Choices made

25 06 2011

I think I would have been around fifteen when I decided that one day I’d become a Disc Jockey at a radio station somewhere.

One of the reasons that I wanted to get into radio, was to meet people who I knew from this side of the speaker or screen, a quick talk would be one thing, but a possible lasting friendship would be another, how cool would that be?

As you may know, I didn’t quite reach my goal, and many times I’ve said that it was my declining health which prevented me from going further, and while there’s some truth in that, I think I had another reason for dropping out.

I loved my family.

You see, new radio announcers generally don’t get their start in the city, which is where I live, but way out in “The Mulga” somewhere.

For those overseas, When an Aussie mentions The Mulga, or a place Beyond the black stump, We mean it’s far away, to put it mildly.

For me, a Melburnian, there would have been a good chance that I would have been posted off to Western Australia, Somewhere North of Perth. Several of my radio school classmates headed in that direction.

And I always knew it was on the cards, but somewhere inside I had this nagging doubt that I was any good, I got a volunteer job on a community station in Melton, Which was about an hours travel by train and bus. I was happy to work there, do my twice weekly show, write, produce and edit reels and reels of tape.

Somehow I never really considered that I’d go any further, I wasn’t being paid, but I was happy and I could go home when it was over.

Then someone at the station dropped the word that there was a scout at the station, the kind who looks for potential talent, and I was supposedly on his or her list.

This was exciting, but also frightening… I realised that I may soon have a full-time, paid job… but where?

It was the question of where which got the better of me, I gave up radio soon after.

The thing I wanted most, was to be with my family.

So here I am at home, years later, and the strangest thing is that I’m meeting people via twitter, and sometimes, in real life too. People who I never thought I’d meet in my life, and I love it.

But there’s a tinge of sadness that comes with it.

The person who understood me the most, was Mum, and I know if She had still been here that She would have loved to hear of the People I’ve met and spoken with.

Stephen Tobolowsky, Who has a depth to him which I would never have known about otherwise, Julian Clary a quiet soul who adores his garden, Boy George who seems to be rocketing off at an incredible pace to anywhere on the face of the planet, which I doubt I could have matched even at fifteen.

My Daily exchanges with Carol Duncan and Helen Tzarimas which I cherish, and this insanely long list of names who decided to follow me, famous or not, it hardly matters, it’s astonishing.

These wonderful people help to keep me going, and I am truly thankful for that.

I want to run to Mum and say “You’ll never guess who I met today”, But She’s not here.

Yes I can tell others, but it’s not the same, My parents “got me” it took them a long time, but they eventually did. They knew what I liked and who I liked and I’m sure they would have been impressed that I was finally getting to know people, like I always wanted to do.

While that career in radio passed me by, time with my Family did not, and I have no regrets.





6 responses

25 06 2011

Wolfie, thanks so much for sharing that, brought a tear to my eye. You are one of my favourite people and I feel very close to you.

Lots of love and kisses
from Coralie xxx

26 06 2011
Wolfie Rankin

Thankyou Coralie, I do appreciate that. 🙂

25 06 2011
Carol Duncan

You know what, Fluffy? As a teenager I only had a vague idea of working in radio. I just wanted to be around music. As much as I love music, of all different genres, I can’t play an instrument.

My first job in radio took me a long way from my family for three years. In that time my dad was able to visit once, my mum was able to visit once, but I was so badly paid I couldn’t afford to leave to ‘go home’. Because ‘going home’ from Tasmania can be a bit tricky and expensive. Certainly then.

You have become a wonderful friend via Twitter, and your daily presence in my stream is truly valued. Don’t underestimate the support or affection that you provide us ‘strangers’!


26 06 2011
Wolfie Rankin

Hi Carol, I hope I didn’t make you feel bad because of your own choice, I’m sure it was a tough one for any of us who had a loving family, and had always been around them.

My Teacher, Chris Heaney of Melbournes 3XY at the time, was also a fair distance from home, as he came from South Australia, Where his Mum lived.

I understand your love of music, I was exactly the same, I couldn’t play anything, or sing, and although i tried Audio Engineering, there was far too much theory involved for me to retain much interest, if it’s not fun, that’s it.

So I felt radio was the best thing to do, but so strange considering how painfully shy I was back then 🙂

And thankyou for your kind words.


27 06 2011
Junkshop Coyote

“The Mulga,” huh? Sounds like what we Yanks call “Bumfuck, Egypt.”

27 06 2011
Wolfie Rankin

Yeah pretty much the same, Mulga is a type of Acacia which grows here, “Out in the sticks”, “the bush”… all the same, Just means out in the country

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