Life is funny sometimes.
Opportunities are gained or lost. Dreams are realized or released. People come and go in and out of our lives, they ebb and flow in an unexpected juxtaposition of circumstances that sometimes doesn’t quite make sense.
Until it does.
Such is my relationship with Tom Johnson, who over the years I would see around town at events I was covering when he was either the emcee or being honored.
Tom, as you may know, was our publisher here at the Indy and is best known for his long-term stint as the publisher of the Daily Pilot for nearly 18 years.
I got to know Tom better after he asked me to become part of his editorial team at the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice, which later morphed into the4 Newport Beach Independent.
He was generous in sharing his energy, industry knowledge and community connectivity. Those of us on the founding Indy team felt a kind of magic in delivering a great community newspaper, written “for locals, by locals.”
The early days of the Indy were exciting and I will always be grateful to Tom for giving me the unique opportunity to write a weekly column about whatever topic popped to mind.
That was the birth of “Lynn’s Spin,” and for almost four years now and each week when I sit down to write, I thank my lucky stars to be fulfilling a longtime dream of becoming a columnist.
Fast forward a few years.
After Tom left the Indy, we worked on a few outside projects together and although both of us felt there was synergy in our combined talents, collectively what we wanted to do was still a question.
I thrust myself in to developing and launching OCSocialScene.com (an online magazine devoted to covering the philanthropic social events throughout OC) and more than a year went by before we reconnected.
But reconnect we did when I asked Tom to join me in commentating the 2013 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade for NBTV (Cox-Ch. 3).
While neither of us is going to win a Golden Mike Award, we had a ball. This is when our synergy started taking hold once more.
Last year, Tom joined the on-air lineup at KOCI (101.5 FM) which is located on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. His show is called “Sunday Brunch” and features interviews with local Newport Beach and Costa Mesa community leaders and other interesting personalities in a casual conversational format addressing various topics of interest.
This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining Tom in the KOCI studios for an hour as his co-host and to say it was a great experience is an understatement.
In a unique collaboration of his show, “Lynn’s Spin” and OCSocialScene.com, we invited Jean Wegener, executive director of Serving People in Need (see last Friday’s “Lynn’s Spin”) to talk with us about SPIN’s efforts to help the homeless in our communities.
Later, we talked with Joanne Johnston, co-chair of this year’s exciting “Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars” fundraiser for the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa.
Afterwards, station director Brian Helvey gave us two thumbs up. I couldn’t stop smiling.
I’ll be joining Tom again this Sunday for another hour of “Sunday Brunch.” Our goal is to find more sponsors in both communities so the show can be bumped to two hours.
If you aren’t familiar with or don’t have 101.5 FM dialed in on your radio, you’re missing out on some fantastic classic rock and jazz programming in addition to talk shows featured throughout the week. It can also be accessed by live stream at KOCI.org.
Who knows where this is all headed, but I have a good feeling about it. Stay tuned!
Lynn Selich resides in Newport Beach. Reach her at [email protected].