FVRadio Dreamin'

Free Vermont Radio

I was looking through forty emails, most of them alerting me to this and that crisis in the world. Outside, the sky had snagged on Deadman Peak and ripped open, and cold wet snow was spilling across the landscape. Death in Haiti; bombs in Afghanistan,

I was low as a mole’s bellybutton.

Then I went to "favorites" and tapped "Free Vermont Radio." The first thing I heard was Howie Cantor, "Play in traffic". Before long, I was laughing out loud.

The music continued, homemade music, created by the people of Vermont.

The other day I called Dennis Steele, owner of Free Vermont Radio and gubernatorial candidate on the secessionist ticket. Steele proposes to withdraw Vermont from the Union and restore local commerce. His bio says he is an avid hunter and processes much of his family’s meat.

(Steven Herriot takes the air to offer budget guitar lessons.)

Steele has an association with Sierra County: he’s an avid user of the Sierra Valley Hot Springs (HERE). The future First Lady of Vermont is from Nor Cal and they visit annually.

We talked about poverty, local empowerment, de-linking from the corporate world. Again and again he came back to the Free Vermont station. It has created a homespun way for local music and local advertisers to get exposure. It isn’t about profit, it’s about commerce. He told me that the station had inspired some artists to write music specifically for its audience. It has helped musicians modestly, helped tremendously to create a sense of local empowerment, and has given rise to optimism, even in a place which is as rural and hard hit as Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Even a place as rural and hard hit as Sierra County.

There is something this station, a continent away, can teach us about rural people supporting each other.

I don’t think Dennis will win the governorship, nor will Vermont attempt to leave the Union or surely Washington will bomb the pellets out of Montpelier, but there is still something optimistic about him. He’s about education and example, and his candidacy espouses values rural people everywhere used to evidence, and should, out of self preservation, demonstrate again.

The weather will improve, but the emails are just going to get worse.



Photo Lyndonville VT by Eric H., lifelong New England native 





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