The time is 8:30 am as Matt Melvin, 34, gets dropped off in front of the Lorain County Community College College Center by Our Lady of the Wayside. He gets off the ramp and pushes the handicap door opener button to enter the school.
Melvin rolls, not walks to the sometimes vacant Duck Radio station, unless Timothy Bradley, Production Manager for the station is there working. Melvin would then use another handicap door opener to enter the station with the goal of being the best of his profession even though he has cerebral palsy, a disorder that he had since birth; causing him to have incapacitated muscle coordination. Melvin has complete feelings of his legs and he doesn’t let his disability or paralysis get in his way of his job.
“I don’t let that get me down,” Melvin said about his disability. “I adapt to whatever I have to do to get the job done.”
“If I let that get to me, then I cannot accomplish my goals of being the best of my field,” he said. “I might be in a wheelchair, but I still have the goals of being the best possible person I can be in the media field or anything that I’ve been getting to do.”
Originally, Melvin wanted to be a sports broadcaster. At his alma mater Elyria High School, he was the M.C. (Master of Ceremonies) at their pep rallies, public addressing jobs for junior varsity football games and a Senior Night for the Elyria High School football team.
Ron Jantz, a current LCCC faculty member, former sports reporter and anchor for WKYC-TV Channel 3 convinced Melvin to attend LCCC to pursue his dreams of being a sports broadcaster.
“He (Jantz) was big in my career, because on top of before I came here and became a student, I also decided that I was gonna come into radio,” Melvin said. “That was actually made a decision when I was a junior in high school.”
“I knew I wanted to go into sports so my decision was made to come to Lorain County Community College,” He said. “Ron Jantz actually helped me get some internships on top of my college education and I started working for WOBL in Oberlin as their Friday Night reporter and Editor for Friday night football.”
During his time at WOBL, Melvin still worked at Duck Radio and was promoted to the promotions manager by Dee Gross, Advisor of The Duck. He held that position for over a decade. In March of 2017, Melvin was again promoted to Station Manager, because the former station manager Bernie Kimpal sudden passing, because of a blood clot. A death that he and his co-workers were “still trying to wrap his head around it” at the time, according to Kerri Klatt from The Collegian.
Current Duck Radio personality Frank “The Godfather” Anselmo was retired before going to station and continued to pursue his long delayed broadcasting career at LCCC.
“I was inspired in the beginning,” Anselmo said in reminisce to his first encounter with Melvin. “Because I saw a person who had a handicap and also Tim (Bradley) and I said ‘wow.’”
Melvin and Anselmo sit down every week; take one of the two radio shows that Anselmo hosts on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning and review the show in an attempt to make improvements on it in the future. They listen to Anselmo’s breaks, the way he speaks like looking for stutters and using uuhhs. Melvin is willing to talk to his students about their mistakes, offer suggestions and will be patient to his pupils. Anselmo said that Melvin is training us to be radio versions of famous painter Pablo Picasso by using theater of the mind, which is making radio as vivid as possible.
“I am totally inspired by both of these men,” he continued. “Who get up every morning, go to the studio and never really think about what they have to go through every day to get here. It’s a challenge.”
Coming soon in January, according to Anselmo, Duck Radio will be changing their name to “The Boom.” The date has not been officially announced.
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