There's a not a lot left to say that I haven't already said in the Gazette or at Kahnawakenews.com or on Steve Faguy's blog about my new job at K103 (CKRK) in Kahnawake, except that the reaction to today's announcement was at least as gratifying as the support I received after resigning on principle from CHOM January 1st.
What hasn't been discussed, and what I'd like to address here, is the people with whom I'll be working. They're not all from Kahnawake, but the core of the radio station staff are Mohawks, including announcers Java Jacobs, Lance Delisle, Suzie Delaronde and Abby Jacobs, operations manager Chuck Barnett, news director Greg Horn and office managers Cheryl Deer and Sheena Leclaire. Even though lengthy and frequent meetings with Chuck over several weeks had given me a glimpse into the community, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I showed up for my first day of behind-the-scenes work last Monday.
It didn't take long to feel at home, thanks in no small part to Java and Lance, who took me on the grand tour of the territory and told me that our first stop would be "the place where we take white guys to beat the shit out of them." How's that for a tension breaker? I haven't stopped laughing since. Sheena was thoughtful enough to keep my ego in check by asking Greg "Who's Ted Bird and what's he going to do here?"
There's a comfort level that reminds me of the days when Terry DiMonte and I had at least as much fun on the air as we did away from the microphone. You can't fake genuine cameraderie, and the speakers don't lie. When Java and I sign on as co-hosts of the new K103 morning show next Monday, we'll probably have a few conversational traffic accidents as we get used to each other's timing and work out the chemistry, but what I know going in is that I'm working with fundamentally decent people who haven't hesitated to welcome me into their workplace and their community with humour and sincerity.
No one can ask for any more than that.