December 3, 2012

Bill Nemitz: 'Down Memory Lane': The gift that keeps on giving

(Continued from page 2)

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MPBN program director Charles Beck, left, enjoys a moment with Toby Leboutillier, holding a microphone, after Friday’s airing of “Down Memory Lane.”

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Toby Leboutillier celebrates with cake after learning the show will go on.

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In a heartbeat, Leboutillier said yes.

"He's discovered the Internet in the last 24 hours, I think," said a pleased and relieved Beck. "It is a viable option."

And so the dreaded "last" show, in the end, wasn't.

And as Leboutillier emerged from the studio with his records, CD's and song directories piled literally up to his chin, MPBN board Chairman Hank Schmelzer, President and CEO Mark Vogelzang and two dozen other employees waited with a cake and an old MPBN microphone from the 1960s -- not to say goodbye, but rather to keep up the good work.

"This is my life," a beaming Leboutillier told his colleagues. "I don't want to be anywhere else, really."

Nor did Leboutillier, the man who blanches at the sight of a laptop, ever dream he'd sign off the way he did on Friday.

Just after he played Hurricane Smith's "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" Leboutillier reminded his audience that "Down Memory Lane" was not ending after all. It's just, as they say in the digital age, being rerouted.

"So this is not goodbye -- it's just until next week," said Leboutillier. "Crank up those computers!"

And long live the Internet.

Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at

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