Janice Ockershausen, and host Andy Ockershausen, on scheduling Joe Theismann as a guest~
“And don’t forget, speaking of Charles, we’ve had Charles Mann, we’ve had Shawn Springs, we’ve had Mark Moseley. We’re hoping to get Joe Theismann so if anybody knows Joe Theismann and can get us Joe Theismann for Season 4 that’d be much appreciated.”
How and Why Our Town?
Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, this is Andy Ockershausen. I think back to that wonderful, beautiful summer day we were driving down to Rehoboth Delaware to visit some very dear friends for a weekend and Janice said to me, “Honey we’re losing touch and we’re losing track of a lot of good things going on. Why don’t we do a podcast about Washington?” I said, “What is a podcast?” That was the first time, Ken, I ever heard that word, podcast.
I know it had been in our vocabulary somewhere, but I hadn’t paid attention to it. Janice started me thinking and made my life, we have really established something that I never thought possible and that was we started all over again. Radio without a transmitter.
Janice Ockershausen: We liked the idea of the intimate one on one conversation between two friends, whether it’s at a bar or over dinner that you haven’t seen somebody in a while. So that concept of sharing a relationship with either people you know or people you used to know or people you want to come to know.
Andy Ockershausen: Well the thing that made it so possible was your ingenuity in planning this and planning WMAL in the picture. But because of my years in the business and because of all the people I’ve come in contact with it was easy for me to talk to people because I knew so much about them, maybe things they didn’t think that we knew about, but we knew about. The other side of it is they were comfortable with it because they knew who I am and who I was and who I am now is you.
Janice Ockershausen: Well a lot of the people that we talked to over Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3 we’ve had relationships with. You’ve lived through the news stories with people. We had Maurice Cullinane on in Season 1. You lived through the … It was just the 50th anniversary of the Resurrection City and the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
Andy Ockershausen: Well and being part of what happened and the shooting at the Blair House because of WMAL, way back where I was fortunate enough to start at WMAL and live through all of these things and all these talented people. People in the audience would come and say, oh I know your name because I hear it, I hear it on Harden and Weaver. I hear it on Trumbull and Core. Occasionally Ken Beatrice will talk about you. I hear you during the Redskin games, they drop your name in. So, I was known as WMAL without being a performer.
WMAL Always a Breaking News Channel
Janice Ockershausen: Still to this day people come up to you and say, “What’s going on with WMAL?” It’s been what? 30 some years.
Andy Ockershausen: Who was it that was just asking me the other day? He said, you’re the radio guy? I said yeah. He said, I used to-
Janice Ockershausen: That was your doctor.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah and I said, this is my wife Janice Iacona. He said, oh I know that name. I remember listening to Harden and Weaver talk about Janice. I mean this was out of the blue.
Janice Ockershausen: Right. I guess the biggest compliment I ever had being the producer for the Harden and Weaver show was an operator, I was calling 411 for information. Or somebody was calling to find out, getting my phone number and they said, “Oh you mean Janice Iacona? The one that works for Harden and Weaver?” So that was the C&P operator I think that it was. So that was my biggest-
Andy Ockershausen: That wasn’t about the Air Florida crash was it?
Janice Ockershausen: No the Air Florida crash was something we both lived through.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Janice Ockershausen: At WMAL in the news room. Harden and Weaver were taking a trip to the Casa Marina to do our remote, I think we had to do a week down there.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Janice Ockershausen: In the dead of winter.
Andy Ockershausen: Cold!
Janice Ockershausen: Yeah. And it was the day before we were going to leave, I think, January 19th that the Air Florida airplane crashed into the bridge. We had gotten the story first.
Andy Ockershausen: Well yeah and you had the … We talked about calling the Marine Detachment-
Janice Ockershausen: Right-
Andy Ockershausen: Bolling field. Or Naval Air Station to get them to go and help what was going on there. But you were working in the newsroom at the time and we found out we had a reporter on the scene. Wasn’t it Captain Dan?
Janice Ockershausen: Captain Dan was on the scene of course because he was at the hanger-
Andy Ockershausen: Right-
Janice Ockershausen: Because he was getting ready to take off to do his traffic reports. At those times we did an airplane, we had Captain Dan. We didn’t have metro traffic. So yeah, so these are, just reliving some of these big news stories of our time.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s been possible with Our Town.
Janice Ockershausen: And the impact that we’ve had. We’ve been able to talk to news makers who have been at the scene on some of these very special and meaningful times in our history of Washington.
Andy Ockershausen: If I had a list here of all the celebrities and people, I think they were celebrities and if they weren’t we made them celebrities, but of all the people that we had guests in first Season, the second Season, I mean the hoi polloi of Washington broadcasting by far. From talent like Jim Vance, I keep referring to Jim, but go way back to Sonny. When we had Sonny and Frank, Frank Herzog was our first guest on Our Town. Those names and those people are living in our lives now and are a part of it. Maureen Bunion and the people that we know and care about in Our Town and it’s just been great.
Andy Ockershausen: Remember you said something about Washington and we came up with the name Our Town. Not YOUR town-
Janice Ockershausen: Right.
Andy Ockershausen: Somebody else it’s Our Town, it’s all part of us.
Janice Ockershausen: Some of the categories of interest that have been people we wanted to cover has been in the media as you said, Donnie Simpson and Doreen Gentzler and Jim Vance and Frank Herzog and Frank Harden. So many people-
Andy Ockershausen: Look at the age differences here.
Our Town Listeners
Janice Ockershausen: Well that’s a good point, I’m glad you brought it up because we are, our focus on Our Town is not on the millennials. Our focus and our target audience is people that are our age. People that are 50+ people who have had a vested interest in our market place, who knew WMAL. So we wanted to bring back some of the news and some of the fun and some of the nostalgia of the past that we all lived through.
Andy Ockershausen: Then we realized because of we focused on the past some of the people listening to us are young people finding out about Our Town about things they never would’ve known if they hadn’t listened to Our Town.
Janice Ockershausen: The simplicity and the convenience of having a podcast that people can listen to in the middle of the night, while they’re out for a walk, while they’re in the car, while they’re traveling, while they’re on an airplane. I think one of the, probably one of the nicest compliments I’ve had so far about our podcast is Margo Jurgensen listens to our podcast when she makes her nightly walks. We’ve heard so many people who have said that they’re fans-
Andy Ockershausen: Use it-
Janice Ockershausen: And they listen and they use it and they-
Andy Ockershausen: They find out things all the time they didn’t know about Our Town. They didn’t know about our future.
Our Town Stories of Persistence and Tenacity
Janice Ockershausen: And learning what I think is one of the coolest, I guess the coolest things to be known for is using this as an educational process because you can always learn from your elders. When you learn from your elders you’re learning without the preaching of it by listening to the podcast you can learn about persistence and tenacity. People’s experiences that might help a child of yours or a cousin or a neighbor’s kid, help you break into the business. We learned a tremendous lesson … Chip Akridge, he-
Andy Ockershausen: He’s at the Mall, he’s in the news now –
Janice Ockershausen: One of the number one builders in our city, Chip Akridge, who said he wasn’t by his own right, said he wasn’t a good student but sat in the Dean’s office-
Andy Ockershausen: Admissions-
Janice Ockershausen: The Admission’s office at Harvard Business School and would not leave the office until he got an audience with the Dean. Now you know-
Andy Ockershausen: Tenacity.
Janice Ockershausen: That is a lesson learned.
Our Town – New and Interesting Stories from Our Guests
Andy Ockershausen: He was just an admirable man for doing that. Then we had Ron Paul who he and his wife Joyce, that was the-
Janice Ockershausen: The Kidney Foundation–
Andy Ockershausen: The Kidney Foundation.
Janice Ockershausen: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: And what they have done for people. We didn’t know it existed. That this is available to the public. It’s no charge. It’s George Washington University.
Janice Ockershausen: The kidney screening, how important is that? Since it’s a deadly disease that people don’t have any indication that they have kidney problems. So Joy and Ron Paul started this kidney screening-
Andy Ockershausen: It is incredible-
Janice Ockershausen: We went through the process ourselves. So it was something that we learned and that we were interested in doing. If you look at some of the other categories and the other guests we’ve had a writer on. The very famous George Pelecanos who was the producer and the writer of The Wire.
Andy Ockershausen: An amazing man. George was a-
Want to be a Writer, Entrepreneur, Architect, Athlete, Caterer, or Executive Director of a State of the Art Museum Opening Its Doors in the Nation’s Capital? Our Town Guests Share Their Stories
Janice Ockershausen: A tremendous talent.
Andy Ockershausen: We’ve also had the great Harry Jaffe. A writer of a great experience and covers the City. He does Our Town. The things that they brought to us we wouldn’t have had if we hadn’t had this podcast.
Janice Ockershausen: Right. For example, we just had a nice conversation with Rick Hindin and he’s bringing Britches back. Britches Bespoke, that’s his new trunk shows-
Andy Ockershausen: We had him on Our Town some months ago.
Janice Ockershausen: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Now he’s back in action and just wanted to let us know that.
Janice Ockershausen: We were both laughing about this because Arthur Cotton Moore was one of our more elegant and distinguished guests. He is the City’s architect. The architect who has had so much influence-
Andy Ockershausen: Advisor. He was fabulous.
Janice Ockershausen: In Washington DC and was responsible for so many of the beautiful institutions we have in Washington DC. But we just noticed that on the cover of the Washingtonian Magazine was Arthur-
Andy Ockershausen: All about Arthur Cotton Moore.
Janice Ockershausen: So we’re trailblazers too.
Andy Ockershausen: So we had our own journalistic scoop without knowing it and not necessary because Arthur Cotton Moore is so important to Our Town. We’ve had several … How many? About 160 people, 160 some people-
Janice Ockershausen: Yes and Ken Hunter, our technical advisor-
Andy Ockershausen: A guy without –
Janice Ockershausen: No we couldn’t. He’s had to sit through the whole thing, all of it.
Ken Hunter: Couldn’t have done it without them.
Andy Ockershausen: But it’s so great.
Janice Ockershausen: We did have Tony Zeiss from the Museum of the Bible.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Janice Ockershausen: He was very interesting.
Andy Ockershausen: First time he was ever in public . . .
Janice Ockershausen: Yep, we had him on. That’s been a tremendous success.
Andy Ockershausen: Frank Harden, when you mention that people come out of the woodwork and say is Frank Harden still alive? I grew up listening to him.
Janice Ockershausen: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Frank is a big part of Our Town and we had him. His health has not allowed him to do as much as he would like, but that’s the kind of people that we’ve been able to talk with. Like the bankers and we’ve talked to the people in the city – a city councilman.
Janice Ockershausen: Oh yeah, Charles Allen.
Andy Ockershausen: Charles Allen-
Janice Ockershausen: And don’t forget, speaking of Charles, we’ve had Charles Mann, we’ve had Shawn Springs, we’ve had Mark Moseley. We’re hoping to get Joe Theismann so if anybody knows Joe Theismann and can get us Joe Theismann for Season 4 that’d be much appreciated.
Andy Ockershausen: The fourth Season he’ll do. We also had Dexter Manley.
Janice Ockershausen: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Who was an interesting guest. Far beyond football.
Janice Ockershausen: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: He brought so much more to Our Town than football. That’s what we’ve tried to stay away from athletes but we have so many friends and it happens because we were so involved in the athletic part of Our Town. That’s for baseball, football, basketball, you mentioned it. We had Charlie Brotman, the world’s most famous sportscaster.
Janice Ockershausen: Rejected by President Trump to do the Inaugural.
Andy Ockershausen: Right. Well he wasn’t … The bottom line was Trump had any more to do with that than you did. Some guy on the staff said why are we paying this guy, I’ll do it. I want to do it, instead they give Charlie the boot. He got more publicity he got out of that-
Janice Ockershausen: He got tons more publicity.
Andy Ockershausen: And he’ll milk that too. Don’t worry, babe. He’ll be there every time saying I wish I could do it.
Janice Ockershausen: From the fashion end of things, from the fashion business locally we had Ann Hand on. She was the Nation’s jeweler. Then we also had Deb Johns, which I introduced you to a new product. You had seen all these-
Andy Ockershausen: I had no idea what it was-
Janice Ockershausen: All these beautiful bags with different prints and colors in my closet. We had Deb Johns on, she’s a local entrepreneur who’s done very well.
Andy Ockershausen: Susan Lacz, is the fourth behind Ridgewells Catering. It’s a fabulous operation and Susan is a magnificent member of our community and Our Town. Ridgewells is supreme. We had also Geppetto Catering, another fabulous business.
Janice Ockershausen: Yep.
Andy Ockershausen: There’s plenty of business in this town as they both will tell you. Both of those companies are doing great and we appreciate it so much what they’ve done for Our Town.
Janice Ockershausen: So what I would recommend listener if you are interested in hearing somebody special who you either know or you think it would be of interest to us to interview for Our Town Season 4, please check our website at ourtowndc.com and make a suggestion. We’ve already got a beginning lineup for Season 4. Hopefully Joe Theismann and Ms. Hughes, Cathy Hughes from Radio One, we’re trying really hard to get Cathy.
Andy Ockershausen: Just today I had a phone call from a listener and a friend of Our Town that says we ought to have, and he’ll give me his phone number for Bob Ferry.
Janice Ockershausen: Oh yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: General Manager of the Washington Bullets and the father of Danny Ferry, maybe one of the richest men in basketball.
Janice Ockershausen: And maybe we can get Ted Leonsis.
Andy Ockershausen: We will sure try. We will try.
Janice Ockershausen: Please send your-
Andy Ockershausen: We had Irene Pollin.
Janice Ockershausen: Yes we did.
Andy Ockershausen: Abe’s wife who’s written a fabulous book about their life. She was such a great guest. She’s still active, Irene’s well into her 90s, but she’s a lovely lady and keeping the hope alive for the Wizards, maybe this year she’ll come for … She picked some people really good in the draft, that’s Irene.
Janice Ockershausen: So by the time Season 4 comes out we’ll have had a winning hockey team, Stanley Cup.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh I hope you’re right.
Janice Ockershausen: We’ll have a winning MBA team with the Wizards. The Nationals will be in the-
Andy Ockershausen: Playoffs.
Janice Ockershausen: The World Series. So these are all-
Andy Ockershausen: Just get them in the playoffs first.
Janice Ockershausen: I know.
Andy Ockershausen: The Redskins will still be alive.
Janice Ockershausen: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: The Redskins are back on WMAL, which we are so proud of. Unfortunately the magic didn’t help them this year.
Looking Forward to Season 4 – Let Us Know Who You Would Like to Hear!
Janice Ockershausen: So we’re rambling on just to tell you that we look forward to Season 4. Send us your suggestions if you’re interested and keep listening to Our Town. This is Janice Ockershausen.
Andy Ockershausen: And this is Andy Ockershausen, stay tuned.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town, Season 3. Presented by GEICO, our hometown favorite. With your host Andy Ockershausen. New Our Town episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. Drop us a line with your comments or suggestions. See us on Facebook or visit our website at ourtowndc.com. Our special thanks to Ken Hunter our technical director and WMAL radio in Washington DC for hosting our podcast. Thanks to GEICO, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.