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How A 20-Year Love Affair With Radio Began

Just about 20 years ago,  Glenn Far happened to spot a listing looking for a volunteer receptionist in The Union newspaper.

Turned out it was at KVMR 89.5 FM, a non-commercial radio station in Nevada City.

"I was looking for something to get me out of the house," he recalled. "And I'd always liked volunteering so it was right up my alley."

Turned out it was going to change his life.

Well, Glenn is still there, yes, subbing as a receptionist every now and then, but chock full of other duties at the eclectic, non-profit volunteer-driven organization.

"I took the broadcaster training class in '95, I loved the people (at the station), and I never left," according to Far.

He helped engineer a couple of talk shows before starting -- and hosting --  the weekly "Flea Market" (1 p.m. Thursdays, 89.5 FM, kvmr.org), where listeners call in with items to buy, sell, trade or just give away. 

The show -- serving a different radio audience than KNCO's "Swap Shop" -- is Far's pride and joy, with hundreds, if not thousands, of listeners participating in the free service over its 17-year history.

"It's the essence of community radio," he beamed.  "It's a show for, about and by the community."

"I get to interact with people, keep it positive, facilitate it," Glenn added.

In addition, Far is also co-host of "Zen Tech," a call-in talk show on computers, technology and the internet. It airs the second, fourth and fifth Wednesdays each month at 1 p.m., including next Wednesday, June 25.

"My original idea was for a show that would be a 'Consumer Reports' type of show," Glenn remembered. "I'd heard the name Paul Castro and knew he was a techie superman kind of guy.  We hit it off..."

And Castro's been co-host of the show since it debuted in 1999.

Far is also renowned at the station for volunteering to help people solve all sorts of problems.

"My corporate background was starting a help desk at Xerox," according to Glenn.  "If anything went wrong, I got the call."

He'll even find a friend or broadcaster a special deal on an item they need.

"I'm a shopper," Far said with a smile. "I love spending other people's money."

A former KVMR Board of Directors member, the KVMR volunteer has advocated a positive governance structure for the station board, particularly in fundraising.

In addition, he can be a stickler, designated to certify that broadcaster trainees know how to operate the station before they're eligible for shows or substitutions.

And he enjoys working as an unpaid volunteer on computer-related issues of all kinds at the station, saving the station valuable revenue.

Besides, he was a hit as Carmen Miranda at KVMR broadcaster talent shows. And can't wait for the next one...