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Monday, August 29, 2016

Button Collecting is More Personal Than I Thought

A Sunday without an estate sale to explore turns into a personal discovery. 

pin-back Buttons, Buffalo State College, Radio

This weekend I spent time with my daughter doing the requisite chores that accumulate around the house. Extracting overgrown bushes from the front yard was my chore; her chore was to prepare for 8th grade. A sea of school supplies soon began to drift around the family room and among them was a new backpack waiting to be personalized.  

 “Do you have any buttons?” my daughter asked.

Thinking she meant the kind used to build a robot I say, “The kind of button you press?” 

 “No, the kind with pins on the back.”

My brain stretched to remember my hiding places in the garage where a few of the icons of my misspent youth are kept. On my workbench somewhere in those multi-drawer organizers is at least one button. 

After sliding each drawer out, the last one revealed a small button. This brought a flood of memories that transported me back to Buffalo State College 30 years ago.

WBNY was the college radio station. Programmed and managed by students, It was the voice of Buff-state. Though broadcasting was my major, I never joined the station, opting instead for the Student Union Board - the entertainment committee which provided films, lectures, and concerts.

An interest in comedy sketch-writing led me and my friend Tony to connect with a student who had a slot on the radio station.  “Lacy Wainright,” her radio alias, shared our sense of humor and together we began writing bits to perform during her Friday morning drive-time show.

We had some good laughs during our writing sessions and several of the scripts we wrote made it on the air. Within a few weeks station management found out that we were operating without permission and without licenses and asked us to leave "Lacy's" show.

Isn’t that how all great stories start for people in entertainment? 

I found another button to donate to my daughter's backpack. 
If my big chance in entertainment should ever come,  I'll have my backstory all ready to go. 

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