While I'm not much of a morning person, I can rally for an early morning wake up if there is a compelling reason - a 6 a.m. flight, early starts for spring skiing, etc. To get the chance to see a live broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition ranks highly on the list of compelling reasons to leap out of bed before sunrise, and on Friday, the alarm want off at 4 a.m. for just that.
Morning Edition host David Greene was at Bozeman's Feed Cafe hosting the show from 3-5 am. If I were really motivated I could have made it there for the start but I was pleased with my 4:30 arrival. The broadcast was followed by a Q&A session (Streamed live via Facebook) with Mr. Greene and Montana Senator Jon Tester, who had also joined Mr. Greene during the broadcast.
It is always neat to see a live radio broadcast, especially when it is an iconic program like Morning Edition and this was no exception. I enjoyed getting the chance to put a face to David Greene's name and voice, and it was exciting to think that people around the country and around the world via internet streaming were listening to what I was seeing live.
The broadcast was full but not overly packed so it was a very comfortable setting to watch the broadcast. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the air and at least for me, a strong sense of camaraderie among those in attendance. I felt like I was surrounded by my" people" - liberal, community-minded, engaged.
There was a lull in between the broadcast and the Q&A session and while David Greene was talking with the audience, he didn't have a big crowd hovering around waiting to talk to him. There was one woman who dominated his time for about 15 minutes but I was able to work my way in and asked him to sign my copy of his book Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia. We talked briefly about Russia and traveling in Eastern Europe and I would have loved him to tell stories about his travels. But the Q&A session was meant to an opportunity to have conversations with real people in real communities during the election season not a book reading/story telling session so tales of Russia were not to be.
For over 20 years, my morning alarm has been set to Morning Edition. It is a familiar and comforting part of many of my mornings, and I have come to look forward to the combination the news, coverage of arts, entertainment and culture, and more. For me, it is important to hear an update on what is going on in our nation and across the world, but equally as important are to listen to the human interest stories. A good Morning Edition story will stick in my mind all day and is an excellent form of inspiration.
Thank you NPR, Morning Edition staff, and David Greene. You are welcome back in Bozeman any time.