Several mornings a week, I'm greeted at work by a colleague asking me, "Did I pass you today?" I take the bus most days, and this co-worker drives right by my stop in seeming oblivion. I can't really blame him, however, because from 8:30 to 9:00 am when we're both commuting to work by various transports, he’s listening to The Radio Reader on KANW, 89.1 FM. This radio program began in 1936, and the half-hour format of a man reading from a book demands attention and a good memory. After I get passed on the road, I get to hear a synopsis of the morning's show when I finally do arrive at work.
Dick Estell, the third permanent reader in the show's history, selects recent fiction and non-fiction works to read from. The book is read in its entirety over the course of several weeks. Over the past few months, I've been able to hear second-hand synopses of Desperate Passage, about the ill-fated Donner party stranded in the Sierra Nevada, and The Airmen and the Headhunters, about a World War II air squadron lost in the jungles of Borneo. Estell is currently reading Where the River Ends, a novel about a married couple coping with terminal illness. However, the works aren't always this serious. Estell also read a biography of Milton Hershey the chocolatier recently, and reads a lot of fiction, like John Grisham. If you've been on the hold queue for a new audiobook, you might want to check the next book. Or if you want something on your morning drive besides news, music or traffic, tune in for your own bit of storytime.