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Writer Fatty Goodlander to be Featured on America’s NPR

Long-time All at Sea columnist Cap’n Fatty Goodlander will broadcast six 3.5-minute National Public Radio spots on host Liane Hansen’s Sunday “Weekend Edition” program from May through August 2008.

”The first and the last will include a ‘live’ interview with her from the deck of Wild Card… from somewhere in SE Asia.. probably Malaysia or Thailand,” Goodlander told All at Sea publisher Chris Kennan in March.  “The spots will be audio essays about the strange & fascinating reality of being a modern sea gypsy.” 

Washington, DC-based NPR produces noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programs as a not-for-profit membership organization that “serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 860 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations,” according to its web site. 

Goodlander and his wife Carolyn, known to readers as Fatty’s steadfast, dignified, and long-suffering companion, cruise the world aboard a $3,000, 38-ft Hughes cutter, Wild Card.  Never politically-correct, Fatty’s writes often-hilarious, tongue in cheek essays that probe everything from “progress” on remote Pacific islands to copying with mildew and repairing a head when there are no plumbers at sea.

For what he calls “a couple of rhum-soaked, happy decades,” the Goodlanders based themselves out of “the most wonderful place we’ve ever lived under the American flag, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands,” where many friends remain.  They now live at sea.  “My life is a journey,” Goodlander wrote in 2007.  “I’m only content when I’m in motion.”

All at Sea tracked down Fatty and Carolyn in Port Princesa, Palawan, Philippines preparing to head toward Thailand.

AAS:  You seem happy about this news.
FG:  I’m really excited about NPR. To me it is an affirmation that all things are possible… IF you have a clear vision, a righteous cause and you NEVER EVER quit! (Carolyn often jokes, "Fatty is successful because he never allows reality to get in his way!") There’s some truth to that.

AAS:  How did it all come about?
FG:  I’ve wanted and worked hard for this opportunity—for almost ten years.  I have pitched NPR numerous times…with very sophisticated ‘packages’ and audio tapes and complete, polished, sample programs…with absolutely no response…up until now.

AAS:  NPR is seriously big-time.
FG:  It might seem that laying around naked in my cockpit amid the outer islands of primitive Micronesia might make it difficult to talk the staid programming directors of NPR into taking a chance on me… but the exact opposite is true.  People like them need people like me.

AAS: Agreed, but what’s in it for you?
FG:  I’m thrilled with the opportunity to reach so many millions of NPR listeners all over the world… and to be able to celebrate the cruising life style to so many land-lubbers, dirt-dwellers and audio-addicted harbor-huggers!

AAS:  You do have some radio experience, right?
FG:  I would not have this wonderful opportunity if not for Radio One WVWI of St. Thomas… which carried my Marine Report for 17 wonderful, exciting years. I’d like to thank station owner Bob Noble (now, alas, deceased) for giving me my first ‘real’ chance at broadcasting… and Randy Knight for making my show one of the two programs he carried over from Noble. In specific, I’d like to thank Bob Wilmer, Rick Ricardo, Wally Boswick, Tex Murphy and Nicky (Mighty Whitey) Russell for all the help they gave me at the station over the years. Most of all, I’d like to thank the ‘old timer’ named Leo Moron for all his generous support and technical guidance.

AAS: So you actually worked when you lived  in the Caribbean.
FG: I believe that the USVI and the Caribbean is still filled with opportunity. I mean, where else could I have had a radio show for 17+ years… and not even visit the station or call or email it… for five solid years! (At first when I returned, I had to convince ’em I was me… I kept saying, "I’m Fatty," and they were like, "Naw, Fatty ain’t here, mon!")

AAS:  And you became a writer, too.
FG:  Perhaps I really owe it all to Jim Long and his early Long Bay fishwrapper named “Caribbean Boating.” This led not only to All at Sea and my marine column in the “St. Thomas Daily News”… but to “Sail” magazine and, ultimately, my position of Editor-at-Large of “Cruising World” as well.

AAS:  Good luck with the broadcasts. Just be yourself, OK
FG:  When I first heard Timothy Leary say, "Tune in (to reality), turn on (to life) and drop out (of modern society)," I didn’t perceive it as an empty hippy-dippy slogan… but a sensible, literal prescription for contented living. I look forward to the NPR spots. The key for me is to hang loose and have fun—just like my goofy humor writing on these pages. Life is a giggle… or ought to be.

Chris Goodier is the editorial director of All at Sea and a freelance writer.  Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous publications including Caribbean Travel & Life, Discover St. Thomas/St. John/St. Croix, and Caribbean Meetings & Events.

Fatty’s Scheduled NPR Broadcasts on “Weekend Edition Sunday”

May 18:  Two-way with Host Liane Hansen and an essay on
where Wild Card is headed this summer.

June 8:  Essay
June 29:  Essay
July 20:  Essay
August 3:  Two-way with host Liane Hansen and/or Essay
August 24:  (Tentative final segment)

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