Tuesday, February 17, 2009

De-li-lah

As I was driving home from my La Leche League meeting tonight, I was listening to the local adult contemporary/glory of the 80s/90s station (very mwomy of me, I know, but adult contemporary is the soundtrack of my youth, and I was feeling nostalgic). The show being piped in was DELILAH, which made me sad.

See, for four years (the entire time I lived in Terre Haute) (and yes, this was high school), I would tune into the DELILAH show every so often, at night, and listen to the corny-ass stories people made up (or geez, some of them I HOPE they made up) to dedicate a song to someone. Delilah had the most soothing, comforting, mwomy voice, and when a letter came in explaining some obscure situation where the writer's mom's best friend just married the mom's old high school sweetheart, who was coincidentally the writer's boyfriend's dad, DELILAH ALWAYS FOUND THE RIGHT SONG (ok, ok, Delilah often failed. But it was amusing to listen to her apply "Wind Beneath My Wings" to almost every circumstance).

Anyway, I spent a lot of dark, rainy nights cruising out past the lights of the Haute, narrowly escaping deer and raccoons, my Taurus hugging the curves of the back roads, and when I needed a break from my TEEN ANGST Everclear/Stretch Princess/Stabbing Westward/other embarassing late 90s music, I'd hit it with Delilah.

Delilah, as I pictured it, was broadcasting live from the radio station over in Brazil (also known as the home to Michelle from ANTM Season 4; you know, the bisexual wrestler who got the face-eating disease). I could see her in her studio in a brokedown building on the main strip in downtown Brazil, speaking to the Wabash Valley, intimately ours.

Guys, I'm not lying when I tell you this: one night, I decided I wanted to find Delilah's email address because I just wanted to write her a short message to thank her for what she did. I was seventeen/eighteen; I was prone to romantic gestures like this (and never really grew out of them: I wrote a similar letter to one of my college professors who I admired very much for sticking to her guns and making us read 75 pages of rich text between our Tues/Thurs classes because, as I said, THAT'S WHAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT COLLEGE WAS GOING TO BE).

So I went to the local radio station website, and got linked ("Odd," I thought to myself) to some joint down in Florida.

It's true (and this is where you all KNEW it was going anyway): Delilah was syndicated.

It was honestly one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I was heartsick.

I had come to see Delilah as a Hautian woman, shopping at Walmart with the rest of us, sledding at Deming Park on the one day a year when we got enough snow, skipping I-70 for the back roads whenever possible. I KNEW her so well; I was wrecked when I realized she'd probably never even been to the Wabash Valley. She didn't know what we were going through; she knew what "America" was going through. Those soldiers making requests to their wives weren't writing letters that went through the Haute post office. Those corny boyfriends who got "Only Wanna Be With You" sent out to their girlfriends? Didn't go to West Vigo.

There have been a handful of big disappointments like that since Delilah, but she was the first. Oh, Delilah. CUT OFF MY HAIR, WHY DON'T YOU?

5 comments:

E. Langley said...

I had a similar experience with Delilah. I used to listen to her after working at the Meadows at Sylvan. I heard this great 80's song that I didn't know the name to on her program and I sent her an email asking for the title. It was her secretary or some shit that responded. Whilst on the website I came across the same info you found...disappointing.

momtrina said...

i can't believe you both were that naive, though maybe i liked you that way.

i had that happen to me a few times too.

i also had a crush on the cloquet dj (I think it was on KDLK) and my friend and I, after talking WAY too long on the phone with this MAN, WENT TO THE RADIO STATION (it was a tiny building - think 12x12' standing alone along hwy 33 about where the Walmart is, now) and met him. I only remember he had leather pants on - still don't know what that meant in 1973 . . .

Rando said...

Yo, "E.Langley," that is pretty remarkable that the DJ wrote you back.

Yo, "momtrina," whoever you are, that is a great story because that is what DJs used to be in the golden days of radio. There are still a few "FM types" out there, but far less. Nowadays 90 percent of radio is sattelllite syndications of iTunes shuffles-- and the inescapable repetition of "Gimme Three Steps" by Skynyrd.

And finally, "mwom lady," what are the other two disappointments?

Rando said...

DJ=secretary

Emily said...

LOVE SOMEONE TONIGHT!

I always liked hearing "Somewhere Out There" sent out to the Army wife. :)