Groovy? A Volunteer’s Perspective 2

Groovy? A Volunteer's Perspective II

KSVY and SonomaTV are fueled by our volunteers. Our non-profit mission is to put media tools in our locals' hands and produce great audio and video in real-time out in our community. Community Media: A Volunteer's Perspective is a chance to let them tell you about their experience and give a personal story behind our claim that community Radio and TV are a vital part of a healthy region.

Laurie PantellThis blog was written by Laurie Pantell. She is a recent transplant to Sonoma from the San Francisco/Oakland area. She is fortunate enough to have found meaningful work as a Marriage and Family Therapist and sees clients virtually through her private practice. Fueled by boundless curiosity about the human condition, Laurie has done her best to traverse the vagaries of her own inner landscape as well as that of her many clients. Being in Sonoma has opened up new vistas for Laurie, and her latest ambition is to be an aspiring creative. Words and Photos are hers. 



DJ Dragonfly DJ Nate Audio Angel performing at the Groovy Gathering of KSVY Friends

When I first heard a promotion for KSVY’s Groovy Gathering of KSVY Friends in celebration of their 20-year anniversary, I knew I wanted to be there.  My associations with the word “groovy” are all positive: a mellow vibe, cool and hip but not pretentious, free-spirited, counter-culture, and a let’s-just-simply-get-along-and-feel-good ethos. How could I miss this? I jumped on the KSVY website and grabbed a ticket.

These were my associations with groovy, but when I was given the assignment to write this blog post I decided to consult a dictionary, the authority on all things nomenclature. Here’s an official definition of groovy:

Fashionable and exciting.

Marvelous, wonderful, enjoyable, excellent.

When I added these connotations to mine, I understood why I was drawn unequivocally to participate. All signs pointed to a delightful evening ahead and the gathering itself did not disappoint.

A few days before the event, I scoured my closet and set aside an outfit that I hoped might qualify as groovy.  It was a gorgeous spring evening when, after work, I headed over to the Winery Sixteen 600 Tasting House for the festivities. The Winery was accurately billed as unlike others in this area. Located in a charming house, it has a cozy, down-home feel with several smaller rooms and lounge seating that invites intimate conversation.

Groovy Gathering PosterAs I got my bearings, I was greeted by a friendly sommelier donning a tie-dyed shirt. We began chatting about how the Winery’s vinyl records are carefully organized, and soon the conversation veered into the merits and pitfalls of psychedelics, apropos of the setting. Guests were arriving slowly and, with wine glasses in hand, making their way outdoors to the patio behind the tasting room.  A focused DJ spun 80s rock ‘n roll, careful to display the album cover for each live song.

I had not come in an official capacity as a KSVY volunteer, but was happy to be asked shortly after arriving to take photos of the event.  It was a perfect role for me.  As an introvert, I tend to be both participant and observer in a larger group, and having a “job” that legitimized my observer felt just right.  Though a novice photographer, I was squarely in my social comfort zone.

With camera securely around my neck, I moved about the crowd hoping to capture both the spirit of the event and the people who were there. I took snapshots of enthusiastic dancers in hippy garb, DJs engrossed in their turntables, and loyal KSVY fans noshing on gourmet tacos.  Emboldened by my assignment and the solidity of the camera itself, I asserted myself in conversations just enough to get some close-ups.

As the sun descended in the sky, the crowd thinned a bit but the energy of those who remained heightened.  When the headlining team of DJ GriffinGrrl & Audio Angel performed, they provided sublime entertainment with, as promised, “soulful vocals and infectious beats”. The night hit a crescendo.

Happy People at the Groovy Gathering of KSVY FriendsThe word “groovy” enticed me to attend the Gathering of KSVY Friends. The word I came away with was “belonging.” Belonging for me does not come from being amongst others who look, act or think like me, but being amongst others who look, act and think like themselves. KSVY is a place that encourages this type of freedom. I arrived with a sense I would be welcome there and taking pictures brought me fully in. It turns out that what makes a gathering groovy for me, as in “marvelous, wonderful, enjoyable, excellent”, is when I can be myself and so truly belong.