"Radio Rocks at El Rancho" – by Georgia I. Hesse

“Radio Rocks at El Rancho”

by Georgia I. Hesse

The technology of the future and the atmosphere of the past both were present at the January 19 BATW meeting in Millbrae’s El Rancho Inn & Suites, when members Tom Wilmer and Jules Older attempted to explain the uses of today’s radio and social media to enhance our production of print.
Do you get that? Well, I do; sort of.
Anyone who has watched Tom scamper around Finnish Lapland, bringing Christmas and Santa Claus to life right on the computer screen in living color (and sound), will appreciate his use of voice-over intros, transitions, and segues, not to mention “multi-track recordings that include capturing on-location sounds for use as under-bed and sound bites.”
Is that clear? Well, it was as Tom told it.
Then Jules shook us through the tectonic shift (and it certainly seems so) from the Gutenberg Era to the Digital Age, using the “old media” of radio “to talk about untalk,” in his clever styling.
Did we learn anything? I think so, now, and I was certain of it at the time.
Jules even had the temerity to tackle the testy question of monetization, an essential concept expressed in a word-wrinkle I pretty much despise.
Old-fashioned hospitality stepped up in the person of Art Schwass, general manager of El Rancho (an outpost of Best Western Plus), who welcomed members to a spirit-warming luncheon in the Terrace Café and invited us to participate in the inn’s inventive “car storage program” for guests flying out of and into SFO.
And then we left…but not before standing for a moment in the shade of the two tall redwood trees near the café’s entrance that commemorate the signing of the 1775 Spanish land grant for El Rancho’s ancestral lands. (The inn itself was born in 1949.)
T.S. Eliot whispered in my ear as I turned my car onto El Camino Real: “Time present and time past/ Are both present in time future/ And time future contained in time past.”


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