90.1 KPFT listeners are used to hearing Hank Roubicek ask questions of local storytellers, but he answers a few this time. “Dr. Hank” guides guests through surreal, funny, serious and every other tale in between as part of So, What’s Your Story? As you might guess, Hank Roubicek has got a mix of his own eclectic notions.
What was the moment that made you want to get on the radio?
I was a stutterer in my earlier years in high school. After treatment, I was better, but was never told I had a pleasing voice. It was an internship as a DJ at Ohio State (WOSU) that turned me around.
I received positive, very complementary feedback for the first time in my life. I felt like I mattered. Radio taught me more than the power of expression; it taught me the power of the human spirit.
Who is your dream guest, living or not, and what would you ask her/him?
Because So, What’s Your Story is live, I have a long list of dream guests. But Mark Twain tops my list. My first question, though not in question form: “Please start talking. I will tell you when to stop. Maybe.”
What listener remark or experience sticks with you?
I have been blessed with a plethora of fantastic guests with stories that range from great triumphs to profound disappointments. Every storyteller was a success. However, when the kids from Johnston Middle School walked into the studio and voiced enthusiastically “this is so cool,” I was reminded of the freshness of youth and the magic in having fun. Whenever they are on the show they help both myself and listeners return to the world of “fun.”
What interests do you have that might surprise people?
I like to iron.
What’s the first record you bought with your own money?
“House of the Rising Sun.” Yes, I’m old!
What book first inspired you?
As a youngster I wasn’t much of a reader. It’s hard to say which book influenced me the most, but “Death of a Salesman” made me an instant Arthur Miller fan. I quote parts of the play all the time.
If you were invited to speak at a college commencement, what three things — whether that’s advice, a reading or anything else — would you recommend to your audience?
Be generous with your money
…and your heart.
What song would you want played at your funeral, and why?
Easy, because I have it written in my will (I am not totally normal): “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations.
I want people to remember me as someone they were happy to know. I want to be remembered as someone who put his heart into everything he did. I grab reality and cherish it. But I also imagine because it reminds me that I’m alive. The song is meant to say, “Hank is still alive.”