Radio personality Steve Cannon died this past Monday, April 6. Reading a few articles about his life (in particular this beautiful tribute by Tom Mischke at http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/42630267.html) brought back many memories.
When I was growing up in Worthington, Minnesota in the 1970's my family listened to WCCO AM—the great 830. When I came down for breakfast in the morning the radio would be on. I didn’t need a clock to know the time as I came to know what WCCO played between 7:10 and 7:30 a.m. If my memory serves me well their sports report was at 7:25 a.m. That lasted for five minutes. If I stayed on track in getting ready for school I could listen to the sports, get my school stuff together, and dash out the front door to make the bus.
This was the 70's so my family didn’t sit around a big brown radio listening to the radio at night like my grandparents’ generation say they did. But radio was an important part of my family’s life. We didn’t get Cable TV until the early 80's and until then could only watch three or four television stations. I’m sure that we listened to radio more than watching television. The only station we listened to was WCCO AM.
Listening to Steve Cannon was part of my radio listening. We frequently visited my grandparents in the southeastern part of Minnesota, and when we rode in the car we listened to the radio—and Steve Cannon. I still remember his booming voice and all his funny characters –Morgan Mundane, Ma Linger, and Backlash LaRue. I treasured listening to his radio spats with Sid Hartman.
Reflecting on Steve Cannon reminded me of a lot of car rides I took with my Dad. He would drive, I would sit in the front seat, and we would listen to Steve Cannon. Cannon usually talked about the events of the day. His thoughts led my Dad and I to talk about the issues of the world.
During the mid 70’s the success of the Vikings was as important to me as almost anything else. Via Morgan Mundane, Steve Cannon usually had something to say about the Vikings. During that time we didn’t have the overflow of information about sports teams that we have today. So when Steve Cannon talked about the Vikings I listened closely.
I never met the man personally, but through his medium he became part of my relationships with the people closest to me.