Goodbye WOTA, Goodbye KOOP

Goodbye WOTA, Goodbye KOOP

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Last night I attended my last PC (Programming Committee) meeting at 91.7 FM KOOP Radio. I’ve been part of the PC for the last two years, and part of the KOOP community since 2009. Becoming a volunteer at KOOP is one of the best thing I’ve done. I highly recommend it.

I’ve always wanted to be on the radio. This one day, I was driving, and on the airwaves came this announcement that I could attend “a new volunteer orientation” to see if I might be interested in getting involved…with radio! Wow, I thought, really, is it that simple? So I went. I was really nervous. It took place at the Moose Lounge at night and there were all these guys & gals standing there who I’d heard & listened to on the radio. They all looked like radio people—whatever that means—and I thought, did I finally find my tribe?

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Sheets of paper with questions were handed out. The one I remember: if you had your own radio show, what would it be? I answered that I wanted to host a show about poetry & wine. I actually had no fucking clue. I knew I wanted to talk, that’s all. I basically thought about the two things I was most passionate about figuring, hell, I would listen to a show about wine and poetry, who wouldn’t? Right?

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I was asked to apprentice on this show about writing and writers called Writing on the Air. Dillon McKinsey and Lee K. Davis ran the show then. The first day I walked into the studio, Dillon said that I could sit and talk into one of the microphones! Hell no! I was so intimidated by the whole thing.

I walked around. Looked and listened at what they were doing. I think it took me three shows before I uttered a single word into a microphone. When my apprenticeship was done, Dillon and Lee asked me if I wanted to join their collective, and I accepted. Thank you guys for inviting me to stick around.

In December of 2009, I invited my first guest, Gary Warner Kent. Neither Dillon nor Lee were there that night. Dora Robinson, who was a sometime co-host on WOTA, arrived a few minutes late. I ran the board and the interview. I shook the whole time. I had a vibrato in my voice that would compete against any Opera singer. Gary was the nicest guest. If he hadn’t been so supportive and gentle with me that night, I might have run away and never come back.

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I’ve since lead many interviews by myself. I still don’t like to run the board, but I can do it if necessary. Turns out, I really like talking into a microphone while sitting in a dark studio in a dark building in a small unassuming strip center in our fair city while potentially thousands of people are listening to what I have to say while stuck in traffic. There’s something really cool about that. Is it an ego thing? Probably. I should see a therapist. Or, I should just continue talking into a microphone, because that seems to do it for me.

Shortly after I joined, Lee stepped down. It was Dillon and myself for quite some time. I learned a tremendous amount about talking on a microphone from Dillon. Thanks! Then Erin Cornett joined the collective, and her focus was engineering, while Dillon and myself preferred talking. And when Dillon stepped down, Erin and myself took control. It’s been an amazing adventure. I am very grateful to Erin for being such a wonderful and talented engineer. It’s been a great run. Now it’s my turn to step down.

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Last night at the PC meeting, my colleagues told me how much they appreciated me and how they really enjoyed what Writing on the Air has become. My heart is big right now, and it’s about to burst. It feels very good. I know it’s time for me to leave, but boy do I hate leaving KOOP. It’s been one of the best thing I’ve done, one of the most gratifying experiences. There’s some fine folks at KOOP, don’t let them tell you otherwise.

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I will take everything I learned these last six years to develop my podcast, The Rollin’ Chateau while traveling around the USA. Who knows where that will take me? When I walked into that dusty VFW hall all those years ago, really nervous and intimidated by all of it, I certainly didn’t think that I would be the main host and producer of a great radio show.

My last show on WOTA will be Wednesday September 30th. Thanks to all the folks who have been involved with the show these last few years. There’s been many of you. Many more than I mention in this blog entry. I’m sorry if I was an ass. Thanks to all the guests who have put up with me all this time.

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May the adventure never cease to go forward. Thank you!

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