Greetings to all
Greetings to all from Maine, where the men are freezing, the women are
also freezing and the children are bouncing off above-average snow banks.
It's wintah heah, but the cockles of my heart were thawed by the messages
from the "WJMA family."
I remember fondly the Labor Day 1970 afternoon sitting in Arch's office
for the interview to fill an announcing position he had open. I read the
ad in Broadcasting Magazine ("announcer. Small station in Orange,
Virginia. We won't promise anything we can't deliver." Or words to that
effect.) I had come from announcing classical music on WGMS for six
months, working midnight-6 a.m. The station cut its budget (sound
familiar?), and me, being newest kitty in the litter box, got bumped.
Arch hired me, and I went from playing Mozart and Beethoven to "Knock
Three Times" and the Three Dog Night. It was a steep learning curve on
having to SAY SOMETHING every three - four minutes instead of 20-30.
But there was something about the quality of the operation and solidity
of the position that caused me to buy a house and get involved with the
community. My then-wife (I have a different one now)worked for the Orange
County Extension Service and through it we started "The Young Virginians"
chorus of young people. Gavin Sanner was accompanist, and the kids did
very well. Later Arch asked me to help start an adult choral group and
for three years I conducted The Orange Choral Society. Great fun!
From WJMA I went to teach music and photography at Woodberry Forest
School, then moved to Harrisonburg where I worked in a rather dismal
evening shift doing nothing more than running the board and reading a
newscast or two. But I was falling in love, and that gave me time
to,well, nurture the relationship.
We moved to Birmingham Alabama in 1976 where I was part of a start-up
team that got public radio station WBHM on the air on Dec 5, 1976. I
started as music director, left there as program director in 1983 for
Maine where I assumed the same role at Maine Public Radio. I was station
mamanger for radio when my position was cut in 1991.
Since then I have had various fates and fortunes that led me to my
present work, director of the Maine Audio Information and Reading
Service, Maine AIRS. I supervise about 60 volunteer readers and a part
time staff member who read the local news from the state's daily and
weekly newspapers broadcast statewide over the SAP channels of Maine
Public TV. We have a small but very appreciative audience of blind and
visually impaired listeners who otherwise would not be able to hear the
obituaries, town council news, store ads and other fodder that are the
grist of the presses.
You can hear Maine AIRS (in fact, I currently am on the air at 7 p.m. EST
reading "The Maine Woods" by Thoreau on a program that airs nightly
called "The Maine Reader"- well, it would sound funny to say the
Connecticut Reader or the El Paso Reader...it wouldn't be ethical...).
You can hear Maine AIRS by logging on to www.theiris.org and clicking on
the Maine AIRS button.
I have been a choir director in the area since 1988, currently serving
the Orono United Methodist Church. I also continue to do a lot of
photography, none of which is available on any web site. I can send some
digital photos taken with an inexpensive but no longer functional camera
(it gets returned tomorrow) via attachments if anyone clammers for a
visual cure for insomnia.
That's enough keystroking for now. I have to pause and carefully read
this great batch of messages from the far-flung correspondents of the
Best wishes to you all.
Old Town, Maine
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