Sara past to present
sara past to present
Sara in Taos sometime in the 1980's
After The Land, I returned to Taos, NM to continue my emergence from The Chrysalis. It took until February of 1982 before Sara finally emerged.
During that time of emergence I stayed with my loved ones, Sakti, Eli and Adam and we all experienced it together. There were times of great joy and times of great tears during those years.
It was during this time, 1978 thru 1982 that I began my career in Radio. I was fortunate to find a mentor who took me under his wing and gave me a job with his Broadcast Engineering firm, DYMA, Engineering, Inc. His name was Carroll Cunningham, a Californinan who had come to Taos in the early 60's and ran his nationwide consultancy from the high mountains of North Central New Mexico.
In the spring of 1982, DYMA was in the process of relocating to Los Lunas, NM to be closer to the Albuquerque Airport. Brad Hockmeyer and his associates were in the process of transferring the license for KXRT-FM to their newly formed group and I was offered the job of Chief Engineer for the new radio station KVNM-FM. I didn't want to leave Taos, so I accepted the postition with KVNM.
The magic of Taos Mountain
Those early years of radio in Taos, through the 1980's, were pretty special. The pay was low but made up for in "free Hamburgers" at local restaurants that traded air time for DJ food.
I became "Roxanne Rush" DJ of the night. I played all the big hits of the 80's and delved into new wave and emerging artists under the guidance of Ripp King who came and went. Ripp got me interested in learning about new music and I spent many hours listening, just listening.
I also became "Sara Thomas", Sunday Morning Classical Music DJ with my show "Classical Treasury."
At the same time I was also a member of several Taos bands. "The Pinch" which was definitely new wave, punk-rock and then "Yogy Odus", an all-girl band. We did some road trips to Texas and L.A. and had our showcase for record reps but never landed a recording contract.
- Yogy Odus (band) (United States) (1979 - 1984)
- April Werner, Vivian Thompson, Mollie Busbey, Deb McDonald, Hilda Newberry, Sara Thomas
Yogy Odus music was avant garde social commentary done with a rock beat. We covered artists like Lene Lovich, B-52's, Grace Jones, but mostly performed originals written by April, Vivian, Deb, Mollie and Hilda. I played bass guitar and lead guitar on some songs. Here is a sample....
(you may have to download them first to play them back.)
After the band, I continued working at KVNM, which became KTAO, as Chief Engineer, Office Manager, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Traffic Manager, and eventually IT department all at once, wearing way too many hats!
I was also moonlighting as sound engineer for John Brown productions which brought many, many great musical acts to Taos in the 80's and 90's,
In the early 90's KTAO became the World's Most Powerful SOLAR Radio Station.
K-Taos Solar 101.9 FM - Solar Array and transmitter tower, Picuris Peak, NM (10,800 ft AMSL)
I was involved in the planning and construction of the Solar Array and transmitter site on Picuris Peak and maintained the facility until October of 2002 when I decided to "vine" and although I leave my roots in Taos, I have now set down another set of roots on the Florida Gulf Coast.
During the late 80's, I was also involved in the Taos Search and Rescue Team and spent many days in the wilderness learning skills such as tracking, high angle rope rescue, swiftwater rescue, and other wilderness survival and rescue techniques.
Sara on winter SAR training exercise. January 1990. (it was cold! like minus 20 at night!)
Looking back, I don't know how I had so much energy and time to take part in all of the activities I was involved in simultaneously but I'm glad I did and have those experiences to remember.
Still the "over achiever" after moving to Florida, I studied for and obtained my Private Pilot license.
Sara after her first solo flight. January, 2004
After a trip to Taos in 2004, I came back to Florida and realized how much I missed working in the Broadcast Industry. I attended the Florida Broadcasters Conference and was introduced to the Media Security and Reliablity Council.
I volunteered my time and efforts and was asked to be a part of the MSRC Tookit Workgroup Committee. Over the next couple of years I was part of the team that developed Disaster Recovery Planning documents for all media in the US. That experience would serve me well....
I am also a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. It was through my association with the SBE that I experienced one of the most rewarding chapters of my life, that of being able to assist the people of Hancock County Mississippi in their recovey efforts immediately following Hurricane Katrina. I volunteered my time and expertise and soon after I made my offer of help a request came in to assist in rebuilding a radio station in Bay St. Louis, MS.
I made my way there and over the next 28 days I experienced so much at so many different levels that on my return to Florida, it took me several months to recover both physically and mentally. I was fortunate in that I was able to be on the air for the people from sun-up until way after sun-down sharing tears and laughter with the survivors of Katrina.
Sara at the controls. WQRZ-LP FM, Bay St. Louis, Hancock County EOC, Mississippi. Sept. 2005
How high's the water? A 30 ft storm surge penetrated 10 miles inland.
The rest of the story.....
I worked for and earned my US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officers Certificate and I am now a Licensed (OUPV) Captain. I work for Sara-Bay Sailing School and Charter teaching eager students of all ages and all walks of life the fine points of sailing in the Gulf Waters of Southwestern Florida.
I am currently assisting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers WCIW-LP FM in Immokalee, Florida with their very important work on behalf of migrant farm workers.
I am also consulting for WSLR-LP FM, the local Sarasota, Florida community radio station.
It is strange and serendipitous how life leads us through the different trails we may follow.
I have always followed my dream and so far the dream has become reality at many levels.
I have always had a dream of sailing the Carribean and the Spanish Main and recently purchased a 1985 Jeanneau Sailing Vessel, a reliable cruiser. I have named her "Floraseña" and she is being refit for some short range cruising and then when I am ready, a longer range cruise around the Carribean Sea.
I have had tragedy in my life as well. I lost someone I love very dearly in 1990. Rich Allen. I was adopted by his mother, Mary Allen shortly after his death. She passed away in 2001 but left me a legacy that has allowed me to continue to pursue my dreams.
Four years after losing Rich, I met the current love of my life, Steve. He and I have been together since we met in December of 1994 on a full moon night that was very, very cold.
Sakti and my children Eli and Adam are still very much a part of my life. I still have my little Hobbit Hole in Taos although I don't travel back home as often as I'd like. Eli and Adam live in San Diego and are successful home rebuilding contractors.
I lost my father, Adam, in 2001, but my mom, Genevieve, still lives in New York and we are still very close although I don't see her as much as I would like.
Recently, I found my high school sweetheart and we have renewed our long friendship. Even after almost 40 years of separation we have found that we still have a lot in common and still share a love for each other.
Steve and I have celebrated 15 years together on Dec. 14, 2009.
Check out my Facebook Page.
Where do we go from here.......
"And it's a fair wind
Blowin' warm out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I'll set a course and go"
(Wooden Ships - Crosby, Stills and Nash)
January 4, 2010