The most important thing ...

I Met Jody at KVMR, the community radio station in the Sierra foothills where I had a program for several years. As volunteer DJs, we had to do everything ourselves—from engineering the "board," to cuing up records and CDs, to reading ad copy and public service announcements. My show was an interview format where I talked to local poets and writers about their work. But to become certified at the station, I had to produce, engineer, and host several music programs by myself. And Jody volunteered to train me.

Well over six feet tall, Jody was strikingly handsome. Blondish hair, ruddy cheeks, with intelligent blue eyes always searching for connection with whomever he was talking. When I met Jody, he was living on disability insurance from the state. He had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and volunteering at the radio station was the most he could handle. He was taxed to the maximum of his threshold for responsibilities and stress. Yet everyone at the station treated him like the professional DJ he aspired to be. He had a music program, and KVMR had become his family.

Authority over disease
July 22, 2002

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