Open your wallet for KAJX |

Open your wallet for KAJX

Paul E. Anna

Ask people around town what they like most about KAJX and you’re not likely to find a single person answering, “The fund drives!” But like it or not, beginning this Monday, the Summer Fund and Membership Drive will begin. Once again you’ll have to endure pleas from Brent Gardner-Smith and his cohorts before you hear “This is Fresh Air, I’m Terri Gross.” The appeals for donations will delay the start of “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.” Even “Car Talk” will be interrupted by someone who wants you to call and “meet the matching donation by the top of the hour,” as they say in the vernacular of fund raising.That’s the downside.The upside is that if we all just send in a little bit, say, a dollar a day, we are treated to Terri, ATC, “Marketplace,” the boys from Boston and oh so much more. Aspen Public Radio is the best media value in this valley, and all we have to do to keep it as such is donate when asked.Fortunately, for all of us, this community stepped up to the plate big-time last year. According to an audit of KAJX by Reese Henry and Company, contributions to the station in 2004 were up $123,767 from the previous year. That boost, from you and your fellow listeners, allowed KAJX to greatly improve their transmission capability and the quality of their programming.Under Brent Gardner-Smith (who runs KAJX when he’s not writing editorials for The Aspen Times advocating construction of four lanes through the open space into town), the station has continued to bring us unique national programs along with local gems. You no doubt have tuned into the sardonic but spot-on Harry Shearer and his “Le Show” on Sunday evenings, or grooved to the white-hot Thayrone on “The Bone Conduction Music Show” on a Saturday night.Maybe it’s the locally produced jazz programming from the likes of Neil Jung, Stu Huck and the other cats who spin a bit of hard-to-find vinyl on a nightly basis that floats your boat. And let’s not forget the quick decision and the nimble technology used to bring us the Clintons from the Aspen ideas Festival (no, the little “i” was not a typo). Regardless, there likely is not a person reading this column who doesn’t, at some point during the week, get something of value from KAJX. So next week when your jonesing for a little “Fresh Air” or “Performance Today” or “Morning Edition” and all you got is local folks begging for money, dig deep. It’s the fastest way to get that damned fund drive out of your ears.

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