My brother and I have been doing our radio show, Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers for over three years.
We started doing our hour-long show every Friday morning at 11am in February of 2017. The studio at Lumpen Radio in the always sunny neighborhood of Bridgeport on Chicago’s south side made for a welcoming home.
In early 2017 our friends at Lumpen were just starting broadcasting a few months earlier. We asked if they were interested in having a couple of old guys who had been in the Movement our entire lives host a show of political talk.
They didn’t say yes right away. We had to audition. They asked us to do a pilot.
I guess it went well because we kept going every week with activists, progressive politicians, radicals and revolutionaries, film makers, artists, poets, singers, alderwomen and aldermen, communists, socialists, some nationally known, others we introduced, future mayors, aspiring congresswomen, union presidents and rank and file organizers, intrepid reporters, and old friends coming on as guests.
We tried looking at the whole world through the lens of two veteran Chicago activists.
And we had fun doing it.
Like everything else, it all changed with the coronavirus. We couldn’t do the show in-studio at Lumpen anymore. We tried doing our shows on Zoom, but it didn’t feel right, despite the best efforts of station manager Jamie Trecker and our great producer, Annie Klein.
We always liked the idea of a group of activists and thinkers sitting face to face in a room having a conversation like we were hanging out, unscripted and certainly not some Q&A interview show.
We hated doing it on Zoom. It just never felt right.
After taking a four week break this summer while the station ran some of our old shows, we have decided to extend the break longer.
Maybe we will do some more podcasts now and then. Just not on the radio.
Both of us will remain as a constant presence on social media with our blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
We will continue making what contributions we can to the movements for social justice.
The folks at Lumpen have made it clear that we are welcome back when we get on the other side of the pandemic.
Thanks to Ed Marszewski, Jamie Trecker, Annie Klein, Logan Bay and all the producers we’ve had over three years
I will continue to remember the friendly advice that station manager Jamie always gave at the start of the show as he was leaving the studio. “Don’t fuck up, Fred!”