“Hey, Folks! Do You Remember When Miami was HAP-Happy?”, Aug. 10,1953. “Paul’s Safari into Miami’s History”

GIVEN HALF a chance, (and if you take your eyes of ’em for even a second), certain especially peppy pelicans full of “the business ” will get in tight with the bartender, before you even know it, and then there’s no telling what might happen!
(Any UM alumnus will confirm the bona fides of this unlikely yet fantastical assertion, though their experience tends focus upon a certain cocky ibis who might bring “Popeye” to mind.)
Here’s both a case in point, and an especially wonderful example, because in a sense the Miami Beach radio station W.I.O.D. (“Wonderful Isle ‘o Dreams”) has been with Miami since close to its emergence as a “real” city, having literally (and in every other way) taken its place as an indelible aspect of the Miami experience with its first broadcast on Jan.18, 1926.
A few months later, when the terrible “Miami Hurricane” came barreling in off the dark tumultuous sea quite unexpectedly, around the midnight hour of Sept. 18, 1926 , wreaking utter havoc, the station’s spindly towers went down with the city.
But only for two days; and you’d best believe some awfully hard work and plenty of creative ingenuity were invested in that effort, because they knew there were any number of souls out there (in many cases now homeless, and more than a few in utter shock, become quite mad with grief), who craved nothing quite so much as the sound of a human voice, one of their own, better still, demanding nothing of them, nor asking any questions. Just a calm radio voice to remind them how things had once been, only hours before. To cool them down, and offer some comfort.
So, will we begrudge an especially Peppy Pelican his hour of light-headed joy? You know we won’t. More likely we’ll say “You GO!, bird!, and God bless you and your station, because you have wept with us, shared the moments of high celebration, and kept quite a variety of interesting human voices coming our way, for over 90 years now.
So remember, folks: Have yourselves a HAP-happy day!
We all could sure use one!
Thank you.

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