You know that smile you get on your face when you put on a coat that you haven’t worn in a while and you reach in the pocket and find a five dollar bill? Well, I got that smile on my face this past weekend. I was headed down to Ocean Isle from Cheraw. My favorite route these days is to take Hwy. 9 out of Cheraw, SC, 177 out of Wallace, SC, get on 74 near Hamlet, NC, off 74 near Hallsboro, NC cutting over to 130, then right at the caution light in Ash, NC and on in to Ocean Isle. Anyhow, this past Thursday just where the speed limit jumps from 60 to 70 on 74 between Laurinburg and Lumberton, NC, I reached up and hit one of the preset buttons on the radio. In my mind I was thinking, “I just punched the wrong button,” but I liked the song that was playing so I didn’t correct my mistake. I was in the process of increasing my speed and passing another vehicle when another good song came on. This wasn’t supposed to be happening because I had hit the preset for 94.9 The Surf which went off the air in January. Imagine my surprise when the call letters were announced and it was The Surf, back on the air.
My two favorite radio stations—and I think they are the best radio stations in the world—are The Surf in Ocean Drive, SC and WNCW 88.7 out of Spindale, NC. I had punched the preset for The Surf out of habit because where the speed limit changes is also where it comes into range. WNCW comes into range right at the airport in Charlotte as I get off of 485 and onto 85 when I’m headed to the High Country. WNCW plays an eclectic mix of music that is mostly out of the mainstream but is as good as it gets. The Surf plays Beach Music. Both of them are also available through their websites. Why do I think these are the two best radio stations in the world? Because they provide the momentum to keep styles of music going that might die or remain unknown.
Knowing that The Surf is back on the air thrilled me as much or more than I thrilled my Daddy and his friends one day many years ago. I pulled up in front of my Daddy’s grocery store in a new car I had just bought. My dad and his buddies came out to make a detailed inspection and find out the who, what, when, where, and why. They walked around and around, got in and out, and finally burst into laughter when my Daddy said, “You’re the only person I know that would trade cars to get a better radio.”