Don Missad’s association with WYCE began approximately 30 years ago with a simple question. A friend of Don’s mentioned that ‘YCE had been off the air for an extended period of time, to which he responded, “Do you think maybe I should go have a look?” When Don arrived, he was met with a transmitter that had been disassembled in an unsuccessful repair attempt. He made the necessary repair, reassembled the equipment and has been the station’s most unsung and greatest hero ever since. Imagine what it must have felt like to be dead in the water like that, and the feeling of relief that Don’s help must have provided, to staff, volunteers and listeners.
Don’s day job has focused primarily on commercial broadcast outlets. He spent a couple of years with Channel 41 in Kalamazoo as well as over 42 years in and around G.R. He has however made plenty of time for helping out non-comms, not just ‘YCE, but multiple decades with broadcasters in Grand Haven and Ionia as well.
Over the years Don has addressed issues as varied as simple repairs, CD player installation and routine component replacement to major projects like updating the broadcast and production room boards and combining features of various pieces of equipment. He has also done such monumental tasks, (with a lot of help, he will be quick to add) as move the transmitter (which for a couple of years was housed in a semi-trailer without incident) and prepare the current CMC location with wiring infrastructure. Ask The Driver what it was like to be part of that team. Anyone who has seen the example bundle of wires near the receptionist’s desk will know it is approximately the same diameter as Dirk Koening’s arm. All of this is the very small tip of the very large iceberg that is Don’s service to WYCE.
When not helping broadcasters sound their best, Don likes to be doing “outdoors stuff”, and although not a hardcore lawn tweezer, he likes yard work. Family is important, including spending time with the grandkids- of which as of this writing, there is a brand new granddaughter. Travel is another source of pleasure, for example; when I caught up with Don for this conversation he was in Florida.
Don made it a point to communicate to me that in his interactions with WYCE over the years, people have been exceedingly gracious, grateful and just plain nice. An example he used was that of the lady who’s airshift he needed to disturb three weeks in a row in order to open up the board to install parts that had come in. Instead of being irritated, she was as accommodating and friendly as a person could be. This mirrors Don’s own humility to a great degree. When I expressed our collective, and my own personal gratitude for his service, he replied that he is “Just a guy trying to do his part to help out.” Thank you Don, for your investment in WYCE, we are a better, stronger organization because of you.