Saturday, September 01, 2007

We Started On September 1, 1974

I didn't know there was such a thing as a "radio reading service" until I read about one in one of those scandalous supermarket tabloids during the summer of 1974. They always have a few human interest stories and one of them was about a college that read the newspaper on the air each weekend.

“Huh,” I thought, “that’s a good idea. But the people are blind every day, not just on weekends. Wonder if we can do something on a daily basis.”

Six weeks later, we did our first show, recorded for broadcast the next day only because “live” radio was not possible logistically. It didn’t matter; we weren’t duplicating any breaking news that was available elsewhere.

When I looked for a sponsoring agency, for legitimacy in those earliest days, I dropped by the local library and its Large Print desk. The lady in charge thought it was a pretty dumb idea; seeing that I wasn’t about to convince her, I agreed and went on to the Blind Association down the street. They thought it was a great idea and we started working on what the local blind population’s needs were.

Too bad for the library; they would have built up a lot of publicity, not to mention goodwill, which might have helped them when funding cutbacks hurt their work. That’s life; never say a new idea is stupid until you have examined it. Tomorrow, a little more as we start our 34th year of daily broadcasting.


Anonymous ruthc said...

I've never known the story of how RHV started. This was nice to read. I'm betting there's still more story we can talk about someday and I'll look forward to it.

Congratulations on 33 years. May there be plenty more!

September 01, 2007 7:58 PM  

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