This is a story about two very good friends of mine Butch Brown and Karen Kelly-Brown.
They founded ‘Downtown Dayton Radio’ together, but more important is the way these two broadcast veterans reinvented themselves as entrepreneurs and did it all with a deep love and respect for each other.
Let us rewind a bit.
The two already were firmly established in the radio biz when it was love at first mic … I mean sight!
“We met at work, on the stairs at Clear Channel.” Karen says.
“I’ll never forget seeing her walking down those stairs as I was going up them. I was smitten immediately!” Butch adds.
But it took a while to “get it together”. They had the help from some little angels at work.
“Some of my co-workers would tease me because every morning I would get two coffees and take one to her. It didn’t take long for them to figure out there was something going on.” Butch says.
Karen says marriage followed a couple of years later.
“It was 14 years this past January. We married on 01/01/00. I swear he chose that date because the millennium was coming and Butch thought the world was ending anyway, soooo – however he says it’s because this way he’ll never forget the date of our anniversary!”
Adds Butch with a chuckle, “She twisted my arm, held extortion pictures over my head, I had no choice!”
But soon the ambitious two decided ‘why work for somebody else when we can work for ourselves’
Presenting ‘Downtown Dayton Radio’ www.downtowndaytonradio.com
“We used to daydream about owning our own station and the internet now makes that possible. When corporate radio took over, the entertainment factor kinda got sucked out of the medium. We used to talk about “if WE owned our own station, this is what we would do”, etc. We became empty nesters (finally, after a few false starts) sold our house in the ‘burbs, and moved to the city – to an historic home in St. Anne’s Hill. We quickly decided we loved downtown and were quite tired of people putting it down. Downtown Dayton Radio was formed.”
“Being born and raised in Dayton, I have a great passion for this town. Raised a family here, Dayton and it’s people have been good to me. So we are giving back. LOCAL RADIO, it’s what it was in the beginning, local so we are trying to get back to it. All about Dayton!” Butch says.
And how goes it so far?
“We are the entrepreneur type souls that create visions and work towards them. DDR is just one of the many things we both do. Butch is a franchise owner of several local Town Money Savers and also owns a mobile DJ business.and I own a new business called The Art of Self-Compassion. (www.theartofselfcompassion.com). This is my baby which is a community that offers books, products, seminars and mentoring.” Karen adds.
Now some would cringe at the thought of sleeping, working with their life partner, but for Butch and Karen this is truly a 24-7 marriage made in heaven.
”We love it! We are ying and yang! I’m the dreamer, the think tank, the creative A.D.D. person – Butch gives me a ton of rope and lets me fly – but in the end he holds on tight and doesn’t let me get too far and would never wallpaper with him – but he’s the first person I want in my foxhole. Says Karen.
“She’s got a great foxhole.” Butch adds.
So what is the recipe for happy and loving marriage?
“I think the biggest thing for us is trust and honesty. We are so totally committed to each other that we make it a safe environment to be honest and to share our feelings and fears. Karen says.
“I think it’s about being friends as well as lovers and mates. Not everybody is like us, but we enjoy each other’s company. We have many great friends that we share and life is never boring.” Butch says.
Karen sums it up. “I’m so blessed, because Butch has just allowed me to bloom and grow into the woman I am today. We aren’t totally joined at the hip. I do my girl things and he gets together with the guys, but there is nobody else in this world I’d rather be with. He is my first choice if stranded on a desert island.”
A desert island with internet access of course. — Cheers Buch
Jim Bucher is an area resident and guest columnist.