lake on my trips to Myrtle Beach for several vacations. Jerry used to stop at The Lake when we would travel there in the late 70’s and early 80’s and sometimes we would stop by Lake Norman. That was the initial way I started thinking about living there one day and as I continued to travel to the beach, I would sometimes get off at Exit 28 and look around, a quiet two lane road, one or two restaurants and a gas station, just 20 minutes North of Charlotte.
I drove to Charlotte earlier that fall with David Chandler and his wife Pam to help them move some things to their new home, I remember riding down in a van full of their stuff!
David and I along with Pam were like family, we worked together to build Super 102 from the bottom of the ratings to the top of the ratings during our time in Charleston and I was proud of that accomplishment along with the fun I had working at the radio station, the clients, the events and the teamwork of everyone at the station.
I believe it was the 27th as I drove the company car, put in Bruce Springsteen’s new LIVE CD on evening as I remember leaving a remote and pretty tired and headed for Charlotte, a four hour drive singing like I was on stage with The Boss. I followed another employee, Rebecca Campbell who was the office manager and she had recently moved to Charlotte with the company.
David had a room at the Marriott downtown Charlotte. I remember them bringing up a chocolate chip cookie to my room when I went in for the evening. I called room service for a glass of milk – gotta dunk those cookies in milk!
David took me around town, I checked out some apartments including one in South Park which I took at Park South Apartments as I felt I should live in Charlotte the first year or so to get the lay of the land ( I moved to The Lake two years later) and be close to the station and sales office which was in Pressley Business park off Tyvola Road.
David took me to the station that was located in a brick house in Gastonia behind a Howard Johnson restaurant and explained we would be making some changes in the near future! He offered me $3,000.00 a month for about six months to build up my account list and after six months a sliding scale.
The toughest decision I had ever had to make up to that point in my life, I was 27, had hit my goals with radio in Charleston at Super 102, company car, my own office, #1 salesperson, hit my goal at the time for selling $30,000.00 in a month of November, which I busted through that sales wall and had risen and gained respect of my peers in the market, clients, had fun at concerts with backstage passes, a ring announcer for the NWA wrestling matches, knew most of the town and a great life.
The toughest thing – was leaving my family Mom, Jerry, brother Jason was about 13 at the time and sister Kara was 12. That was the toughest and yea sometimes question, but 25 years later have grown a lot from living on my own. I know it broke Mom’s heart, she blamed David, but it was my decision and I got it in my mind years earlier from those beach trips with the family as we owned a place in Garden City, SC for a couple years, to live on Lake Norman and this was a great opportunity to make the move.
I had a lot of thinking to do, but had dreams of living at Lake Norman, selling radio in a major market, learning by living on my own – I had bought a townhouse a year and a half before moving to Charlotte, but it was time to move to a major market, go from being a big fish in the small pond, no slight as I love Charleston and still stay in touch with some of those people from the past and friends with people in radio in my hometown.
I moved February 1st, 1987 a Sunday, after doing my last night as ring announcer for the NWA matches (another story for later in the book). As I was getting in my red 1986 Toyota Supra that was loaded to the gills. The hugs, tears and Jerry and I saying, “I Love You” for really the first time. We always knew it but never said it till that day!
Things worked out in the long run, challenges and triumphs, good times that led to bigger changes in life, good times, bad times and I am still here to talk about it!
December 27, 1986 the beginning of some of the biggest changes in my life! December 27, 2011 and sitting at my home office desk in Nashville reflecting a lot and blessed to be here working on other dreams!