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On the road again

WOCV-TV host John Gants takes viewers to some of Maryland’s most interesting places

Created date

May 21st, 2013

He may not be as well traveled as Rick Steves or as adventurous as Anthony Bourdain, but John Gants is equally as entertaining. As host of On the Road With John Gants, the popular travel show airing on Oak Crest s in-house TV station WOCV-TV, John takes viewers on an armchair tour to a hodgepodge of Maryland landmarks. I enjoy meeting new people and visiting different places, says John. I just go with the flow. Most of the places I haven t been to myself, so I m discovering them myself along with the viewers. John s natural charm and personality won his spot for On the Road, which is produced by WOCV-TV Manager Joshua Runkles and Production Coordinators Christopher Taydus and Tameka Harris. Mr. Gants has got a knack for making people feel at ease, and he s also great with improv, says Harris. Nothing is scripted, so I guess you could call it a reality show. It s real, it s fresh, and you never know what to expect. That s the magic of Mr. Gants. Being in front of the camera seems to come naturally to the Western Electric retiree. I don t really get nervous being in front of a lot of people, says John. When I worked at Western Electric, I did a lot of emceeing for various events, like company picnics and retirement parties, and I also helped with public relations. I think if you really truly like people, it s easy to talk to anyone.

Traveling man

Since the show first aired in 2008, John has traveled to a variety of different locations, including the Clipper City Brewery; Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown (Oak Crest s sister community in Catonsville); Clarks Elioak Farm, in Ellicott City; Towson Golf and Country Club; and the Irish Railroad Workers Museum off Lemmon Street and Maryland Art Place, both in Baltimore City. Harris says the locations are selected based on one guiding principle: they must be interesting. So when the opportunity came up to visit Baltimore s long-running FM radio station, 98 ROCK, it fit the bill perfectly. The trip to 98 ROCK came about while we were searching for guests to appear onGood Morning Oak Crest, the community s daily morning show, says Harris. We invited Baltimore sports broadcaster Gerry Sandusky to come to the station for an interview, but he wasn t available. A few weeks later, we received a call from 98 ROCK inviting us on theMickey, Amelia, and Spiegel show. They spottedOn the Roadon YouTube and liked what they saw. Initially, John thought he was going to tour the station and interview the morning show deejays at 98 ROCK. Instead, it turned out to be the other way around. Before I knew it, they had me in a chair wearing headphones, and I was on the air, says John. I joked with them and said, They must have had some dead air time if they wanted me. Since his initial appearance, John has become a semi-regular guest on theMickey, Amelia, and Spiegelshow. I don t think they knew what they were getting themselves into when they asked me to go on the radio, jokes John. Harris says appearing on 98 ROCK is a great opportunity to share Oak Crest with a demographic that doesn t normally think about retirement communities. John says he gets a lot of positive feedback from his Oak Crest neighbors about the show. People seem to like it, says John. I have people stop me all the time and say they find the show really interesting. The show s next stop isn t nailed down yet, but Harris says regardless of where they go, one thing is for sure: John teaches us with every interaction that life is what you make it and that you re never too old to learn, grow, and experience new things, she says. On the Roadis always searching for interesting Maryland spots for John to explore. Send your suggestions to Tameka J. Harris, WOCV-TV production coordinator,