August 4 will forevermore be a holiday on my calendar — the birthday of my beloved KMUZ! An incredible moment in my life occurred that day when I got to announce “KMUZ Turner”, the official station identification, for the first time at 88.5 MHz. Sitting in the back of a van with a short rack of transmission equipment next to me, parked at the base of the radio tower, headphones on and clutching the SM58 mic, it was truly the most unique deejay experience I ever had–and ever will. This baby was a mere idea back on ’02 or so, and became a real project in ’06. I knew it would be a challenge but oddly I never realized just how incredibly difficult the road would be. However, that hour of signal testing on the top of Wipper Hill in Turner made it all worthwhile. It’s just mind-blowing: We Built A Radio Station. People could hear us in all parts of Salem (confirmed listeners in W, N, NE, SE) as well as Stayton! We have created a venue for our community to express ideas, share thoughts and music, and learn more about each other. It’s simply beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, that antenna is one gleaming beacon of exquisite engineering. This project is the ultimate synthesis of technology and grassroots DIY culture–how cool is that? I can’t wait to see (and hear) how the next phase evolves, when more community members join in the fun as programmers. Yeah, it’s been many years, and we can celebrate that we got a signal out, but KMUZ has just begun! My deepest thanks go out to all of you that helped in so many ways. Namaste.
Karen McFarlane Holman