Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home in Western NE Again

Until very recently, this region suffered a lack of the Classic Rawk radio deluge that one finds in every more populated region.  We've finally caught up on that account in the past five years.  Until then though there was only a top 40 station, an 'oldies' station,  (50's and sixties) and, of course, Country.  The oldies station is a ESPN affiliate now, inventing sporting outrage so that you Mr. Divorced Alcoholic don't have to make up your own, even if you're out among the coyotes. 

Out of Ogalala, a little courthouse town fifty miles west of here, there's a station set on 99.7, 'The Lake.'  Classic Rawk, mostly, but independent, owned from within the community.There's a weird sort of variety to these stations, different from what you'd hear on some ostentatiously variable channel on Sirius because there's probably no hipster credibility to whatever gets played.  On 99.7 I once heard one of Supertramps' twelve minute awkward early prog rock attempts followed by the Johnny Mathis version of 'What Child is This?'  Last night whoever was working there put on Boston's "Rock and Roll Band', which includes the line 'Dancing in the Streets of Hyannis.'  which is sort of funny since there actually is a Hyannis Nebraska to the north of Ogalala,  an hours drive through bare grass on a blacktop road, population 200, one hundred miles from the nearest town of 10K+.  It's one of the more isolated and forlorn places in the lower forty eight, is what I'm saying.  So the thought of anyone dancing in its wheel-track 'streets' in the dead of winter brings a grim smile.  Yet 99.7 the Lake will reach Hyannis, usually, and somebody there digs Suzanne Vega.  So any Hyannite who feels the urge and has the time, which of course he does, need only wait by his radio until by and by that sweet dose of late-eighties mild  Manhattan middlebrow groove shall come.


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