Popular Kentucky Radio Host Leaving Morning Show To Open Homeless Shelter
Angel here and it is a bittersweet day in the WBKR studio as we announce I am stepping away from the Morning Show after 7 incredibly blessed years on-air.
DESTINED TO BE ON A MIC
I think I was always destined to be on a stage of some sort from the time I strutted out of my mother's womb. I'm pretty sure I was born shimming and shaking. Momma knew it too and she had me on the stage starting at six months old in pageants. This started my love for a crowd and a microphone. Ironically it is actually where I met my precious hot mess of a co-host Chad when I was 21 years old. Little did I know this would begin the journey to the present time of co-hosting a morning radio show in my hometown.
JOINING WBKR'S MORNING SHOW
I still remember it like it was yesterday, I had called Chad to ask him for a favor not knowing he was trying to get in touch with me. I left a message on his phone and then walked into TJMaxx to find Jaclyn Graves. I hugged her neck and said "I just called Chad". Little did I know she had just said goodbye to WBKR earlier that day. She told me Chad was on location somewhere and probably wouldn't answer. Before she could even finish her sentence my phone rang and lo and behold it was Chad! He thought I was calling to ask about the job LOL. Right there in the middle of the store he asked me to apply to work for WBKR. I said I have no experience. He said "I can train you for that, I can't teach personality". Well, I went home talked to my husband, Joe and he told me he was going to tell me to apply. I knew that meant I should. I submitted a video interview from the top of the parking garage and prayed for God to do the rest. Three months and a million interviews later as I sat on a park bench with my friend, Gloria Purcell, at Smothers Park, Chad called to tell me he had decided he wanted to make me his Morning Show Co-Host. That day forever changed my life.
Here's a video of one of my on-air interviews;
I mean how could he not hire me I showed up in a robe to work!
If you haven't followed the journey of #CHANGEL you may be asking yourself what that even means. This is our Hollywood Name. We combined our names to make CHANGEL. More like Chad did it and it stuck. Chad did a great job of preparing me for radio. He told me "you know people will start to recognize you and know you in the community. You'll have a following" So, on my first day I showed up dressed for the part.
Honestly, my first day I was terrified. Not much scares me especially in the way of performance or people. I am just me. However, that first day I left my family home without me. I had always raised my babies. I got them ready. I took them to school and the sitter. I was independent. Coming to work at WBKR meant my husband who was not a morning person had to make a drastic change. My kiddos were so little Parker was 13, Braden 10, Tucker 2, and Charlotte was just a baby. He was now in charge of getting everyone to where they needed to be daily. We made it work. Joe was and always has been an absolute Rockstar so I could do what I loved doing.
Chad and I had known each other for years but being in tune with one another on air is a totally different situation. You have to learn to carry one another. My first week he handed me a 60 second live read and said "you're doing this next" I was clueless and then he turned on the mic. I completely jacked the live spot up all while he laughed until he cried and I realized then how our relationship was gonna go.
Annoying Big Brother and Adorable and Flighty Little Sister. It worked for us. I adored Chad and little did he know he came along at a time in my life when I needed his spirit most. The great thing about us is what you see is what you get. He bosses me around and gets on my nerves and I pester the crap out of him.
On the other hand, one of my favorite parts of my job no one else ever got to witness. It was the times in the early morning when the mics were off that Chad and I had conversations between the two of us that resonated deep into my soul. We are a lot alike but in many ways we are different. The beautiful thing was it never mattered. We were able to have tough talks and always learn from one another. We would laugh, we would cry, and we would educate one another. This is the kind of stuff you don't learn in school or an expensive self help conference. The talks we had you can't even begin to put a price on.
When you spend more time with someone than you do your own family you form a very strong bond. It made us good at what we did together because it was and is real. People would often ask me is what you all do and say made up and I'd always answer back with "Yes but what you don't get to see is even better."
A BIG OLE' RADIO FAMILY
One thing the WBKR listeners learned very fast was that I am a woman of faith. I believe in Jesus and I love him with all my heart. Growing up I didn't have a lot of family around it was just me and momma most of the time. I always wanted a huge family and people to love. At 34 years old when I married my husband God answered that prayer and then again at 36 when I walked into WBKR to host the morning show. Radio listeners really are our family. You invite us into your homes, your cars, your jobs, and your lives on a daily basis. You listen as we share stories of our families, our struggles, our triumphs, and chaos. You share with us. You become one of the biggest parts of our lives in the most wonderful way. I have hugged enough people in the last 7 years to last a lifetime. I was welcomed to WBKR with open arms and people made me feel loved. It's one of the things I'll miss most. I know I'm not losing you all truly but I won't be a part of your day anymore and even as I type I can feel the burning in my chest as tears swell up in my eyes. You all have made such an impact on me. I cannot begin to thank you enough for your love and support. So many days it got me through.
A BITTERSWEET GOODBYE
I always knew I wouldn't retire in radio. One of the first things I told Chad was I was going to retire in the non-profit world. Little did I know it would not be even close to what I had planned. Proverbs 16:9 says: We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. I believe that completely. Two years ago God laid it on my heart to open a Women & Children's Homeless Shelter here in Owensboro. I didn't have a clue how I was going to make it happen but after wrestling with him for six months I said I would go. The truth is one of my prayers has always been God send me. I will go dig ditches if that is what you tell me to do. This is my ditch. My Sister's Keeper is quickly approaching an opening date and soon our building will house women and children from all over.
The mission is calling me away sooner than I expected. The homeless population is growing and my heart is in service. People sometimes search for their purpose for years. I have always known mine was helping others I just didn't know exactly how. God has been preparing me for this moment for years and as much as it breaks my heart to step away it is what is needed so I can pour into what's next.
WHAT I'LL MISS MOST
There is something to be said for people who are not blood but become family. It happened right here at WBKR. Chad, Barb, Spence, Brently, and Ashley worked most closely with me. Our personalities are all completely different but made sense. I'd say we are a beautifully dysfunctional family at best. Just the way I like it. These people are smart, caring, have a big love for our community and our listeners and they do what they do better than anyone I have ever met. I'll miss our meetings that lasted forever. I'll miss Barb a.k.a Jan Brady complaining that she is always forgotten and her on cue burping. I'll miss Spence panicking daily and all his great stories. I love this crew so much.
MY FAVORITE MEMORIES
I can't pick just one. There are a million from Wacky Wednesday to Pranks to getting out and about in the community and helping all the non-profits to meeting new friends who have become family.
The time I tried to eat an entire dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts on air.
That time they decided it would be a good idea to duct tape me to the pole outside of the station and I let them.
Celebrating and getting to know and love Jimmy Parrott who is one of my favorite human beings in the world. He never failed to send me a birthday or holiday card. He called almost every morning and he always helped me gang up on Chad.
The things I did for the love of the job. National Drive-Thru Day and Chad made me go and sing my order at Chick Fil A. Those poor people.
Or when Barb showed up to my dentist appointment because she found out I was getting laughing gas.
All the fun I had with Ashley our Digital Director. She is amazing and we went on lots of work field trips together and she was always up for any idea I threw at her including fun videos like this one.
How about the time I waxed Chad's Nose Hair?! It was great for me. Not so much from him.
You know you love someone when you agree to saran wrap yourself to them.
I mean and why not if you have an opportunity crack watermelon's with your thighs.
I could literally go on and on forever about my time here at WBKR. It is something that I will be forever grateful for. It taught me so much about myself. I learned I could do far more than I ever expected out of myself. I learned to love a whole bunch of people I have never met in real life and call them family. I learned getting up at the butt crack of dawn isn't the worst thing in the world. I learned how amazing our community is not just in Owensboro but the Tri-State. You people are giving and loving and caring and absolutely incredible.
Thank you! Thank you for welcoming me in. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for laughing every single morning when I screwed up birthday wishes. Thank you for laughing with me and even more crying with me when I struggled or talked about something super personal. Thank you for rooting for me. Thank you for hugging me when you saw me out in public. Thank you for loving my family. Thank you for checking on my children and asking about my home life. Thank you for who each of you have been and will forever be in my life. You are more special than I could ever express in words.
I feel like this is the part in the pageant where I say to the next Ms. Morning Show Co-Host you have a big role to fill. You have to get up, put a smile on and take care of these fantastic people. You have to listen to Chad squawking at 5:30 in the morning and have enough self-control not to choke him out. Mustard Yellow Jumpsuits were not in my color wheel so that helped me out. Most importantly you have to love him as he is because he ain't changing for nobody. Take him or leave him he is just balding, bearded, blueberry oatmeal-eating Chad and he needs to be loved. You will need a lot of coffee. If you're not a coffee drinker maybe red bull. There are no days off. Sure you get vacation but no one really thinks your ever not working. Be prepared for the "Where's Chad" question every single place you go. It's inevitable. Be yourself. Never ever and I mean ever change who you are. Some people are gonna love you and there will be others that don't care much for you. You need both to have balance but don't let that affect your day in the least. Love them all. You'll need tough skin and a tender heart. These are major requirements for the job. Country music listeners are the best of the best of the best. Love them hard! And best of luck to you. You are gonna love it. I am just a phone call away if you need a wingman to give Chad crap.
I love each and every single person reading this. Even when you know a day is coming one can't prepare for something like this. I am truly blessed to have been gifted the time I have had at WBKR. You all will go with me in all I do. Please never hesitate to reach out, message me, hug me when you see me, and come volunteer at the shelter we will need you!
As always thank you for letting me tell my story. Thank you for loving me for exactly who I am. Thank you for letting me share my life with all of you~