Flea Market: The Buy & Sell Radio Show With An Original Theme Song
Written by Sean Dooley on November 5, 2019
That ol’ glass slipper that don’t fit no more
You got enough stuff to start yourself a department store
Yard sale, garage sale, stick on a sign and park it
Or grab your phone and call it in to the KVMR Flea Market
(“Flea Market” by Dakota Sid Clifford)
Hey, you can’t be too off when a distinguished singer-songwriter like Dakota Sid Clifford creates a theme song for your once-a-week KVMR 89.5 FM “Flea Market” radio show (Thursdays 1 p.m.-2 p.m.)
Whether it’s “that velvet Elvis painting” or “stuff that you ain’t usin’, stuff that just won’t fit, whatever it may be, believe you me, somebody wants it,” sings Sid.
Now that brought a huge grin to “Flea Market” host Glenn Far, who is an advocate for recycling and reusing what you’ve already got.
Just a few years ago, it was clear Dakota Sid and son Travers valued that same philosophy that community host Far had brought to the weekly KVMR 89.5 FM series on Thursdays at 1 p.m.(also heard on The Bridge 105.7 FM and kvmr.org streaming).
“i’ve always thought this is extremely valuable radio, ” beamed Glenn Haralson, his real last name.
Why use the name Glenn Far for his radio name? Well, it’s the opposite of Glenn Close, you see.
Glenn has hosted the weekly show since it started in July, 1996. “It’s the essence of community radio because the star is the community.”
That’s because the whole program depends on folks calling in and offering excess items for sale, asking the radio audience for items they might need, or giving something away.
“And Glenn has the sweetest voice on the air,” noted one longtime broadcaster. “It just makes you feel welcome.”
One star last week was Kendall, one of the estimated 24,000 phone calls Glenn has taken since the show began.
“Hi, Glenn,” she said. “I’m in the process of moving in, so I’ve got lots of moving materials and boxes I’d like to get rid of…so if someone else is moving, that would be great to give you free of charge.”
“Plus I’ve also got two wicker chairs and an ottoman with cushions and I’ll take the best offer, I’m thinking $75. Also I’ve got a bright red cabinet I assembled myself, but it won’t fit in my place.”
We think she said $50 or best offer for the cabinet, but you can check the Flea Market’s home page at the radio station’s website — kvmr.org/fleamarket
Tired of the show after 24 grand or so calls?
“No, absolutely not,” replied Glenn. “I always look forward to it (the show).”
“If I’m feeling the least bit funky, when I turn the mic(rophone) on, it goes away,” Glenn said. “It comes natural for me. That part of it has always been there for me.”
“Hello, caller, welcome to KVMR’s Flea Market. What’s your first name?”
“How are you, Mel?”
“I’m doing well, Glenn.”
“What have you got for us today, Mel?”
“Well, I’ve got an abundance of ready-to-go firewood, Glenn. I’m just off Newtown Road and it’s free.”
“Free? That’s pretty generous, Mel,” replied Glenn.
“Look, it’s a win-win, Glenn,” Mel said. “I have better fire protection for my home, and someone else gets a warm home.”
Yup, sounds like a lot of Flea Market callers.
Glenn moved here in 1994 to be close to his father after working for 20 years in a variety of jobs on the corporate side of Silicon Valley.
By that September, he’d discovered KVMR was looking for a front desk volunteer, which, yup, he became.
Within a year, he’d taken the broadcasters training class, impressed staff, and soon became a member of the station’s Board of Directors.
“When I was on the Board, our budget was less than $100,000 a year.”
Now he marvels how the station has grown to $1.1 million or more.
“I love the station’s new building. It’s ours. We custom designed it with volunteers and broadcasters getting to give input and ideas.”
“Hi, I’m calling back about the stove I’d described. No one’s called yet, so I thought maybe I could describe more about it. You’ve really got to see it.”
Responded Glenn, “Well, maybe you could send us a picture we could put on our Flea Market website?”
“Oh, I wish, but I’m on my Grandma’s slide phone,” said the caller. “It can take pictures but doesn’t send them anymore.”
According to Glenn, the most common items are cars, appliances, furniture, as well as music and sports-related items. The most unusual? Maybe someone offering an actual fire truck.
“I’ve typed all the items on spread sheets for a long, long time,”Now it’s all on our searchable website.”
If the show format sounds familiar to KNCO’s Swap Shop, well, it is. But back in ’96, Glenn met with KNCO’s Jim Kerr, who told Haralson to “go for it.”
And Glenn’s had a co-host the past three years. Frank McClain has been assisting and subbing when Glenn’s away. Now it’s Frank who’s off on a construction project.
“Welcome to the Flea Market, Bill. What do you have for us?”
“I’ve got a garage sale this Saturday 8 a.m. to 3. I’m on Banner (Mountain)”
He then gave directions, said there’d be signs, and…
“Rain or shine, hey, it’s a garage sale.”
“Someone called seeking mates for animals they had, and we had to remind people this isn’t a dating show, either for animals or humans.” said Glenn with a chuckle.
Another “Flea Market” songline from the “Written In Stone” album from Dakota Sid & Travers Clifford (featuring Homer Wills): “Tons of stuff you brought home that seemed good at the time…”
Yup, call 530/265-9555 Thursdays 1 to 2 p.m.
KNOW & HEAR
WHAT: “Flea Market” radio show, hosted by Glenn Haralson and Frank McClain, in which callers buy, sell, trade, swap or just plain give away things.
WHEN: Thursdays only, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., phone 530/265-9555
WHERE: KVMR 89.5 FM, 105.1 FM Truckee, The Bridge 105.7 FM and kvmr.org streaming
COST: Free service to the community and listening area
INFO: kvmr.org/fleamarket or 530/265-9073