The Long Distance Dedication

In the 80’s, Casey Kasem hosted a radio show called American Top 40, which played the songs from the top 40 song list of the week. The show, that aired Sunday mornings, included information about the song or artist and sometimes he would interview an artist directly or play sound bites of a recorded interview.

Each Sunday, as part of the countdown, there was a segment called The Long Distance Dedication. During this portion of the show, Casey Kasem read a letter from a listener, whom often shared a story about the importance of a song to the listener and their their special someone, friend or relative. Often the letter included a little story or history of the listener and their loved one. Sometimes the dedications were to family members who passed away.

What made this portion of the show special, is because everyone did not have internet, email, social media, smart phones or cell phones. We simply had a land line to connect to people who did not live in close proximity to us.

This portion of the radio show was a unique way to show love or gratitude to someone and it was a moment for the audience to connect to the listener because elements of their story echoed the story of the larger audience.

This weekly show from the 80’s came to mind because of a sweet news report I came across which points to the importance of connection.

A Connecticut man celebrated his 67 wedding anniversary outside the nursing home where his wife lives. Why was he outside the home? He is unable to step inside the nursing home because COVID-19 brought the nursing home to close its doors to outside visitors for the health and safety of a vulnerable population. So, this man did the next best thing and got as close to his wife as he could to celebrate their special day.

Our need for both community and connection is reveling itself to us with each passing day as we experience social distancing.

During times like these, wellness checks are very important. Check in in with yourself by tuning into your breath. Check in with your friends, as many as you can. Even check in on the friends, whom you have a strained relationship with. Make sure to check in on your strong friends too, while they are strong, they are still human and get anxious and scared too.

Stay strong. Stay connected. Take care.