One December, way back when I was still trying to figure out what to do with myself, a friend who worked at a local radio station told me they were looking for a new late shift D.J. Now, I've got some vocal tics - I'm prone to stammer and ramble - but the idea of modulating a musical console late at night with a sweet blend of ozone and coffee in the air was so attractive that I applied. I practiced my radio voice, worked up a spiel and went in for an audition.
I put on the headphones, sat before the big microphone and launched into my smooth and exuberant, holiday-themed monologue. The audio was actually going straight to tape, but I spoke as though my audience was right there in the room with me. I finished in one take without a stammer or an "um."
My friend greeted me on the way out. "Pretty good," I asserted, optimistically. "Great," he said. "Except you gave the wrong station's call letters."
There were two radio stations in town. Rivals, of course. Could I help it if I always listened to the other one? Anyway, I spent that Christmas bussing tables.
Maybe it's for the best. One major change in the past and no telling where I'd be now, and I like where I am. Also, in the years since that ancient embarrassment, the media world has changed in ways that have shrunk the differences between the late night D.J. and the editor who blogs and social networks into the wee hours.
When we recently redesigned our Web site we took a lot of those "new media" changes into consideration. Along with a stylish new look and more efficient design, we're inviting user participation, posting comments and seeking out original content. Naturally we're incorporating online video and, you guessed it, audio.
The author of our Capital Offenses for this month, Doris "Granny D" Haddock, offered us her "fearless" speech she gave in Philadelphia with Whoopie Goldberg. Only a small portion of the speech is published in the December issue of New Hampshire Magazine, but you can read the entire inspirational and reassuring text in this month's online version of Capitol Offenses on the Humor & Opinion page.
We've got some exciting video concepts that embrace and extend the magazine's mission online. Some of these should be up and ready to view by the time this issue goes to press. You can easily let us know what you think since there's a comment box on every page. As for audio, we lucked into a couple of excellent first offerings.
You'll be able to hear the tune that local songwriter Judy Pancoast is hoping becomes the next great Christmas hit. Other New Hampshire artists like guitarists Edward Gerhard and Bill Perry and vocal ensemble Belle Voci will have their Christmas albums streaming on our site for your listening pleasure. Check it out on the multimedia page.
Oh, and a little CD that New Hampshire Magazine produced a few years ago called "Local Angels," with holiday songs by New Hampshire luminaries like Bill Staines and the Shaw Brothers, will be streaming there as well. By the way, the songs on that one were hand-picked by a certain once-upon-a-time D.J. wannabee.
It's not quite a Christmas miracle, but redemption is always sweet.
This article appears in the December 2008 issue of New Hampshire Magazine