Monday, March 12, 2012

A Heart-Warming Story for a Monday Morning.

In West Cambridge, Massachusetts, there is a small, low-powered A.M. radio station, WJIB (AM 740), owned for the past couple of decades by Bob Bittner. Bob plays music of the 1930s through 1970s on the station which accepts no paid advertising, but, rather, relies on contributions from listeners (and unlike the much larger and well-known "public radio" takes no tax money -- it truly is "listener supported"). By Federal Communication Commission rules, Bob has to turn down the power at dusk and can turn it back up at dawn. Once the sun goes down we can't get WJIB in our apartment in Boston, even though it is close enough that from the roof of our building we can see his West Cambridge neighborhood!

Well, in the early hours of Sunday, Bob was up 'til five o'clock in the morning tinkering -- refining -- some of the settings to improve sound quality, after which, tired from a long night he went into a deep sleep. (I should have mentioned that Bob practically lives at the station.) Well dawn with her rosy fingers came, but no WJIB, only static. Turns out that when the station when to full power it blew out the changes he had made and rather more along with them.

Now, Bob's listeners are no you average radio public. They called the Cambridge police, concerned that Bob was ill or injured! By 7:35 a.m. the police were banging on the door and windows of the station. Such is the affection WJIB listeners have for the station and it's remarkable owner!

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