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March 18, 2013: Radio Free Palmer

Today I got a taste of the big time, or what it would be like, if all of the sudden, I had a larger audience for my work and then was obligated to promote it. If I had so-called “made it” at an earlier age, I would probably have called today’s promotional venture “small potatoes.” But because I am still an unrecognized entity, regarded my altogether too few minutes of air time as very big potatoes. Or maybe I should say cabbage, because Radio Free Palmer is known as Big Cabbage Radio.

I was asked last week by Lee H. if I would like to be interviewed, by herself, live, on

Monday (that’s today); I immediately said yes. Then she added “at 8 a.m.” I paused for a bit because I initially thought that this might not be the best time in the world for me to do this. I’m usually physically but not mentally awake at this hour. So I well knew that pulling my thoughts together and presenting them in a coherent fashion would be challenging. And, it was a challenge.

I walked into the radio station office at 7:50 a.m. I was then in the midst of all the technological bells and whistles. I was invited to take a seat. Lee stood on one side of a desk, and I sat down on the other. I sometimes feel like my namesake, Alice in Wonderland. I sometimes feel very large. And I sometimes feel very small. As I sat in that chair, I began to shrink. I became so very tiny. I am lucky; I have a very dependable voice. It always carries its own weight. And this time was no exception.

At the onset, Lee seemed a bit nervous. It immediately occurred to me that this is because she’s taking her new job as morning radio talk show host very seriously. So I also took my job as radio talk show interviewee very seriously. She’s also just started doing the Monday a.m. show. I also got this sense that she really doesn’t know what to make of me. She also goes to morning yoga. I don’t say much to her because I don’t say much to anyone at that hour.

Anyhow, this woman had, quite clearly, done her research. She’d read a portion of Raudi’s Story and as well, some of the dispatches. And she’d also put some time into coming up with questions, which were keen and insightful,

It was interesting – how we communicated. When I was going off on tangents – she’d look at me and I’d wrap up what she was saying, so that we could move on to the next question.

Really good questions about Raudi, our trip, our off-the-grid lifestyle, and Icelandic horses. At one point it occurred to me that this, in its own way IS the big time, just on a smaller scale. 10 years into it, and I had (or so Lee thought) something of interest to pass on to a local audience. And now I can say that I had a gig on Big Cabbage Radio.

Mike, Lee’s Husband, was sitting next to me. He signaled to Lee when it was the top of the hour, and she then understood that it was the top of the hour, and that those listening needed to know this. Mike’s very much an ideas guy. He suggested that when we’re on our trip that we phone in and let him know how it’s going. This’ll be fun, as will be writing the articles that are going to appear in the local paper.

The interview lasted about twenty minutes – and ended altogether too soon. I was disappointed to see it end. I very much wanted to keep on talking. But Lee and I had really covered all the bases.

I took a photo of the radio station, thanked Mike and Lee for their time, and then ambled off to have breakfast with a friend who was waiting in the other room. One of my lifelong dreams has been to be on NPR’s Fresh Air and be interviewed by Terry Gross. In fact, I have often fantasized about the questions she might ask me about my most recent book. I’m not discounting that this still might happen in the foreseeable future – but neither Terry nor I are getting any younger.

There’s an old song with the refrain “I can’t get my picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.” This is in reference to a rock group’s being unable to connect with that larger audience. They tapped into something here, for it’s everyone’s dream to at least momentarily be larger than life. I’m glad that for 20 minutes-or-so, I got to feel what this was like.

Next: 78. 3/19/13: The Farrier Cometh