For 11 years at WCSX, and decades before that at other spots on the FM band , Woodison’s distinctive dulcet register accompanied the sunrise for listeners.
Now she’s among the growing ranks of Michigand ers laid off, fired or bought out.
The married mother of two grown sons, Woodison was caring for her ailing 87-year-old mother, Maxine Woodison, this fall. Two weeks after her mother died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 28, Woodison and show partner Jim Johnson were let go.
It happened on a Tuesday, says Woodison. “On Wednesday, I woke up not knowing what to mourn — my mother or my sense of being, my sense of worth.”
“It didn’t seem fair in the scheme of things. But that’s life,” says Woodison, 57, who lives in Birmingham with her husband , Larry.
And as Maxine Woodison, would remind her, it could be a lot worse. Like when Maxine was 8 months pregnant and Woodison’s father was temporarily declared missing in action in World War II. So Woodison counts her many blessings.
She’s healthy, as is her family. She’s had great runs on the radio, hobnobbed with rock ‘n’ roll legends, and has feelers out for new gigs and opportunities.
Even with a public dismissal comes some unexpected comfort.
“Because we’re high profile, we’re fortunate to have people come up to you in the middle of the grocery store and tell you how they feel. One lady said ‘I’m so upset — it’s ruined my mornings.’ And you’re both holding eggplants and want to hug,” laughs Woodison.
There’s a certain familiarity to being fired, whatever your position in life.
“I’m sure it’s like everybody’s experience of being let go. They’re telling you we’re moving in a new direction. Your mind is racing. What about the mortgage? You’re a mother. You’re the CEO and support staff for a company — my own family,” she recalls. [source]