WBEZ Keep it Comin’, Saloon Style!

Old Town Painting

I’m a dork.

I know it.

I indulge in it.

I’ve enjoyed public radio since I was about 20.

National Public Radio and its local affiliate stations produce amazing shows that have greater depth than many sound-bite ridden news programs you get through the old boob tube, paper or electronic news outlets.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve found myself delivering our beer snacks to stores and bars during the afternoon and listening to an amazing show called Afternoon Shift with Rick Kogan on WBEZ. It’s been around for several months now, and if you haven’t caught it, I’d highly recommend it.

Despite living in Chicago for over ten years, I lack the knowledge that many native Chicagoans inherently possess.  The combination of in-depth coverage and deep Chicago knowledge is why Rick Kogan’s show has me smitten.

There seems to be this underworld of Chicago knowledge that can only be tapped into if you’ve lived here your entire life; if you have roots that run deep in these neighborhoods, you have access to it. I’ve met a few people that can channel this knowledge and help impart wisdom onto us non-natives.

Rick Kogan is one such individual.

Rick Kogan of WBEZ interviewing Paul Krugman at The Old Town Ale House

Rick Kogan of WBEZ interviewing Paul Krugman at The Old Town Ale House

On Thursday of last week, Rick broadcasted his show from The Old Town Ale House – a bar with much history in Chicago. I was lucky enough to catch the last half hour in-person.

Prior to me catching his show live, I was dropping off orders of our snacks in Andersonville.  I was kicking myself for forgetting they were broadcasting at a bar and could have arranged my schedule to watch the whole thing live. Whoops.

That being said, I was enjoying the show in my car, hearing about the Old Town neighborhood and its history. It was great to hear how Second City has morphed with the neighborhood and how it’s currently thriving.

I was nearly brought to tears listening to the story of Shirley Chambers and how she lost all four of her children to gun violence in Chicago.

By the time I got to Old Town Ale House, it was packed and Paul Krugman was sitting down with Rick, discussing the economy and his new book, End This Depression Now!.

The atmosphere in The Old Town Ale House was electric and I couldn’t think of a better reason to be in a pub (if you’ve read any of my other posts, I clearly enjoy myself some pubs). I spoke with some other people who attended and I have to say the topics, guests and host sparked a number of great conversations. In fact, I would go so far as to say our society needs more of these conversations.

I want more of these.

Old Town Packed House

So, I’d like to make a public appeal to WBEZ and ask them to have more of their shows in pubs.

People need to have a pint and engage some meaningful conversation.

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