Hope Mountain Radio

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Illinois Valley News  
Jan. 24, 2007


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Hope Mountain Radio benefit scheduled

It’s Friday night in Takilma -- Leo Goodman sits in his woodshop, waiting the last few minutes until the start of his radio show.

The small studio, attached to the shop, doesn’t look like a radio station from the outside. But that’s because it isn’t a traditional station by any means.

This is the headquarters of Hope Mountain Radio, representative of the new media, made possible by Internet technology and fueled by a strong sense of people power.

Goodman begins preparing for his show as 8 o’clock approaches. Hope Mountain DJ “Sunshine” wraps up her broadcast of “The 420 Reefer Gladness Show” and signs off before playing her last song.

Goodman puts on his headphones and starts searching through stacks of vinyl records as he assembles his play list. Directly across from the record player is the same computer used to do the broadcast, in a perfect pairing of old and new technology.

“I love to play vinyl,” Goodman said. “We’ve got a lot of good records here.”

“Epoch,” another Hope Mountain DJ, enters the room and sits quietly behind a computer while Goodman goes on the air.

Hope Mountain Radio has an interesting history. It started as a pirate radio station, but continued interference by government agents caused some problems.

“We got busted so many times, we got scared,” “Epoch” said.

These days, she is no longer worried about the possibility of authorities trying to shut the station.

“They can’t,” she said. “We’re totally legal.”

Instead of fighting for the limited bandwidth available on traditional radio, Hope Mountain now broadcasts via the Internet, at www.takilmaFM.com. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and operates as an all-volunteer organization.

“Every DJ that comes in here has free reign,” Goodman said.

Becoming legitimate has driven up the cost of doing business, however. As such, the station has scheduled a benefit for Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Takilma Community Center.

The benefit features an organic spaghetti dinner, complete with salad, and a performance by “Rosehip Ramblers.” Fees are on a sliding scale, with the dinner to start at 6:30 p.m. and live music at 8 p.m.

Proceeds will go toward paying the station’s various fees and the possible purchase of new computer equipment.

“Sunshine” said that she appreciates the station’s uniqueness.

“You’re not going to hear music like this anywhere else,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to hear.”

Music has been her lifelong love, as she wanted to be a DJ as far back as grade school.

On this particular night, “Sunshine” chats with “Epoch” for a while before saying her good-byes. Meanwhile, Goodman cues up Tom Petty’s “The Last DJ,” which seems all too appropriate for this setting.

“There goes the last DJ/who plays what he wants to play/and says what he wants to say,” Petty sings. “And there goes your freedom of choice/There goes the last human voice/There goes the last DJ.”

Goodman said that the station’s main purpose is to give a voice to the community, as well as a chance to pursue his passions.

“This is my art project,” Goodman said. “We’re painting a picture with sound.”


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