Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Friday, July 3, 2015

If you need more info on Lake County senior centers, just ask

Necessity has brought me before the TV cameras many hundreds of times over the past three-plus decades for the purpose of interviewing people in the course of my workday.
Most of the “victims” of my interrogations have been political candidates, although a good number of them have been folks who have been successful in various business ventures around the area.
Thus I have tried to make myself look as decent as possible to the viewers, many of whom don’t know me and probably wonder what I look like.
I prefer, in a word, to be presentable to those who are watching.
But what about radio? Who cares what you look like on radio?
I asked myself that question the other day as I was driving down, or over, if you prefer, to Station WINT in Willoughby, the station that was once known as WELW.
I also asked myself along the way, why do stations keep changing their names? There was once a station in Painesville called WPVL, and they billed it as “Where People Value Listening,” which I thought was reasonably clever. But they changed the letters. For what reason I never knew. But it bothered me.
I shouldn’t let things like that upset me. But I digress.
I was driving to WINT to submit to an interview with my good friend Joey Tomsick, an accomplished accordion player and band leader, but who in other circles is known as Joseph R. Tomsick, Chief Executive Officer of the Lake County Council on Aging.
It was in the latter capacity that he wished to talk with me. Not that I am aging that rapidly, mind you, I pointed out with my typical good nature, but because he wanted to help get out the message that there are some fascinating stories that can be told to the people who visit Lake County’s 12 senior centers.
We spent almost the entire show talking about those four programs, and if anyone in Lake County would like to have one of the four programs presented at a meeting, I am the person to call to set it up.
You may have seen one or more of the programs. We have been putting them on for several years to senior centers, libraries, service clubs, retiree groups such as Diamond Shamrock, church groups and many others. If your organization wants to schedule one, all you have to do is give me a call. I will get to that in a moment. We have presented them for as many as 200 people or as few as a half dozen.
My job is to do the introductions. The actual narratives are handled by Kathie Purmal, the retired executive director of the Lake County Historical Society.
Joey Tomsick showed up for our radio interview in a spiffy dark colored suit, button-down shirt and neat yellow pattern tie. Me? I was wearing khaki shorts and a blue T-shirt with some kind of lettering on it. I told him that as soon as we were finished I had to go home and cut the grass.
My point? On radio, who cares what you look like? Certainly not the engineer who is controlling the dials. Radio isn’t, after all, TV.
The four topics available, in case your group wants to hear one of them, are: The Mansions of Lake County, The Fabulous Ladies of Lake County, The Underground Railroad in Lake County, and “Betcha Didn’t Know About Lake County,” a sort of quiz in which members of the audience are encouraged to yell out the answers – if they know them.
You may have seen one or more of the programs. If you have not seen all four, then you still have some learning to do.
At least four times during our interview I told Joey how I can be reached to schedule a program. My number at Lakeland  Community College is 440-525-7522. If I’m not there, leave a message and I’ll get back to you. It’s as simple as that.
There are six non-profit partners in putting on the programs. They are, in no particular order, the Lakeland Foundation, the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, Holden Arboretum, The Lake Health Foundation, The Lake County Council on Aging and The Lake County Historical Society.
There are also two partners in the business world who help with publicizing our activities – The News-Herald and Radio Station WINT.
We will try to accommodate as many requests for programs as possible, with this proviso – if Kathie Purmal is not available on the date and time of your choosing, then it will be extremely difficult to have the show go on.
There may be others who can handle the power point presentations, but I don’t know who they might be.
Keep in mind also that the price is right. The programs are free.


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