Preparing for Prom

Have you ever experienced the excitement of a first date that was going so well that even before it was over, you were looking forward to a second date? I can recall two occasions in my personal life, both long ago. And in my professional life, I have had five such “dates” in the past 4 years.

One of these “dates” was a lunch meeting at Old Mill Tasty Shop that Larry, an underwriting representative with KMUW, our local NPR member station, arranged with the then recently hired director of development, Denise. Before going any further, I should be very clear that Denise and I are each blissfully married to wonderful men, and really, our “date” was a business meeting.

Yet still, I got all giddy and excited about the ideas we exchanged and the conversation that just wouldn’t stop. We just clicked and I couldn’t wait to see this woman again!

Our professional relationship has progressed and now as we prep for a very special Final Friday event, I feel like I am getting ready to go to a prom – which really was never an exciting event for me, but it works here as a metaphor.

On Friday, September 26, Start-Thinking will host KMUW listeners invited to a Meet the Artists Reception celebrating the 10 artists who have contributed art to KMUW for use on pledge drive premiums.

Several months ago, when Denise called to ask if Start-Thinking would be willing to host this event, I remember feeling like I was being told I had been nominated for an Oscar. Truly, I felt so honored to be asked because:

1. I have been listening to NPR pretty much since it’s founding in 1970

2. I have been employed at two public radio stations, including KMUW

3. I have volunteered as a substitute reader for WRRS

4. I have pitched and/or answered phones during several pledge drives

5. I will be incredibly sad the first time I walk into the station and know that I won’t see Pat Hayes because she has retired (the woman hasn’t aged a bit in the more than 15 years I have known her so who knows, maybe she will outlast every last one of us)

6. I have been making financial contributions to public radio for half of my life, currently to KMUW and to KCRW.

7. My friend Charles Baughman, who owns the Monart School of Art with his wife Kate Pepper, is one of the 10 artists being celebrated.

Here is a sampling of the 10 artists:

That I’m a little bit of a public radio fan is no secret to anyone who knows me. Gosh, even those previously mentioned men I had terrific first dates with so many years ago knew it. Obviously Denise knows it, which is why she approached me about Start-Thinking working with her on this event.

But this isn’t the first time KMUW and Start-Thinking have joined forces. KMUW is one of the media sponsors of Museum Day, a Smithsonian magazine program that Neal is driving on a local level.

Clearly the relationship I have with Denise exists because our paths connect through our work. But I would argue that our respective affiliations with public radio play a key role in our enjoyment of each other. This directly contributes to the success of both Museum Day and the KMUW Final Friday event and gosh does it ever make working more pleasant.