Mr. Chiotos' Record

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Yeah, the weekend has been pretty allright. Workin on my guitar skills...which are about as lacking as the ice caps at this point. But, as opposed to the ice caps, I'm hoping they improve.

Picked up a bluegrass songbook yesterday that has a lot of good quality stuff in there..Dooley, slippin up a holler. Dooley, tryin t'make a dollar. Dooley, gimme a swaller and i'll pay ya back some day...moonshinin songs and more. I'm nowhere near able to play them yet, but eventually I'll get there. I mean, I'm not lookin to be a star, I just want to be able to jam. Clifftop, next year, I won't be sittin back listenin, I want to be playin.

Talked with a guy, Keith, yesterday at this music store up in Lewisburg who might be interested in having a show here at WHFI that focuses on acoustic music. I mean, it's a start if we can get him a show, but I'm hoping to be able to hook up an old-timer who can recall memories of playing around Monroe County with a show. It'll be cool getting things rolling with Keith, though, eventually (we gotta get comfortable with the news first off, then we can hit the really creative and cultural stuff).

He's pretty tuned into the regional music scene, so I'll have to pay him a visit from time to time. He mentioned this party that the banjo picker from the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys has every year where all kindsa people come out. I'm gonna have to hit that if I can. It'll be on September 23rd, I think around (the conveniantly named) Pickaway in Northern Monroe.

Today, I'm gonna check out getting an old truck for less than $500. I mean, I want one that'll haul shit from time to time, not one to drive every day. So, I'm gonna make some calls and maybe do some travelin, but I'm in no real hurry to get it.

I have a pretty freelance kinda weekend. I may hit up campin out and exploring in the Greenbrier State Forest. It should be nice enough that I can sleep under the stars..gotta order poles for my tent. I may just go back to the house, though.

I'm getting back into the to-do list thing, it's pretty damn necessary.

I'm not sure when I'll be going back to Shepherdstown. The weekend of Sept. 2 & 3 is the Festival of the Rivers in Hinton, and I kinda want to hit that up, but I may just miss that. I want to be around for the Historical Society's meeting at the Old Greenville Mill so I can explain the benefits of having a "Historical Minute" to them. So, I should be around for that.

Maybe Sept. 2 & 3....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lazy Weekend

Not too much going on this weekend. Might make it over to the Coal River Valley or Mingo County or somewhere. I should take this weekend to keep up with folks resisting coal...but, Bobby's away and a lot of the youths are moving into school so I'm not sure where I'll make it to. Maybe I'll give Abe a call and see what he's up to...

I've got a meeting set up with John Kidd on this coming Tuesday that'll be pretty badass. I'll show him the station and the limited amount that he'll need to know for doing his Fishing Minute for the "Monroe Today" section of the station. We'll get to set down & lay some concrete plans for how the minute'll be looking and see what we can do for it. Maybe we could get a local fishing business to sponsor it or something like that...there are a lot of possibilities and this is a pretty good one.

The Fishing Minute is the start point for community involvement with this station. The way I'm thinking about it so far is to use the "minute" idea, where a person/organization would get a flexible minute during the noon news block to talk about something of importance to Monroe County, as a platform to spring people into longer weekly/monthly half-hour shows. We're starting small with the fishing minute, but this Fall, I'm hoping to involve people with these minutes:

Historical Minute : Historical Society would have a minute to talk about historical issues, events, or places around the county. They'll be bringing this up at their September meeting and hopefully they approve it.

Health Minute : A local doctor or doctors would access the station to talk about general health and something that people could be doing or not doing. This could be tied with the local anti-drug efforts.

Welfare Forms Minute : With a different name, this would be an irregular feature, but would be an alert as to what major forms are due when and any major changes with forms people have to fill out for welfare. John Kidd's sister may help us with this.

Watershed Minute : One of the local watershed groups could use this minute towards updating people on water quality around the county. There are three (Indian Creek, Second Creek, and Greenbrier River) that could use this minute, maybe in a rotating fashion, we'll see.

Farmer's Market Reports : Report from the Farmers Market every Friday to promote that a bit more, either from the WVU extension agent or a local farmer. This'd only be useful until October and next Spring, so it might not be implemented until next spring...

Senior Spotlight : Giving an update on events that are focused on seniors, whether its an old folks home or whatever that gives the event list...haven't thought too much about this yet.

Arts Minute : The Arts Society here could give an overview of local things happening in the arts...very broad...but I just thought of this.

So, there are a lot of ideas out there and there is a lot of possibilities to connect people with different ideas.

Here's what we've got so far...

News, Weather, High School Menu, Sports scores, Community Calendar, Fishing Minute, Agricultural Extension Week.

So, we've got a good start on things and we've got a lot of opportunity to work with people on expanding that reach

Tominda came down Tuesday and we stayed together that night and went to the State Fair the following evening. Pretty badass, but I'm feeling about done with this typing thing.

Went Fishing earlier in Indian Creek...not sure if you can just pull over and fish...but I did and it was fun. Didn't catch anything, but then I don't know if I really wanted to.

Not sure what I'll do this weekend, but tomorrow'll be filled with errands and hitting up the farmer's market.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gibbs' Visit & More

Well, Tominda's on her way down here, hot damn, that'll be pretty cool. She'll get to see how I've tack-ied that place up that I call home, all kindsa different tacky shit around. Lamps that look like hookahs...tables with the paint peeling off...out of tune guitars...that whole place is coming along well.

Gibbs Kinderman came down today to take a look at the station and to convince Karie to stay. Gibbs is the VISTA coordinator for the Eastern Highlands of the state and Karie's the VISTA that is thinkin about leaving. It looks like he may have done his job pretty well today and found her some more money to stay until April, hopefully she can. It'll let me put some damn focus on this news project that I'll be doing...going around to meetings and trying to get different "minutes" to air on a regular basis during that "Monroe Today" block. It should be pretty quality kinda stuff. So, I'll give her a call at some point here and ask what her decision is, hopefully she stays or we'll be stretched real thin this year.

Gibbs is a badass kinda dude. He's an old guy with a big beard, lives up in the mountains of Pocahantos County and has been working in a radio station he started for the past 25 years. He's an old activist from back in the sixties. Went down for Mississippi Freedom Summer and has a pretty badass history of working in anti-strip mining work back in the late sixties and early seventies. Used to work in Ken Hechler's campaign and managed the VISTAs who did a hell of a lot in solidarity with residents of Southern WV to abolish strip mining. Oh well, he tried, but I guess he moved onto Pocahantos when no abolition bill got passed. I'll be under his wing directly, it's pretty damn inspiring, but I'll be working relatively close to him and'll be going up to visit every so often.

Went up to buy more fitting clothes to work in from this used clothes place in Ronceverte today, it was pretty cool. On the way back I stopped by the Cheese n'More store that has a buncha local Mennonite-made stuff in there and got as much as I could. I'll be hitting up the farmers market this Friday to try and get as much good local food as I can.

Went home this past weekend and saw most everyone, besides chris scott, that I'm really close to. Kathy, Sarah, Nick, Frank, Tominda, Mom, Dad, John, Katie B, was pretty damn good. Walked around and talked with Nick and Frank Saturday night and that was pretty cool, walkin and talkin under a meteor shower. I enjoyed the weekend in a most badass fashion. Next time I go home'll be early September....either the weekend of the 3rd or the 10th. The 3rd has Contra Dancing, but it's the Hinton Festival of Rivers and I kinda want to go over there and catch some music and whatnot.

So, yeah, I've gotta clean a bit and get dinner ready for Tominda's coming in at around 9. Huzzah.

Friday, August 11, 2006

State Fair

Going to the State Fair and then home! Woooo! I'll see people!

Short run down...

talked with a fisherman guy yesterday who's real interested in getting involved with the station here and'll probably have his own "fishing minute" kinda deal that we air every week, if not eventually more.

having to scale back my vision for an "old time sunday" for the time being, until we can get another VISTA. Damn, I want another VISTA here so they can take care of managing the high school people and I could go out and do a lot of cool stuff like collect music, collect news, and collect stories. I mean, it'll be cool working with the high schoolers, it just means that I'll have to be in here.

picked up my old guitar and am trying to learn that.

i'll update more later on, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday Night

Here I am sittin at the WHFI station here in Lindside at 9 PM workin on stuff. Today was pretty damn productive, but lame at the exact damn same time.

Waited around for Verizon to show up until friggin 5 PM, but their filthy asses never ever showed! so, they're gonna be getting an angry phone call tomorrow. So, I am still phone-less and I can't call Tominda or Mom or Dad or anyone cause the pay phones are too damn expensive.

Been pretty busy these last coupla days, going to meetings. Went to the Peterstown Ruritans last night, and hit the Bozoo Ruritans today. Pretty badass stuff.

After the Peterstown Ruritans meeting last night, this guy Jeff took me around and showed me what has been done down in Peterstown. The town seems to be a do-it-yourself kinda place, if something needs to get done, then by god lets do it! Showed me a pretty amazing playground that people in the community built together after organizing and raising money for almost a year. It's inspiring stuff, don't get that in too many other places. Showed me a soccer field that the Ruritans built themselves with fundraisers and a hell of a lotta volunteer hours. Talked about a bridge that the Ruritans built, simply cause it needed to get built, so they did it.

The Bozoo Ruritan meeting was a bit different, this one was pretty well advertised and attended, maybe 30 or 35 people were there. Complete with an old time band. It was about a neighborhood watch program that they're lookin to set up to deal with drugs and crime and all of that. It seemed a bit on the fear mongering side of things, but its also a lets protect our community kinda attitude, along with that do-it-yourself outlook. I had to leave early, but they didn't discuss any of the root causes of crimes and didn't talk about setting up alternatives for the kids and people besides drugs. It woulda been a good thing to put on the air if the news show was already together today.

Gonna go home this weekend, I should get there right around early evening Friday I think, then leave there early evening Sunday.

We've gotta find another VISTA for this station, itd be too much by myself. too friggin much, it'd take the fun out of it if I had to do it all myself.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Little Bit

Getting into the reporter/radio station organizer job, it's pretty fun. Going to the Peterstown Ruritans meeting tonight then the Bozoo Ruritans meeting tomorrow & immediately then to a Board of Education meeting.

Going home this weekend, hellllllllllllllllllll yeah. It'll be fun!

Just talked with a kinda crazy libertarian guy that owns a gun shop. he invited me over for dinner sometime and seemed nice enough. a friends of coal kinda's crazy how people who do the most exploitative things (he was on the stock market when I went in) can be the nicest people.

It's an interesting place, most definitely, an interesting place.

Off to Peterstown!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I'm here in Fayetteville on a public computer at the Cathedral Cafe. Might go fishin for a little bit. In the middle of the Clifftop Old Time Festival, it's pretty badass and inspiring. Incredibly decentralized music, people coming together and making their own bands and just playing rather than depending on the front main stage, cool shit. Gonna go square dancing tonight and catch a lot of music, tonight's apparently then huge party night where people jam til dawn, so yeah, there'll be a hell of a lot to experience tonight.

Becky from Big Ugly might switch over to the Monroe Radio Project, that'd be pretty cool, cause we need someone. She's got pretty congruent values with me and it'd be good to work with her.

Good weekend, gotta find the other VISTAs from Pocahantos County....

Tominda would love it here, i wish she were here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Before the Old Time Show

I'm about hittin the end of my first week here in Monroe County, and it's pretty crazy looking towards the next year down here.

The biggest thing is that I found out yesterday that Karie is gonna be leaving the station in a coupla weeks. This puts a big strain on what I want to do down here, unless we can get another VISTA, but even then, it puts a strain on it. I mean, Karie didn't seem like she was all into grassroots community accessible journalism, she seemed like she was into keeping the station running more than values. This puts the responsibility of keeping the station running on my and Mark Blevins (full time teacher though) shoulders, leaving less time to go to community meetings and get the word out about the station. This leaves less time for me to collect oral histories to air and less time to go to old time shows and get someone who would want to put on a music radio show. There'll be more of a focus on the bare bones, lets get the job done issues.

We've got to find another VISTA, hopefully one who's got a relatively radical analysis or one who's into grassroots journalism. We'll see though, the big thing we need is somebody.

So far, my schedule has gone like this...

Sunday : Packed & moved in with the help of Tominda and Dad
Monday : Went up to Alderson and got a few things for moving in and Tominda & Dad left
Tuesday : Drove up to the High Rocks Academy and met with other activists & VISTAs for a workshop called "So You Want to Change the World"
Wednesday : First day at the station, met with Mark Blevins & got trained in the sound board, Cool Edit Pro (for editing recordings), and generally how to run the equipment. Recorded the weather report that was aired on the hour every hour...first time on the radio, pretty damn cool. Met with Tabitha Young of the Monroe County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for a bit about their efforts.
Thursday: Second Day at the station, met with Mark Blevins again & got trained in how to use Raduga (program for playing music, kinda like Napster & Itunes). Learned that Karie is going to be leaving. Went to a meeting of the Monroe County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and wrote a story on it that will be aired soon before a public forum they're organizing on underage drinking.

So, this is coming along, it wasn't too hard once I got out there and went to a meeting. I'll be allright in this, even without knowing jack shit about being a reporter. Trial by fire is what they call it I guess.

It was odd seeing Vicki, my landlord, come out to the Monroe County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition's meeting, surprising. We hung out a bit last night, that was pretty cool.

Watched the sunset from the roof of my house a coupla nights ago, that was badass. It was plenty damn peaceful and beautiful, I saw the sun actually moving, that was a shock. Going down between the mountains rocked the shit outta seeing it go down between a coupla buildings.

I'm not having as hard a time as I feared in missing Tominda and my family, I mean I of course miss the hell out of them and am looking to go back to Jefferson County at least once a month to see them and am really looking forward to seeing them. But, it's not an impediment to anything here, it's not debilitating like I had feared. It is an awfully big place to be alone though.

So, yeah, I'm going to a old-time music festival here after I hit up a coupla yard sales and get some lunch.

Over and out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Moving In

Hey, short post. I'm moving in...always takes longer than it should. First day of training today, gotta get back to that! It's coming along well and I'm enjoying the place here. Driving on the curvey roads is a good time.

gotta get everything set up at home so I get internet and phone and everything from there.

back to Lindside for more training