WRUV DJs paid tribute this week—on air and on Facebook—to L.J. Palardy, a DJ who started spinning vinyl at the station 22 years ago.
L.J., known at the station’s curmudgeon—gruff but as committed to WRUV as a person could be—died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.
Doug Palardy shared the news Tuesday with WRUV DJs through their Listserv:
LJ has left me unable to open his obit with “he passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family” as the the tradition goes. LJ passed in the early hours this morning by himself on his own terms. He was most likely having a philosophical argument with his body telling it his mind has been ready to go for some time and the body better get on board. Classic LJ to the end. As he’d like to say “It’s my way or the highway.”
I want to thank all of you who gave him on-air shout outs the last few days. We were tuned in to 90.1 round the clock yesterday and it was really wonderful to hear all your stories and best wishes. It really made yesterday a lot easier for Michele and I. He had an effect on so many people and it was really wonderful to hear that affirmation.
In tradition at Vermont Respite House, the room of those whom departed is kept empty for 48 hours out of respect. We have requested that the radio be left on WRUV round the clock in his room for the next two days. His spirit will be carrying on with the music.
WRUV station manager Karla Noboa said the WRUV would host a memorial early next year, after students return to UVM. At WRUV, about half of the active DJs are students and about half are non-student DJs, like L.J.
During his more than two decades at the station, L.J. trained hundreds of DJs. A local jazz authority, he also served as WRUV’s jazz music director. He kept station paperwork up to date, sorted the mail (including thousands of CDs) and generally made sure the station was in order.
“I used to panic every time I screwed up cause I thought for sure LJ was going to call and give me the business,” DJ Colin Magarian wrote on the WRUV Facebook page. “His dedication and passion to the music and the station was beyond inspiring.
“He made the on-air booth feel like church to me.”
Vermont State Rep. Kesha Ram, a UVM graduate, posted on the page: “LJ taught me how to do radio interviews. He would remind me to smile and said people could always ‘hear’ if someone was smiling on air. Heart of gold, that man.”
DJ Julia Moreno, a UVM junior, wrote simply: “best curmudgeon ever.”
L.J. this summer ended his regular Sunday-morning show, “L.J.’s Dream,” which featured jazz but also an eclectic music mix.
He made a special return last month to host his annual Thanksgiving special: three hours of salsa music that he called “Turkey Salsa.” It was his final show.
L.J.’s friend and fellow DJ Tom Tintle said that L.J. had donated his body to the UVM Medical Center.
Tintle said:”He won’t be cremated until he gets to show yet a few more UVM students a thing or two.”
Details about WRUV’s memorial service, planned for the end of January, will be announced when they are available.
This past weekend, I received College Media Association’s 2014 award for Distinguished Multimedia Adviser at a four-year school. I’d like to thank CMA and the awards committee for thinking me worthy, the Vermont Cynic Editor-in-Chief Natalie Williams for nominating me and the Cynic staff for being really too nice in their congratulations.
It’s been a great honor advising UVM student media for the past eight-plus years, and I look forward to many more.
As they often do, the Cynic staff took home more than their share of award from the Best of Show competition at the national college media convention, sponsored by CMA and Associated College Press and convened this year in Philadelphia. This time, they placed in categories for four-year weekly tabloid newspaper, special edition and multimedia package.
As always, congratulations to them!
About half of the DJs at WRUV are non-students: often professional DJs who play in the local community as well as folks who dedicate 100 percent of their DJ talent to WRUV, just another part of WRUV that makes it unique in Northern Vermont.
So here is Melo Grant, a non-student DJ who’s been with us since 1984.