Hello, my 14-year-old son LOVES 98.5 FM. It's the only station he wants to listen to in the van. We went on vacation recently. He tried 98.5 FM in other markets and was disappointed it wasn't country. He has autism and has trouble communicating. Any chance I could buy a 98.5 FM t-shirt for him? He would be over the moon excited. Let me know. Thank you!
I received a message from one of the DJs asking about Isaac’s shirt size. I assumed he would get back to me about the cost.
Instead I received this message along with directions to the studio:
We have a K-98.5 prize pack waiting for you at the front office. We hope your son enjoys it. We have a shirt for him as well as a couple more items. Let us know what time you are thinking of coming over. Maybe we can show him the studio if we are still in the office.
Wasn’t that the nicest surprise? I thanked him and said how much I appreciated the station’s generosity. I was so touched by the gesture.
I wasn’t looking for a freebie. I hoped to buy a shirt for my son, and I wanted 98.5 FM to know how much Isaac loves listening to their station. Getting a shirt would be a dream come true for this country music fan.
Isaac proudly says, “K 98.5 FM” each time it’s announced on the radio. He loves to repeat the station identification.
He listens to the music when we’re driving. He listens to the music when he’s sitting in the van in the garage, waiting for his dad to come home from work. He listens in the basement when he turns on our old boom box, a relic from the early 1990s. Sometimes when Isaac hangs out in the basement, he plays the Wii, watches YouTube videos about elevators, and listens to 98.5 FM – all at the same time. If he’s feeling a little crazy, he’ll turn on the fan, too.
Although it's difficult for him to relax, the country music station seems to transport him to his “happy place.”
Friday morning I drove the boys downtown to the radio station to pick up the goods. We took an elevator, one with a shiny gold interior that reflected our images, to the third floor of the office building. I could barely get Isaac out of the elevator and into the radio station to claim his t-shirt.
The only thing Isaac loves more than country music is an elevator.
While I was explaining to the woman at the front desk about Isaac’s infatuation with 98.5 FM, he ran out of the office and stood by the elevator, pressing buttons so it would return to the third floor. We weren’t at the station long enough to inquire about a tour, and that was fine – we weren’t sure the DJs were in the studio. Isaac preferred the elevator anyway.
As we stood out in the hallway and looked at our prizes, it was obvious Isaac had hit the jackpot. He now owns a 98.5 FM t-shirt, koozie, and hat. He smiled as he put his finger on the words and read the tagline aloud: “98.5 FM, Continuous Country Favorites.”
A few days ago while we were doing errands, we were listening to the radio. Isaac belted out the lyrics to the song “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer.” He sang about not being the type of person to work in a bank or to make motors crank. He sang loudly that he was pretty good at drinkin’ beer.
I looked at him, and he was grinning from ear to ear. As so many situations do, it seemed hilarious and strange and shocking.
How did he know the words to this song?
I can’t imagine him drinking anything stronger than diluted apple juice. (Do all moms think like this?)
I doubt Isaac will ever drink beer, much less be pretty good at drinkin’ it, but I’ve been wrong before.
After all, I never envisioned him as a country music fan.
There are so many things I don't know about him -- his hopes and dreams, for instance.
Maybe he’ll work in a bank?
Maybe he’ll make motors crank?
Maybe he’ll drink a cold one at the end of the work day with his buddies?
The possibilities are endless. We don’t know what lies ahead.
One thing is for sure: whatever he does, he'll do it with gusto.
I imagine Isaac several years from now, sitting with friends and listening to country music. He’s legal age, and he’s holding his 98.5 FM koozie. After all these years, it’s still keeping the beer cold.
Isaac’s wearing his radio station paraphernalia and has grown into his oversized t-shirt. He’s decided to wear cowboy boots because they’re easy to put on and take off. (No cumbersome shoestrings to tie.)
He’s telling his friends about his day at work. He's able to relax for a few minutes while they’re sharing some laughs. He’s singing along with the music on 98.5 FM. He’s happy.
To my surprise, he’s pretty good at drinkin’ beer, just like the song says. And he looks good doing it.
Thanks again, 98.5 FM, for making a boy's dream come true.