Thursday, pre-dawn, I'm driving two of the kids to College Park for their end-of-semester tests. As we approach campus the car radio begins to pick up WMUC http://www.wmuc.umd.edu/, the University of Maryland radio station. Its signal has a radius of only a few miles, mandated by FCC rules to prevent competition with for-profit commercial radio stations (which coincidentally are the source of significant political contributions --- hmmm!).

The student announcer says that although he aced his French final exam yesterday, he'll probably mess up the name of the Canadian group whose music he's about to play. After a forgettable garage-band techno piece he reads a public-service announcement about a support group for adults whose parents have recently died. His voice sounds lonely as he does a station identification and then mentions the number to call him at, if anybody wants to.

I've already dropped my kids off and am about to head through town to work. But first, I pull over and phone the studio. The next song has already started. "Hi," I say, "just wanted to thank you for playing the music --- I'm enjoying it."

After the song ends the announcer comes back on the air, totally re-energized. "I didn't expect to hear from anyone," he says, "but some guy just called and said he likes the mix! He really made my day. You should see my face now --- I've got a huge smile!"

So do I ...

(see also FanFare (26 Aug 2003), ...)

TopicArt - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicHumor - TopicLife - 2004-12-21

(correlates: FreeTrial, HaikuChess, DeepSympathies, ...)