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This installment featured a rebroadcast of a program that aired in January 2011 with the late poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka. Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones, Hank Williams and contributor/videoographer Kazembe Balagun.
This program definitely set the record for the shortest Back of the Book radio show ever!
We got in late. What happened was that our usual train came by early. We got to see its red tail lights and that was about it.
We leave two hours before air time. This allows us to get to the studio on time, or close to it, even if we miss our usual train.
Well, two hours was not enough this morning.
The train got us to the 96th St. station, and we saw from the count down clock how long we had before the #1 train arrived. We could still make it. After a bit we noticed that the count down clock was not counting down. And then it just said "delay" for that #1 train. We watched it stay stuck on "delay" for at least 10 minutes. At that point we figured that we'd be late, but we were hopeful that we'd be only a couple of minutes late.
Eventually the count down clock showed a number again. This number was higher than the one we'd seen when we'd gotten to 96th almost half an hour earlier! The count down continued, but it would get stuck on a number for a while. It was stuck on "2 minutes" for at least five minutes. By now it was after five o'clock, we were supposed to be on the air already and we were still stuck at 96th St.!
The count down clock eventually hit "0 minutes," and the voice announcement said that the train was entering the station. It was a couple of minutes before we started to wonder where exactly that train was entering that station. The count down clock said "0 minutes" for quite a while. We noticed there were subway workers in their reflective vests walking back and forth, carrying tools and lanterns, on the platform.
It was quite a while before we saw the train's headlights on the wall of the station. And then it was a while longer till the actual front of the train came into the station, but that's all that came in, the very front of the train. It halted for a while. It came in a little more. And as we watched the train get about the first three cars into the station we heard a resounding "BOOM!" from it. Thousands of tons of steel were reverberating from something that had happened. The train stayed where it was. After a bit there was a general announcement that there were delays owing to a signal problem at 96th St. Yeah, the train's emergency brakes had been thrown, whether by the faulty signal or something else we'll never know.
Eventually the brake problem got fixed and the train came fully into the station and opened its doors. We got on and came to CCNY at the usual pace after that.
We'd like to thank Simon Loekle for filling in while we were not here. We did a very short radio program. We scrapped the larger bits we'd planned. Pickles of the North talked about a lunar eclipse that will occur on this coming Tuesday morning. R. Paul talked about some shorter items, including creationists complaining that they can't get equal time on Cosmos, a guy who's fessed up that he didn't really have the corpse of a Bigfoot he'd shot, and the sad story of a man who allowed a hyena to eat some very sensitive parts of him because a witch doctor told him that would make him rich.
Well, in no time at all the 20+ minutes we had left before 6:00 AM were gone. We've spent so much more time hanging around on subway platforms this morning than doing radio.
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