December 2015


Reviewing 2015: The best letter I received…

Wyoming Public Media Letterhead

Back in October, while visiting my family, I picked up a small stack of random mail that had some how found my Mom’s mailbox instead of my mailbox. And by mail, I mean actual letters, delivered by a friendly person in a uniform.

One letter I received was from Wyoming Public Media:

Dear Adam,

It looks like your membership renewal has come and gone. We last received a gift from you on 3/26/1998. It is our hope that you will renew your membership today and help keep Public Radio alive and well in Wyoming.

This is the kind of letter that makes me snort: a mere 17.5 years after I last donated money to Wyoming Public Radio (and it was Wyoming Public Radio back then), they tracked me down – at the wrong address – and begged for money.

Make no mistake, Wyoming Public Radio, at least when I was listening to it back in the 1990s, was the finest public radio station in America. I was still listening to Colorado Public Radio whenever I commuted home, but CPR was mediocre, with illusions of grandeur.

It wasn’t actually until after I moved to Bloomington, Indiana, and suffered through WFIU-FM, that I came to understand how incredibly good Wyoming Public Radio was – WFIU was (and presumably still is) the most pretentious, odious, awful public radio station in America. Held hostage by classical music freaks, I once heard the station apologize for omitting a five-minute interlude of classical music due to an excess of important news.

As a Master’s student hard at work on my thesis, KUWR’s morning music program, which I think was hosted by Don Woods, was the most delightful mix of contemporary music – the perfect accompaniment to endless typing and sorting of source materials.

Wyoming Public Radio was a station I wholeheartedly supported – even volunteering to work the phones during their fund raising drives.

Which I guess makes it all the more ironic that I received this letter – 17.5 years later. It’s not that I do not miss Wyoming Public Radio Media, it’s that I haven’t listened to their programming on a regular basis since moving from Wyoming.

The letter was worth a laugh and a blog post, but my wallet remains closed to the station – I’m donating to the University of Wyoming, just not its radio station.

2 comments to Reviewing 2015: The best letter I received…

  • pseudowifey

    I am imagining a non-profit management intern going through decades old donor data. Finding your name. Googling you endlessly and tracking your mother’s address down. I am sure they checked obituaries first;) Ha good laugh and fun memories of non-profit management fundraising antics:)

    • The strange thing is that UWyo has my accurate, current address — but the radio station keeps its records completely separate. 🙂