It was Tuesday, November
1 8, 1988.
Although I fully expected to be moving to New York before too terribly long, I’d long since learned that job leads weren’t a gift horse you could look in the mouth. And there was a station in the east suburbs that wanted to talk with me.
The program director was a guy who’d audibly lit up when I called, the previous Friday. “You’re Mitch Berg? From the Don Vogel show?” He’d been a huge fan. He’s also heard my old weekend graveyard show – he’d caught it on the way to do his own airshift a few times. In fact, we had met, at one Don Vogel remote or another.
“I’d love to talk with you!”. He hosted the station’s morning show, and he wanted a news guy/sidekick type.
Sure, I was interested. Anything to get me out of the bars, until something in New York came through.
He gave me directions to a bar in Stillwater for Tuesday at 1PM.
“Yeah”, he laughed when I quizzed him, “the bar is open on election day. It’s kinda ‘under the table”, he said, audibly nudging and winking.
And so I drove out to Stillwater. I took a right off of Highway 36 and drove down a frontage road that led to the bar – the Club Tara, a funky-looking little roadhouse.
I walked into the bar. “Miiiiiitch!”, the program director – a very Minnesotan-looking fellow in his early fifteis – yelled, waving. He had a half-empty pitcher and a big basket of fries on the table in front of him. Another guy, thin, sharp-faced and younger than me, sat with him. Both were nursing beers, although seemingly nursing them pretty quickly.
I sat. The program director introduced me to his Operations Manager. We chatted for close to an hour – mostly about politics, Don Vogel, and what a fun place the Tara was.
The Ops guy checked out, and another guy – the Sales Manager, another, pudgier guy in his late twenties, checked in. We talked for about an hour and a half, polishing off another pitcher and a plate of mini burgers in the process as we talked about…politics, Don Vogel, and what a fun place the Tara was.
It was about 3:30 when the Sales Manager left – just as another sales person, this one Cathy, a mildly zaftig and plenty-cute mid-twentysomething woman with light auburn hair and in high heels, walked in. We sat until 6PM, knocking off probably a pitcher and a half between us, talking about…yep, politics, Don Vogel, and what a fun place the Tara was. Oh, I may have flirted a bit; Cathy lived in Saint Paul, as luck’d have it.
Finally, we all had to leave; the three of us talked until close to 7PM in the parking lot, exchanged business cards, and promised to call later.
I took the back roads back to Saint Paul that night.
I followed up a few times in the next year; they never quite got the money bit worked out.
UPDATE: D’oh. As Flash points out in the comments, Nov 1 was not election day – November 8 was. I forgot that election day was the first Tuesday after the first Monday.
I get the dates (and, occasionally, info) for some of these “20 Years Ago” bits from various notebooks and journals I wrote over the years. Others, I reconstruct from proximity to other events. This’d be one of them; there was a long, sloppy loopy job interview at a bar on election day – whatever the date was.