I have mentioned more than once that Johnson's Shut-Ins tends to be a bit of a dead zone, a black hole for cell service, the Internet, over-the-air reception of almost anything with two exceptions: two local FM radio stations, Froggy 96 and the 98 the Boot. I'm not sure just how local they are, as in where their studios are, but one of them proclaims it's proudly serving Ironton, Farmington, and Fredericktown. That's about as local as it's possible to get. Both play country, although one tends to play more old stuff -- Tom T. Hall, the Statler Brothers -- while the other does contemporary -- Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert. We kind of alternate between the two when we want some background noise.
Both stations are also typical of small town, rural radio. Every morning the Boot wishes people happy birthday and does birth announcements. Naturally, then in the evening we're treated to the Boot telling us who all has a funeral coming up in the next day or two: they do death notices and funeral announcements, if not full-blown obituaries. Both stations carry farm reports: announcements from sales barns, how much beef cattle are selling for, how the market looks for dairy products and other commodities. We figured out one is better at local news than the other -- one kept mentioning a local high school being sanctioned (their basketball team had to forfeit the last half of the season so lost their district title) but never said why; the other station tossed in the fact that sanctions resulted from alcohol violations by a couple players. And both radio stations have a Trading Post, which air at different times in the day.
People call in with really odd combinations of items they're trying to unload: a box full of VHS tapes, a dozen 2-week old bronze turkey poults, and a 2015 Mercury boat motor valued at about $3,000. Each caller is limited to 3 items and they're allowed only 3 calls a week. Which means the callers to the Boot show up on Froggy's tradio and vice versa -- after you've listened a few times you start to recognize the same ads repeating themselves: the antique dining room set and cabinets, the shotgun that's a really good deal (it tempted me and I don't even have a use for it), the VHS tapes that no one's ever going to want. And now that it's definitely gardening season, some time before we leave the park I expect to hear a call similar to the one in the clip below: