Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

PBS: Double The Flavor, Lucky Twice Over – Reflections On Public Broadcasting On The Eastern Shore of Virginia

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Normally  PBS  has some especially great musical performances as part of  their pledge efforts,  offering  CD’s and/or DVD’s of the performances as part of their thank-you for a pledge.  Watching Saturday night’s special pledge period program,  Folk Music Rewind,  brought back memories of  a lot of stuff I hadn’t  thought about  for quite a while.   I guess my college years were just about the heyday of the folk music movement and like everybody I knew on campus, I  loved  that  music.  More than that,  the 60’s  folk music wasn’t just a reflection of changing times and changing philosophy,   it was helping shape social  and political opinion,  not just on college campuses,  but all over the country.   As one of the program’s commentators said ,  this is music that actually changed the world.   Who can forget songs like  Bob Dylan’s  Blowing in the Wind  or Pete Seegar’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone?  ( I hadn’t thought about those songs for years and years but,  surprisingly,  words and melody  were still tucked away in the ole noggin. )  And  Peter, Paul and Mary’s rendition of  If I Had A Hammer ?   Or Bobby Darien’s  Simple Song of Freedom,  which came later of course,  after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.   Watching  that program Saturday night was  like having a wave wash over me,  bringing  my college days back in living color —-  the concerts,  the gab-fests,  trudging through mile -high W. Lafayette,  Indiana  snow in the freezing cold  ( it’s the  bad weather capital of the mid-West)  to get to an 8 am class,  humming the latest  songs,  going to rallys,  signing petitions,  eating pizza or Stromboli while studying til midnight,  cramming for exams,  the  luscious chocolate ice cream cones sold at  the agriculture building  (addicted to chocolate even then),  playing bridge till the wee hours,  meeting kids from all over the country,  the intensity of it all.   And in the background of everything,  the folk music that was  an integral part of our lives,  a generation that thought it could make a difference, that we could overcome injustice,  volunteering for the Peace Corps,  marching for civil rights,  demonstrating for peace. 

All these memories were brought back in an instant  by this one  great show,  so thanks PBS,  we love your programming.   I can’t even begin to count the wonderful,  commercial- free  shows  sponsored by PBS and their affiliates that have engaged and entertained us over the years,  Masterpiece Theatre,  NOVA  (,  Antiques Roadshow,  Frontline,  Nature,  everything Ken Burns,  Mystery,  the BBC comedy lineup on Saturday nights,  Great Performances  ( ),  American Experience,  America’s Test Kitchen, I could go on and on and on and on,  but I won’t.   Well, one more—- let no one forget PBS’ superlative children’s programming !    Who doesn’t love Cookie Monster ?   And it’s so easy to  just go on-line to buy a copy of an especially good program through their   website.

So that’s why I think that on the Eastern Shore of Virginia we are so lucky,  doubly lucky in fact,  to have PBS and NPR programing broadcast  from stations in two directions.  To the south,  from Norfolk,  WHRO  tv  ( )  and on the radio, its two stations, WHRV fm and  WHRO fm (mostly classical music) .  To the north,  from Salisbury, MD. , WCPB tv  (,  on the radio as WSCL fm.   It’s amazing that while so many other areas aren’t even able to receive clear transmissions from any public broadcasting  station,  on the Eastern Shore,  we have two opportunities.   When we’re in the car,   about the time WHRV fades out driving  north,  WSCL  just kicks right in.   I mean,  what would life be without  NPR’s   Morning Edition,  All Things Considered,   Prairie Home Companion  ( It’s been a quiet week in Lake Webegon,  Garrison Keilor’s  hometown…..),  Splendid Table,  Science Friday  (which I love but hardly ever have time to listen to ) etc., etc..   Or on Saturday mornings,  if I’m in the car,  Click and Clack, The Car Guys …   I could really care less about car mechanicals,  just want my car to  run run run,  but those guys are so funny and the call-in questions so zany, one  can’t help but love the show,  sort of  like the long-gone TV series  Coach— I  don’t care for football  but Hayden,  Luther and Dauber were some funny, funny guys.   So at my house we are definitely thankful to have two public broadcasting stations.   And  for those of our readers who are  thinking about buying  Eastern Shore Virginia real estate  ( ) but are  afraid they might not be able to  get their daily fix of   Fresh Air,   fear not.  Like Spearmint,  we’ve got  double the flavor,  double the  fun.