A lot of people assume I got into radio because of who my Dad is (psst... it's Wes Nessman! Crazy, huh?). His influence, guidance, and expertise have all been instrumental in aiding (or abetting) my career in radio. So please do not assume that anything else said here is a dig on him, I love him.

But the truth is, I wanted to get into radio because of one person in particular: Jacqui Neal, whom many of you know as one of the very first morning show partners on FMX. A day without Wes and Jacqui is like a day without Jacqui and Wes.

Jacqui and I met when I was still in elementary school. She treated me with unbelievable kindness. I was a nerdy, weird and awkward child, but she treated me like I was cool and important. She bought me presents for holidays you don't get gifts for like Halloween and St. Patrick's Day. She took me out to the movies, skating, and the mall, but my absolute favorite times were spending the night in her cool house, surrounded by all her cool things, falling asleep to the light of candles, and Babe playing on a VHS tape.  I'm pouring happy tears just thinking about it all. Sometimes when I'm too stressed to sleep at night, I imagine I'm there again, and I fall asleep peacefully.

from the collection of Renee Raven's mom
from the collection of Renee Raven's mom

As I child I loved her so dearly that I prayed with all my might that she could somehow become my real Aunt and stay in my life forever. It was a ridiculous request- how can your cool adult friend magically become your Aunt? Here's the thing: she did.

Jacqui went on to marry my dad's brother Bill. My biggest prayer was answered. It just took a little while. I'm still really grateful it happened. Here's a bonus picture of Dad and Bill and other various family members of mine. I find it outrageously charming, and it's so obvious which one is Wes:

Renee Raven
stolen off Jacqui's facebook

Most importantly, Jacqui is still in my life. Prayers answered.

Jacqui left Lubbock for a beautiful life on the Texas coast, in fact, you can still hear her on the radio Middays on Classic Rock 104.5 The Eagle out of Corpus Christi.

The best parts of me are the parts that are able to hold a candle to the burning bonfire of talent, love, hard work, and positivity that burns inside Jacqui Neal.

Happy radio day my favorite DJ ever. My friend, my aunt, my Jacqui.


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