One of my detractors once wrote: "And shouldn't [99XWatch.org] be called, WhatUpWithJimmyBaronAndIHateJenners.Com?"
To which I replied "That was taken."
In fact, I like Jenners quite a bit, but my detractor did have a point. Jimmy has made a long period of unemployment very interesting. Between producing one child and two television shows, he has managed to squeeze in a number of radio tryouts, two blogs, and a close encounter with Bruce Springsteen. Even at this point, he was forced to turn down my request because he was writing a piece for the AJC. Here are some of his thoughts from the article:
99X may have been just a radio station, but it did mean a lot to a lot of people. Maybe it was their source for finding out what was happening in town, or maybe it was what they used in the morning to get to the office or school in a decent mood, or maybe it was simply their own local connection to coolness. I don't care who you are, everyone deep deep down wants to be cool.
However, for people like Leslie Fram, Steve Craig, Axel, Barnes, and me — who were with the station in its formative years and many beyond that — 99X meant more than just a place of employment. It was our identity. When you went out you were never just Leslie or Axel or Jimmy, you were "Leslie from 99X" or "Jimmy from 99X" or "Axel from 99X," and it meant you were part of the fabric of one of America's best cities. In fact, it's still how people often refer to me, and I haven't worked there in nearly two years.
I mourned the loss of my "friend" two years ago when I left and, in a way, I'm glad. I don't think I'd want to experience walking through the halls on the sad last day. Hopefully, though, my former co-workers will soon realize that, like with most things, nobody can take away your great memories.
So while you may have to go elsewhere for your alternative rock fix, keep that well-used 99X Freeloader card in your wallet, don't peel off your 99X window sticker just yet, and for gosh sakes, hang on to that 99X Big Shirt. Some things will always say you're cool.