August 31, 2013

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

I can't honestly say that, when I was a little girl, I had any expectation that following my heart and my dreams and my principles would eventually lead to my using an open field in West Virginia as the world's most lush and wasp-infested ladies' room*.

But there you go. I stay in broadcasting for the glamour.

As part of a small and arguably insane band of dedicated radio folk, I've spent a lot of time in and around a tiny meat locker of a transmitter site over the last few months. We are covered in scratches and deep bruises from moving our equipment into the new studio space. We know firsthand that derelict 30-year-old tube type transmitters are, and this is a technical term, heavy as a mofo.

(Along the way, I've even applied that graduate-level training in nonprofit administration** to, y'know, nonprofit administration.)

I am deliriously happy to say that WYZR 88.1 FM went on air today at 1:15 in the afternoon.

I could tell you it happened because of months of hard work, physical and mental, on the part of a few stubbornly idealistic souls.

I could tell you it happened because so many things that had no business falling into place fell into place.

I could tell you that some of us were scarred for life by all of those Churchill speeches and Profiles In Courage and also the lyrics to "Under The Gun," and were thus doomed to do the right thing even when it is, mathematically, the least easy thing to do in all the world.

All of this is true.

What really put this station on the air was something much stronger and more inescapable.


Love of jazz. Love of the medium of radio. Love of this community. Love of an extraordinary work family who found each other a few clicks over on the FM dial and stuck together through Hell... and, as it turned out, back. 

For this, a few bruises and some spilled blood and some decidedly undignified pit stops are worth it.

*Of course, since my grandparents had a country club membership, I was very familiar with ladies' rooms infested with WASP lushes. Owing to the popularity of Giorgio perfume among the blue rinse set at the time, the smell was worse.

**Oh, right, I graduated! Good lord, it's been a while since I updated this blog, huh?