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3 Things I Relearned from a Morning on Community Radio
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When I found out my best friend became the newest co-host of a local radio show, I was elated for her. She challenged herself to grow outside of her comfort zone, took strides to diversify her experiences, and now, regularly donates time to volunteer on a community-based radio station. When I found out the show was in a transitional phase, and was open to having guest hosts, I also saw my own opportunity to contribute to the show, have a unique experience that would help me grow, and interact with two of my favorite Kenwoodians on a new level.
Radio St. Pete (link), Sunshine 96.7 FM, was founded on July 4, 2013. It includes two internet radio streams, has an easy-to-use application for IOS, and broadcasts a diverse range of podcasts and shows. Since I learned of the station, my dial is set to 96.7 FM, and I listen to the unique range of programming, always finding something new and different on the airwaves.
Sunshine 96.7 FM has recently expanded their program list by incorporating the established, local program, The Florida Folk Show (link). This folk music favorite has aired since 2003 and previously broadcasted on WNMF’s 88.5 FM in Tampa, FL. It airs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.
The original host, Pete Gallagher, has been joined by the 2022 President of the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association (link), Alexis Baum. The pair broadcast with a group of skilled contributors and producers who record multiple video feeds, broadcast audio expertly, and interact with The Florida Folk Show Group on Facebook Live. They invite a wide range of Florida musicians to perform live for local listeners, as well as those tuning in for the internet feed across the globe.
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The invitation for a guest spot, though it was at my request, wasn’t one I took lightly or without the highest level of gratitude. I’ve been listening to their program since they joined Radio St. Pete and started broadcasting from Grand Central at the Craftsman House Gallery (link).
Being a tiny part of this live production reminded me of three important life lessons I find myself relearning anytime I put myself in new situations.
- Sharing: Sharing really is the best way to approach any group activity. We learn it in kindergarten, but in today’s fast, uncertain world, it’s easy to forget. We’re bombarded by advertisement and self-promotion. Everyone’s got a gig and side hustle, and pundits repeatedly tell us to go out and take things. I could have tried to make the episode all about me, rather than giving back to the audience and production. Instead, I saw the event as my opportunity to contribute whatever I could, whether it was listening instead of speaking, even if I had just thought of a snappy quip, or passing the opening of a joke to a guest or producer, or taking an opportunity to fill some dead air with my best attempt at radio voice. I went into the morning reminding myself to share the air with the experts.
- People are surprising: If I met any of the folk involved with Radio St. Pete on the street, I could never have guessed that any one of them would spend two hours every Saturday volunteering with the Florida Folk Show to make the production better. Involved are a wonderful collection of kind people, those of different backgrounds and experience, all working together to do their part to make the show shine for St. Pete and beyond.
- People really care: Since Alexis joined the show, her friends, family, and colleagues listen weekly. Pete has friends and listeners loyally tuning in for nearly two decades. When I found out the amount of my friends who tuned in, commented on the Facebook feed, or who gave me comments or compliments after the fact, I was floored. It was like a part of me forgot, due to all the hubbub and incessant craziness of this modern world, how supportive and loving good friends truly are. My gratitude for this once in a lifetime experience doubled instantly.
So, if you’re in St. Pete, I highly recommend checking out 96.7 FM. If you enjoy folk music, Florida, or nostalgic vibes, please listen to the Florida Folk Show, anywhere the internet is accessible, through the app, website, or on Facebook live. It’s hosted by two of my favorite people and never disappoints.