Episode 7: Monte Belmonte
For the past decade, Monte Belmonte has been the morning host on WRSI, the River, the one and only socially conscious indie-rock/pop commercial radio station in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley. He’s also a huge social activist and fundraiser in our Valley, raising money for numerous causes pretty much ALL THE TIME.
He runs on two hugely successful annual events, Monte’s March, a 40+ Mile walk up our Valley that raises awareness and buckets o’ money for the Food Bank of Western mass, and Monte’s Cancer Connection Campout.
He’s also a neighbor here in Turners Falls, and heads up a team that’s breathing new life into our grand old Shea Theater.
Monte’s in an interesting place on the ladder up the wall of fame Ray Bradbury told us about in episode 1, as, if you’re of a certain demographic, say 30-50 years old, left leaning, higher-educated person living in a small but signficant chunk of Massachusetts, even if you don’t listen to him, you’ve heard of him, probably heard his voice, and are pretty likely to recognize him on the street. I’d say you’re more likely to recognize Monte if you fit that demographic than you are to recognize our governor, and probably at least as likely to recognize Monte as you would our more nationally known visitors so far, John Hodgman and Annie Duke. That is, whether he’ll own up to it or not, around here, he’s famous. Once he leaves the 413 (area code), not so much. Fame, go figure. We talked about it.
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