Story and Photo by Gareth Vieira
Jordan Appleman and I started attending the Green Wood Coalition community dinners at around the same time. As luck would have it, we sat beside each other, and around us sat strangers who would soon become good friends. Jordan is something of an enigma; he is initially very quiet, yet frank and open when you get to know him. Reserved in person, dynamic on radio when he hosts his own show on Friday afternoons.
I guess the best way to explain Jordan is to offer an example. A few weeks into going to the community dinners, David Sheffield approached Jordan and I to ask if one of us would read the blessing. I bowed out with a quick exit to the bathroom while Jordan said “sure, I’ll do it,” and did so with ease and confidence, as if speaking to a full room was second nature. Yes, appearances can be deceiving, which is why it pays to take a second look.
“Originally, I got into radio because people told me I had a good voice for it,” he said. “I got accepted to the Canadore College Radio Program and did my internship here at 89.7, truly local radio. I feel with being on air there’s this imaginary barrier. I think it’s not all that uncommon for people who are kind of introverted to seek out this kind of medium.”
As mentioned on their Facebook page, Northumberland 89.7 FM is a not for profit corporation which operates a community-based, volunteer radio station providing news, views, events coverage and music to the residents of Cobourg, Port Hope, and Hamilton Township and the rest of Northumberland County on the FM dial at 89.7.
I asked Jordan if he ever thinks about the listeners out there and if speaking on air rattles him, as hearing my own voice on tape is one of my least favourite things, a jarring experience I’d rather not have.
“Sometimes it’s a bit weird,” he admitted. “I used to do theater and I find it similar to that, in that I’m performing in a kind of way, but there’s no actual spotlight here. When the microphone is turned on, I find it’s sort of like when you’re on stage.”
Growing up in Welcome and attending elementary school in Port Hope, and later high school in Cobourg, Jordan admits he had trouble fitting in.
“I think it was a bit difficult fitting in at school, but I always liked art; it was my favourite subject. As I got older, I got more into theater and drama. I was actually in a musical at St Mary’s Secondary. Every other year, the school would put on a big musical. I was in one of those and that was really good. It was called Back to the 80’s.”
Station Manager Kevin Stewart says of Appleman that he puts in the effort and always comes prepared to do his show.
“Everyone around here says the same thing; he’s so quiet, you hardly can get him to say two words, but as soon as he puts the microphone on, this amazing transformation takes place.”
You can hear Jordan between one and four P.M. on Friday afternoons. Listeners can expect to hear a variety of music to relax and have fun with, while also keeping up with local events, as well as news and other interesting stuff. I think it’s only fitting to wrap this story up by handing the last words over to Jordan, so with no further ado:
“This is Northumberland 89.7, that was the Association with ‘Windy’ from 1967. That song was actually a number one hit on the Billboard charts back in that year. We also had Jimmy Bowskill with Salty Dog … Alright, some more music. Now here’s Kim Doolittle with ‘Natural Born Woman’ on Northumberland 89.7”.