In this picture from 2008, Program Director R.C. McBride interviews then Gov. Rod Blagojech at the Democratic National Convention. (WJBC File Photo)
By Steve Brienen
Sometime in the year 2000 around June or July I was asked to come in to WJBC Radio Station and be “side kick” for J. D. Scott the Sunday morning host for a show or two.
I had retired as Sheriff a couple years before that so I agreed. I still remember coming into the station at about 5:30 one Sunday or so and met J.D. I had no idea just what a “side kick” was or what he should do but one thing was for sure it was a heck of a lot diferent than carrying a badge and a gun for 30 years.
After a few weeks doing this I arrived one Sunday morning expecting to see J.D. and instead it was R.C. McBride the stations program director who said I would be flying solo that morning and asked to see me the following Monday.
That “Side Kick” job turned out to be the beginning of about a 9 year journey. During which time I got to know RC and the rest of the gang here at the station. Over the years I developed several good friends and discovered that for the most part we actually got along pretty well for a cop and a bunch of liberals that is.
Ok that’s the background now to the main reason for this Forum.
One of the people I met was ,of course, my boss, R.C. McBride the Station program director, weather geek, sports nut, and a true Irishman with the Irish disposition that occasionally revealed itself in the tradition of John L. Sullivan when the need arose.
There are many sides to R.C. and I saw most of them over the years.
Oh yes he had that Irish temper but he also had an Irish sense of humor and kindness that would come out in ways one would not expect. We had our share of go rounds as you might expect involving this old cop and young kid who from time to time decided to cross swords.
I could go into some detail about my relationship with R.C. but suffice to say that he never treated me like I didn’t belong and we developed a darn good friendship over the years.
So in short I thank you R.C .for giving me the chance to fulfill one of two dreams I had as a kid. One was to be a cop and the other was to have my own radio show. Best of luck to you and the family my friend.
This is Steve Brienen on WJBC's Forum.
Steve Brienen retired as Sheriff of McLean County in 1998 after serving on the department for 20 years. Before that, he was a Bloomington police officer for 10 years. Steve taught at Lincoln College for nine years and Illinois Community College in Peoria for six years. He spent nine years hosting a Sunday morning talk show on WJBC before deciding spend more time at home. He is married to his wife Lucerne for 46 years and they have three children.
The opinions expressed within WJBC’s Forum are solely those of the Forum’s author, and are not necessarily those of WJBC or Cumulus Media, Inc.