I used to work for the best radio station in and around Pottstown. WPAZ!
Gosh, if you were never there, you missed out big time. Picture this- You drove all the way up Hanover Street till you couldn’t go any farther and then you made a right. On the right of Mauger’s Mill was a big dish antenna. That was the old station.
It was a brown building built in the 70’s. There were lots of steps up to a dark brown door flanked by glass. Inside you entered into a guest area with a secretary and several offices but the real excitement was all happening downstairs.
In the lower level were several small rooms. One was one recording studio which was about 7 feet by 12. It looked into a little bigger recording studio that barely fit 4 rolling chairs and a round table. The walls in that room were carpeted with indoor/outdoor carpeting in a nice dung brown.
There was a big window in the wall between that room and the real guts of the station. That was where I usually hung out. We had a wall of machines in front of us when we sat at the main desk. It was full of recording equipment and satellite receivers and tape machines. There was a small American flag on top which was nice because I could put my hand over my heart whenever I opened or closed the station.
The windows never worked properly down there. If you were stupid enough to try to open them, you could expect to have to work doubly hard just to try to get them to close again.
Sometimes, when it rained the water would start welling up by the back doors. We had sand bags to keep the water outside. ( it didn’t always work.)
There was an old 1960’s oil painting on the hallway wall that looked like it might have been done somewhere in France. It definitely wasn’t High Street in Pottstown.
I remember being there late at night, sometimes it was because of a late baseball game that could run till 3 in the morning. I’d open one set of doors that had all the maintenance stuff for the station in a big closet. I’d poke around finding windex and paper towels and the vacuum. It was fun to spiff the place up.
I remember that sometimes when I was there by myself, I felt like a one armed paper hanger. I’d run from one space to another checking a recording I’d want to play, answering phones, and then dashing back to the mic to give the top of the hour station ID, or pop a commercial spot into the system. Hearing no noise coming out of the speakers was horrifying.
Actually it wasn’t horrifying, it was stimulating and I’ll miss that feeling forever.
I slept on the floor a couple of times waiting for something to end so I could shut down the equipment and lock the place up.
Visitors to the station late at night were deer, raccoons, and turkeys.
It was neat to order a pizza, or hoagies and eat them in one of the studios. I was lucky enough to have my hub bring food sometimes, and he’d have my kids with them. My girls had fun pretending to work on the air.
Ultimately, one of those little ladies wound up doing the same thing I did. It was so weird to see her sitting where I had been sitting doing what I felt so comfortable doing. But I must say I was awfully proud of her.
I miss that place so much. Now when you try to find it online? You find a place that gives you information on plumbers. That isn’t WPAZ!
But then I guess I miss a lot of the places I’ve been in life. It’s just a bittersweet feeling.
I wonder if anyone would be willing to share about any places they’ve worked? You don’t have to tell anyone exactly where it was, you just have to be willing to share what you want to share.
Think about it!