Friday, November 6, 2009


I love supporting local, independent businesses. Today was all about that.

When I left the house, I headed east on Interstate 44 to. My first stop was Euclid Records, in Webster Groves, to pick up a CD I had ordered. We don't have ANY real record stores left in my neighborhood, and I don't know of many in the larger metropolitan area. In my opinion, Euclid Records is worth the drive. They have a wide variety of music, including local bands. I love going through the bins of used CDs looking for hidden gems. They also have a great selection of vinyl records, which is always fun for reminiscing.

After I left, I continued east on the highway to my next stop. The best radio station in the world, KDHX is having their twice-yearly membership drive, and I volunteered to answer phones today. The station is a listener-supported community radio station that has been broadcasting for more than 20 years. I've been a member for many years, but I only started volunteering last year.

All of the on-air personalities at the station are volunteers who are passionate about the music they play. During the course of the week, you can listen to a cappella, country (both alternative and traditional), folk music, blues, jazz, rock, reggae, and urban music. There are also some eclectic shows that can't be categorized, and a few talk shows.

The phone volunteer room had a large table with chairs arranged around it. There were five phones available. Each volunteer had a stack of forms to use when the phone rang; the questions on the form acted like a script to lead us through the whole process. There were periods where the phones were quiet, then suddenly multiple lines would ring. I had a few people hang up on me (wrong numbers? crank calls?), but the majority of the callers were very nice.

The shows are broadcast on the radio and the Internet. During my shift, I took a pledges from people in all parts of the St. Louis area, and from someone in San Francisco. Another volunteer took a call from Phoenix. It was fun talking with some of the staff and the other phone volunteers while we waited for calls. I also got to put faces to a couple of the voices I hear on the radio.

Another one of the highlights of volunteering is the great food they provide for the phone volunteers, usually from independent restaurants. Today it was comfort food from the City Diner; meatloaf, mashed potatoes (homemade, with brown gravy), and corn.

At the end of my shift I walked out to my car for the drive home. I realized I had a great day.

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