Maxwell, Pam & Heather

Heather’s Hit List- Thunderstorm Phobia
Heather’s Hit List- Thunderstorm Phobia

I’m terrified of thunderstorms. My phobia started in my early teens, living the high life in rural Wapello County and watching one of four channels we got on the tee vee antenna. One deafening crash of thunder later, sparks came shooting out of the TV, the dog was zapped trying to take shelter in his dog house outside, and my phobia was cemented forever. Nothing says “lightening is dangerous” more than an exploding TV and watching the poor dog stumble around the house disoriented for an hour. Bear and I started hiding under the same bed when it thundered.

In high school I traveled to a rodeo in Minnesota with a friend’s family, and as we were traveling south on the interstate going home with a trailer full of horses we drove straight into a huge storm with funnel clouds. As in, they were spinning and turning and the sirens were going off and I was screaming “THAT IS A TORNADO” before my friend’s dad FINALLY pulled over to take shelter….in a LUMBERYARD. Let’s pull over at the one place that has a million things that could be picked up and spun around into deadly weapons!

After that, I started dreaming about being chased by tornadoes impaling me with 2 by 4’s. The movie “Twister” wasn’t an action flick about storm chasing- for me, it was Nightmare on Elm Street meets Saw. It was Sharknado before it was cool.

Then there was the time I was on my bike and had to stop under the bridge by Wal Mart in Windsor Heights because of lightening, then it started to hail and the sirens went off and I thought about what it would be like to die in a tornado…under a bridge…next to a Wal Mart.

All of this comes up because I was reminded of my storm phobia last weekend. I was on a second date with a very nice guy and I dragged him out of the Barnstormers game in the 3rd quarter because the STORMS WERE COMING and they looked bad on radar and I had to get to the car before they got there. I guess they’re called phobias because they’re not supposed to make any sense.


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About Maxwell Maxwell is celebrating 34 years in radio with more than 25 years "On-The-Air" in Des Moines! His familiar voice & face grace local, regional and national radio and TV advertising, and his passion for theater has been displayed as both actor and director at Stagewest Theater Company and the Playhouse in Des Moines, where he was honored with a 2012 Playhouse "Legend" Award. He is an avid hockey fan, manning the microphone for 18 seasons as P.A. announcer for the Des Moines Buccaneers. Email Maxwell

About Pam Pam Dixon has been a familiar voice to central Iowans for over 30 years. A Beaverdale native & Hoover High graduate, Pam has to pinch herself that she’s working for the radio station she grew up listening to in Des Moines! Pam was formerly heard on KRNQ (Q-102) and KLYF in the 80’s and 90’s before being lured back to the biz by KIOA! As a breast cancer survivor, Pam is active with the Susan G. Komen Iowa Foundation and Bras for the Cause. Email Pam

About Heather Heather Burnside's quest to be on every radio & TV station in Des Moines has (hopefully!) come to an end with her latest stop at KIOA. Heather started at WHO-TV as a sportscaster, moved on to ESPN as an associate producer, and got into radio when she moved back to Iowa after two years of stalking celebrities and athletes on the East Coast. She doesn't want to talk about how she’s old enough to have a 20 year broadcasting career, instead preferring to believe she’s managed to cram all of that excitement & a 13 year radio career into one decade. Heather is very glad Pam is back, she’s like the big sister she never had. After discovering Max is a nice guy who can cook, sing, play guitar, & hit a golf ball a mile, she figures it’ll take that long to find something he isn't good at. Email Heather