Monday, July 14, 2014

Thank You, WBAI-FM

I'm reminded today that we owe a debt of gratitude to the excellent listener-supported radio station WBAI in New York City. In 2003, I happened to be listening to WBAI in my car, while driving in my hometown, White Plains, NY. The late Al Lewis ("Grandpa" from the 1960's sitcom "The Munsters") was speaking about prison reform on his regular Saturday morning program. Mr. Lewis spoke about how so many inmates appreciate hearing from people on the outside, in the form of a simple letter of encouragement, and urged listeners to send in a postcard with one's mailing address in order to be connected with an inmate who wanted to correspond. Several weeks later, I received a postcard with Shane Watson's name and mailing address at Green Haven Correctional Facility, in Stormville, NY.


What are the odds that I would not only be listening to WBAI at that particular moment when Al Lewis encouraged reaching out to someone in prison? And what were the odds that, of all the possible names of inmates I would be given, I was given Shane Watson's name? From this event of synchronicity, randomness, luck, fate, or whatever term one chooses to call it, here we are, over ten years later, on the verge of appealing for a new trial.


I encourage you to listen to WBAI, which has long spoken out for the voiceless.








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