Lin Brehmer has been a family friend for a long time. My mom started working at XRT around the same time as Lin. My dad, Lin, and a handful of other rabid baseball fans started The One Lake League rotisserie baseball league in the back room of Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. Dad, the league commissioner, is quick to point out that Lin has yet to win a season. Ever. There’s always next year, right?
Lin’s been around my family for celebrations, funerals, and weddings. One particular wedding comes to mind where he tore up the dance floor and, afterwards, lead a hotel bar in rounds of traditional Irish whiskey and traditional Irish songs. Not the token Irish drinking songs, either, but obscure traditionals and rebel songs. Lin Brehmer was the most Irish man in a roomful of Irishmen and Irishwomen. Lin never called my grandparents by their first name, insisting on addressing them as Mr. and Mrs. prompting my grandmother to smile and say “…you’re such a nice man.” And she’s right!
A few years earlier, after I spent 4 years prospering to a higher mind, Lin gave me a graduation gift (which I cherish as whole-heartedly now as I did then) and career advice (which I disregard as blatantly now as I did then) – “Study math…and DO NOT go into radio. But, if you do, take this: The Great Rock Discography 5th Edition by Martin C. Strong with forward by legendary BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel.”
In the days before artist bios on websites, album credits and song hooks on Soundcloud, and Wikipedia and its sometime alternative facts, a Rock Discography was a “must have” for every DJ. I still reference mine and smile every time I read Lin’s inscription: “To Ryan, Congratulations. I hope you’ll give me a job someday. Lin Brehmer.”