When I was asked by writer-teacher Matt Love if I wanted to contribute some radio spots to help promote the Yaquina Bay Bridge celebration activities in Newport, I said yes without even giving a thought to what would be involved.
When I talked to Dave Miller at Newport’s KYTE-FM, he said he would be doing several each day starting as soon as possible. I know I won’t be the only one contributing, but that sounded like he needed a lot. So I said I’d do 10. We discussed where they would be recorded, and I was pleased to know that I could record them here in Florence at KCST radio if station owner Jon Thompson would agree. Dave indicated that they were friends and often did favors for each other. Hmm!
After speaking with Jon, he said he would try to work it out and get back to me. Ten radio spots will take a couple of hours of studio time and that of one of the radio personalities. A big favor I’d say! But he did work it out, and it’ll take place August 24 in the afternoon. I will need to have my 10 one-minute spots ready.
I spent last Sunday afternoon going through the book Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges and finding 10 excerpts from the chapter on the building of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. I popped up a copy of the manuscript and cut and pasted 10 excerpts onto my new “radio script.” This won’t be so hard, I thought.
Good thing my watch has a second hand; most of my clocks don’t. I worked and worked on the first one trying to get it in under one minute. I had to add an intro that will be the same every time and a way to introduce McCullough that won’t be the same each time. Some people will remember from one to the next, but I can’t count on that. Besides, any one of my spots may be all they hear.
So I worked on speaking not too fast and not too slow, not too chipper and not to lackluster. I practiced the first one out loud at least 10 times. Finally, I had it figured out. By then, it was quite late, so I called it quits for the night.
I didn’t get back to it until Monday afternoon. I worked on five of them, trimming words and getting as close to one minute as I could without going over. Once I had the time right, I’d practice out loud twice more just to make sure. By then it was time for dinner. Later in the evening I got to the last four. They all took several tries, and I did quite a bit of tinkering with my “excerpts.”
Then I realized I hadn’t said anything about the event we were trying to promote. Duh! So I took off my original ending and added a new one with details about the event for each one. Now they were too long, and I had to cut some words from all 10 of them. And, of course, practice each one out loud again. Finally, by 1 a.m., I was finished—exhausted—but finished.
That night, I dreamed the recording session went on and on. That I kept making mistakes and had to do each one over and over—take 25, take 26, take 30. AARRGGHH! It was my radio spot nightmare. So the next morning right after breakfast, I practiced every blankety-blank one again. They were fine––all within the one-minute time limit. I was ready.
So if you live where you can pick up KYTE-FM in the Newport area or are visiting there, between August 25 and October 1, the day of the bridge celebrations, turn on your radio and you just might hear:
This is Judy Fleagle, author of Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges with an excerpt from the book about the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Conde B. McCullough designed 13 of the most beautiful Oregon Coast bridges during the 1920s and ‘30s, including Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge. He felt the setting near the mouth of the bay was spectacular and he was determined to design a bridge to match the setting. . . .”
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for only $24.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing, www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also found at numerous coastal bookstores, gift shops, and museums; in Eugene at bookstores, Lane County Historical Museum, and the airport; and in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society.
Judy part of bridge celebrations:
• September 8, 3:15 p.m.––Umpqua Discovery Center, Reedsport. (This is to be part of a larger celebration that will begin about 2:30 at the Umpqua River Bridge.)
• October 1, 2–4 p.m.––Yaquina Bay Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration panel discussion, City Hall, Newport
Judy attending authors fairs (public can chat with the authors who will be signing and selling their books):
• August 27, noon–3 p.m.––Bob’s Beach Books (west side just north of 17th on Hwy 101), Lincoln City
• October 1, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.––Florence Festival of Books––authors & publishers fair, Florence Events Center, 715 Quince Street, Florence (Judy leaves at noon for Newport)