Trial Balloon

Ask Dr. Heartlander

Posted at 6:00 AM on June 4, 2010 by Dale Connelly (124 Comments)
Filed under: Ask Dr. Heartlander

Today's "Ask Dr. Heartlander" comes by emergency e-mail from an iPhone somewhere in North Carolina. If you have never seen this Trial Balloon feature before, it operates on a simple premise - many minds are better than one, and we are ALL Dr. Heartlander.

Thumbnail image for AnnLandersFreud3-small.jpg

Dear Dr. Heartlander,

I work for the US Census visiting uncounted households. Because we have confidentiality rules, I can't tell you exactly where I am at this moment.

I just finished enumerating the individuals living in the F_stein residence (lovely castle by the way) and was slowly backing down the long, treacherous, winding driveway when a sudden flash of lightning and the howl of an incessant wind momentarily distracted me. The rear wheels of my car slipped over the embankment and now I'm balanced on the edge of a precipice overlooking a 1,000 foot drop. Each time I move, the center of gravity shifts and my vehicle tips a little bit more towards oblivion. Opening the door or climbing out the window is not an option. I'm middle-aged (really) and by no means quick or nimble.

I honked the horn a hundred times before Dr. F_stein came out of the house to see what was going on. He took one look at my situation and went back in the house, rubbing his hands together and mumbling something about "releasing the creature". I don't know if he's talking about me (we are all God's "creatures") or if he's going to get somebody else. He said he lived alone, but I'm not sure I believe him - there were strange crashing and moaning sounds coming out of the basement. He said it was the water heater. Dr. F_stein was kind enough during our interview (it was long) but if he brings another person out of that house I know I am going to feel betrayed and I will have to start the enumeration process all over.

On one side is certain death. On the other, sure disappointment and a lot of extra work. Plus, there's an element of fear in the air - something sinister that I can't describe. That's why I decided to write to you.

Dr. Heartlander, what is the secret to happiness?


I told "Tipper" that the secret to happiness lies in never having to back a car down a winding driveway in a thunderstorm without someone to help you. Even if you are working for the government, it is dangerous to visit strange, remote households alone. Now that she has already violated some cardinal rules and is in this difficult situation, her only remaining choice is to keep a sunny disposition, expect the best of others, and be careful around fire.

But that's just my opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Heartlander?

Comments (124)

Happiness is having a new place to communicate with my "blogging community" (honestly that's what I say when describing this phenomena to people) and more money in my wallet every month for whatever good cause I choose as I will be discontinuing the sustaining membership at 9 a.m.

Can't wait to hear everyone's requests today!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 6:08 AM

Pat Donahue has the answer. This is the beginning.

Posted by Holly of Northfield | June 4, 2010 6:12 AM

Good call on the sunny disposition, Dale. I am for it. Showing fear and misery doesn't get you on to the next good thing very fast.

I also find good music makes me happy, and discovery of something new and wonderful even more so. Let's try and figure out how that part of the shared intelligence of this group can continue.

See you all on the Trail Baboon! Now I have to race home to get one last good use out of the catwarmer (marketed as an HD radio)

Posted by catherine | June 4, 2010 6:15 AM

Greetings! Apparently, being married to Al Gore was not a source of happiness -- rather sad, really. I really liked Al Gore.

Happiness is ... finding joy in the moment no matter what you're doing or what's going on. Have a great day!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | June 4, 2010 6:15 AM

excellent Dale.
Dear Tipper,
take care of yourself, and don't let the F-steins define your self-worth. betrayal is ugly and i believe only a few humans have the ability to betray us. and these are humans that you don't want to count anyway. i think the key to happiness is goats. there is not a deceitful bone in their bodies. and if you feed them, they love you.
you have fed us; we love you.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | June 4, 2010 6:16 AM

I hope Dale has the secret to happiness and starts a new, old show. I, too, will have more money in my wallet starting at 9:00 today. I'm never at the computer this early but had to be today. Love and best wishes to Dale, Mike and TB bloggers and lurkers.

Posted by Barb in Starbuck | June 4, 2010 6:17 AM

Dear Dale,
I am firmly in denial -- you have been my "walking buddy" all spring, to turn a phrase of Claudia Schmidt's, and I can't imagine walking miles in the mornings without you. And that is minuscule to all the living I've done in your voice range over 28 years, having you tell me about music, the day to come, and wonderful imaginary worlds (the whale barn at the MN State Fair always comes to mind) whether at home or abroad. So I am hoping Trail Baboon is a wonderful taste of things to come, and that your Ole will keep you technologically connected, just as he has now connected the loyal reference librarian, too. Thanks to him I now have a lovely new igoogle homepage featuring the rss feed link to the TBII blog front and center. I'm hoping all our protests have some affect, to your psyche so that you and your family are feeling supported, and to facilitating admissions of errors and reinstatement by the Powers That Be on the part of MPR. We are cheering you on, and look forward to continuing the special relationships you have developed with each one of us, and have fostered amongst us. And, if MPR holds firm and fails to recognize its heart and soul, when you figure out what it takes to make a living doing this work solo, we’ll have the most fabulous membership drive you’ve ever hosted! Most sincerely, Kris MacPherson

Posted by Kris in Northfield | June 4, 2010 6:23 AM

I, too, have dragged myself out of bed early for today. Well worth it! Happiness.... health, safe place to live, enough to eat and do some fun stuff and the happiness of loved ones. And having a dog too! They are good teachers to be happy with what you have. And having a great radio guy/team to wake up to over the years has been instrumental to my happiness for the last 25ish years! Thanks again!!!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 6:25 AM

I heard once that happiness was two people and a ham, but may be that's not quite right. it's early here-I'm on Mountain time and I am not quite awake. I think the key to happiness is making a point of finding something funny in even the worst situation.

Posted by Renee | June 4, 2010 6:25 AM

the only reason we bought and useour HD radio is to listen to dale's show. we switched from Morning Edition to the Morning Show to start our days with hope and lightheartedness.
now MPR has deemed in their infinite wisdom to pipe in THE BLUES. what a way to start the day.

anyone looking for an HD radio should check the Goodwill or Animal Ark as they should be showing up at the thrift stores soon.

THANK YOU DALE, MIKE and TOM K. for making our mornings a wonderful place to begin each day.

sandra and mark

Posted by sandr | June 4, 2010 6:28 AM

Out of bed and raising my tea to ya! Looking forward to following the Trail Baboon.

Posted by MN-TX | June 4, 2010 6:28 AM

Still no adequate words. Thank you Dale for all the great music and story writing and personalities that we've enjoyed all these years. Loss is personal, so I believe that gives us the right to be angry. We won't let the anger win and in time will learn to let go, but it will take a while. Let's enjoy the last day and give thanks that we have been given a last day. Our anger will fade and Memory, which is just as personal as anger but more helpful, will sustain us and bring smiles as we step forward. But those first steps will have a slight drag to them.

Posted by Elizabeth Doherty | June 4, 2010 6:34 AM

Greetings to All

I will not say good morning today, although I agree with Dale about trying to keep a sunny out look. F_stien seems to be making it hard for Tipper to maintain that sunny out look, but I guess the secret to happiness is to not to let people like him get us down.

Posted by Jim | June 4, 2010 6:39 AM

A sunny dispostion is key, and some people (like Dale) just have it, so do cats (always land on their feet).

While I remain heartbroken and bereft at the loss of your show Dale, I am anxious to see what you do next, I am sure we will hear you soon somewhere!

Thank you for the very many years of listenging utter JOY you gave us! Exquisite!

Wishing you all the best!

Posted by Kim in Saint Paul | June 4, 2010 6:41 AM

For Tipper: having Internet access I might suggest another option-contacting a third party. Perhaps signing up for AAA online and making the call for emergency assistance. Just a thought.
I also got up early to listen to the last Dale Connelly show. I made a request of Kate Wolf's "Safe at Anchor" that I heard 25 years ago on the old Morning Show.The end of something is always the beginning of the next thing. Many good wishes Dale!

Posted by Randy | June 4, 2010 6:53 AM I truly hate MPR. Idiots. What will we do now without that beautiful voice in our lives? Of course, I'll be cancelling my mpr membership, too. Who would give money to such a spirtless, mean place? I would like to hear God forgives you. I don't. Thank you, Dale, for years and years of wonderful mornings.

Posted by patricia | June 4, 2010 6:59 AM

Question about the future... I know Mike won't be "live" but will it be possible to request something? Say "such and such a song" between 8-9 a.m. or something like that?

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 7:01 AM

Only until 9 today? I must've missed that somewhere yesterday. I was looking forward to a whole morning with you. Why must all great things must come to an end? Sigh!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 7:05 AM

Dear Dale,

Happiness is having such wonderful memories of the music and fun you, Jim Ed, and Mike have given to me over the years. (I only hope that when the dementia strikes, it doesn't take THOSE memories). How much poorer my life would have been without the music you've helped me to discover, and the amazing characters you've introduced me to, brought to such incredible life by Jim Ed. I've never been able to describe those things to others, but I always tried! Now I'm just gonna listen for the last two hours while wiping away the tears.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted by Jane in Stillwater | June 4, 2010 7:07 AM

Glued to the radio this morning, too. In my search for happiness, I try to find the beauty in everything, even thunderstorms. I'm having a hard time with that today, but maybe it lies in the waves of support from this loyal community of listeners.

Posted by Connie in LP | June 4, 2010 7:08 AM

Fare thee well, dear radio friend. We will miss you and this radio family immensely! Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating, nurturing and sustaining this wonderful piece of Minnesota culture for so many families.

Please play Under the Quarter Moon or Stay Forever Young if you haven't already and can squeeze it in.

May you stay forever young, creative and optimistic,
Lynda and Bob

Posted by Lynda | June 4, 2010 7:11 AM

Morning all

I am a long time listener and sometimes blog reader, but this is my first post. Almost all of my friends are like me, listeners that were at the last MS. I heard about it yesterday in the car on my way to work (we bought two HD radios) and was very upset, especially as I am now in Philadelphia and can only listen for a short time through the computer until I have to go in a car. I read the last two days' posts with tears streaming down my face. I too am feeling angry and betrayed, and am rethinking my membership. As Dale says, everyone who listens should support, but if all I listen to is a computer with Mike's input (Mike, we love you, but I have NO IDEA what a producer did for Dale, or will do for Jasper!), then maybe my contribution will be $1.

I have always wanted to request something but my occasion (probably my anniversary) has always passed me by. So although I will miss the song if it gets played, I request:

I Don't Love You Much, Do I? by Guy Clark

both for my husband David and for Dale from all of us!


Posted by susie | June 4, 2010 7:13 AM

Like Joanne said, happiness is being able to appreciate what you have right now and enjoying it to its fullest.

I shall enjoy the last few hours of Dale Connelly this morning. And then miss it terribly, but without regret for not appreciating or participating or...

Thank you again for all the fun, the goats, the characters, the music the everything.

Posted by Anna | June 4, 2010 7:19 AM

Dear Tipper,
Turn on that HD radio in the car to Radio Heartland. Although you may feel anxious and unbalanced there is one more day of sunny, quirky,balanced music and a balanced, quirky human to inspire you.

Dale, thanks for the years of being the quirky, balanced human in our mornings!!! I was at the last morning show and remember seeing you as you headed into the Fitz. Tou seemed amazed that so many of us would turn out to say thank you. Sorry we were not able to physically demonstrate our gratitude one more time. I hope that all the cyber tributes will provide balm to you should you feel your wheels slip off the driveway as yoiu back away from MPR but not from us.

Wishing you safe, well-balanced travels always!

Posted by Beth-Ann | June 4, 2010 7:24 AM

Potato then Waltzing? OK, the cryfest has begun!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 7:25 AM

the waterworks have started here with all of these old chestnuts...

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 7:26 AM

I've been listening from Boston to first the Morning Show and then Dale's show for more than five years. I found the show by accident and was captivated at first listen. At last, I thought, a real person on the radio! Someone with a good heart (and a good ear). So, I happily emigrated to Radio Heartland. Without Dale, there will no longer be a reason for me to listen. Who really needs another computer trying to "friend" me? If Jasper had a soul, it would disconnect itself in sorrow and stop wasting electrons. At least MPR has disabused me of the idea that there is such a thing as "Minnesota nice." I will delete all of my MPR bookmarks from my computer and try to forget that it existed, but, every now and then I will google "Dale Connelly" with the hope that he has found a new radio home where I can once again also join into the community. Long-live Dale!

Posted by Boone | June 4, 2010 7:28 AM

Renee..(and Tipper), I heard that two people and a ham was a definition of eternity...but maybe it means Eternal Happiness...

Thank you for Lake Baikal this morning...I am so sorry I missed hearng Turning Toward the Morning yesterday, I hope both stay in the future case I can bear to listen without Dale's commentary...and now there is my Tall Buildings! Dear Dale, thank you so much for the annual pleasure...oh, how I will miss it next case I don't get to the retirement part just yet

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | June 4, 2010 7:32 AM

Dale, how do you do it...instinct? esp? Your timing and choices over the years in responding to requests has been uncanny.
Thanks again for John Hartford and all.

Mike, will you put Jim Kilihan (sp...?)'s Missouri Waters in the Jasper mix, please.

See ya' all on the Trail Baboon!

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | June 4, 2010 7:40 AM

Cynthia-thanks for the clarification. I believe you are correct about the ham and eternity. I guess I was confused because I really like ham it I could see myself being happy with a ham and a person I loved. Thanks, Dale,for providing a forum for us to discuss ham and eternity. Thanks also for the new forum I plan to participate in.

Posted by Renee | June 4, 2010 7:43 AM

Yesterday my 8-year-old daughter, who had not heard the news, asked if I could request "that boy who does all the Wizard of Oz voices" for her birthday next March.

Sadly, the answer was "no".

Posted by Nils | June 4, 2010 7:44 AM

Sigh, I still feel like I've been sucker-punched. I wish you all the best, Dale; maybe you will feel the same way my husband did when he was sent packing by Northwest/Delta after 30 years, a bit sad, but somehow refreshed and more energetic than he had been in years.
If you can squeeze it in, please play "Farther Along" by Emmylou, Linda and Dolly.
Ta ta for now, Dale and good luck in your next adventure!

Posted by Lynne | June 4, 2010 7:46 AM

"Cold Missouri Waters" is in the JASPER music mix.

Posted by Mike Pengra | June 4, 2010 7:47 AM

Man, I don't believe it. Go away for a little while and when I come back everything has changed.
It's been a great ride the last 18 months. I'll miss Dale and RH, still debating whether to continue the MPR membership. I'll be checking in occasionally at the new "other" blog.
Eighteen months ago I left a 30-year job with the same company and life has been so much better in many ways. Consider this life-change a gift from the universe and a chance to begin anew in the second half of life. Best of Luck to you, Dale. You're resourceful, you'll do fine.

Posted by Kathy in Wisconsin | June 4, 2010 7:47 AM

I am having morning coffee in my mug that says,
"I wake up with Dale and Jim Ed"
I continued to use it when I started to
'wake up with Dale, Mike, and Jasper"
I will still cherish it when I start to
'wake up with Mike and Jasper"

Here's to you, Dale.
(she takes a sip of coffee as a tear rolls down her cheek)
Seems you have already found that open window when confronted with a closed door. I hope that open window brings you plenty of fresh air.
I guess happiness can be wherever we decide it will be.

Posted by Kathy | June 4, 2010 7:49 AM

How can I get a CD of these last two days?? A "Keeper" if ever there was one!!

Posted by jane in Stillwater | June 4, 2010 7:52 AM

Dale, although we have never met in person, you are a friend and always will be. Will there be a party for you at MPR? You, your presence, your creativity, your work is par excellence. You are loved and appreciated beyond one's ability to know. If good wishes were a garden, yours would be paradise. For 34 years you have raised our spirits and therefore our lives. I can't wait to see and learn how you reinvent your life with all that you are. It's a graduation of sorts. Do you have a facebook page or a blog? Perhaps we can buoy you up through this transittion as you have done for us for so many years, Maybe we can send you our member contributions to support your artistry. - - - - - -- Yours in gratitude with affection, Peg - - - - - - Requests dedicated to you: do you have leon redbone's - if we never meet again this side of heaven? or how about monty python's universe song? or how about your current fave?

Posted by peg | June 4, 2010 7:55 AM

Well said, Elizabeth D.

And paraphrasing what others have mentioned, I think happiness is being able to notice the good and maybe the humor in whatever situation you're in. This one is tricky, but it occurred to me that Dale will now get to have a regular sleep schedule like most of the rest of us.

Mike, thanks so much for your continuing - I imagine it will be lonesome after end June. I will still listen, because for one thing I am not going to waste my HD Radio, and Dale has helped teach Jasper what to play, so my favorite music is still here. But I like susie's idea of contributing $1... Heck, it would cost more than that to process everything.

There's a lovely poem from yesterdays postathon, from Irene at 4:48, that's worth looking at...

Dale, what can I say except thanks for being on the planet at the same time I am.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | June 4, 2010 7:58 AM

Happiness is having friends who care deeply about the same things, birds singing in the spring, and waking up to a great guy named Dale who plays the best music anywhere to be found. Thank you, Dale, for the music, the merriment and a lifetime of memories. Thanks to you, Jim Ed and Mike we have a household of music to sustain us through times like this when we must take that leap of faith to what's next and know that "...the world is always turning toward the morning". Like others I, too, have extra money to commit to donate to a great new music source as my letter of MPR membership resignation is on its way. Felt great to DO something to protest this insanity. Whatever the morrow brings, I'm glad Trail Baboon will lead us there!

Much love and gratitude!

Posted by Cathy | June 4, 2010 8:00 AM

I started listening to the MP in 1980 when Garrison hosted and I've been along for the ride ever since. I've also been a member for most of that time. We wake up in Panama and start the coffee pot and the Internet radio with Radio Heartland. MPR will now need to ask my computer to become a member because our just renewed membership will not be renewed next year by the humans in this house.

Thanks Dale for the hours and hours of delight you have brought us. As the Buddhists say "everything comes to an end". We'll follow your blog and hope to see your creative energy expressed in a new venue.

Hasta pronto, Steve

Posted by Steve in Panama | June 4, 2010 8:01 AM

I have been listening since 6 am as I do almost every day, the comments of everyone on this blog are intelligent and thoughtful. Dale your adoring audience is truly grieving and we thank you for every sweet song, clever story, lovely insights. Just want to let everyone know that I heard Gary Eichten's show yesterday and he mentioned that he will be interviewing Dale Connelly at 11 am today. So that will be one last opportunity to hear Dale's voice over the radio. I will miss you Dale.

Posted by Joanne HInderaker | June 4, 2010 8:02 AM

Gosh, it's harder to not cry sitting in my cube than I thought it was going to be. Yikes!

A couple of people on Trial Baboon have mentioned they found it "by accident". So here it is again for everyone: Join us!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 8:08 AM

Dang, I'm sort of in denial still--this is happening too fast...stick around for an extra hour, Dale, would you? I just can't let go yet....

ok, there's a request, lucinda williams, I can't let go.

that's for me.

for you, Dale, Ellis, "How Would It Be (if you really created your life)?"

I will be missing your voice, your warmth, your humor, your good-heartedness, your wit, your musical combinations....and the community you've gathered around you...

aargh....i'm leaving a note for Captain Billly to make a little visit with the boys in downtown St. Paul to a certain couple of offices....

with love, and gratitude, and sadness,
p.s. Mike, will the webpage and archives be up for awhile, so we can listen and find song info etc.?

Posted by Kay H | June 4, 2010 8:11 AM

Sherrilee - Is there anything up yet? If so, I can't find it.

p.s. I selfishly hope the party is in August when I'm in town.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | June 4, 2010 8:13 AM

Thanks, Joanne, for the tip re Dale on Eichten: a great example of the potential for the interactive, with live DJ format MPR has gotten cold feet about. Too bad.
I'm sure Dale has long decided what to play for the last dong today, but can we at least have Charlie McGurie's "Last Train" (is that the title?) in the Jasper mix?

You go, Dale! Far, but know that you take many of us with you, virtually at least.

Posted by jimck | June 4, 2010 8:16 AM

Kay and others, Yes, the archives will be available on line. Not sure yet about the ability to fulfill requests after today. Stay tuned

Posted by Mike Pengra | June 4, 2010 8:18 AM

I am glad I was present for the beginning of RH and the Dale Connelly Show, and will always be glad I am here for the last show.

I am sipping my morning coffee from my Radio Heartland mug, which I requested as my thank-you gift for my membership last fall.

Will I renew my membership? Probably, maybe not as much because I specifically increased it last year to support RH and Dale's show.

Since I can't listen to RH on FM here, the Classical service has been my refuge, and there is nothing on broadcast stations here to replace it when I am away from the computer.

Dale, and Jim Ed, thank you for adding so much to my music vocabulary, and library - Stan Rogers, James McMurtry, Iris DeMent, Megafaun, Tuvan throat singing, and on.

And thank you to the Trial Balloon blogging community.

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | June 4, 2010 8:21 AM

Barb in R -- no plans yet... although I do like the idea of getting together in August and calling it the UnFair. Resonates on so many levels. Maybe a big picnic in Como Park -- with all the folks weighing in today and yesterday, I'm pretty sure my yard isn't big enough!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 8:21 AM

what a sweet morning. good to hear Bart threaten and growl :-)
remember to go to Trail Baboon at
we are gathering there and waiting for you.
thank you isn't enough, Dale, Mike, Bart et al. i still hear Dr. Larry K's evil chuckle.....
oh, weep, weep. i'm glad i'm in good company this morning.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | June 4, 2010 8:24 AM

OMG -- I'm laughing so hard I'm crying! Love that Bart the Bear came to visit and pontificate about the simple life. THANK YOU DALE AND JIM ED! (and Mike).

Oh, man .... now here's Peter O's "You are My Sunshine" let the tears begin ...

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | June 4, 2010 8:25 AM

Dale, your grace under fire is truly inspiring. How can you get through this morning without tears? I know I haven't. Thank you for years and years of great music, humor, wit, and generosity. I hope that getting ousted is as good for you as it has been for Paul Douglas. I have ousted my MPR sustaining membership, as an MPR cynical and heartless enough to not recognize the treasure they have in you is not worth sustaining. Thanks for the memories. I look forward to your next chapter.

Posted by Bonnie in Lino | June 4, 2010 8:26 AM

Like Mike, I am happy to have been around for the beginning of RH and will be here today until the end.

And even though I knew it was coming, I'm still not ready.... cried like crazy when Peter did his Sunshine at the Fitz and am now hoping that no one comes by my cube in the next few minutes!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 8:26 AM

Almost 18 months ago we had to deal with the loss of the Morning Show, and then this. We all thank you for your friendship and companionship. I was just at a send off for another radio show who had been around for 19 years on KFAI. We had a big party there and it was fun. I held the tears back, until You Are My Sunshine came on, and then I lost it.

Posted by Aaron | June 4, 2010 8:26 AM

oh man. now Peter O -

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | June 4, 2010 8:26 AM

Dale, it was great to have one last skit with we all know who. I don't have words to say how much I will miss your show. The very best of wishes to you.

Posted by Jim | June 4, 2010 8:28 AM

Yeah, I just lost it too during "You are my sunshine."

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | June 4, 2010 8:29 AM

Thanks Dale. It's been great. Thanks Mike and good luck!

In the words of Mr. Magoriums Magical Emporium:
"We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery."


"...We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."

See ya all.....

Posted by Ben | June 4, 2010 8:31 AM

Good-bye Dale!
Thanks for all the great music.
Hello to Jim Ed, you've been missed since your retirement.

Posted by Kim | June 4, 2010 8:32 AM

Thank you, Dale, thank you, Mike for everything. Wonderful to hear your voice, Jim Ed. So long for now.

Posted by Teri in Zimmerman | June 4, 2010 8:32 AM

I discovered the morning show fresh out of college, and loved listening to it early every morning as I drove into work. I have loved sharing your show with my two young daughters, now 3 & 5. -- lots of early morning dance parties! You played a very special song for my grandparents' 60th anniversary, heard around the world by their friends. You've introduced me to many great songs that made me rush to the radio to find out what it was, and some that made me rush to the radio to turn it off (throat singing??). Smile. Many special memories. Best wishes on your next adventure.

Posted by Amber | June 4, 2010 8:33 AM

Sherrilee - When the time comes, I'd be glad to help you organize something.

Amber - Yes, that's the visual image I'll associate with Dale and the show - running to the radio to see who/what that song is. (My HD one has the bar where you can read it...)

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | June 4, 2010 8:39 AM

Thanks for making us laugh, Teri!

Posted by Cathy & Krista | June 4, 2010 8:43 AM

Thank you for all the songs, the memories, the laughter, and the tears! You Are My Sunshine got to me well as Over the Rainbow :) My dog was looking at me oddly because I was singing along and crying. It's great to hear Jim Ed's voice again, even under the circumstances. I wish you all the best Dale! Keep up the good work Mike :) See you all over at!

Posted by Alanna in MI | June 4, 2010 8:43 AM

I still think MPR........ok I will hold back on that, and just let things be, even though its very very hard to do. I wish things turned out very differently for this show. I remember being at the Fitz on that chilly December morning and I was one of the last twenty people before they closed the doors. All before 6 AM! That shows you how many people you touched throughout 25 years.

Posted by Aaron | June 4, 2010 8:47 AM

Dale - I crawled out of bed at 4:30 this morning so I could get to work in time to hear the beginning of the show, I didn't want to miss any of it. I realize 4:30 probably sounds like sleeping in. I am glad it is Friday and it is fairly quiet around here, less people to explain the tears to. I just want to echo the rest, thanks for the memories. So much of my life was echoed on your show and TMS before. Your playlist this morning is like bringing out old photos and going remember when.....

Posted by Laurie | June 4, 2010 8:48 AM

...yeah, that's about all I've got...

Posted by That Guy in the Hat | June 4, 2010 8:48 AM

Thanks for everything, Dale. And thanks for Tom Traubert's Blues one last time - I will always associate that song with the great experience of the last 2 and a half decades.

Posted by Connie in LP | June 4, 2010 8:55 AM

Great choice for a final song, Dale! Tom Waits epitomizes what you, Jim Ed, Mike, The Morning Show and Radio Heartland have stood for all these years: Finding diamonds in the rough and making sure we hear them. Brilliant. Cheers and Good luck. Thanks for another great memory, this morning's farewell show.

Posted by Chris in Owatonna | June 4, 2010 8:56 AM

Yes, expect the best of each other.

And listen to the still, small voice that's telling you where to go next.

Happy trails.

Posted by Sarah Jane | June 4, 2010 8:58 AM

As I sit and listen to Tom Waits in my cube I have the same sense I have after I have finished striking a set for a play. The show is done, the cast disperses. The stage has gone from creating a different place to a blank slate, probably with a fresh coat of black paint on the floor. Melancholy, but still full of promise.

Posted by Anna | June 4, 2010 8:59 AM

Dear Tipper,
It seems odd that you're asking how to find happiness when you are within moments of imminent death. Are you concerned that your entrance beyond the pearly gates will depend upon your frame of mind? From what I've read, when you get to that point, your head will no longer be with you. Right now, take a paper and pencil and on one side write down all the things that might happen if you continue to sit and do nothing and wait for a gust of wind to blow you off the cliff. There's not much to write other than "crash and burn", right? On the other side, make a sketch of how, in your still attached mind, you might envision the creature to look with his shirt off. More fun than writing "crash and burn," yes? I'm not saying your picture will look anything like the creature - he's probably hideous - but at least it will keep you entertained until your car gets blown over. That's the secret to happiness. Creatively fantasize in even the most dire situation. If somehow, you miraculously survive, you might want to consider moving to Denmark because that's supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, next to Disney World.

Boundless thanks, Radio Guys, for sharing your creative and talented selves with us. I'll continue listening to JASPER because, for a robot, he has incredible taste in tunes. Also, I enjoy envisioning him without his shirt.

Posted by Donna | June 4, 2010 8:59 AM

Bye, all. Hope we find each other online. :-)

Posted by elinor | June 4, 2010 8:59 AM

Ah, man... it's already 9am. So sad that MPR did this. Wish I could have a few choice words with Mr. Kling.

Dale, best wishes. We'll see you over at I am very hopeful to hear you on the radio again soon.

Jim Ed, it was great to hear you. I hope you are enjoying retirement.

Posted by Eric | June 4, 2010 8:59 AM

One last thought to MPR upper echelon...

I've poked around in some of the other blogs, Classical for instance, and about all I notice there is tumbleweeds blowing in the virtual wind. No community like there has been here.

What made RH and the Dale Connelly Show different, right from the start 18 months ago?

Mike Murtaugh
Albert Lea

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | June 4, 2010 9:02 AM

Oh gosh... The Wailin' Jennys doing One Voice.

This is the sound of all of us
Singing with love and the will to trust
Leave the rest behind it will turn to dust
This is the sound of all of us


Thank you for everything, Dale, Mike and Jim Ed.

Posted by MN-TX | June 4, 2010 9:04 AM

Thanks again, Dale. Great to hear you again, Jim Ed. Would you two please get together for a new venture?

Posted by Bonnie in Lino | June 4, 2010 9:06 AM

Excellent choice. Was this JASPER's choice? :+)

Mark Erelli - Everthing In Ruin

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 9:06 AM

Thanks for playing Nogies, and good luck and happiness in your futures!

Posted by Jim Hartmann | June 4, 2010 9:07 AM

Oh sad! Already a new announcer voice for RH!!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 9:11 AM

Yes, but I'm glad there's a new announcer - otherwise I'd hear Dale's voice and for a second think he's still programming.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | June 4, 2010 9:14 AM

I suggest you two do a live late afternoon show

Posted by Aaron | June 4, 2010 9:14 AM

Just made my MPR call. Trying not to be smug but I had to be on hold a long time, so hopefully it's a lot of us voting with our pocketbooks.

See y'all on Trial Baboon!

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 9:15 AM

Well, I'm pretty ticked. I've been listening to you Dale for all of my adult life. Your voice has been part of my morning for years and I've loved it.

I just cancelled my sustaining membership and my plans to increase my sponsorship through my small business. I know they want to develop the "Youth Market". But guess what? The youth market does not have any money to pay salaries.

I do. So there.

Good-bye MPR

Posted by Jacque | June 4, 2010 9:19 AM

Thank you again Dale for making my morning wake up a happy time. It was great to hear Jim Ed today too. So many wonderful memories. Jim Ed, I hope you are enjoying your retirement. Funny how you found a way to "look busy" I think my husband would like that trick ; )

Love an thanks to you both!

BTW- I too have a HD radio that will be collecting a lot dust.

Posted by Jan from River Falls, WI | June 4, 2010 9:20 AM

Hi Dale - I have been a fan and follower of yours for so long, and am just heartsick at MPR's shabby treatment of you. Thank you for teaching us all what talent, grace and class really are. Thank you for the joy you have brought to our community. And best wishes in all your new adventures...I know your path will be filling with love, light and new opportunities to share your talents. Cheers to you!

Posted by Kirby | June 4, 2010 9:20 AM

I will miss Dale, just like I have missed Jim Ed for the past 18 months. I agree with everyone that this was a unique community of listeners and bloggers. We are a family.

This was all created when someone at MPR took a programming risk. Dale was the face and an integral part of this experiment, but he wasn't the only one that created this format. We can't vent at MPR for taking the risk. Unfortunately the experiment didn't generate enough money to pay the bills for the programming.

While we can all rant about the cruel decision to tterminate Dale's live pressence, what we should really be doing is trying to figure out a model where this type of programming, with live announcers, can be self sustaining. If only 1 in 8 listeners to MPR is a member, my guess is that an even smaller percentage of listeners via a web-stream are members.

How can we change that? If you figure it out you will have achieved the holy grail and we can hire Dale back, and many more like him.

Dale, Mike and Jim Ed, thanks for the years of great music and memories.

God speed.

Posted by Fred | June 4, 2010 9:21 AM

As "That Guy" says... sigh. I can relate to the comments about running to the radio (computer) to discover new musical treasures. Thanks for all you've done to keep civilization, well, civilized. Hope to hear you elsewhere, after you've had a nice long rest. Where will you get your musical fixes now? Any recordings at home or were they all at MPR? Can we have back promo copies some of us sent MPR and give them to you? Best wishes.

Posted by Patrice | June 4, 2010 9:26 AM

I'm so disappointed. MPR has lost me on this one. I don't know how I can support a station that acts this way. Thanks, Dale, for all you have done for the local scene. We'll miss your wit, and your voice.

Posted by dan | June 4, 2010 9:33 AM

To Fred:

"Many more like him?" If only!! But you're thinking what I'm thinking. This is not the end...

Posted by Jane in Stillwater | June 4, 2010 9:42 AM

You do not send a machine to do the work of a human being!

I just heard the voice say a "Radio Heartland, a 24 hour music mix."

Wow just another "Pandora Station!"

You cannot replace the human touch.

But what could I expect from the Bill KLING-ON Empire.

Mike, you need to talk no matter what the suits say, AND DALE NEEDS TO COME BACK!

That is if he wants to after such shabby treatment by the suits!

Has anyone thought of contacting MPR's Corporate Sponsors?

Because it is obvious how little Dale, Mike and we listeners and loyal supporters matter to MPR that they cannot invest in even one live radio show.

Posted by Jon in Walker | June 4, 2010 9:43 AM

It would be nice if Mike or someone at MPR would keep up a musical calendar to let listeners know about concerts around the Twin Cities. I was lucky enough to win tickets last year to hear Vienna Tang and Over the Rhine at the Cedar. Not every musician who comes to town fits the Current's format, and while I'm on a couple of mailing lists about upcoming shows and house concerts, Dale was also a source for info.

Posted by David Wilford | June 4, 2010 9:51 AM

It's so weird -- I keep waiting for Dale to introduce a song or intersperse some witty insight or dedication. Even the station IDs are now immediately Dale-less and non-descript.

I wrote and sent an actual paper letter by US Mail to Bill Kling which should appear on his desk today or Monday, expressing my polite MN outrage at this turn of events. I'm seriously rethinking my paltry sustaining donation, but I haven't decided yet.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | June 4, 2010 10:06 AM

When I first heard of The Morning Show back in the mid 80's, I was hooked. From that point, my ultimate goal was to someday work at MPR and with Dale and Jim Ed.

Well, here I am twenty some years later. I've had that privelage, and many more. I am truly honored to have worked with this show, and with Dale. He's a radio genius, and I've learned a lot from him. He'll be missed more than you know.

Radio Heartland will be here next week, and the week after... I hope some of you will stay tuned.

Posted by Mike Pengra | June 4, 2010 10:26 AM

Thanks, Mike! You are appreciated also! We are all hurting today.
I will probably tune in sometimes, but the $ support for MPR is done from here at this time. Maybe if "the suits" stopped getting raises while decreasing services I'd be more flexible and understanding.

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 10:37 AM

Will we be able to access old Trial Balloon archives in the future? I notice that there is no likni to the Trial Balloon on the Radio Heartland homepage.

Posted by Renee | June 4, 2010 10:40 AM

Mike & Dale... can you prevail upon the powers that be to keep the blog archives up for a week or so. So that folks like Clyde, who are not around the last 2 days know where to find us?

Posted by sherrilee | June 4, 2010 10:40 AM

Dear Mike,

We are so grateful for all the help you've given over the years. It couldn't have been done without you. Like Amy says, we are all hurting, as I'm sure you are, too. Also,we're all hoping for another Dale Connelly venture, and how cool if you could be a part of it!

Keep the great music coming!

Posted by Jane in Stillwater | June 4, 2010 10:53 AM

Dale on Gary Eichten 91.1 as soon as news is done. Thanks to the person who gave us the heads up earlier!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | June 4, 2010 11:03 AM

I'm sad that Trial Balloon already seems to be buried and was a little wistful when the rebroadcast came on saying that Dale was on from 6-9.

MIke - I will keep listening, and glad you are still part of the mix, as that is important, too. I have no doubts that you can find some good ways to keep RH vibrant, if announcer-less.

Posted by Anna | June 4, 2010 11:07 AM

Dale - Needless to say you'll be greatly missed. I've been a loyal listener for about 30 years.
Even though I, too, must drop my long-term membership to MPR as a gesture of protest, I can't help but wonder. If people knew this crisis was pending, MPR would have been flooded by memberships. I know Dale did his best to sell memberships during membership drives and I know he has too much integrity to express this as a personal threat, but why didn't someone in MPR come out with a factual, verifiable "hatchet list" that said, " the Dale Connelly Show will be eliminated next". They would have had a flood of memberships. If MPR has lost its soul, it's just another money-grabbing soulless corporation that only looks at numbers.

Posted by Larry from Hillsdale | June 4, 2010 11:38 AM

Regarding the suggestion that MPR dropped Dale because his show doesn't have enough support to pay for it's self, It seems the cost of continuing it as an automated show is not too high. Apparently it is just the cost of keeping Dale as a live boardcaster that is too high. May be they could automate some of the classical music programing and save some money by also getting rid of the live boardcasters on those shows.

Posted by Jim | June 4, 2010 11:54 AM

My husband and I are so sorry to hear that MPR is taking you off the air.
We are listening to the replay of your last show, singing along, even
dancing in the computer room and shedding a few tears.
Jerry and I did our long-distance courting in the 80s through the
morning show dedications. Birthdays, job changes and special days were
made more special with your dedications.
Now we are married, have grandkids and want to sing "Little Potato" to
our newest one.
I see that you have the Jim Post "Lighten Up" song as your third last
song--a song that sustained us through hard times, especially the Bush
administration. I hope you can be sustained by your friends and family
(we fondly remember Gus). I hope your talents can be channeled into
something you love.
You're the best,
Carol Weiler
Sartell, MN

Posted by Carol Weiler | June 4, 2010 12:28 PM

Dale -- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the smailes over all the years -- ESPECIALLY for the many special radio moments I shared with my daughter as she journeyed through childhood.

Best wishes in all things to you.


Posted by Pamela Haiden | June 4, 2010 12:37 PM

Thanks for the memories. Garrison, Jim Ed and Dale truly presented what is best in radio entertainment. I will truly miss your presentation. What were they thinking?....

Posted by Tom | June 4, 2010 1:06 PM

I have college kids home so sleeo late and up late is what is going o here. However, heard you live on Midday today whne I was driving places. Need to tell you that I am the mom who saw MaMa Mia with you and yor wife, had dinner and went to the cast party. All that is still thrilling for my daughter who was in middle school at the time and is now 20. Do you remember that you also invited us to the studio for a show and my son could not stay awake. But we all loved it. And you talked about each of them in their 16th birthday. SO GREAT. Thanks for driving with us every morning to school until that fateful day when they drove themselves and the world changed.

Posted by Diane | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM

Dale, I want to say something uplifting but I've read through the comments of other bloggers and they have said it all. I can't tell you how much I've missed the old Morning Show (I'm wearing my MS T-shirt now!). Here's wishing you the VERY BEST. I will follow whatever new endeavor you embark on. At least I can enjoy the music CD's I can afford to buy now that I am cancelling my membership in MPR. - Chris P.

Posted by Chris Preston | June 4, 2010 1:21 PM

For crying out loud! What was MPR thinking?

My first reaction to this news was to cancel my membership, but that hurts other good MPR people like Gary Eichten. I think the next time membership rolls around, I'll join Gary's Jackson club with a one-time contribution of $20. No more sustaining, no more $240 a year, no more extra contributions. I've supported MPR for 30 years. Now the next generation can give up their lattes and their gadgets and take my place.

I'll miss you Dale. Thanks for years of great music and humor.

Posted by mary | June 4, 2010 1:53 PM

My husband and I listened to the closing show with tears streaming. We have many fond memories of songs, stories, laughter, tears, and intellectually stimulating information from the Morning Show, Radio Heartland and the Dale Connelly show. We raised our now grown sons on "Little Potato". Your program was consistently full of class, creativity, humility, honesty, professionalism and integrity. MPR no longer appears to have those qualities. We cancelled our MPR membership this morning. We have been members since 1984. We will save our money for an organization we can trust.

We wish you all the best in whatever new doors open for you Dale!

We are already reading your new blog and anxiously await hearing about your new projects!

Posted by Julie Busta, St. Cloud | June 4, 2010 2:01 PM

Before this blog possibly disappears, I thought this wonderful item from Bob Collins on his News Cut blog should be passed along here:

Posted by David Wilford | June 4, 2010 2:08 PM

Thanks, David W., for that link - great to see the photos.

I just emailed Clyde with new blog info. Where's tim today? Heard Steve in St. Paul (I think) on the Gary Eichten interview.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | June 4, 2010 2:37 PM

From the online newpaper, MinnPost
MPR executive pay: Kling tops $600,000
Topping the list, of course, is Bill Kling, the president and CEO of the entity officially known as Minnesota Public RadioAmerican Public Media. He made $373,254 in compensation and benefits from MPR/APM, which for the year grossed $82.2 million. Kling's total take swelled to $606,753, including approximately $180,000 from American Public Media Group (APMG), which controls MPR, and $48,000 from Greenspring, MPR's for-profit arm.
This is what is not sustainable about MPR!

Posted by Kim | June 4, 2010 4:37 PM

Well Mike, we are going to give morning listening a try-don't let JASPER get the upper hand.

Afraid I am going to have to cut off any money for MPR-the amount I was giving is apparently insignificant to the powers that be anyway.

Posted by catherine | June 4, 2010 4:46 PM

a little song
a little dance
a little seltzer down the pants

chuckles the clown
on the subject of true happiness

as for all of us who are done supporting in the old way
ill bet dale could get by on a fraction of what he brought in to the coffers via the shows over the years. i have been traveling today and it dawned on me that we can do this. check the blog and see how we propose get this started.

Posted by tim | June 4, 2010 10:25 PM

Dale - Thanks for all the memories! I hope to hear you on KFAI? I'll keep Googling to try and catch you if you pop back out of the ether here in the Twin Cities.

Mike - the music mix is still the best on the web...keep it up, I'll still be listening!

I too am seriously torqued at MPR . I agree with Jim - MPR could clearly have kept Dale and automated some of the classical or Current programming. Choices have consequences - I will continue to support MPR, but at a reduced level to correspond with the reduced value I am now receiving....that's the equation of pledge drives - sorry management, it works both ways.

Posted by Tohr in St Paul | June 5, 2010 11:26 AM

This feels like a death in the immediate family. You have been a member of our family with all the things that happen in the mornings since you started. Our children were born and raised hearing you, Gus was born and we delighted in him. You introduced us to every kind of music possible and taught us how to delight in putting the music together. You have a talent that no one else has - friend, co-worker or computer. There is no question what you have done and what Jasper has done in programing.
We will miss you terribly and hope for the best for you and your family.

Posted by mary margaret | June 5, 2010 2:59 PM

Dale and Heartland bloggers I am sad!My vote for RH was my Sustaining Membership. I listened to the rebroadcasts every day. The commentary and color that you add to the music program will be sorely sadly missed. The back and forth between the bloggers will be missed. Thank you for the gift of music and company. Brokenhearted...

Michelle in Winona (brokenhearted)

Posted by Michelle in Winona | June 5, 2010 3:27 PM

I am going to miss your wit and wisdom, Dale. Goodbye friend.

Posted by Steven in Moorhead | June 7, 2010 7:25 AM

Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do to make the world a better place in which to live.

Posted by Valerie | June 7, 2010 8:40 AM

arrrrgh. i miss dale.

Posted by audrey in mpls. | June 7, 2010 10:29 AM

arrrrgh. i miss dale.

Posted by audrey in mpls. | June 7, 2010 10:50 AM

Dear Dr. Heartlander:

What is the name of the song played on Radio Heartland about a hobo's letters to his grandson's. It's one of those priceless gems only heard on Radio Heartland.

Tim in West Lafayette

Posted by Tim Owens | June 14, 2010 2:58 PM

you'll have to ask on the trial baboon. the blog has continued over there.

Posted by tim | June 21, 2010 6:42 AM

I understand why you still post the last Trial Balloon blog. It (along with the comments) would help the confused figure out what is going on. Would you please change Dale's bio? To read "He has not left." is just too ironic and painful given the way he was treated.

Posted by Erick | June 23, 2010 11:15 AM

I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!

Keep up the great works guys I've included you guys to my blogroll.

Posted by null | April 28, 2013 4:10 PM

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