Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors Columnist 

A more productive form of "Media"


January 20, 2021

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a Luddite.

I don’t tweet, blog or Zoom.

But I do have a favorite device: the radio.

I prefer the immediacy it provides. Always have.

Although the news app on my phone offers a plethora of options for keeping up with the outside world, I’m content to listen to a single news broadcast at the top of every hour.

It’s more than enough, especially in these troubled times.

Since this all began last March, Barb and I have been keeping to ourselves, something I’m much more comfortable with than is she. Barb misses her friends, but stays busy writing at her office, where she spends nearly every day.

I stay home, do most of the cooking, laundry, and on rare occasions, even clean the house, all the while listening to the radio.

And Malta has a wonderful radio station. When it’s not conducting radiothons for local residents in need, KMMR plays both kinds of music (country and rock), and broadcasts local prep sports. It also offers both Baptist and Lutheran church services on Sunday, and each weekday morning carries a statewide right-wing talk radio show just to tick me off.

A relatively new addition to KMMR’s lineup is Orvin Solberg’s afternoon program: The 4:05. Solberg, a Lutheran pastor who grew up on a farm south of Malta and knows everyone up here, is a wonderful storyteller and eminently likeable guy.

I’m often in the kitchen starting dinner when his show comes on and I always turn up the radio. Solberg is smart and folksy, kind of like Malta’s own version of Paul Harvey.

But as much as I enjoy Orvin, the news, the ag report and high school hoops, it’s the music that fills the void whether I’m in the garage, the truck or the kitchen. I’m a closet dancer, busting moves when no one but the dogs is watching. Last week, while laboring over a pheasant stir-fry, I rocked out to Steppenwolf.

Who’d ‘uh thunk it?



I was a bit disturbed last week to read that KMMR is for sale. Hopefully the new owners will realize what a unique station they have and let it ride.

If not, and KMMR changes to the cookie-cutter format more typical of radio stations its size, I’ll try to take the advice Orvin offers listeners every day at the end of his show: “Don’t be bitter.”

Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]


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