7 November

The WBTN Bomb Shelter….Really.

by Jon Katz

WBTN, the home of my new radio Wednesday afternoon (one to three) radio broadcast “Talking To Animals,” ran out of toilet paper this week, but Thomas Toscano, the eclectic genius and former music prodigy from Brooklyn, told me today that the radio station did have a bomb shelter.

I didn’t believe him, to be honest. “Really?,” I sneered “a bomb shelter.”

Yes, he said, and after the broadcast he took me in there to show it to me. The radio station was built in the 1950’s, at the height of the Cold War, when bomb shelters were being built all over the country.

And about the same time all the equipment in the station was purchased. It has never been used as a bomb shelter, of course, so they store a lot of junk they can’t use in there.

It is cozy, I told Thomas.

We can always hide in there when the mobs come for us. We are planning to go to lunch next week. Eileen, one of the most faithful readers of my blog, send Thomas some notes and $50 in  several different bills. Eileen lives in LA. “You can  take Jon can go out to lunch or have a snack” she said.

I’m not certain any other radio station in the country has a nuclear-bomb proof shelter ready to run to.

Thank you Eileen. The plan is to order Japanese take-out from a restaurant in Bennington next week and meet before the broadcast to have lunch together.

The show was great today, only two calls (the election, I think) but they were good and I have a thick folder full of questions that have been e-mailed to me (jon@bedlamfarm.com). I love reading them and talking about them on the air.

Both calls were from California.

One of the joyous surprises for me has been doing the show with Thomas, most of the time he is fiddling with the antiquated phone and console  switches, but when he comes up for air we have great fun kicking animal stories and ideas and reports around.

We each take turn being smart asses with one another. But we also have great conversations about dogs.

We have that wondrous thing in broadcasting, good chemistry together. Thomas was  a child prodigy, he is a conductor and composer, he studied with Leonard Bernstein and ran his own opera company.

He’s coming to visit the farm next week, he wants to see the donkeys and also Red at work

Red and I went to the West Mountain  Animal Hospital this afternoon to meet with Kathy, the office manager, about taking out a $50-a-week sponsorship for the broadcast, I told her I thought it was a perfect fit.

And you can’t beat the price.

She had never heard of me or read a blog, and  was a bit surprised to learn WBTN was still broadcasting, so I had to do some selling. I got her to look at the blog and she seemed to like it.

I’m not sure they even  knew the station was just down the road.

Fortunately, Red came with me, and he knows how to shill for me, his head was in her lap in a minute, and she was melting with love for him. I think we have a shot at the sponsorship.

Red could charm the scales off of a dinosaur. So we’ll see.

I am happy to be  broadcasting right next to a bomb shelter. You just never know.

In the meantime, please e-mail me your questions about animals, I’ll read them on the air next Wednesday, WBTNAM.org or better yet, get a radio app at the Apple App store and just put in the name of the station WBTNAM 1370. I like Simple  Radio.

Talk to you soon, one way or another. And guess what? I have a bomb shelter and you don’t.

(If you’re in a good mood, check out the new and quite inexpensive WBTN Amazon Wish List, it’s all gift cards, from $10 to $50. Now that they got some toilet paper, they can start thinking about some new equipment.)



  1. I think eating Japanese take out in a bomb shelter would be a marvelously ironic thing to do! I can’t seem to get the podcast even with your instructions. It’s probably me. It usually is.

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