I think I only became intentionally thankful on Thanksgiving Day in my forties. Before that, I was just too frenzied with cooking. (By the way, if you are so frenzied and need some last-minute help, the NY Times has Sam Sifton on on-line duty until 3 p.m.).
The things in my personal life for which I'm thankful are not appropriate blog fodder--let's just say that I'm a happy camper and leave it at that. But one of my greatest blasts of personal gratitude gets bestowed on my job at WMRA--the big rush and mush of the hectic, absorbing days I get to spend there making radio; the creative freedom I'm allowed; the good company of my very funny and fun colleagues; the chance to meet and get to know people in the WMRA community of listeners; the chance to work directly with NPR editors.
Being pretty sure a lot of my colleagues felt the same, yesterday I sent a note out asking them to let me know what each of them is personally grateful for re WMRA and/or public radio in general. Here's what I got back (you'll note that I'm not the only person who waxes sappy on the subject!).
From Scott Lowe, host, Weekend Edition Sunday: "I have been very thankful for the enthusiasm and appreciation loyal WMRA listeners express to me whenever they find out I work here. WMRA members are more passionate about their choice than any others I have encountered in a 25-year career."
From Tom Graham, host, Virginia Insight: "I wake up every morning feeling grateful to be part of such a special public radio community. After many years, earlier in my career, of employment in profit-oriented, commercial television and radio news, it is such an honor to work for a non-profit whose overriding mission is public service. And I find myself giving thanks many times a day for the supportive listeners who make this type of dedication possible."
From Bob Leweke, host, Morning Edition, “In a world full of voices, I'm thankful for the unique, and constructive, voice that public radio provides in our democracy.”
From Tina Owens, host, Acoustic Cafe: "I am thankful that WMRA gives me the the opportunity to be a part of the local roots music community. It is such a treat to spend each weekend presenting - and listening to - such wonderful acoustic music."
From Terry Ward, host, All Things Considered: "On WMRA, I will not be subjected to commercials with cheesy sound effects of Santa's belly laugh, as happens on certain ~other~ broadcast entities with increasing frequency from this date forward, til Xmas. For that, I am grateful."
From Matt Bingay, Program Director: "I am thankful for the fact that I work in an environment that encourages exploration, discovery, discussion and meaning. Before beginning my career in public radio, the world was small and trivial. Today, I see so much, and want to know so much more. Thank you NPR for helping me live outside of myself."
And finally, from Tom DuVal, General Manager: "Hmmm. It's easy to say I'm thankful for the thousands of listeners who support WMRA and WEMC financially. And James Madison University, and dozens of local businesses and organizations. And believe me, I most certainly am!
"I think, though, at heart I'm most thankful for the many listeners who take the time to contact us with kudos and criticisms. They keep us honest and keep our spirits up.
"And I'm thankful every day for my professional and dedicated colleagues, here and at the national level, who dive into and complete the necessary work of keeping public radio coming out of the speakers all across the region."