RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS – CANCER DOES SUCK

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CANCER DOES SUCK

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don’t know or how this started, but high school volleyball teams have really made an impact in bringing awareness to breast cancer. The team wears pink, holds fundraisers at volleyball matches, encourages women to get mammograms, and helps support the women and families that are battling breast cancer.

Tuesday the Dawson/Boyd and LQPV girls’ volleyball teams, combined their efforts and raised $1600 for the local LQP Hope Network. The LQP Hope Network will share the money with LQP County families who are fighting cancer and struggle to pay the bills.

This year, cancer takes on a new meaning for me. A couple weeks ago, my daughter in law, Jenny, found out that she has breast cancer. She will start chemo soon. This has devastated our family. I have watched friends and family members that I love battle cancer before, but never someone in my immediate family.

Now I get pretty emotional and pay more attention to the cancer events at these volleyball matches these past few weeks. I wear pink and donate with a new perspective. Cancer sucks. Lots of emotions run through you when you receive the terrible news. Anger, shock, sadness, worry and helplessness. It sucks, I don’t know how else to say it. I think about Jen and pray for her every day!

Many of my friends and family members have gone through what Jen is experiencing. Jen is a fighter, she is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She’s a military girl so you know she’s tough, but she needs help while going through this. Her husband, her kids, and her family will support her during this tough time. She will beat this.

 In conclusion, I’ve never felt so connected to the ‘DIG PINK’ nights at those volleyball matches like I have the last few weeks. I pray that research can soon find a cure for this terrible disease. So, I congratulate all the area volleyball teams for what they are doing this October, bringing awareness, and raising money during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thank you!

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RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS -PLAYER OF THE GAME T SHIRTS

 

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PLAYER OF THE GAME T SHIRTS

One of my favorite moments in broadcasting high school sports is handing an athlete, the player of the game t shirt from Neon Needles and Subway Value meal coupon to the player that I decided was the player of the game.

 Neon Needles in Dawson and Subway of Appleton, Dawson and Clara City have for a number of years been very kind in giving out t-shirts and a free coupon for a Subway sandwich.

It’s been a real blessing to me over the years to see how this simple act of giving a t shirt/coupon to a high school athlete has been a blessing to them and even their families and school. How much it means to them. Over the years I have seen these t-shirt’s make mothers cry, grandmothers very proud of their grandchildren, when they take the shirts and make a quilt out of them. Just this past week I saw someone that has been out of high school for a couple of years now, wearing the shirt hunting.

Sometime it is very difficult for me to name a player of the game. I am glad when I have a broadcasting partner with me to help me decide that. Sometimes I will visit with a coach before the postgame show to help me with my decision. Sometimes I can’t decide on just one, so I name two. And sometimes the next day, I have questioned myself and feel bad that I should have named him or her player of the game instead. It is a big deal to people.

I remember a volleyball match in Montevideo once, and I named a Maccray girl the player of the game. I met her when I was coming out of the press box and introduced myself and handed her the t shirt and Subway coupon. She was so surprised and thanked me over and over with tears in her eyes. Her mother was standing next to us crying. Then it was picture time!

When you have a super star on your team, you can name them player of the game just about every time, and over the years this volleyball player had many shirts. After a volleyball match one night, she came up to me and said. “Paul, you can name someone else player of the game if you want.” I thought that was an amazing thing to do. I found out later her mother had been wearing some of them as a night shirt.

So when you’re at Neon Needles in Dawson, or Subway in Appleton, Dawson and Clara City, give them a big thank you for what they are doing. It creates memory’s for kids and families and makes people smile.

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RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS-25 YEARS!

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25 YEARS!!!

Since 1992 I have been broadcasting high school sports for KLQP radio. So that makes this year, my 25th year. I can’t even find the words to describe how I really feel about my job, and being a part of the high school sports scene. All I can say it has been absolutely so much fun and amazing.

I have met so many great people over those 25 years. Student/athletes, parents, school athletic directors, grandparents, coaches, assistant coaches, janitors, newspaper sport writers, and other radio sports broadcasters. The relationships I have built over the years with some of these people have turned into lifelong friendships.

I have so many great memories to share I could write a book, or two. I think back of how it all started for me.  I was working in our family business, had been for over 20 years at the time. Maynard Meyer the general manager of the radio station had just lost his sports broadcaster to another job. He was in a bind to have someone do the LQPV at Granite Falls boys’ basketball game.

 He knew I would be attending the game, so he called me in the afternoon and asked if I could bring the suitcase with me. I asked what he meant by “the suitcase”? Well the suitcase had all the broadcasting equipment in it. I remember blurting out a NO! Even though it had been my childhood dream to be a sports broadcaster, I said “No Maynard I can’t do that, I have never done anything like that before.” Maynard wouldn’t take no for an answer. I reluctantly said, “OK then I will do it.”

 I got to the Granite Falls gym, struggled setting up the broadcasting equipment. I remember I was relieved when I made the telephone connection to the radio station. Got the starting line ups and put the headset on for the first time and was waiting to go on the air. I thought I was going to be sick and throw up, I was so nervous.

I remember Maynard introducing me to the radio listeners and then I began broadcasting the boys’ basketball game. I don’t even remember who won the game or anything about the game. That was my very first sports broadcast and I was off and running. Each game got easier and easier to do, I felt more comfortable.

I’ve learned a lot in twenty-five years of broadcasting high school sports. Let me name a few. Always assume the microphone is live.  I thought I was at a commercial break once and said somethings that was not so nice and it went over the air. Always say nice things. Never describe female athletes as large or big girls, because some moms will ask you not to describe their daughters as big or large. Always double check where the game is to be played, once I traveled to Morris and the game was in Benson. And always go to the bathroom before you go on the air.

It’s been a fun ride and I plan on broadcasting another 25 years. I thank Maynard and Terry for giving me a chance to do something I dreamed of as a kid. I remember laying in my bed as a 12-year-old boy listening to Al Shaver broadcast Minnesota North Stars hockey, or Ray Christensen broadcast Gopher basketball and football on my AM radio. They were so good at describing what was going on and I just remember vividly saying to myself. I want to do that someday!

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RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS – REMEMBERING HOMECOMING

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Remembering Homecoming

Around the area schools have been celebrating homecoming. Homecoming has always been a pretty big deal around here. That got me thinking about my homecoming when I was in school. I remember my senior year homecoming at Madison high school very well in the fall of 1975.

I have attended many homecomings at different schools over the years of broadcasting high school sports. Lac qui Parle Valley, Dawson/Boyd, Minneota, Montevideo and Canby to just name a few. Each school does homecoming a little different and each school always has something unique in staying with traditional school activities.

The traditional high school homecoming involves a homecoming court, parade, dress up days, pep rallies, powder puff football, bands, dances. Oh and a football game, which usually is scheduled against a weaker opponent.

 I don’t know why this is, but I remember my homecoming senior year like it was yesterday. It was the fall of 1975, and a very warm day.

It started with the coronation on Monday, with the crowning of our queen Ginny Tasto. Since I was the student council president I got to count the queen votes with Mr. Glomstad the principal. So I knew a few days ahead of time who the queen was going to be. Madison didn’t crown a king then. After the coronation our class went down to the fairgrounds to build our float on a hayrack. We had lots of colored tissue paper to make the float. We covered the hay rack with chicken wire and stuffed the tissues in the chicken wire. I do not remember what the float was. I do remember loud 70’s music being played. Everyone was helping to build it and we celebrated with Ginny becoming homecoming queen. Ginny was so happy and smiling all the time.

The other big event was the homecoming parade down main street Madison. I remember how many people were on main street during the parade. The football team got to ride on top of the Madison fire trucks. Cheerleaders and the band lead the parade. Each class had a float. The parade was before the football game. I remember having so much fun during the parade.

Our football team was undefeated and unscored upon when we played the Ortonville Trojans. We were leading at halftime and shutting out the Trojans. Then Ortonville scored in the second half and ended up beating us. One of the worst losses I experienced playing high school sports. Spoiling our homecoming.

I remember going to the dance in the old gym, and of course dancing with my girlfriend, Roxie Hanson most of the night. She wouldn’t let me dance with other girls 🙂 She’s very protective 🙂 After the dance we went over to her house and watched our favorite Friday night tv show. The Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack.

Homecoming was fun and it still is. I enjoy watching the kids and fans come out and celebrate homecoming. It’s always a happy time, unless your football team gets upset in the homecoming game.

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RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS – GLIMPSE INTO GRANDPA’S LIFE

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GLIMPSE INTO GRANDPA’S LIFE

It was last winter at a basketball game that someone first mentioned to me that I should write a blog. Why should I write a blog? I asked her.  She said to me, how she enjoys following me on Facebook and all the different things and events that I do. It’s just fun to see what you’re up too and where you are.

I explained to her, that it is because of my job at the radio station that I get to meet many people and do so many different things. I finished telling her that I am not a writer, that I am a radio guy, I talk! I was flattered by the fact that someone was interested in what I was doing. It was a few weeks later that another person had said almost the same thing to me. When that happened I went home and googled ‘Blogging’.

I knew nothing about blogging, so I was surprised to find out just how big blogging is on the internet. Its huge. I do remember the movie “Julie & Julia” with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. How the character played by Amy Adams “blogged” about making a recipe from Julia Childs cookbook and blogging about her experience every day.

Then it was like God confirmed to me that I should take up blogging when a third person mentioned it to me and encouraged me a lot to do this. So in April I wrote my first blog. Brittany Haugen was instrumental in getting me started in this adventure and helped me get things set up on the internet.  My wife Roxie is my editor. Both of them have assisted me greatly in this.

 I did struggle at first. You see, I am not a writer. My English is terrible. So kids if you’re reading this pay attention in English class. I decided to give it a trial run, because I really don’t need another thing to do.  I was only going to do this for a month or two. My plan was to do two blogs a week, Wednesday and Sunday.  

What happened in those two months of the trial period was shocking and amazing to me. I fell in love with writing a blog! I’m hooked! During the trial period, I received an email from a real writer, an author of books! She said in her email how much she enjoys reading my blogs, she encouraged me, she gave me some constructive criticisms on how to improve my writing. I was so excited about that email, I printed it out and have it in my office at work. That was in April of 2017.

But the most important thing I have come to realize in my blogging, is this. I have done around 60 blogs so far, and if you print them out and put them in a folder, you have a thick book. Which I have done. One evening I was looking over all my blogs that I have written and realized that I am writing about my life, my experiences in life. Detailed things about me. My inner most thoughts, things I believe in, people I meet. What I am about.

I thought to myself what a wonderful gift this is for my own grandchildren to have. For them to read after I am long gone. Even my great-great grandchildren to read about their grandfather that they never met. I would give anything to have something like this about my grandfather, who died when I was very young and didn’t really know him. But if he would have blogged, like I’m blogging. I would know what kind of person he was, what was important to him. That would be cool.

I mentioned this to my son Brandon about a month ago, and for my 60th birthday he handed me a book. A book with all my blogs in it. I cried.

It looks so professional, like I’m a real writer. The blue cover simply says Raymo’s Rambling by Paul Raymo and on the inside of the cover it says:

Raymo’s Ramblings: A glimpse into the life of Paul Raymo

Now I blog for my grandchildren and my great grandchildren and my great great grandchildren.

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