Early in the morning, one weekend long ago, I switched on my radio to occupy my mind so I could fall back asleep.  Some people need quiet, I enjoy background noise.  I’ve always been that way, not sure why.  I’d been listening to KGO for some time by then and had expanded my listening hours beyond Bernie Ward.

I liked the sound of that smart guy’s voice who was on late at night.  He had an easy drone, the kind that could make one drowsy.  A bit like a train ride, the gentle clickedy clack down the tracks, a reassuring sound that relaxed you to sleep.  I wasn’t really listening to what he was saying, only to his voice.  It was lovely.

My eyes were closed, I snuggled my head further into the pillow, and Dr. Bill took another call.

A guy on the other end of the line said hello then hesitated.  I think he even cleared his throat a bit.  I lifted my head.  Dr. Bill said something like, “you’re on the air.”  At first the guy spoke in halting sentences.  He had a bit of roughness in him, a rough and tumble type of voice but was respectful and soft-spoken.  Maybe a bit shy.

“Dr. Bill, I have a problem and I don’t know if you can help me.”

“I can try and if I can’t help you, then I’m sure there is someone out there listening in the 50,000 watt broadcast signal of KGO who will call in with an answer.  KGO’s listeners are the smartest people around and there’s always someone smarter than me who will call in with the information you need.  So, go ahead, what is it that you wanted to ask?”

“Well, sir, I had something happen to me…”

The guy went on to say that he lives in a remote area on a ranch.  Lots of horses, plenty of hard work.  A lonely life, but satisfying.  That night, a car had approached the ranch.  It was late, an odd time for a visitor.  The guy, who Dr. Bill referred to as Cowboy, went out to investigate and was surprised to see an expensive sports car and, sitting inside, engine off, was a beautiful woman.  She looked like she’d been crying.

The Cowboy let her sit there for a long time.  He asked if he could help her.  Eventually, she got out of the car and he offered her some coffee.  He brought her a cup.  She drank it without saying much.  He noticed bruises on her.  He asked if she was going to be all right.  She shook her head and told him she was scared.  She said the man she was with beat her and she needed to get away from him for awhile.  The Cowboy told her not to go back, but she said she had to go back.  He was a powerful and rich man.  The Cowboy said that’s no reason to go back to someone who beats you.  She looked at him with sad eyes and told him, “I know, but I have to.”

The Cowboy said, if he ever touches you again, you come back here and you’ll be safe.

She said thank you, and soon after drove away.

So, that’s why he was on the line now calling Dr. Bill.  He wanted to know, what should he do if she comes back?  In fact, he confessed to having some feelings for her.  He said he wants to protect her and really wants her to come back.

Oh my gawd, how could I sleep after hearing that?  My heart went out to The Cowboy.  I think I even had a bit of a crush on him.

I don’t remember Dr. Bill’s advice that night, but he did tell The Cowboy to keep in touch and to let us know what happens.

Well, The Cowboy did call in again.  Does anyone remember this?

That Cowboy was the reason I began listening to Dr. Bill every chance I got.  And Dr. Bill was wonderful, he spoke with such heart to The Cowboy.  It was touching.

The Cowboy will always be one of my favorite calls from all the years I listened to Dr. Bill.

I’m sure I missed some other good ones.  Feel free to share your favorites.


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