Char Binkley has been on the radio for 35 years. Five days a week, WBCL, a Christian radio station in Fort Wayne, has a program called Mid-Morning from 9-10. Most mornings for the past 35 years, Char’s been the host.
She’s retiring. Today is her last day.
From 1985 to 1991, I worked at the college that owned the station. I was hired to teach speech and to work with the minor in broadcasting. That minor had little to do with the station, but I did start to get to know Char.
Char wasn’t only the host of a program. She spent many of those years as the General Manager of the station. What has always impressed me about the station is that it is intensely local, intensely personal, intensely social.
Here’s how I know:
In 1989, Nancy and I had a daughter. She weighed less than 5 pounds. We didn’t know she’d be born alive or be able to come home so we weren’t prepared very well. We didn’t know anything about diapers that small. Somehow, Char did. She found preemie diapers. She kept us stocked for the five weeks Kate was alive.
I know she’s said lots of things, done lots of interviews, played a lot of music, done what radio does. I know that she’s helped lots of Christian authors sell books that I’m not sure I always agree with. But I’m also pretty sure that we aren’t the only family, lost and uncertain and struggling, that Char helped.
Right now there’s justifiable concern about Christian radio people. We’re skeptical about Christian talk show hosts. And I understand. When you have to fill the air, it’s easy to say too much.
But today I want to point out one of those people who figured out how to quietly live out her words.
Video version of this post: Char and the diapers