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February 23, 2017 - Clayton Rye
Art Bell was king of talk radio 20 years ago. But not the talk radio you may be thinking of that is heard during the day. His domain was the early morning hours and for anyone living in the Central Time zone, he could be heard from midnight to four a.m., five nights a week. His show ran for around 10 years, but he was hitting his stride in the late 1990s. His shows covered many topics but, once again, not the topics of day time talk radio. His favorite subjects were UFOs, remote viewing, climate change, near-death experiences, and other subjects that would be appreciated by people who are awake during those early morning hours such as truck drivers, security guards and insomniacs. Which one was I? I would listen for an hour or two many nights when I would wake up and then listen to something while falling back asleep. I think I was listening out of curiosity because his subjects were so far out of the ordinary. Bell himself was a master of his domain and there no one else who can compare to his ability to keep a show interesting. One of his subjects that would keep me listening longer than I had planned on was the idea of time travel. He had people who would call in claiming they were time travelers and maybe were building a machine they planned to use for time travel. The idea of being able to go back or ahead in time is not new. Science fiction and children’s books have covered that subject for most everyone. However, with Bell’s audience it was not an imaginary event, but something his callers were claiming was or soon would be happening. I remain unconvinced that it will happen not now or any time in the future. It is a fairy tale. But, I do enjoy letting my imagination go, to think if I had the opportunity to move about in time, what I would do. First, I would want to make sure it is a round trip and that I wouldn’t be stuck or left at that time. Oh, I would enjoy seeing the previous 10 or 20 thousand years on what has happened to make this piece of land we farm into what it is. I want to see the glacial period, the time of the tall grass prairie and everything that came with it. I want to see the wild life, the weather cycles, the indigenous people and how they lived. Then after that I would consider seeing the future, but not as fearlessly as I just saw the past. Seeing the future would reveal things I would prefer not to know, possibly some involving my own family. But there is one future event I do need to know. When are we going to see corn above $4 a bushel and will it ever get to $5? When will see $12 soybeans? When will the cattlemen return to profitability they can depend on? What does the future hold for the pork producers? Fortunately, Art Bell’s shows from years ago are being rerun all day, every day on Internet radio and I am a regular listener. It’s the closest thing to time travel I can find. So far.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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