click By MJ LUCAS
For as long as I can remember I have loved radio. As a little kid, I always had a radio beside my bed and would listen each night until I fell asleep. I would mimic the DJ’s and even create my own commercials from products in my Grandmother’s bathroom. I would set up a “radio studio” in my room with two turn tables and a microphone (I used a recorder flute as a microphone) and would play radio. We had several radio stations in my hometown; one was at a local shopping plaza called the Cascades. The radio station studio was enclosed in glass and I would stand there with my nose pressed against the glass watching the AP wire and watch the DJ’s work as I dreamed.
As a child, radio was an escape and a chance to get away from all the bad things that were going on. Starting at the age of 6 years old I was being abused. By listening to the radio I could go anywhere in the world and I felt safe.
Through all I’ve been through as a child, I never seemed to lose hope. My sweet grandmother and great grandmother, made sure that I went to Church, was baptized and confirmed. My faith and hope is what saved me.
At the age of 14 I started working at a western and English tack and apparel store. I worked there andended up managing the store and purchasing advertising from our local country radio station. (The same radio station that as a small child I use to complain about how they played only twangy old music and would change the channel.) One day, while talking with the radio station salesperson, I mentioned how my dream had always been to work in radio and be an on air personality. She said “really”, and mentioned to me that there was an opening at WMOP radio and that I should audition. I did and the rest is history!
I was with WMOP for 10 years and during that last year my mother had a brief battle with cancer. After she passed in 1996, I realized that God had new plans for me. I was encouraged by a friend living in Middle Tennessee to visit. Little did I know that this was the next big step I would take in my life. Prior to my Mother getting sick and passing away, I don’t think I would have ever considered moving or leaving Florida. It seemed like a “God moment”.
Just like radio, I felt like God was opening up another door. I didn’t know what it was, I just had faith. Well, it WAS a God thing. After visiting and then making the move to Nashville I started working in TV for a short while before I stumbled across an awesome radio station that reminded me of home. WANT FM 98.9 / WCOR AM 1490. Our station in Florida was also a Real Country radio affiliate. I picked up the phone and talked with the owner, Susie, about coming in for a station tour and the rest is history. God knew better than I that Tennessee and a place called Wilson County would be a great place for this Florida girl to heal and grow.
I was still hurting over the years of abuse and neglecting myself as I was neglected as a kid. This year I turned 50 and it clicked for me. I needed to take better care of myself. A friend of mine asked me to take part in Lean in Lebanon at Sports Village. I went, but not with out a lot of “moaning and groaning and kicking and screaming.” With that, I got into working out and eating better, making drastic changes in my eating habits and my life. I feel so much better and to date, I’ve lost 43 pounds. And recently I signed up to participate in a an event called Warrior Dash – the World’s largest obstacle race series on the some of the most rugged terrain in more than 50 locations across the globe. As a participant, I will be racing across a fierce 3-4 mile course and will take on 12 extreme obstacles. By the way, this event supports one of my favorite causes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
It’s been a journey and I’m glad that my journey landed me in Lebanon/Wilson County. The people have welcomed this Florida girl with open arms and given her more than they know. Tennessee is home!
Today, my ministry is using my voice through radio, social media, and being a part of many great events in Wilson County as an emcee and volunteer. I have been involved with many great organizations like New Leash on Life, Relay for Life, Go Johnny Go, City of Lebanon Beautification Commission, March of Dimes Foundation, Cannonballs for Charis, Brooks House, just to name a few. I am a member of Faith Lutheran Church here in Lebanon and I always try to step up when I feel my voice can make a difference.
I have two awesome furry babies, Brewster and Truffles, who are my best buddies! I have been in radio since1986 and am going into my 28th year of doing what I love. I also love the outdoors and spend a lot of time on the water on my boat named “Lucky Dog”. I love to visit the beach as often as I can and I love, love, love, those Florida Gators! (Go GATORS!) That little girl from Maricamp Road in Ocala, Florida has come a long way. I love life and love to laugh! I am thankful for each and every day. With the Grace of God, I truly am living the “Good Life!”
MJ lives each day by her favorite bible verse:
Matthew 17:20; Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (And she wears a Mustard Seed, given to her by a childhood friend as a reminder)