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September 14, 2020

My Dad Calls a Radio Station in 1975

Meghan Phillips

Here is the saddest thing
I know:

That once my dad was not my dad
he was once just a guy
with a shitty apartment
in Charlotte, selling chocolate
to Southerners. A lonely Yankee
carpetbagging candy no true
belle would touch.

That alone with his receiver
he would call late-night DJs, ask
jockeys to play songs, ask them
to play “Sweet
Jane”—the long one, the live
one from Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal

That he waited
like a man
with all the nuclear codes,
a finger on the button, until
those first sharp
notes rang out.