Summer Membership Drive: Weekend update

The weekend of the Summer Membership Drive has been a blur of espresso drinks, t-shirts, and special encounters with new friends and old friends.

On Friday night, Jessica stopped by the station in response to Kevin and Rachel’s invite to come on down, make a gift, get some dinner and hang out. Jessica’s from Miami, where she streams KEXP. Kevin’s her favorite DJ and she came in to make a gift and get a t-shirt so that she could represent. She’s been in Seattle for a week and is on her way to Alaska to work as an oceanographer on fishing vessels for the summer. Well, after she made her gift, we went into the booth to meet Kevin — she couldn’t believe it! Then she got herself some dinner and decided that she’d stay and volunteer to answer phones. She sat down to answer, and it turns out that she won the 10-CD pack giveaway that hour! Her grin just kept getting bigger by the moment! You can make your gift, too! You don’t need to be from Miami or come in for dinner!

Saturday was similar. Jacques and I discovered that we both have French heritage… he’s Creole and I’m Quebecoise. His grandmother would boil possum is a stock pot; mine would render the fat from pork, mix the meat and fat with nutmeg and make it into paté, which we’d then spread on toast. His family hails from the Louisiana Bayou, mine from the textile mill towns of New England. We are French brethren.

He had a pretty cool t-shirt on that was the impetus for us all tell stories about how meaningful music is to us. That got me to thinking that I needed to share some of the more interesting shirts from the drive. Hence the photos here:

Saturday saw the first time in my life that I drank three double Americanos and a cup of coffee. Yikes. Sunday I drank two double Americanos and a cup of coffee. Yikes. Craig from Zoka Coffee was pulling the drinks. I was telling him that my in-laws in Maine order Zoka Coffee on the internet. He says that they probably win the prize for most distant customers!

Saturday night was pretty special. We’d just ended the night when Sonic Reducer host DJ Mr. West told me that someone was trying to get in the front doors of the station and that they wanted some stickers. Who do I find at the front door but a mother and daughter from Mexico City! They’d been listening to our “marathon” all day, were walking by the station, and wanted to come in to make a gift. Camila is a communications major who has her own reggae show and her mother is a nurse. Their cousin is a scientist at the UW who is in a local Seattle band. They stream KEXP in Mexico City! Well, it turns out that someone in my family has a house in the same state in Mexico where Camila’s grandfather was born. It was really cool to reminisce about the Cervantes festival and the folk art museum, the theatres and the squares where each generation dances in the evenings in the beautiful colonial city of Guanajuato, in central Mexico.

Then Mrs. Valdez says, in a gorgeous accent that I wish I could put on whenever I feel like being exotic, exactly why we all want KEXP to thrive: “It is important for us to help you because you’re important to culture. We need all of these people to make their music.” I’m an emotional sort, so I got teary-eyed and we hugged and kissed and agreed to keep in touch and to email. And then Camila wrote on the dry erase board, “keep it going goys!” and they walked off into the night at 9:45pm to have dinner – so cosmopolitan for little old Seattle, where there’s one dinner rush in the entire town and that’s at 7pm.

Sunday we were short on volunteers, so my husband came in to answer phones for Johnny Horn. We both love Johnny Horn and Josh was a little star struck. It was pretty cool though, because one of our long time phone volunteers, Sean, was there. Josh and Sean know each other from the last time we needed to call Josh in to help out in a pinch. So they start gabbing away.

Josh got a call that put so much into perspective for us. A couple from Kirkland called. They’d only discovered KEXP two weeks ago and they told Josh that they’d never had a radio experience like it in there lives. They wanted to know what size gift would make a difference to us. I watched my husband’s eyes well up across the table as he told some of the newest members of the KEXP family that any gift makes a difference and that we’d be happy to accept whatever felt right to them. After two years of hearing me relate stories of people from all over the world who find special meaning in the station’s work, Josh got to experience for himself the depth of people’s feelings. It’s truly humbling.

Amazingly, all around us, the 2008 Summer Membership Drive continued on strongly!

We ended Sunday about $3,500 ahead of our goal — and it’s Hit it and Quit it! Let’s keep this up! Make your gift, now! We’ll be able to end the drive early!

Oh, yeah! Ballard is BARELY ahead of Capitol Hill, with West Seattle a close third, in the ‘Hood to ‘Hood! (SOMEONE PLEASE BEAT BALLARD… even though I’m from there, I want to see how other parts of the city will put on a party!)

I love KEXP’s drives, and as much as I hate for this amazing and fun week to end, I know that we’d all like to get back to the music. Please help keep this big family healthy! Thanks so much, friends!

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