"I support WKMS because they support me"

May 13, 2009

Murray, KY – My name is Rusty Jones. I'm an English professor at Murray State University and a recent transplant to Kentucky.

My first experience with the region was a lovely late afternoon drive from Nashville airport in late January, 2008. As opposed to January 2009, there was no ice to fight my way through; just brilliant skies and a light frost. As I crossed the Kentucky border, I thought about the quality of life I hoped to find there. I had three qualities in mind: kind people, beautiful scenery, and a strong sense of community. I stopped for dinner in Cadiz, and after a brief chat with the locals, I felt good about quality number one.

As I drove over the Land Between the Lakes, straight into a gorgeous orange sunset, I felt satisfied with quality number two. And just as I began to suspect that I was hopelessly lost, I came into Murray, and like magic, my radio's scanner stopped flipping and rested on WKMS. After a few minutes' listening, I felt satisfied with quality number three. Soon after I got the job, I became a supporter of WKMS as a contributor, as a ledge drive phone volunteer, and I've even written a few promotional segments for the station.

I became so involved because WKMS supports what I value most: the sense of community for this city, for the Purchase area, for their whole broadcast region. While I was pleased to find all my old NPR favorites in my new hometown, All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, I was genuinely interested in programs like The Front Page that highlight local interests. I was also very impressed by WKMS' commitment to the local arts' scene. For example, last March, when we were making the final arrangements for The Murray Shakespeare Festival, this station was generous enough to help me produce fifteen segments I had written with Dr. Barbara Cobb entitled "A Minute with Shakespeare."

WKMS has consistently offered such novel, informative, entertaining and enlightening material specifically designed to benefit our community, which is not the case for every NPR affiliated station around the US; trust me, as a person who has moved many times, I know. And although I'm sure you're tired of being reminded this, the January ice storm made this station's commitment to the welfare of our community very clear. I know I wasn't the only one huddled over the WKMS website in a tiny hotel room in Clarksville, Tennessee waiting for the latest updates on my neighborhood, my town, my region. And WKMS came through for me, and so I do my best to come through for them.

In short, I support WKMS because they support me, and not just me, but all of us. Please join me in supporting a key part of what makes our community so strong. Please give what you can to WKMS.

Here's the number to call: 800-599-4737.