Turning The Pages

By: Paige Cline

A few years ago, around 1994 I think, there was a radio show on C-92 that was gaining in popularity every week
On Saturday mornings at about 8:30 Randy took to the airways to bring a bit of the past to folks in and around the county. For the most part, the listening audience was made up of older folks who had lived through and had a need to hear the songs and music from their era. But not entirely. As the weeks went by there were more and more younger people who confessed that they were steady listeners. It was the stuff of their parents’ youth and sometimes their grandparents.
The show itself was a sort of “Growin’ Up. Instead of the pages of The Independent Herald, the column was on the radio. It was local history as was lived and observed by children of the Great Depression and of World War II and the following years. Living trough those times probably accounts for the patriotic theme which was apparent in each and every program. As it was in Randy’s newspaper column. Those were times that engendered fierce patriotism in children and it never leaves you.
The show featured stories by Randy as only he could tell them. And, music from the era. Big band music. Many of the records were 78’s and were original recordings. Most of the music came from the collection of a minister friend in Gilbert who had one of the most extensive collections in the country. The significance, and the sounds, were not lost on the listeners. They loved it.
On occasion, Randy asked me to join him for a special hour-long program. Usually this was a holiday offering. I would dig through the old volumes of the paper and come up with bits of news from back in the day and incorporate it into the program. Randy was a master of leading me through my initial discomfort and soon we would be chatting as if we were riding in the car to the studio.
On a couple of occasions, people who had been listening to the program on their car radio stopped by the Mullens station to let us know they were tuned in. Or was that an admission? 
Anyway, we had a good time. Just as he could do in his written column, Randy could take the microphone and one minute he would have his listeners laughing their tails off and the next, he could bring a tear. Nobody did it better. 
Last Christmas, Angie found a couple of the tapes from the show. It was one of the best presents I ever got. It’s a shame that more of those tapes are not around. I would venture to say that they would be just as popular today as the original program.
Some things, and some people, are timeless.

Shawn Spears worked in the coal mines for almost forty years before starting his own delivery service that served the mining industry with dependable service and provided for his family and employment for other members of the community. 

When health problems developed,Shawn met them head-on. But, just when it seemed he was making headway, another problem would raise its ugly head. Shawn saw this as a setback but not a game breaker. He would resume his battle and get on with it. 

   Each diagnosis would seem to be worse than the other. Still, he fought. All the while encouraging and reassuring his loving family. 

  After countless trips to Morgantown and chemo treatments he worsened.

  Finally, the time came for Shawn to collect his reward. With loved ones by his side, Shawn cast off his earthly afflictions and his body became whole again, for eternity. 

I visited for a while with Margie. I could only look at this strong woman who was with her husband every step of the way , and, indeed, their whole married life. 

  I thought of the times when Shawn would call me friend, and how proud that made me feel. I am sure that came from his perception that I had been good to his kids…I hope so. 
  Not many things better than being considered a friend by Shawn Spears.