Hey Mr. DJ

I was reminded this week of an old ambition of mine – I used to want to be a radio DJ. Not one of the morning talk show DJs or even an afternoon let-me-solve-your-problems DJ, but a late-night, slow-jams-playing, small-audience-listening DJ. The type of DJ not hired for their voice, celebrity appeal or wittiness, but useful only in his ability to choose and play good music. I wanted to play slow-jam R&B and smooth jazz hits for everyone listening at home or on the road after 10:00 pm. Of course, my life has gone in a very different direction. I never did seriously pursue a life of DJing as I guess I didn’t think of it as a stable career path; I ended up in the law instead.

But that doesn’t mean I have never been on the radio. While in Japan several years ago, I found myself spending two months in the mountainous town of Toyooka, near the Japan Sea. In the middle of the largest shopping center in the town was a booth in which the local pop radio station broadcast live. As it turns out, my American companion at the time and I came to know the DJ and were invited to be on the radio during her afternoon program. Her last name was Hashimoto, but her DJ name was Hershey. I will forever remember my on-air conversation in Japanese with Hershey. She asked us about our hometown (Seattle) and what we thought of Japan (liked it) and even allowed us to dedicate a song. I chose a hit song by Utada Hikaru and, after giving a shout-out to all my friends and family back in the States, dedicated the song to all of the Utada lovers out there in Toyooka. It was a fun experience and may be the only time in my life I am actually on live radio. The thoughts of being a DJ have died as I have grown older, but my love for music and choosing music has not.

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