Pictures of Elena fill me me with memories, but the sound of her voice touches me to the core. It evokes deep sense memories of her sitting close enough that she could rest her foot against my leg just to know I was still there. It brings back the feel of her in my lap as we read a story or watch a baseball game.
If you’d like, I’m ready to share a bit of Elena’s voice with you.
I decided to enter the Public Radio Talent Quest contest. This was a public contest to pick three shows that would audition for a public radio show. We were supposed to introduce ourselves in a piece that could not run more than two minutes. We were to demonstrate our hostiness.
And so I thought about my background in radio and where it had started. I have always found radio to be magic. More magic than television. My first appearance on radio was when I was six. I read the weather and original poetry about dinosaurs on a show hosted on the local college radio station by the son of my first grade teacher.
When she was six, Elena had recorded an ad for Mrs. Eagleton. She wasn’t in Mrs. Eagleton’s class yet but she knew she would be.
Every year the second grade runs the Boulevard candy company. The kids sell stock in the company to raise money for the raw ingredients. They then take orders from the other classes so they know how much of each item is needed. Then they melt chocolate down and mold it into suckers and other shapes. They collect the money for the orders and fulfill the orders and pay dividends on the stock.
Elena came up to my office one day and recorded a commercial for the Boulevard Candy company. I love the raw take that she did but I also edited it into a thirty second commercial.
It is the last recording I have of her before she died.
I decided to lead off my piece with her voice. My piece was about me and radio, but it was also about parenting. My daughter was on it and my parents were on it. People who voted on the entry didn’t know that Elena had died shortly after the recording. I didn’t want to get sympathy votes. I didn’t move on to the next round but I was voted in the top one hundred of the fourteen hundred entries.
You can listen to it at http://www.publicradioquest.com/node/502
It is called “With a push from Elena.”
Note: I have dated this entry April 28, 2007 because that was the day I submitted the entry. I have waited to post this link until after the contest was over.