There is no actual expiration date on these things.
Getting a proclamation from the city (or even a key to the city, if you are really, really determined) isn’t all that difficult, all things considered. Some proclamations are grand and mighty, and some are smaller in scale.
But, as I have insisted over the years, it isn’t the size of your proclamation that counts; it’s what you do with it.
I have gotten a couple for On the Air over the years - one for our 50th show, and another to mark our fifteenth year on television.
In addition, I provided the wording for at least one of the proclamations which Community Access Television received over the years.
So today, July 5, is On the Air with Richard S. Drake Day, though I have not as yet has any official greeting cards made up to mark the event.
True enough, 2006 is the year listed on the proclamation, but I like to hold this date close to my heart every year, and celebrate in a small way, because of what it means to me.
And what exactly does it mean to me, Vacillating Reader? I suppose if we go through the proclamation line by line, you might understand.
Whereas: On the Air fills a community need as a forum for social issues, entertainment and public opinion in Fayetteville . . .
I had long wanted to do a show on access in Fayetteville, ever since I had seen the brilliant Peter Harkins do his call-in show on Fayetteville Open Channel in the 1980s. OTA was a call-in for the first three years of our run, till I tired of that format. To be honest, I also sort of got tired of people telling me that having a call-in show was a public service.”
I wanted to get away from the constant interruption of calls, and concentrate on conversation, and I think the show improved greatly from that point on.
I have a pretty good ego, but I also realize that folks don’t tune in - when they do - to watch me; they want to see the guest.
Whereas: people in front of the camera get more attention than those behind the scenes who work equally as hard . . .
Nothing could be truer than those words. If I ever look good at all, it has been due to the talent and hard work of the many folk over the years who have worked as directors, camera people, call-screeners, set builders or editors that each show requires.
Whereas: the talented men and women of all ages who have volunteered on the crew of On the Air over the past fifteen years have come from a broad spectrum of Fayetteville, embodying all that is best about citizens working together . . .
Public access is nothing if not diversity in action, and the passion and enthusiasm of men and women of all ages keeps all of us intellectually young.
A few things especially have kept the energy level high over the years at public access in Fayetteville. I have written about VIPA (the Video Independent Producers Association) previously, which often spoken up for producers and their needs, and whose members sat on committees to help the city know the sort of equipment needed for the future. I have always been inspired by them, and similar activist producers. I think that any access station which ignores such a producers’ organization would be cutting its own throat.
And, of course, many of us have the experience of sitting in the break room at the station, a place where producers could relax between working on productions, and not only network, but bounce ideas off one another. All of our shows benefited from this sort of “round-table” experience, especially OTA.
Whereas: The individuals on the ever-changing crews of On the Air represent all backgrounds and all beliefs that can be found in Fayetteville, and have helped to make the show a better one . . .
Again, diversity in action. A place where liberals and conservatives can rub shoulders and help each other, displaying none of the hostility and immaturity one might find in a place like, say, Facebook.
Public access has always helped provide a voice for the previously voiceless. What a feather in the city’s cap, for example, to provide a service which allows the homeless of the community to share their stories!
If you know a homeless person, and they have a story, send them along to Fayetteville Public Access Television. Or anyone with a story to tell, for that matter.
Whereas: the dedicated crews of On the Air over the past fifteen years symbolize the true democratic nature of Community Access Television, and the community it serves.
Now therefore, I Dan Coody, Mayor of the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, July 5, 2006 as
“On the Air with Richard S. Drake Day.”
And as I say, there is no expiration date on these things. Since the above is still all true, especially about how access producers come from a broad spectrum of Fayetteville, I intend to celebrate this particular holiday every year.
Because when I celebrate this particular day, I feel I am honoring everyone I have ever worked with over the years, whether it be on my show, or helping others with their own.
Because it ain’t just my day . . . it’s our day.
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