Last night we had another Star DJ Reunion (hopefully this is becoming an annual thing) and I got to see some old friends I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. We roasted Paul Geiger who truly was one of the rock stars of our industry back in the day. It was great fun.
One of the conversations I had last night was with a guy named Jim Bello. Jim started at Star when I was running the operations there and he told me how proud he was to this day of an award that he won back then. He also told me he still had the handwritten note I gave him along with the award. We’re talking 24 years ago! I was really blown away and I asked him if he’d snap a picture of it and send it to me. When I woke up this morning he’d already uploaded it to my Facebook timeline (we live in a day of instant gratification don’t we?)
There’s a number of things this experience has taught me ( besides the fact that my grammar has improved in 24 years).
Our words echo on. Especially when we put them in writing. Think about that and be reminded of it the next time you shoot someone an email or jot down a note of thanks (something I still do from time to time – hand write a note). The words you send may mean so much to the receiver that they cherish them and save them for years to come. I certainly have no memory of writing this note to Jim but all these years later I’m glad I did.
BTW I can pretty much place the exact time I wrote this note because of my cheesy reference to the EMF song “Unbelievable.” That song was red hot the summer of 1991, hitting number one in July of that year.
This also reminded me of the power of public acknowledgment. I learned this lesson years ago when I sent flowers to a woman I’d had a couple of dates with. I sent them to her apartment. And when she called to thank me there was a tinge of sadness in her tone. I was confused so I asked what was wrong – heck I barely knew her at this point and maybe she didn’t even like flowers. She eventually told me, she wished I’d sent the flowers to her work so all her co-workers could see she’d gotten flowers. And that taught me – it’s one thing to do something nice for someone, but it means a lot more if you do it publicly.
Jim told me that when he won “Rookie of the Year” he attended the party where that award was going to be presented with Ray Mardo ( rest in peace Ray). Jim and Ray were the two hot shot rookies that year so it was clear one of the two of them were going to win it. Jim told me the whole way down to the party they were discussing it and who would win the award. I don’t think I ever realized the anticipation that the staff had back then about these awards and acknowledgements. I used to do similar year end awards at Elite but I stopped a few years ago. Maybe it’s time to return to the practice.
It’s always amazed me how much I learned from my years at Star DJs and the best part is, I’m still learning from these guys and gals. One might even say, It’s Unbelievable, Oh!