It's been a while since Art Bell did his own show, but he was still a part of my life until his recent departure from this planet on Friday, April 13, 2018. We were Facebook friends since 2011 and I kept up with his new family that was still growing and responded to his comments, which were very much like my own thoughts.
Art was a definite influence on my life. I was always the curious type and loved to listen to late night radio ever since I was a kid. That's how I discovered Art. I instantly became a fan once I found out he was an amateur radio operator, a topic that came up often on his show. It was during the 1990's before there were iPods and Podcasts, so in order to work during the daylight hours that my job required from me, I had to get creative in my thinking on how to listen to his entire show and still get a nights sleep. Having a Pioneer component stereo system that included an auto-reverse cassette tape deck, I acquired the best quality metal tapes in the C-120 size which gave me 2 hours of recording time and set my alarm on my clock radio for 12:05 AM so I could get up and start the recording and again at 2:05, when I put a second tape in the deck for the rest of the show to record. I then took a portable cassette player with me in my work van and listened to the recordings as I made my commute and during the day between stops. It wasn't perfect, but it worked for me.
Art introduced me to several authors that piqued my interest in curious things as well. If it weren't for Art, I would never heard of Graham Hancock, author of "Fingerprints of the Gods", Colonel Philip J Corso, who wrote "The Day After Roswell". Also there was Zecharia Sitchin who had his own interpretations of Sumerian clay tablets, Linda Moulton Howe, who investigated crop circles and more with vigor and Patrick "Paddy" Heron, author of "Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse" who became a personal friend of mine after I contacted him about his book, may he rest in peace.
Art also introduced me to music that I may never have thought to seek out with his amazing bumper music repertoire. In the New Age category, I fell in love with Cusco and Loreena McKennitt. Also, expanding my taste, I learned to enjoy Crystal Gayle, The Highwaymen and Tito & Tarantula. Because of his love for music, I became a music lover... so much so that I can't stop making classic music ringtones for my phone these days.
Art's ham radio discussions on the air on his show and on HF were something I enjoyed the most. I never had a QSO with him, but I heard him on 160 meters often and enjoyed hearing about his huge 75 foot high two wire loop antenna that generated 350 volts on its own from the atmosphere until he figured out how to tame it. How I would love to have a 5 acre antenna farm like his. Even though I already had a license before listening to Art, his participation in the hobby encouraged me to upgrade my license.
Rest in peace, Art. Thanks for all the hours of entertainment and being a part of my life.