After leaving Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in December, 1979 we packed up again and moved to the small, western New York town of Middleport. Actually, we weren’t in town at all but rather stuck out in the boonies in a house that sat on 4 acres of land. The first thing I noticed about this part of the country in winter was the amount of snow that seemed to fall every day. My dad hired a guy to keep our driveway cleared and soon there was what seemed like a mountain range of snow lining each side which lasted well into spring. Being a gravel driveway we endlessly picked rocks out of the grass that were packed in the snow after it finally melted. A friend had a skating pond in his backyard complete with lights, goals and plenty of extra skates for whoever wanted to join in on some pond hockey. One time, the woods across the street from our house flooded and then quickly froze allowing us to skate through the trees. I followed the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid closely as the USA hockey team and Eric Heiden provided unforgettable moments. These childhood memories are probably why I enjoy winter so much. The more it snows, the better mood I’m in.
A couple years after moving here, I met a friend who was an American Top-40 chart geek. He would listen to Casey Kasem’s countdown every week and write them all down in his meticulous handwriting. If he was ever unable to listen to the show his dad would drive him to the newsstand to pick up a copy of Billboard so he could hand copy the Top-40. His dad also had a large record collection--Bad Company, Devo, Black Sabbath, The Cars, Styx and the Woodstock Soundtrack were a few that I remember. It was around this time I started to listen to the radio...mostly WGRQ/WGRF, WPHD, CHUM FM, WUWU and, for the hits of the day, WNYS.