By Rick Kaempfer
Sixteen years ago I was working in radio; part of the John Records Landecker show on WJMK in Chicago. We constantly discussed our personal lives on the air, so when my wife Bridget became pregnant with our first child, her pregnancy was closely followed on the air. We played the audio of the ultrasound heartbeat, we had Bridget in the studio and created a plaster cast of her pregnant belly, and of course, on the day of the birth, it was expected that I call from the delivery room as soon as possible.
That call came exactly sixteen years ago today. The participants in the phone call were John Landecker, his co-host Vicki Truax, and yours truly. This is the transcript of that call…
John: Oldies 104.3 WJMK, It’s 12 minutes after 6:00 with John Records Landecker and Vicki Truax. The hotline…the private line…is ringing. Hello.
Rick: I’m a papa.
(Loud cheering and whooping in the studio)
Vicki: A girl or a boy?
Rick: A boy.
Vicki: I KNEW IT!!! What’s his name?
Rick: Thomas Peter.
Vicki: What time?
Rick: 4:06 a.m.
John: Wow. How’s everybody doing?
Rick: Everyone is fine.
Vicki: Bridget is fine too? Is she exhausted?
Rick: Yup, she’s holding Thomas right now.
John & Vicki: Awwwww.
Rick: 7 pounds, 3 ounces.
John & Vicki: Awwwww.
Rick: And I recorded the entire thing on Digital audio tape.
Vicki: You’re kidding? She didn’t make you turn it off?
Rick: No. I had it put in a nice place where it didn’t get in anyone’s way.
John: We’ve got Thomas’ birth on tape.
Rick: Yup. And we got his first bath on tape too, and his first cry.
John: Something tells me we better get more tape. OK, here’s his first eyelid opening. Better get that on tape. We’re going through his first toll…let’s get that on tape. Hey Rick, don’t you just want to…
John, Vicki & Rick: Hug and kiss them all the time?
(That was something Vicki said so often about her daughter it was a running joke on the show)
Rick: He is so damn cute.
John & Vicki: Awwwwww.
Rick: Wait a second…is he crying? Hold on.
Sound: A tiny baby cry can be heard.
John: Is that him?
Rick: Yup. His on-air debut.
Rick: He’s got some lungs on him.
John: That kid sounds like he’s two years old.
Rick: Yeah, he’s got good pipes.
John: Does he want to come in and do a few record talkovers?
Vicki: How long is he?
Rick: 21 inches.
John: So what was it like?
Rick: It was so cool. It was just like the movie “Alien.” The baby kind of popped out and looked around. Then he jumped up and sucked my eyes out…
John & Vicki: (Laughing)
John: Then Siguorney Weaver came in with some sort of a mechanical device. It was unbelievable.
Vicki: You guys. Is he all wrinkly. Does he have hair?
Rick: Yeah, he does have hair. That was the first thing we saw. I asked the nurse…ewww…what is that? That’s his hair. Oh.
John: Did you get it on tape?
Rick: Of course. Uh, oh. I have to go. We need to take Bridget up to the recovery room.
Vicki: You’re still in the delivery room?
Vicki: That’s dedication.
John: How many calls have you made so far?
Rick: This is my second call. I called my mom first.
John: Wow. Well take care of everyone.
John & Vicki: Bye.
John: There they go. Dad Rick, Mom Bridget and now Thomas Kaempfer.
Vicki: I kind of liked the other name Rick was talking about before.
John: I don’t think Bridget was ever going to agree to Ringo.