Her mom was a writer, and C.J. started writing at three in a diary, and after a few years published a family newspaper! She always wanted to talk about sports, and with encouragement from her family, she dreamed that someday she'd be the first woman playing pro baseball, breaking the gender barrier like Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
She wasn't that good, but she still talked a great game, and with a new set of heroes (Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Charlie "Keep your eye on the ball" Wright) set her career sights on working in broadcasting. After a stint behind the scenes at ESPN nationally, she came to San Luis ObispoCounty to host an drive-time talk show.
C.J. could not garner respect no matter how hard she worked, and decided she should find an administrative job working for a non-profit, and landed with Red Cross. She also hones her skating and marketing skills by promoting the local women's Roller Derby league. And she decided to write a book on her experiences as a woman broadcaster in the men-dominated occupation.
The resulting book is culled from the journals that she had kept since she was a kid, and the true stories of 22 years in the business. C.J. said, "It's not about sports. It was about a kid who wrote about her dreams coming true." In a message to an assembly of elementary school children, C.J. said, "I had a dream when I was your age and I fulfilled it."
That assembly where she spoke at the urging of a friend who taught at the school, C.J. didn't know what else she could say to such a young audience. But three days later, her friend handed her a manila envelope of thank-you notes. That made her day! Her book was out, but her dream to broadcast was reborn. She asked herself: How do I get back on the air?
The book prevented her from being rehired at ESPN, although she claimed that most of the people there were on the level. She had offers to relocate to Iowa and Kentucky, but after the connections she had nurtured in this area, and the nice weather, she turned those down. She went to Legal Zoom, made sponsorship packets, and convinced the local sports station general manager to give her a shot. The catch: she had to sell the ads herself and her show was on Saturday morning from 7-8 a.m.
"I asked myself, 'What Would Jackie Do?'," Silas said. She grabbed the early morning show, gathering the advertisers (like referee and insurance agent Breven Baima), and puts in a lot of hours in preparation to the hour-long show that is a testament to not giving up. UCLA legend John Wooden once told her: "Don't give up. Don't you ever give up."
C.J. has set her sights higher, of course. She's like to be part of the Monday Night Football team, and she'd also like to be a stadium announcer for a major-league baseball team. And on the path to her dream, she's accepted an offer to be the play-by-play announcer for the HancockCollege football games for the upcoming season.
"Nowadays," C.J. said, "It's the most fun I can have!"