Feb 17, 2022 • 15M

The First Black Walter Cronkite - Part 1

Sometimes the hand of Fate comes as the ringing of a telephone.

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Literary fiction and essays by an award-winning writer from the Deep South focusing on the current zeitgeist and the news that stays news.
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Well, let’s just say I was a mess.

Coming back to Atlanta when my marriage first began to fall apart was no picnic.  One doesn’t like to return home with his tail between his legs.  Not after my auspicious sendoff—my accolades, my scholarships, my belief that I’d one day return home and make a big splash in politics. 

I try to put a good face on things, but most days I am not in a good mood.  If it’s not depression that ails me, it’s whatever you feel when you’ve lost your footing.  When your old idea of yourself seems out of phase with your prospects.

When the phone rings, whatever I’m feeling probably comes across to the caller, some honey-throated guy who sounds like he’s trying to sell me a used car.  How he got my number is a mystery, and I almost hangup. But for some reason, I listen anyway. After all, didn’t I grow up making prank phone calls—asking strangers if they had Prince Albert in a can, or if their refrigerator was running?

The caller identifies himself as the program director of WRNG on the AM dial, also known as Ring Radio, which I have never heard of.  His name is Bill Conover, and he claims to have it on “good authority” that I have it in me to become “the first black Walter Cronkite.”  

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