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Mike Trivisonno
Mr Know-it-All is a Senior - and loving it!

Love him or hate him - everybody knows his name. He's WTAM radio's drive time disc jockey and he's not afraid to speak his mind. But now, as News Commentator Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story.

Mike was born on Cleveland's East Side on September 20, 1949, the eldest of three children. He had a number of jobs before he took to the airwaves in 1987. His father worked in ceramic tile, so naturally, Mike worked on and off in that profession from a very young age. Then he went on to landscaping. He worked as an employee of a landscape firm before starting his own company "Chagrin Valley Landscaping".

Always an avid golfer, Mike left the landscaping business when he was given an opportunity to work at the Midpines Golf Course in Solon, Ohio. Unfortunately, the course grounds were only leased and eventually the property was sold to build homes.

Mike Trivisonno behind the WTAM microphone


Finally, in 1987, nearly twenty years after graduating from Mayfield High School, Mike found his calling on the radio. He went to work for WNCX and stayed there until 1992. Although he enjoyed the job, "spinning records" and playing music was not his ultimate goal.

He had things to say and ideas that needed to be conveyed, and he knew radio was the perfect venue. He was forced to stay off the air for a year, due to contract limitations, but in 1994 he found a home at what is now WTAM.

He's a true sports fan so a Sports Talk Show seemed a natural for him. But today he no longer limits himself to talking sports. "Sports is not real - athletes are not real people. Real is trying to put food on the table for your kids, and working hard for the money you make. Athletes live in fantasy land." Triv likes to keep things real.

He says he's making a few dollars now, even though he denies making the huge salaries people think he's making. But when he had the opportunity to move into a bigger house with a lot of property he chose to stay in the suburbs and raise his family in a neighborhood setting as close to the one he grew up in as he could.

It saddens him that the neighborhood life has changed so much. Growing up, the doors were never locked - the car keys were kept in the ignition and nobody ever worried. You knew your neighbors and you genuinely cared about each other. Family values meant something; it was not just a buzzword.

A perfect night to Mike is an evening at home - have a few people over, maybe a little food, a little something to drink and good conversation. "It doesn't get any better than that." For Mike, home includes his wife Linda, his high school sweetheart.

They have three children, all grown and living away from home. They are Michelle, Michael and Anthony. Daughter Michelle is also the source of Mike and Linda's two grandchildren, T.J. and Miranda.

Simple things make Mike happy. "Family, Good Health, money, people getting along, sports and food." But making him angry is even simpler. "People just aren't paying attention. They think if you've got a job and a roof over your head life is good and always will be. It's not that way. You've gotta pay attention or when things go bad you've got no one to complain to - you brought it on yourself."

Mike sights such things as low election turnouts as an example of the complacency he feels surrounded by. There's no question to Mike that things were better in the 1950's and even part of the 1960's. Nobody's mother worked when Triv was growing up. You came home to your mother everyday after school and she knew if you had homework, or got in trouble. She kissed you goodbye every morning and hello every afternoon, and you always knew you were in good hands.

WTAM radio's Mike Trivisonno on the Triv Show

The only advantage he sees to the modern day is technology and he's not sure that's all good. "We are living in a very informed age. Because of technology people have knowledge they never had before - and information is constantly being pumped into people. But again, people aren't paying attention, so they pick and choose the things they want to believe and then like the old saying 'A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing'."

"Explain it to me how this is a better world today. You've got crime everywhere. Your politicians are lying to you. Kids grow up with strangers raising them. Nobody trusts anybody. You don't want to get me started on drugs. Just explain to me how this is a better world!"

It's not that Triv isn't interested in the ways of the twenty-first century - he just finds the mid-twentieth century much simpler and indeed, more compatible and more comfortable to his ideal way of life.

On a lighter note, Mike plans on doing a lot of vacationing, if he ever retires. All of his plans are right here in the United States, seeing no reason to leave this country. He loves Las Vegas and is an avid (legal) gambler - especially on horses. He's looking forward to seeing New England and the Pacific West Coast States.

He fondly remembers conversations with his father about sports. His father would always start with "When I was a kid" and then would sing the praises of such greats as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. Mike didn't want to hear about these old-time players. He was ranting about Mickey Mantle. Now, he starts out his conversations with "When I was a kid" and sings the praises of Mickey Mantle while the next generation talks about Roberto Alomar and Pedro Martinez.

Mike thinks back to the messages he learned from his father and grandfather, and realizes they still hold true today. Like most other kids, Mike though his parents were stupid when he was a teen. All of a sudden when he got to be about 25 he realized that they were geniuses!

Triv - Mike Trivisonno


They taught him honesty and fair play; values and commitment. He always knew it was okay to talk to his parents - they were on his side. This is what he thinks is important today, a solid sense of family and a true sense of right and wrong.

Mike is very happy to be over 50, he wouldn't want to be a child in this generation for anything. Referring to his background in golf he explains he's on "the back nine" - there's still a lot of game left in him, but he's glad he doesn't have to replay the front nine.

He feels the first thirty years of his life took about 400 years. Then came thirty to fifty and that, he says "took about a week and a half. Where did that time go?"

Profiled by Debbie Hanson


Update: Our condolences go out to Mike Trivisonno and his family on the passing of his beloved wife Linda in August 2009


Read about Mike Trivisonno's niece Andria Trivisonno

and former sidekick Kim Mihalik on ClevelandWomen.Com


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