The S.O.S. Tour Blog
May 2, Los Angeles
Home at Last,
We finally arrived home last Thursday a.m. and have almost decompressed from hurling our bodies at 70 mph for the last month. We learned so much about the power of the archives and how important it is to promote it as an educational resource to those beyond our listening signal. It's going to be hard to keep up with all the excitement the archives created. We had a staff meeting today and shared our stories from the road with our colleagues. They told us about the UCLA Book Festival event held last week.
Mariana, Arline, Andrea, Edgar and Sarah brought in over $3500 for the archives. Great job!
More to come...
This is the second year we participated in the UCLA/LA Times Book Festival
Posted May 2nd, 2005
April 26, En Route to Moab, Utah
At KVNF we made a special on-air appearance to play some excerpts from the 1962 Bob Dylan performance, promote the Archives and explain the educational value of our collection.
KVNF has invited us back to Paonia to help with the Harvest Festival fund drive in late October!
Now we're on our way to Moab and community station KZMU. We just passed a "Dairy King"! Tonight we'll camp in the same spot as we did on our last trip to Moab.
Cowboy Brian DeShazor
Posted April 26th, 2005
April 25, From Boulder to Paonia, CO
Leaving Boulder, we drove through beautiful McClure Pass in the Rockies, on our way to Paonia. (Legend has it that Paonia was named for the peony, but misspelled.)
We were welcomed at community station KVNF by general manager Sally Kane and staff members Skip Naft, Robin Boone and Thomas.
Sally treated us to a visit to her ranch in Crawford, complete with an evening by the campfire and elk flautas for dinner. Sally's husband, Tony, is a ranger for Black Elk Wilderness. Their two kids -- Tara (15) and Darby (17) -- listened to us talk about the Archives and soon became PRA supporters. Darby has already placed his order for the Che Guevara program.
KVNF & PRA in Paonia
Posted April 25th, 2005
April 24, Naropa University
We went to Naropa University, accompanied by Sonali Kolhatkar who had flown out to join us. She gave a very moving speech.
We made a presentation about the work of the archives, played our S.O.S. Tour film, and donated to Naropa some tapes from our poetry collection.
Journalist George Merritt covered the story for The Denver Post.
We collaborated with KGNU on planting a Geocache in Boulder. (We'll reveal coordinates in May.)
Posted April 24th, 2005
April 23, Enjoying Colorado
We took a beautiful hike near Golden, Colorado and planted a Geocache at a location to be named later (sometime in May; stay tuned). The CD was "Women & the Environment," featuring Helen Caldicott, Chee Yoke Lee, Winona LaDuke and others.
Back at KGNU, we joined the on-air fund drive from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, and raised over $3,000 for the station!
Update: From The Daily Camera, a local Boulder newspaper
Naropa will receive literary recordings
Collection includes first recording of Ginsberg's 'Howl'
By Elizabeth Mattern Clark, Camera Staff Writer
April 23, 2005
Boulder's Naropa University this weekend will receive copies of recordings by historic literary figures including Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, Aldous Huxley and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The nonprofit Pacifica Radio Archives in Los Angeles is donating the works as part of an effort to get them before a broader scholarly audience, said Pacifica spokeswoman Karen Pomer.
The rarest item in the collection is a digitized copy of the first recording of Ginsberg's 1956 poem "Howl." Howl was the subject of censorship trials and became one of the most widely read poems of the century.
"The ensuing trial victory for free speech helped break the back of literary censorship in America," said Steven Taylor, director of the Naropa Audio Archive.
Naropa preserves thousands of recordings made at the university since it began as a summer institute in 1974. Performers the first summer included Beat poet Ginsberg, who co-founded Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
Naropa archivist Tim Hawkins said Pacifica's gift "provides invaluable early supporting materials to our existing collection of Allen Ginsberg spoken-word recordings."
Shawn & Mark near Golden
Posted April 23rd, 2005
April 22, Kansas to Colorado
We drove through Kansas and arrived in Boulder, where we were greeted by KGNU station manager Marty Durlin, who will be hosting us for the next three days: real beds, and real home-cooked meals!
We went on-air at KGNU to help with their fund drive, and pitched two Archives premiums:
- A newly discovered recording of Bob Dylan in 1962: his first broadcast performance, introduced by Pete Seeger.
- Our "Say It Loud" CD
You can tune into KGNU at 88.5 FM in Boulder, 1390 AM in Denver, 93.7 FM in Ward, and 89.1 FM in Fort Collins.
Posted April 22nd, 2005
April 21, Oklahoma!
We visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial at the site of the 1995 bombing. Then we continued on toward Kansas and spent the night in strong wind and heavy rain at a rest area outside of Wichita.
Posted April 22nd, 2005
April 20, Arkansas
Shawn and Mark have gone to find the Geocache hidden at the Russellville, Arkansas train station, which is in the shadow of the Russellville nuclear reactor.
We picked a special CD for this Geocache plant: "Accidents Will Happen," a documentary about the disaster at Three-Mile Island in 1979, produced by Alan Snitow and Aileen Alfenderry.
Posted by Campground Restroom: Instructions in Case of Nuclear Accident
Yoga in the Nuclear Age (David)
Posted April 20th, 2005
April 19, Bucksnort, Nashville & Graceland
Going west on I-40 we stopped at Bucksnort, Tennessee, where I ate the worst licorice I've ever had. It was supposed to be watermelon-flavored, but that's not what it tasted like.
Passing through Memphis, of course we had to stop at Graceland, a place we weren't particularly interested in but which we ended up loving. It was surprisingly powerful to see how Elvis evolved in his career, and the costumes and scenery were spectacular.
Next we traveled to the Lorraine Hotel -- now the Civil Rights Museum -- to plant another Geocache nearby. This one was a CD of Martin Luther King speaking outside of Santa Rita prison after visiting Joan Baez, who was imprisoned for protesting against the Vietnam War draft.
We crossed into Arkansas and set up camp at Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville. Once again, we were shocked when we saw our view: another nuclear vista, this one the Russellville Nuclear One Reactor, on the other side of the lake. We asked our neighboring campers what they thought about the surroundings, but they didn't seem to mind. We gave them one of our bandanas.
Mark & Shawn, Approaching Graceland
PRA at Graceland
Lorraine Hotel (Now the Civil Rights Museum)
Location of Martin Luther King's Assassination
Posted April 19th, 2005
April 18, North Carolina & Tennessee
Today we went west into North Carolina -- through Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, Hickory and Asheville -- and on into Tennessee. We stopped for 15 minutes at the Pilot Gas Station in Knoxville, to see my cousins Cheryl, Mike and Ray. I sang at Cheryl's wedding about 12 years ago.
We spent the night in Crossville, Tennessee, at a KOA on a farm where we were surrounded by cattle and pastoral scenery. The owner gave us some 7-year-old hickory for our barbeque and I made hobo camp dinners: burgers stacked with all kinds of vegies, wrapped in foil and shoved into the coals to steam.
PRA with Brian's Cousins Cheryl, Mike & Ray
Shawn at the KOA Camp, Crossville, TN
Posted April 19th, 2005
April 17, Virginia
Before leaving Baltimore we stopped by my mother's childhood home on gardens in the front. She lived there from 1939 to 1946 while my grandfather worked (and lost his arm in) the Crown & Cork Canning Factory.
Then we drove to Annapolis and visited poet Grace Cavalieri and sculptor Fred Flynn. Grace produces "Poet and the Poem," broadcast for 20 years on public radio and now distributed by the Library of Congress. In a 2006 edition of the program she'll air the discussion we had today about the importance of the Archives' poetry collection. She even called us "heroes" for the work we do!
Next we headed west, toward my home state of Virginia where I got to introduce everyone to my state flower, the dogwood, in bloom for the first day of the season today.
We arrived in Petersburg, Virginia, and made a Geocache plant (containing our environmental CD) near the site of a Civil War battle, and set up camp for the night not far from there.
South Savage Street, Where Brian's Mother Grew Up
Brian at His Mother's Childhood Home
Grace Cavalieri & Ken Flynn with PRA
Near Winchester, VA
Posted April 18th, 2005
April 16, Touring Baltimore
The NFCB conference is over. We checked out of the hotel at noon. We had tons of luggage, including the 44 restored PRA tapes we picked up from the Safe Sound Archive and have been guarding with our lives.
After touring around Baltimore (and visiting Edgar Allan Poe's grave) we headed for the Holiday Inn parking lot across from Camden Yards. While Shawn, Mark, Adi Gevins and Michael Couzens took in the Yankees/Orioles game live in the stadium, David and I watched live from the parked camper.
Shawn at Camden Yards: GO O'S!
Posted April 16th, 2005
April 15, In & Around Baltimore
We're still at the NFCB conference. Today was the annual meeting of Pacifica affiliate stations. Mark and I (Brian) usually do the Archives presentation, but we had to be elsewhere ... so Shawn made his debut as a presenter. By all accounts he did a great job!
Meanwhile, Mark, David and I -- accompanied by Adi Gevins and Bari Scott -- went to Howard University to donate copies of our Africana tapes. We were thrilled to be greeted by all 18 members of the history faculty. We discussed the origins of the recordings, and their importance and use.
Some of the history professors are WPFW listeners as well as historians, but still, they hadn't been aware of how valuable and untapped a resource the Archives is. They were excited to learn about it. A reporter from the Epoch Times was there to cover the story for an upcoming issue.
Then we went to NPR in Washington D.C., visited their archives and shared trade secrets. We learned that NPR producers also didn't know till now about the untapped potential of our archives!
Tonight Christopher Sprinkle and I received a special merit award from NFCB for the promo for "A Passel of Pomp & A Circus of Circumstance"!
The Howard University History Department Faculty greet us
Dr. Edward Tolbert of Howard University and PRA Director Brian DeShazor
Posted April 15th, 2005
April 14, Movie Premiere in Baltimore
Since we started our trip, all four of us have been shooting digital video of our travels. We have three cameras: David's professional one and two consumer models. As of a few days ago we had a total of about four hours, which David edited to 45 minutes. We sent that off to Christopher Sprinkle in Los Angeles who -- in one day -- produced that into a 12-minute documentary.
Today at the NFCB conference we premiered the film. It was a big hit. The audience cheered and laughed, and people were genuinely impressed by how timely it was. Some asked, "When did you take this trip?" We told them, "We're taking it NOW!"
Valerie Van Isler, former GM of WBAI, with Brian
Posted April 14th, 2005
April 13, NFCB Conference, Baltimore
This was our first day of "rest" ... but it wasn't really restful. At the conference we set up our vendor table with our souvenir bandanas, information about our fund drive gifts, and other Archives material.
We networked with other conference attendees, and ran into Armanda Gudino, program director of KPFK.
We've been giving out lots of bandanas, especially to a bunch of Youth Radio kids who are also here for a conference. Now it seems everywhere you look, there's a bandana, worn peasant style, cowboy style, Goldilocks style, bandit style ... even an around-the-ankle style that probably means something to its Youth Radio wearer, but we're too old to understand.
It's great to be able to spend time with the Youth Radio people -- the journalists of tomorrow -- and talk to them about the Archives, history and community radio.
Dinner was bad. At an Inner Harbor tourist trap we ate crab cakes that were cold and overpriced.
(l to r) Maria Martin, Barbara Bernstein
Johanna Greenberg, Youth Radio Conference attendee
William Walker, KPFA and Pacifica Foundation National Board Member
Otis MacLay & John Sirius
Youth Fashion Statement
A PRA Fan from Youth Radio
Noah Miller & Friend
Duane Bradley, KPFT General Manager
Posted April 13th, 2005
April 12, Elizabethtown, PA
We (David & Brian) went to visit Brian's grandmother, Annette Rose, in the nursing home. We wheeled her into the courtyard where daffodils were blooming. She remembered my name but was confused about which of her relatives I was. It was the first time she'd met David.
We went back to Philadelphia and the Safe Sound Archive to say goodbye to George Blood and our tapes, and to pick up the 44 master tapes we'd brought for preservation on our last trip.
Then we headed for Baltimore and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) conference. Got settled at the Wyndam Hill Inner Harbor Hotel.
Planting a Geocache, Havre de Grace, MD: Shawn, David, Mark
Posted April 13th, 2005
April 11, Philadelphia
First thing in the morning: We hand-delivered our master tapes to the Safe Sound Archive, where George Blood and staff went into triage mode to settle the tapes into their new refrigerated home.
11:30 am: We went to Temple University and presented Charles L. Blockson and Molefi Asante with copies of our Africana Studies recordings, including a 1958 tape of Paul Robeson. They were pleased and happy. Dr. Blockson has a huge collection of Paul Robeson materials -- even Robeson's personal scrapbook -- but had no audio recordings till now.
12:30 pm: We reached the University of Pennsylvania, where we met with Gale Garrison and Herman Beavers at the Center for Africana Studies' Research Center. They were so thrilled with our donation of the Africana Studies programs that they're going to start using them as teaching materials right away. Their lesson plan will also direct students to our website, where students can listen to other programs ... and give us feedback about what they've learned.
This is the first time that Pacfica Radio Archives recordings have been part of the curriculum of an Ivy League school!
3:00 pm: We gave copies of the Africana recordings to the Community College of Philadelphia. Carolyn Birden, along with the director of the library and other staff, gave us a warm greeting. Carolyn Birden is a member of the Archives Task Force of Pacifica's Board of Directors, and is also a board member of local Pacifica station WBAI.
Evening: We camped at a KOA outside in Elizabethtown, PA. To our shock and dismay, we realized the view from our campsite was of Three-Mile Island!
Posted April 12th, 2005
April 10, Chicago
Some pictures of Columbia College students helping us find the Geocache in Chicago's Lakeshore Park... they loved the bandanas.
The (unfolded) new Archives bandana!
The badanas in use
Posted April 11th, 2005
April 10. Chicago
We woke up unanimously feeling we had the best sleep so far on the trip... we packed up from our campground and just as we were about to leave I said hello to our camping neighbors... they were so wonderful... formerly of California and currently of Indiana... they gave us an RV camping book that gives the best information for choosing camp sites for all of the United States, Canada and Mexico... thank you so much...!!!! We gave them Pacifica Radio Archives bandanas and you can see their picture on this blog... we said our goodbyes but before we could leave the parking lot we realized that there was a Wisconsin cheese shop right there... we parked and tasted amazing cheese after cheese.... i decided on a 7-year-old aged sharp cheddar which is to die for... Brian got a blue cheese that gives this cheese a new meaning... ahhhhh the simple pleasures in life that are magnified on the road...!!!
ok... now for the real adventure... we entered Chicago looking for a Geocache and also to plant our first Pacifica Radio Archive Geocache...!!!! Brian is in charge of hunting for this treasure using the GPS device since Shawn, David and I have already found 1 apiece... while David and Brian go off seaching for this treasure, Shawn and I plot the perfect spot to plant our Geocache. We want it to be fairly difficult to find since we plant some great treasures... a pocket telescopic fishing rod and reel, a Pacifica Radio Archives recording of Frances Moore Lappe, a Pacifica Radio Archives bandana and a Hotwheel car... hahaha...!!! by far this is the most valuable treasure that we have seen or heard of...!!!! the only hint i will give you reading this... we planted this cache on the breaker rocks on Lake Michigan across the park from Soldier Field... a posting of the exact coordinates will be forthcoming...
As for Brian and his treasure hunt... we all had to start looking because it was hard to find... In fact, Brian had to go back to the computer at the RV to look for more clues on the Internet... while he was doing this, several students from Columbia College came strolling by to hang out by the water... they were curious what we were doing... while we were standing around lamenting how hard this hunt was, one of the students (Mark Mrsnik) lifted up a stone and found it...!!! woo hoo...!!! now we are 4 finds in 5 hunts... not a bad record... We gave the students bandanas for their effort and we think we made Geocaching converts of at least a few of them...!!! happy treasure hunting...
next stop... Philadelphia... all night driving to begin meetings at 9 am...!!! cross your fingers that we make it...!!!
Brian DeShazor & David Groth
Posted April 10th, 2005
April 8, Wisconsin
We drove all night from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Madison, Wisconsin in order to keep our many appointments. First up... the Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin on the outskirts of Madison... actually that was not planned... it was a spontaneous adventure that turned out well... to look at this part of Americana where imagination met creativity and artistry in order to amaze millions in a time without modern special effects... the color, the costumes, the circus wagons, the pagentry... what a treat...!!!! now off to our first appointment... The University of Wisconsin, Madison... what a beautiful campus on the shores of Lake Mendota... and what a beautiful sunny day... global warming is in full effect when the weather is warmer and sunnier than Los Angeles in early Spring...!!! We met with Josie Hannemen at the American Indian Studies Program Library to present her with a nice selection from our Native American history collection, including John Trudell from Alcatraz Island in 1970, and an interview with Chief Red Crow (nephew of Crazy Horse) who was 101 years old in 1971 when he discussed the plight of Indians over the last century. All in all we exchanged 30 programs... the beginning of a relationship that we hope will help establish their collection
as one of the premier American Indian audio collections in the world.
Next up we met with Norm Stockwell of WORT to make a presentation at the Madison Socialists potluck dinner... there was a wonderful collection of activists who choose not to sit idley as the Republicans attempt to extinguish democracy in America... Brian and I spoke to the crowd to tell them about our current adventure and our overall goal of preserving and digitizing the entire collection of over 50,000 programs... we also played a clip of Paul Robeson in honor of his birthday... everyone was so generous to help us with our expenses on our trip by purchasing cd's, bandanas and just making donations.... thank you, Madison....!!!!
We then went our for a bite to eat at the Weary Traveler Bar and Restaurant... wonderful homemade food and microbrew...!!! yummy...!!! Brian went with David back to camp to start working on video material that we are sending back to Christopher Sprinkle in Los Angeles... Shawn went out with
friends who came up from Chicago and I went with Norm Stockwell for the grand tour of WORT... The station is alive and well... as far as I can tell the best listen in Madison, thanks to the tireless efforts of Norm Stockwell, the rest of the WORT staff and founders, and the over 300 volunteers that make it all happen... Brian, Shawn, David and I unanimously agreed that WORT has some of the best graphics in community radio... their presentation is tops...!!! GO WORT...!!!
Norm then gave me a tour of the greatest food co-op I've seen in a while. the mural on the side of the building is worth the trip...!!!
next stop... 1 day to get to Philadelphia... that means a mad all-night drive through Indiana, Ohio and most of Pennsylvania.... but first... we plant a geocache in Chicago...
Posted April 9th, 2005
April 7, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota ...
Crossing the country in two days = a whole lot of driving. Pictures are from Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota and more.
At the Red Garter Casino and Hotel, we had the 99-cent breakfast but spent $10 on the slot machines.
We looked for a Geocache in the Black Hills in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore but didn't find the cache box. Drag.
Red Garter Casino and Hotel
Nature Gates at Crazy Horse Monument
Brian and Shawn at a Rest Stop
Looking for Geocache in the Black Hills
Looking for a geocache at Mt. Rushmore
Crazy Horse Monument
Shawn Dellis, Office Administrator!
Posted April 7th, 2005
April 5, Berkeley
We just got off the air from the Morning Show with Philip Maldari... Brian
and I had fun presenting the Bay Area audience with facts figures and
wonderful samples of the restored programs we brought on this tour... we
played the Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lorraine Hansberry and Lena Horne
clips... while we were playing the Lena Horne clip, Karlos from the B-Side
Players called to let us know they were on their way... we can't wait for
the show... anyone who wants to come down please get there early -- only 175
people can fit into the La Pena Cultural Center.
Pacifica Radio Archives Save Our Sound Tour 2005 with special guests the
La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California 94705
General Line 510/849-2568 Email: info(at)lapena.org
Love... Mark Torres
Update: Listen to a clip from that morning's show on KPFA. Mark explains the dreaded 'sticky shed syndrome' and more.
Molly Allison & Michael Couzens Rock Out at La Pena
Young Fan of PRA & B-Side Players
Posted April 5th, 2005
April 4, Hitting the Road
The first thing that struck us as unusual was the lush green growth covering the mountains of the Grape Vine as we were headed up the 5 freeway towards Berkeley... The unusual amount of rain this year has made the normally barren wasteland along this route a virtual paradise...
L to R: Mark Torres, Brian DeShazor, Shawn Dellis, David Groth
170 reels traveling in air-conditioned luxury.
Posted April 4th, 2005