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Moving here #3

By on May 23, 2021 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Michael Cross has spent his working life in radio.

Michael Cross: Hearing the siren call of radio in hard-to-pronounce Wenatchee

 By Linda Reid

How does someone who grew up, lived, and worked in Iowa end up in his late 50s living and working in Wenatchee? 

Michael Cross’ hometown in Iowa is a place that will always be close to his heart, but in his thoughts, there was something that whispered, “I kinda wanta leave here.” 

Opportunity knocked when he lost his job and could see the end of unemployment compensation heading his way. 

Michael has spent his entire working life in radio, and when that is the case, it becomes part of your DNA and you need to spend the rest of your working life in radio. 

He had always wanted to come West, at least for a visit to see a daughter in Missoula and his sister in Spokane. He decided to apply for radio jobs posted in Seattle, Portland and Spokane, as well as a place he had never heard of called Wenatchee (which he couldn’t even pronounce). 

He doesn’t fly but loves a good road trip, so when he was asked to come to Wenatchee for an interview, he hit the road. After visiting family along the way, he was very surprised at what the east side of the “Evergreen State” looked like. 

Where were the mountains and trees? But as he approached the Wenatchee Valley, he was thrilled to see the change of scenery. 

He was also thrilled to be hired, so his wife joined him on this “moving here” adventure and found a job that she also enjoyed. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned and he was out of work again nine months later. By January of 2020 he had not found another job in radio yet. 

Then bad went to worse for Michael.

Out of nowhere he lost vision in his right eye from a mini-stroke.

While diagnosing this problem, doctors discovered that Michael had lung cancer. Surgery removed the cancer and it appeared he was going to fully recover. Missing family and friends, he decided to drive to Iowa for a visit before looking for another job out West. 

While he was in Iowa, he was involved in a life-threatening car accident, which put him in the hospital with several broken vertebrae. During his treatment it was determined that his lung cancer had returned and attacked the suture line of his previous surgery. 

After returning to Wenatchee, without seeing a very hopeful future for himself, he did find a radio job at Sunny FM, which he is still enjoying. He had previously met the owner of the station, Dave Herald, who recognized the “radio DNA” and skill set in Michael and offered him part-time work. 

Michael and his medical team are still making decisions for “What’s next?” 

Michael wants to stay right here in Wenatchee where he loves the easy winters (compared with Iowa’s), the dry heat of the summers (compared with Iowa), and the majestic beauty of this part of the country (compared with Iowa). 

His life expectancy may yet be undetermined, but his enthusiasm for life, relationships, music, radio, and a cold, dark beer are full of hope and positivity.

Linda Reid is a regular contributor to The Good Life and loves to share her own adventures and interesting stories of others who have found good living in NCW. Her Husband Ken contributes his photography skills. 

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