"Randy does the steering, so he won't
Not the most lyrical of lyrics, but alas, it's true. Those demons
of motion sickness that ruthlessly ruled my childhood travels (just
ask my parents) settle right down if I'm allowed to drive. So drive
I do. Of course, some might say it's also a great way to rationalize
claiming the power seat where a coffee-fueled producer can easily
exert the kinds of control on which he thrives. But hey, that's
enough pop psychology. The real question is "Just how is it that
I got to ride around the country exploring the quirkier side
of our culture anyway?" Well, I guess there are a few resume-type
reasons. I actually did get a degree in journalism from KU, and
have been making TV features about the arts for nearly twenty years.
"Mike's got the
maps, such a man of the world"
Though you can usually find me in the front passenger
seat with a map on my lap (when I'm not sleeping!), I'm not sure
where this line really came from. I'd like to think that I've been
recognized as the guy who does most of the navigating on our little
show, getting us from point A to point B in the shortest possible
time, but let's face the truth even though I've been lucky enough
to see very small parts of 5 very large continents, that 'man of
the world' thing only shows up because 'world' sort of rhymes with
'hurl', and that's what Randy does if he doesn't drive! I like to
tell people who ask about the show that we're just out on the road,
stopping at all the places your father would never stop when you
were a kid.
"There's Don with the camera, kinda
heavy on his shoulder."
And I just can't seem to keep quiet. Who ever heard
of a talking camera-man anyway? I just want to say up front that
I never intended to be a talking Camera Guy. So then, how did I
land this nice-work-if-you-can-get-it job, in which I get to go
to amazing places and meet fascinating people, you might ask? It
just could be some twisted form of justice. I was born in Detroit
a half century ago, the second of seven boys. There may have been
some kind of state law at the time that prevented the transporting
of more than six boys across state lines for the purpose of recreation.
Or it could be that my folks were just working too hard to go anywhere.
The net effect was that when I was a kid family road trips were
few and far between.