Jim Scott is living like a kid since retiring from radio last March: Sleeping in. Going on long hikes or rides in his Gator on his farm. Looking for arrowheads in creeks. Trying to figure out what he’s going to do the rest of his life.
That’s what he told me when I visited him recently at his Dearborn County farm to invite him to come on WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition” talk show Wednesday, and interview him for this story and for the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cincinnati newsletter.
We talked about everything. And you can talk to him too, when he’s a guest on WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition” call-in show at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Scott lives with his wife Donna on a 132-acre farm across the road from Perfect North Slopes. Until last March, he had been heard since 1968 on old WSAI-AM, YES95, WINK94.1 and WLW-AM (except for year at New York’s WNBC-AM). Here’s what we talked about:
What have you been up to?
Remember when you were a little boy, and you’re down there on your haunches looking in creeks? Our farm goes way, way back. It’s all hilly, and there are creeks and streams. So Donna and I go out there in the Gator, and every time after all this rain, we have found these points or arrowheads on our property. It’s cool. Some of these are thousands of years old.
Playing more golf?
Yes, I am. But it doesn’t mean you get better! The last year of working, I got to play once a week if I was lucky. Now in good weather, I can get out and play a couple times a week, and every once in a while three times.
Are you sleeping in?
Yeah! I sleep in until 6. Before it was 2:30 a.m. That’s the No. 1 benefit. I started delivering morning papers when I was 13, and now I’m 73. So I was getting up at 2:30 long enough…. I’m getting 8 hours of sleep. For years I would get 4 or 5 hours. So I really have been sleep deprived for a long period of time, you know, and that’s not a good thing.
Are you keeping busy?
I’m trying to figure out how to deal with people who ask: “Are you keeping busy?” I appreciate it when people ask, “Are you enjoying retirement?” But I don’t know why they ask, “Keeping busy?” I guess they figure maybe you’re bored or something. But being married to Donna, you can’t be bored. She’s funny when she wakes up. And I get up first.
You get up first?
It’s really sweet that I have solitude for a little while early in the morning. When I was working, I always had to know what in the heck was going on… Usually what I do, even if it’s cold, I go outside. I don’t know if you look at the stars much, but there’s been a great conjunction here of stars, and maybe Jupiter or Venus. It’s so nice and quiet out here. I just love going outside and checking things out.
And then I’ll normally go online and check the weather and the news, and see what’s going on. I have a different view of the information that I look for now. I can sort of choose what I’m interested in reading about.
Looks like you’re staying in shape?
I’m lucky that I’m in good shape. That was one of the main reasons that I quit. I’m in good physical shape, but I was finding it very difficult to go to the gym and work out. I was getting up at 2:30, and going till 2:30 in the afternoon, and there was no time. You’re worn out. Now I’m getting 8 hours of sleep and working out. I go to the gym three times a week, to Elite Fitness SEI in Lawrenceburg. Donna and I run. I’m running 5Ks, and I ran the 10K Thanksgiving Day race. And we hike. We really exercise.
You’re still doing commercials on WLW?
I go in every other Tuesday, and that seems to work out pretty well…. One of the main responsibilities I felt to the radio station was to help them retain revenue. What I mainly hear from people is “I miss your in the morning.” That doesn’t mean people don’t continue to listen to the station. But I also know they like hearing my voice on the commercials.
After 46 years, do you miss doing a morning radio show?
I don’t. Here’s a very clear statement, and it surprises me: I do not miss getting up at 2:30 a.m. to do a radio show. I do not miss that at all. That surprises me a little bit.
Can you be lured out of retirement by a radio station?
No, I don’t think so.
Even if Randy Michaels drove a Brink’s truck filled with cash to your farmhouse?
Nah, nah, I’m not interested in doing that. I’m not opposed to doing some bits on the radio once in a while, but I truly could do those from anywhere.
Are you still involved with non-profits?
I’ve been involved with things since I came to town. I was part of the group that started the March of Dimes walk, back when it was 25 miles. I actually went to the first CET Action Auction. I arrived (at WSAI-AM) in March of ’68, and the first auction was a week or 2 later. After years and years on the United Way board and the executive committee, I have been with the Dearborn-Ohio Counties United Way for five or six years. I was just asked to be, along with the president, the connection to the big board. So I’ve got a whole schedule of meetings on Reading Road. And I was chairman of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
My favorite day of the year is Opening Day, and being in that Findlay Market parade. So I called Neil Luken last spring and volunteered to be part of the committee and help out. I intend to be in the parade.
It sounds a bit hokey, but my passion is to make people feel good and to recognize them. I miss the platform I had to go on the radio and give people some recognition of what they’re doing, and make them really feel good. I did that all the time. That’s what I miss.
I’m keeping my eyes open for something. I don’t want to go to board meetings every Thursday. But there are ways I can dip in and help out.
Could anyone out there use a little help from Good Old Jim Scott?
(You can call in and talk with Jim Scott on 91.7 WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition” 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.)