Back in the mid-seventies when my ex-wife and I moved to a rural and remote place in Knox County, MO, there weren’t many media choices. Quincy IL pop FM stations were the only options. We didn’t have a TV and didn’t want one. These were prehistoric days, long before the advent of the internet.
FM radio advertisements, heavy-handed hard-sells for products I had no interest in, were getting on my nerves. One day, during a break from building our first house, I switched our little portable radio to the AM band and scanned across it, looking for something different.
I ended up at WOI, an AM station from Ames, IA which broadcasted a lot of farm price reports — but they also broadcasted National Public Radio shows like All Things Considered and A Prairie Home Companion. I was sucked right in; the reporters, such as Susan Stamberg and Noah Adams, had some sort of hard-to-define cultivated quality in their voices. I felt like I had found “my people”, like Eastern European Jews recently emigrated to America a hundred years ago who found other Jews in tenement districts in New York City.
I’ve been an NPR fan ever since those days. Since moving to Quincy my main station is WQUB, a station broadcasting from Quincy University. The station manager is a youngish woman named Maryfaith. She hosts two shows: “Romance On The River”, an hour every night of love songs, many of which peg my personal sentimentality meter, and “Books And More”, a book review show which features interviews with authors.
The last show is really well-done; Maryfaith has obviously read the books featured and is thus able to talk intelligently with the featured author. Maryfaith recorded some commercials for the “Books and More” show, and last winter one of those commercials was getting on my nerves, just seriously annoying me. She said in the commercial:
“I’ll help you keep up with the latest littachur!”
I couldn’t take it. I went to the WQUB web-site and left a message there:
“Will somebody please tell Maryfaith that the word literature has four syllables?”
Two days later the commercials had been re-recorded with the correct pronunciation, and I received a nice e-mail message from Maryfaith thanking me for my input.
I felt like a curmudgeon when I left that message at the station web-site, I must admit, so kudos go to Maryfaith for accepting it gracefully.