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For As Long As I Can Remember, by Josh Baugh

Josh Baugh

It’s hard to believe that there was a time in San Antonio when we didn’t have public radio. But since it went on air in the 1980s, Texas Public Radio has been a mainstay in my day-to-day life.

I was just a kid when the All Things Considered jingle wormed its way into my ear and seared into my mind. Every afternoon, when my parents would pick me up from school, the car radio was set to TPR. It was as if that instrumental was the soundtrack of my childhood. I guess I owe it to my parents for instilling in me my love for public radio.

Generally, the first thing I hear in the morning, moments after my alarm wakes me, is the voice of Norma Martinez, running through headlines, weather and traffic updates, interlaced with Morning Edition — the most important stories of the day from around the world. As I get ready for work, make lunches for my children and load up, TPR is playing all the while.

It follows me around, flowing from smart speakers and my phone (the NPR app is FANTASTIC!) up until I start the car. The only FM preset I have is 89.1, and I listen throughout my drive to work.

It’s not uncommon for me to have those “driveway moments” when I pull into the office parking lot. Nor is it uncommon to race to my desk, fire up my laptop and pop on my headphones to keep listening. During lunch, I usually catch a portion of The Source as I’m heading out, and then it’s All Things Considered and Marketplace when I’m heading home.

On Fridays, I make sure never to miss Story Corps, and I catch Science Friday as much as I can.

There aren’t many lazy weekends these days, but when they do pop up, there’s not much better than cooking brunch and laughing my way through Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! And whether I’m out running errands or getting ready for a night out, The Moth Radio Hour in the late afternoon is always a great listen.

Texas Public Radio really is a one-stop shop.

It gives me the local, regional, national and international news I need to be an informed, civic-minded San Antonian and global citizen. It gives me entertainment and exposure to diverse cultural elements and music. It gives me things to think about, things to talk about, things to do.

Over the years, Texas Public Radio has done a fantastic job of building a top-notch staff. Before I left journalism in 2019, I covered City Hall for the San Antonio Express-News. For much of the decade I spent writing about local government, TPR’s Joey Palacios was also covering the City Hall beat. While he was a competitor, he was also a friend who did — and continues to do — a great job keeping the public informed on the issues that matter in our daily lives. Having seen the quality of his work firsthand, I know that he’s digging deep to ensure we know what our elected leaders are up to.

Paul Flahive, David Martin Davies, Brian Kirkpatrick, Dallas Williams, Fernando Ortiz — I’ve worked with or alongside all of them at one point or another, and they’re all class-act, solid journalists.

I don’t have enough space to enumerate the full staff, but every one of them plays a part in making TPR what it is — a true community asset. And now, more than ever, we need to lift up and thank our working journalists who are facing tremendous obstacles to bring us the news of the day.

Every once in a while, I’ll turn the dial over to AM radio to see what others are listening to. (It’s abhorrent. Don’t bother.) After a few seconds on the AM dial, I’ll switch over to FM and see what’s happening on commercial radio. It’s seemingly all advertisements. And so like a moth to that old front porch light, I return to 89.1.

I like to listen to Texas Public Radio, plain and simple. I like the format. I like the content. I like the informed community that surrounds it.

Thank you, TPR, for offering the context and texture our lives need.