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Derek Gilbert: Man of Steel!

This afternoon I accepted an offer to return to my previous career of selling steel. It’s going to be a little different; from 1996 to 2006, I sold steel pipe and the related flanges and fittings, and in this new position I’ll work with structural steel — plate, beam, angle, channel, and occasionally some tubing, which, unlike pipe, is not necessarily round.

While hosting a daily radio talk show was a dream of mine since late childhood — what a geek, eh? — and the staff and management at The Eagle 93.9 in Columbia are absolutely among the most professional (and pleasant) in the industry, it came down to the old real estate maxim: Location, location, location.

Columbia is there, and the bulk of our family is here, eight hours to the east in Indiana.

There were opportunities to remain in radio, but this is the right move. In addition to being close to my in-laws, especially my 84-year-old mother-in-law, it’s a significant pay upgrade. With our daughter heading off to college next fall, that helps a lot.

Sharon and I will continue P.I.D. Radio, and we may even return to the five-a-week schedule we kept for a while about two years ago. I might even pick up the manuscript I started for the sequel to Iron Dragons. Hosting a daily radio show and being responsible for the station’s website (and ultimately the entire radio group’s websites) was fulfilling, but it commanded nearly all of my creative output over the last 16 months. I look forward to turning some of that energy back into our own projects.

Meanwhile, I get to dig out my calculator and learn about steel without holes in the middle — not round ones, anyway.

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