It was, let's be honest, a love fest.
Greater Hartford, sub-genre public radio nerd, turned out in force (sold out at 500) last night for the 5th anniversary celebration of the Colin McEnroe Show at the Hartford Infinity Music Hall. And I, who have been smitten with Colin throughout his radio career, was thrilled to be there. I've been self employed since 1995 and Colin has kept me company (via radio shows on WTIC and WNPR) through the past decades.
First, a note about the newish Infinity Music Hall. It's a beautiful space, and completely vibes the Norfolk Infinity Hall without feeling quite so snug (some would say claustrophobic). I think even the bathrooms have a similar decor and feel. I have not found my way there for a concert yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. My one regret was not traipsing upstairs to get a feel for the balcony seating.
Now, to the party. Loyal blog readers will note that I've been a Colin McEnroe fan for many years - going all the way back to his MORNING show on WTIC. (Remember all the Barbaras? The squids who ply Long Island Sound?) It was during that time I penned and performed the "Ballad of Colin McEnroe", with Jon Lewis a local folkie / open mic friend from Bristol. I was there for Colin's first departure from WTIC, and there when he returned to an afternoon drive-time slow with Bruce Stevens. I was there when they let Bruce go in October 2006 and when Colin left the station two years later.
I've witnessed Colin's WNPR career from teh start, sensing something was up in February 2009, live blogging the first show on August 31, 2009. And long before TCMS elevated Chion Wolf to minor diety status, I had her in my sights.
So, it was wonderful to see these talented and amazing folks celebrated and honored. So nice to see the WNPR folks behind the scenes, Grayson Hughes, the many guest hosts and panelists who have contributed and become beloved voices over the past few years.
And if things did drop off into a "Prairie Home Companion" level of sentimentality (by was of two sing-alongs), it was understandable and welcomed. I tease because I know Colin is not the world's biggest Garrison Keillor fan; had he donned red sneakers last night and sung a duet en bass, it would have been a total transition to the dark side....
Colin occasionally promotes a theory that as a culture, we celebrate things just as they are leaving or becoming obsolete. Hopefully, that's not the case here - TCMS is still on the air with perhaps it's best years ahead, and at 1 pm, I'll be listening.