My wife, Laurie, and I live in a remote valley in the North Cascades accessible only by foot, boat, or float plane. We love living in the mountains and in a small community, but sometimes, yeah, you do feel a little disconnected. Laurie was a KCMU fanatic back in the day, so as soon as we got satellite internet in 2002, we tuned in.
Since then, KEXP has been one of our main lifelines to the outside world. I write at home alone each day, so ten a.m. means time to get up and stretch, listen to John and Cheryl banter, feed the woodstove, and fix coffee for the next round of revisions.
In summer, we play El Sonido or The Roadhouse outside while weeding and watching the cat climb the dogwood tree. In winter, we turn up the volume to drown out the ka-thump of snow from the eaves. The first time I emailed a request to Greg Vandy, and he played the song, I got so excited I invited him for Thanksgiving dinner. (He politely declined but really, he was welcome.)
Another year, I spent Christmas Day alone, scrambling to finish a book on deadline with Morgan as my companion. Every hour or so, I'd lose the signal so I'd have to pull on snow boots to tromp out to the satellite dish with a rag or a too-big leather glove to brush the snow away.
But my favorite memory is the Saturday after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Laurie and I were drinking coffee, just the two of us, listening to the birds make a racket outside and to the sweet reggae on Positive Vibrations. At the first air break, DJ Kid Hops came on, exuberant, to say, "Let's celebrate together." We did. We still do. Every single day.
Ana Maria, thanks for powering KEXP and sharing your story all the way from Stehekin! Spring Drive 2018 starts this Friday on Shake the Shack but you can power human connection and curation by making a gift right now! When you donate you can choose our new "Robot-Free Radio" T-shirt or one of our other out-of-this-world new premiums.
You may not know Julian Martlew’s name, but if you listen to KEXP you certainly know his voice. In addition to lending his distinctive tone to countless KEXP underwriting spots, Julian provided the voice of the Algo-Rhythm 3000 in our recent 2001-themed Spring Drive clip.