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Talking to Darryl about love

Posted on 15 February 2013

After making subpar radio by talking to more people than I should have, I’m happy to report that I’ve now done the opposite. I’m teaching an intern a little bit about my job right now, and on Wednesday I took him out to observe streeters-  that little segment where a reporter goes out and talks to a bunch of people about some topic or another.

Given that it was just before Valentine’s Day, I thought something love-themed might work. I started with “Do you believe in love?” which was a mistake because the answers were “yes” or “no” and the follow-up of “why?” got vague responses. So then I went with “What is love?” I don’t know if this question would have worked, because the first person I ran into was Darryl. He answered the question, but then I asked him “Have you ever been in love?” What followed was one of my favourite conversations I’ve ever had.

Darryl is not a guy I would normally encounter. He’s an unemployed long-haul driver on disability who spends much of his time on the street. I might pass him while walking, but probably not talk to him. And even if I did talk to him, it probably wouldn’t be a conversation about the nuances of love and loss.

This is what I love about my job and radio at its best: whether I’m the person with the microphone or part of the audience listening at home, it gives me an opportunity to drop in on great conversations with people I don’t normally talk to. Usually it’s artists, scientists, politicians and leaders. But it’s even more powerful when it’s someone like Darryl. I’m glad he talked to me, and I hope he and his girlfriend have a great dinner tonight.

Here’s the interview.

Filed under: journalism, radio

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