Who Knows What Evil Lurks?
"The Shadow Knows." How many of you remember the old radio program:
"The Shadow"? The voice of "The Shadow" was first Orson Welles in the 1930's,
and Brent Morrison later in the 1940's until the series finale in 1954. I can always
remember that mysterious voice intoning the words: " Who knows what evil lurks
in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows". It always began each week's program.
I think of it now over sixty years later. Why? Because of the apparent evil that is
saturating our World today. If "The Shadow" were around now, it's doubtful he would
"know" exactly who this evil emanates from. Hardly a day or week ends without a
terrible tragedy occurring from the "hearts of men" on this spinning planet somewhere.
And now that murder and mayhem have come to this country, it's time to rethink and
retool our mindset into preparing for a new kind of "War" and/or disaster. I certainly
recall the school drills in preparing for an Atomic bomb. I remember being in The
Civil Air Patrol as a teen, logging aircraft sightings from roof tops in my hometown.
Also, many a civil defense "bomb shelter" was purchased and installed in backyards.
Nowadays, any community, big or small; can be the next target for disaster. Yes, any
disaster, domestic or foreign born, could be coming to a site near you...or you.. or
your place of business. Especially a radio station. Every radio station in America be
it large or small, local or network, should be preparing for potential violent threats.
Let me share a story of a station in San Antonio Texas where I worked, where
planning ahead for potential disaster really paid big dividends. It was November of
1963 when 13 tons of explosives somehow shattered the afternoon air with a
force sending shock waves some 30 miles into the downtown Alamo City. Office
building windows were blown out. It was an immense explosion. Within seconds,
our newsroom teletypes were rat-a-tatting the words of a nearby Atomic Energy base
called Medina Base(which few knew was even there)had indeed released this power-
-ful Earth shaking explosion. We all fully expected to go outside and see a large
mushroom cloud in the Northwest sky. You could see a boiling brown and gray cloud
that appeared to be hundreds-if not thousands-of feet in the air. Fortunately, we had
the best news department around, and covered it well to it's conclusion days later.
But this event triggered a change in the way we would cover disasters in the future,
and a good thing it did. Our new Program Director-Stan Richards called a meeting of
the entire radio station staff to outline new procedures he wanted put into place. Stan
wanted everyone who worked at the station to come in and perform certain duties that
were assigned to each person. Everyone...from the receptionist to the janitor, to the
salesmen, to the late night disc jockey..had an assignment. Well, nine days later, we
and the new disaster plan all would be severely tested. In nine days John F. Kennedy
would be assassinated! We would stop all music and go TOTAL NEWS for many
days. But that wasn't all. Four months later-March 27, 1964- another large scale
tragedy occurred. It was the Great Alaska Earthquake that shook North America on
a Good Friday. It was 9.2 magnitude temblor. Devastating, but we were ready when
most were not. The 7-Midnight D.J. was assigned to "man" the news room telephones.
He was instructed to call and see if he could get any statement(s) from the Governor,
or anyone in the Alaska Capitol. Well, the phone was picked up...by THE GOVERNOR
HIMSELF!! It was a miracle, as the Governor said that communications were all down
except this timely phone connection. It was clear in a few minutes that our station was
the only source they had with the outside World! It was through our news department
that every news source-print or electronic media- was fed the news about this catas-
-strophic event. Our news feeds numbered in the hundreds for hours on end. Amazing
what a little preparedness can do isn't it. SO, I guess the moral of all of this is to pass
this advice on to anyone you can working in radio today. The evil that lurks in our World
at this time in our history needs all of us to be on alert and prepared anywhere at any
time. It would be at my urging that you make sure that your station or business or YOU
put together a plan of action BEFORE another tragic event happens in your area or
area of influence. I may not be as foretelling as "The Shadow" from radio days of yore,
but I feel safe in saying that "Evil DOES lurk in the hearts of men" out there, and my
suggestion is that you be ready to deal with it when or if that evil comes close to you.
ISISuspect it time for all good radio men to come to aid of their countrymen...
.....that's my radiOpinion, what's yours? (The Shadow would like to know)