Radio waves hide unknown announcer

By Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

Inspired partly by Tom Petty’s “Last DJ,” and partly by a lonely stretch of late night radio reception, somewhere northeast of Amarillo, this piece is entirely fiction. Or, maybe not.

I can’t tell you where I am. Not exactly, or even within a close proximity. The FCC has been tracking me for months, off and on — sometimes more on than off — and if they hone-in on my signal, it could be messy.

When they do get too close, I just move.

For the same reasons, I can’t use my real name. But I will take your requests and dedications — that’s a big part of why I’m here. You call me on my cell phone, I play what you want. In between, I play what I want to play, and say what I want to say, not what Blank Channel radio tells me to say.

Nope, I’m not a computer generated, could-be-anybody located-anywhere voice. You can only hear me in Colorado or northern New Mexico. That, however, covers a lot of territory.

Do I know people send messages on my dedication line? Well, duh. Like when the same anonymous teenager calls in every weekend to request “Can You Slip Away?” (Anyway, why does his girlfriend’s dad dislike him so much ?)
Passing messages is one of the cool parts.

Keeping my sponsors happy? If you tune into my show, you realize I don’t have any. Dear old grandpa is my sponsor. When he died, he left me enough that I could either quit working and live modestly, or keep working and fund my own radio station. I chose the latter.

Look at it this way — I’m the essence of public radio. Sometimes I even blindfold one of my friends or listeners, take them to where I’m broadcasting, and let them get on the air and just talk.

Last month I let a guy from Loveland talk for two hours about “art in public spaces.”

Frequently I let my local coach friend give high school wrestling reports. Pretty exciting.

Format? Hey, where else can you hear Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hank Williams Sr., and Five for Fighting in the same half hour music set?

Gotta go now. I need to fiddle with my equipment. Yeah, of course I change my frequency every two months or so. Another way to keep the FCC guessing.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: clyde_davis@yahoo.com