The radio was tuned to 89.7 The House FM, as usual, last Thursday when I was delivering papers for the last time.
I was going through all sorts of emotions. I’d tear up a little when I thought about not writing the news anymore. The tears were overcome with joy, however, when I thought about not having to deliver papers anymore. Back and forth, from high to low, I went all day.
I pulled into the Sonic about noon to grab a bite to eat. My son, Joseph, told me to listen to the all-request lunch hour on The House because there was a possibility the DJs might play a song from Lockers in the Hall, the band for which he sings.
The drummer, Greg, had driven to the radio station in Ponca City that morning and dropped off the band’s CD which they recorded in two parts a few months ago. The boys in the band then told everyone and their grandma to call in at noon to request a song.
I ordered a breakfast burrito and a Dr. Pepper and listened for any sign of a Lockers in the Hall song while I waited on my food.
Just as I swiped my debit card in the handy outside credit card machine, one of the DJs announced they were about to play a song from a band in Medford.
“I think every person in Medford has called to request these guys, so we’re going to play them. They're called Lockers in the Hall,” the DJ said.
I couldn’t believe my ears! I cranked my car stereo, and just as I heard the first note of “Yahweh,” my phone rang.
It was Joseph. I cranked the stereo another notch or two and answered his call with a loud “WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”
I could barely hear him and several of his buddies in the background.
“Are you listening, mom?” he shouted.
“YES!!!!” I yelled back.
“WOO HOO!” He screamed. “I love you! I’ll call you back!”
We hung up, and I noticed the waitress heading toward me with my lunch. I debated on whether I should be politically correct and turn down the radio. My window was down, and I’m sure everyone in the Sonic parking lot didn’t appreciate my acting like a teenager.
I chose the selfish route. I left the stereo blaring. The waitress approached my car with a puzzled look on her face. As she handed me my food, I screamed over the music, “That’s my son on the radio!”
I could read her lips as she mouthed, “Are you serious?”
“Yeah!” I screamed.
“Cool!” She mouthed.
By this time, the tears were streaming down my face. My heart was pounding. I was trying to text Jeromy to tell him to turn the radio on. Luckily, he already had it on.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “That Thing You Do” and are familiar with the scene where Liv Tyler goes running up and down the sidewalks tuning in radios, while running and jumping and screaming because her boyfriend’s band was on the radio - yeah, that was what I felt like.
I listened to the rest of the song full blast, window down, tears rolling. I have heard the band a million times, but to hear them on the radio, knowing their message was being heard by millions across the world, was different. It was more. It was indescribable.
As I thought about the entire experience later that day, I decided the best part was that my child, who is every bit a 17-year-old teenager, thought to call me in the midst of all the excitement. There he was surrounded by all his teenage buddies at lunch time in Medford, hysteria dripping from the walls, and my son picked up the phone to call old mom. That meant more to me than he’ll ever know.
That same night, after I had arrived home and settled down for the night, Joseph called after work and said a bunch of people were going to call into the 8 o’clock request hour and request another song from the album.
We turned on the stereo in the living room to listen this time. After a couple songs, the DJ introduced Lockers in the Hall and the song “Be My King” – my favorite of all Lockers in the Hall songs.
Again, the tears started to well up immediately. By the first few chords I was bellowing. By the end of the song, I was a complete mess.
Then something freaky happened. The radio station played about a three-second clip from Michael W. Smith’s “A Friend’s a Friend Forever” – a song to which I’ve never listened all the way through without bawling my eyes out.
I had not heard that song in years. It was sung at my good friend’s funeral when we were freshmen in high school. I’ve always considered my friend who died my guardian angel. Signs of her always pop up when I need them the most, and I’ve always said Joseph shares a few of her quirky traits.
For me, that little clip was the cherry on top of a day I will never forget. Putting the paper to bed – permanently – was not the greatest part of the day. Knowing the future is full of promise, however, made up for the loss.
That air time opened some new doors for the boys in Lockers in the Hall. We are anxiously waiting to see where those doors lead and are asking God to direct the band’s next steps. You can find a few of their songs on my Facebook page under the music tab.
I can’t say much now because not much is known, but I’ll keep you posted as we learn and grow with them. I’m about to cry just thinking about it. I’ll keep you posted.
Genesis 34, 35