I’m in a melancholy mood today. It’s not just the frigid temperatures of a deep January freeze that have me trapped indoors, feeling isolated and alone. It’s not the sifting and sorting through household collections and various other sundry items in an effort to purge that have induced such feelings. Nor has it been brought on by any sudden or profound assessment of my life living with Parkinson’s Disease.
It all has to do with a similarly cold January 13, 1978 – forty years ago today – in Hamilton, Ontario when a small community radio station had its inaugaral broadcast as CFMU-FM.
I was fortunate to have been one of the core collective of volunteers who helped prepare for the launch and to lay the foundation for this valuable community resource. The station has faced threats to its existence over the years but, thanks to the efforts of many others, continues to flourish to this day.
A few years ago, with the support of the station, I helped orchestrate a project to mark the 33 1/3 anniversary (dubbed “33 1/3 – Play it Back”). This was an attempt to capture and preserve some of the materials that formed the foundation of community radio in Hamilton. It also paid tribute to those individuals who were such a large part of the formation and development of CFMU. We produced a 3 disc set of archival material and a program book that captured many personal recollections of those early days. And, oh yeh, we partied! We were always pretty good at that!
So, today, as I ruminated on the 40th anniversary, I took time to review some of this material. I was reminded of how special these times were – with such a special group of people – that made an enduring contribution to university and community life in Hamilton. I am fortunate to have had such a life experience. My PD may very well limit my ability to make such a contribution again, but it won’t prevent the longing. Thank you CFMU and my radio friends and family!