Did you one of my distant relatives was a world famous pirate? It's true! And here are 9 other things you may not know about me.

Just what other fascinating tidbits of information are out there about me? Well, as you might know, I'm a native of Wisconsin, though I consider myself an honorary Minnesotan these days, having lived here now for 5 years. I've been lucky enough to have been working here at Quick Country 96.5 since 2014. But wait-- there's more! Take a look: (And check out 10 Things You Don't Know About Samm Adams and Afternoons With Val too!)

  • 1

    I'm a distant relative of the famous pirate, Sir Francis Drake.

    My mom's maiden name is Drake-- the same one as the noted English sea captain-- so yeah, that makes us related. Somewhat. And while I'm sure it's a minute percentage, his bloodline still extends all the way down to me. (Or so I'm told, anyway.)

  • 2

    I was offered a scholarship to major in music (drums) in college but I turned it down to pursue a degree in radio & TV

    My high school jazz band did a concert with a noted professor of piano from the University of Wisconsin, who did offer me a scholarship to pursue music, but I had my heart set on getting into broadcasting, so I didn't pursue music any further. What was I thinking?!?

  • 3

    I have an irrational phobia of swallowing pills

    I learned to swallow pills when I was a kid, but thanks to an episode where I nearly choked on one of those big cold medicine capsules (I was seriously choking, so much that I couldn't breathe. Luckily, I was able to massage the stuck capsule down my throat before I passed out!) it still freaks me out when I have to swallow them.

  • 4

    I once totaled the station van at a radio station in Wisconsin

    Now here's a good way to win new listeners... not! I was actually trying to help a stranded driver on the shoulder of the road and was reporting the stalled vehicle to the announcer back at the station. Of course, in doing so, I failed to see the car stopped ahead of me and ran right into them. It was awhile before they let me drive the station vehicle again!

  • 5

    I minored in philosophy in college

    While I have my bachelor's degree in radio and TV broadcasting from UW-Eau Claire, I needed a minor. There was this really cool philosophy professor there at the time, and before I even knew it, I'd taken almost enough classes to qualify for the philosophy minor. So, I went with it. And, like I always say, if this radio thing doesn't work out, that'll be me opening up Rochester's first one-stop Philosophy shop, downtown on Broadway.

  • 6

    I'm skilled in knowing how to tell if cheese curds are fresh

    Being from Wisconsin, the facts that I possess this skill shouldn't be too much of a surprise. And, given that cheese curds are much more common, even here in Minnesota these days, this isn't too much of a skill anymore. But back in the day, you could pretty much only find cheese curds at a cheese factory, which are pretty common in Wisconsin. What's the secret to knowing if they're fresh or not? They squeak when they're fresh!

  • 7

    I got married on the beach in Jamaica

    True story. My lovely wife, Katie and me tied the knot on the beach at sunset in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was the perfect day!

  • 8

    I can play piano by ear

    Not well, mind you, but I can kind of plunk out the melody to a song I've heard without reading music. I'm self-taught, so my technique is pretty bad and I haven't practiced in ages, but I can still manage to play a few things if there's a piano or keyboard around.

  • 9

    I had never had surgery until two years ago

    I guess I was waiting until I lived here in the Med City, but, until I had surgery at Mayo for a lovely hernia two years ago, I had never even set foot into an operating room. I had a pretty good streak going there!

  • 10

    I was once Crew Member of the Month at McDonalds

    I forget the percentage of people who started their work career at McDonald's, but if I remember correctly, it's a lot. And I'm one of them. I loved working both window and grill at the McDonald's in my hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin. I was even Crew Member of the Month back in January of 1989!