Restoration of An Art Form


Communication is art and in our current culture, like other art forms, it can be found on the endangered species list.

I’m not against texting and instagram in fact I love all forms of communication but there is nothing better than sharing the stories of our lives. Usually those stories can’t be told in 140 Twitter characters or a minute-thirty sound bite on the news.

This morning I got the nicest phone message from a 78 year-old man in Roseburg. Last fall he was watching Rick Dancer TV and saw the story we produced for the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute on my prostate cancer.

As this man tells it, he had just discovered he had prostate cancer and was desperately searching for an answer. His phone message said: “Rick Dancer you save my life and I hope you will return my call so I can thank you.”

Okay, now who is not going to return that phone call? I called him and talked for a few minutes and heard his story and how it connected with mine to create a new version, a better version and a bigger picture of this thing we call life.


The other day photographer Bill Goetz and I were going over some of the old stories we produced while working at KEZI 20 years ago. As some of you know, the University of Oregon now owns the KEZI archives and we have worked an arrangement to get access to those stories so we can air them this fall on Rick Dancer TV.

We found stories that were six, eight and yes even ten minutes long. In this day and age of media cutbacks and tighter schedules you won’t find a story longer than two minutes on a newscast anymore.


As we sit and watched stories on Bertha Holt, Frank Moore and even Anne Frank we were smiling and to be honest I got a little teary, remembering the great work we had done.

We will be sharing that work with you starting in August with Anne Frank.

I honestly believe this show we are producing has a purpose. I hope it reminds us to take time to understand one another’s stories. I hope it reminds us that listening is part of communicating. I also hope we are encouraged to step away from the Twitter and Texting for just a moment to spend ten minutes learning about more than what kind of oatmeal someone had for breakfast.