(the footage is from the ipod I’m holding in my left hand while talking to the hosts so some of it off center however this does provide a unique view into the world of WAPJ radio)
On the morning of January 14th, Tuesday at 7:30am, I heard my name mentioned by Barrie Soucy on the Miscellaneous Morning Show. “Coming up in just a few minutes we’re going to have J. Timothy Quirk in studio…” I had the golden opportunity to interview the hosts of that morning program and we were going to do that live, on air. Peter Gabriel’s modern classic “BIG TIME” provided the lead in time needed for me to park, enter the studio and sit down and we began our discussion as soon as the song ended.
True local radio is the opportunity to communicate directly with your community. Some residents may not purchase a newspaper or use the internet regularly. Even if some residents use the internet, they may not join particular social media sites or groups within those sites but every car has a radio and most households have one, even if only kept for emergencies. But when making breakfast in the kitchen or during your commute to and from work, the radio is a means for you to hear what’s going on in the area. When there is truly local radio, a station in the area that hosts local talent behind the microphone with opportunities for local guests to speak about their causes or to share information about news in town, when it plays music by local artists and gives them a platform to share their vision with the world, then it earns the name “community radio” and community radio is a big idea.
WAPJ is community radio. The studio is right on Water Street and if you’re in the car in Torrington, you can tune your radio to 89.9 or 105.9 FM and drive by the station; you can see the talent behind the microphones while hearing them in your car. The equipment for the studio was upgraded last year after the fund drive last year and that was an important and necessary step to keeping WAPJ functioning at at a high level. That fund drive demonstrated that the community does listen and they do care.
The morning show is called the Miscellaneous Morning Show and it is hosted by Barrie Soucy and Holly Pond, both from the area of Torrington. Their show often features local musicians like Tracy Walton and Cody Wolfe. The hosts invite guests like Keith Paul of Desultory Theatre, Jay Roberts of Performance Hub and Sharon Waagner to share their information about what’s going on in the community. I had visited once before to promote the T-Town Torrington Chatter Cash Mob and I was grateful for the opportunity to be back on air.
With a nice introduction by Barrie, I enjoyed the chance to interview my hosts and obtain their view points on the thesis that we are in the Golden Age of arts/culture in Torrington. Barrie felt as though the city is at “a great jumping off point” as he had seen the transition in this city since he arrived seven years ago. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg, actually,” he said. Holly is a lifelong native of this area and describes the great change she has seen. “It used to be more of a blue collar working industrial city,” Holly states, “And now… its arts and culture, the Nutmeg (conservatory for the arts), the Warner (Theatre), all these little art galleries are fantastic and wapj has more listeners now than even when I first started 5 years ago.”
Both of my hosts feel that WAPJ will be a vital part of the arts/culture environment in getting the ideas out there. I couldn’t agree more. Our interview itself proved the point.
(below you can find the audio of the full interview on wapj. )
Categories: Torrington Stories