Many years ago I had an idea for a daily radio broadcast called From The Road, a five minute broadcast that would weave tales about the magical, often simple things that live between point A and point B on our ever more hurried race down the road of life. The concept was that listeners could, on a daily basis, tune into a five minute story of someone’s life, or deeds or a tale of an event or place. 

I shopped that idea around New York City and everybody loved the idea, raved about it and then would say, “Can you do it in 90 seconds?” I thought that would be like an expensive suit lying empty on the floor. The idea was to slow down our hurried pace and hear a good story, not to speed it up or condense it, not to squeeze the life out of it.  I said, “No.”

From The Road sat on the shelf for a few years, but like all good ideas, it kept tugging at me. One day I mentioned my idea to a local newspaper publisher.  He liked the idea, said he couldn’t pay me much, but he trusted my judgment and I was free to write whatever I chose. The word freedom has always meant more to me than money, so I said, “Yes.”

I wrote that column for four years until the paper was sold and the new owners valued control over freedom or money for that matter, so I moved my column to the web.

History is based on the telling of stories. Throughout my forty years as a broadcaster, twenty plus of which I have also been an actor and director, I learned that telling a good story was of great importance. When I began to write this column I learned the true weight of the story well told. People came out of the woodwork to comment on the joy they took from my tales. It surprised me to find this meant more to me than all the work I had done in my other careers. I sensed that people love to hear stories that celebrate other people’s lives.  Who doesn’t secretly hope that when we depart this world, someone will speak well of us?  Immortality lives in the words that are written or spoken of us, after all it is immortality we desire, isn't it?

The original inspiration for the From The Road column came from Ernie Pyle. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, columnist Ernie Pyle climbed into a Model ‘A’ Ford and roamed the back roads of our country. Fascinated by the little guy, he crisscrossed this country, writing a column a day "from the road."

In the mid-90’s I went to Arizona and drove around for a couple weeks, and began to write about the land and the people I met on my travels. One day a moment of synchronicity occurred. I stumbled into a used book store in Payson, Arizona.  A lanky older gentleman and his wife were the proprietors.  I asked if they had any book by Ernie Pyle and he replied, “You aren’t old enough to know who Ernie Pyle was.”  I laughed, told him I was, and followed him back through the maze of book laden passageways to a corner where he squatted down.  “I think there’s one or two down here,” he muttered. On a lower shelf his fingers grasped a book, dusted it off and handed it to me.  “Here’s one you might like,” he said. The book was called “Home Country” and he was right.

I sat on the porch of a Payson coffee shop and read for a couple hours.  Before I finished my coffee I knew I had to write stories about the people whose lives intersected with mine on my road through life. With that thought in mind I have now altered the name of my column; From the Road has now become Region’s Road

Now you are able to read all the original From The Road Column’s here in addition to all the forthcoming Region’s Road columns, too. Funny how life has a way of synchronizing things, with the advent of the iPod and Podcasting I can now deliver my tales as I originally intended them.  You’ll soon be able to hear the columns as podcasts.  When will it all begin?  Well now, I’m not entirely sure, but I hope to begin around the New Year so keep checkin’ back.  I’ll roll them out slowly and hope to go back and record all the old ones too.

Visit the From The Road/Region's Road Archive to access all the columns.

Here’s hopin’ I run into you one day along Region’s Road.

Daniel Region