Listening Post: 45 candles

Cream released the album Wheels of Fire in 1968, a very good year.

On March 7, 1968 Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, died in the crash of a MiG 15 training jet. Also on that day, BBC broadcast the news in color for the first time. US forces in Vietnam launched Operation Coronado XII, a sweep of the Mekong Delta. Cream played the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, but “Love is Blue” by Paul Mauriat topped the Billboard Hot 100. “The Confessions of Nat Turner” by William Stryon led the New York Times Best Seller list. And, of course, North Country Public Radio went on the air for the first time, broadcasting as WSLU from a single fm transmitter in St. Lawrence County.

There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Forty-five is thought to be an awkward time in life. Kids are getting ready to leave the nest, if they haven’t already. In many professions, the most creative years may be behind, leaving one to supervise the work of fresher faces. There is an expectation of predictability and stability. And it can happen with institutions and organizations, too. Middle-aged–it rhymes with stale, with dull.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I was 45 in 1998, twenty years into a career in printing and publication design. But for the previous year or two, I’d been fooling around with something called the worldwide web–just a couple of phone modem boings and a very long page-load away from anyone in the world. Now I’m fifteen years into a new career as one of the world’s oldest web geeks (and still listening to Cream). There’s time to start over in life, sometimes a number of times. And that can also be true for organizations, like NCPR.

I joined NCPR at one of those start-over points, in 2001. The “new media” of that day has in many ways become the “old hat” of today. But I take that to mean that NCPR is reaching another inflection point in its history. Something new is about to happen, again. I can hardly wait.

Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes today. Whatever is next on the agenda, I know you will be there with us.


8 Comments on “Listening Post: 45 candles”

  1. Nancy says:

    Happy birthday, NCPR! And many more…we love you.

  2. Doug Butler says:

    Happy Birthday NCPR. In March ’68 I was a Sr/Jr. (long story) at SUNY Potsdam and could occasionally pick up the signal of the “new station” 10 miles away. Thank you for still being here and spreading throughout the Adirondacks to all of our communities.

  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Yuri Gagarin waved to me (and probably a hundred other people) once standing in the open door of a Soviet helicopter. Seems like so long ago and just yesterday. Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday, NCPR and congratulations, Dale! It is because of your change in careers that I am able to enjoy the station year round no matter where I am! Thank you!

  5. Bob Falesch says:

    “…one of the world’s oldest web geeks (and still listening to Cream)”

    For that I’d like to offer you a dozen rad points.

  6. Kathleen Masterson says:

    Congratulations NCPR on 45 years of incredible service!

  7. Helene says:

    Happy Birthday, NCPR!

  8. newt says:

    I remember, a year or so after moving to Saranac Lake from Illinois, wife and I learned that some college station somewhere around here was finally going to bring NPR to the Tri-Lakes. That was a great day, and you have only exceeded our expectations since then.

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