When radio connected ‘lonely souls’

If you’ve never lived in small-town America, you’ve missed heroes at work — the people who got up before dawn and went into a tiny shack somewhere, read the school-lunch menus, the lost and found items, spinning some platters, and making people feel as if they’re listening to a neighbor, because they are.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking; we get that now on MPR and other radio stations.

But you don’t — as fine as those all are — because there’s an intimacy that can’t exist in larger markets, and, for the most part, no longer does in the small ones anywhere. There are, of course, exceptions.

So when colleague Julia Schrenkler sent this video from “The Atlantic” Wednesday about a small station in Arizona, it was like a trip back in time, when people didn’t know what they were about to lose.

There are people hanging on, fighting their own past, while trying to hold on to it.

Mark Lucke, was the station’s only employee, filmmaker Zach Wright tells The Atlantic.

“He has a traumatic past with the genre,” co-director Ryan Maxey said. “He’s a bit of a tragic hero, a lone cowboy who happens to prefer metal and horror films over Rex Allen movies and country tunes. But he finds meaning in connecting with other lonely souls over the radio.”

Connecting with other lonely souls over the radio. A perfect description of a once personal medium.

“It’s a tale of broken dreams, resiliency, and redemption,” Maxey says. “Most of us don’t end up living out our lives the way we would have imagined as a youngster. Mark’s narrative acknowledges the pains of life — the unwanted turns — but also the ways in which we can find our little ways to keep going and find meaning.”

It’s the best 12 minutes you’ll spend today, unless you’ve never lived in small-town America.

(h/t: Julia Schrenkler)

Archive: The heroes of small-market radio (NewsCut)