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Listeners share farewell messages for Pea Green Boat host Annie Garde

Today is Annie Garde's last day as host of The Pea Green Boat. Listeners from all over chimed-in to share their memories of Annie and the show, and to send their farewell messages. One thing comes through loud and clear: Annie has a knack for harnessing the power and intimacy of radio to strengthen the community and make lasting connections on air and off.

Thanks to everyone who sent a message. We couldn't get them all in here, but we read each one and we appreciate hearing from you all.

For 18 years, you have provided a reliable oasis for Montana children – an hour each weekday afternoon free from violence and from adult concerns (and perhaps, from some of the more troublesome aspects of their own lives.) It seems to me that, not unlike Fred Rogers, you’ve never lost sight of an understanding that childhood be a time of innocence, wonder, learning, and fun. “The Pea Green Boat” (as well as Saturday morning’s “Children’s Corner”) touched on topics ranging from science and nature to riddles and poetry. You served as gentle teacher (and were no less dedicated than the best educators), entertainer, and role model for kindness and love-of-life. You were also not above being silly for its own sake at times. I believe that your special personal touch that left every listener feeling as though you were speaking directly to her or him.

By persistently keeping up with new recordings of children’s music, and carefully choosing which songs might best fit a theme or story on that day’s program; and through your constant curiosity about what has been new in children’s literature, you were able to relate to the world in which today’s kids find themselves. At the same time you would share classic stories, songs from the Great American Songbook, classical and folk music, thereby contributing to the cultural literacy of your listeners.

I have wondered whether The Pea green Boat may just be the longest-running children’s radio program in the nation. Thank you for continuing Marsha’s legacy and adding your own. I’ll miss hearing your voice on radio …well, ...because it’s a lot more fun for me when you’re around.

La [Larry Garde]

Congratulations Annie! I have enjoyed sharing the Pea Green Boat with my daughter and now with my two grand daughters. What I will personally miss are your stories about exploring the river trail on bike and on foot as you traveled to and from the show. A good reminder for all of us, young and old, to be open to the wonders all around us. Best of luck and good fortune to you in the years ahead.
Diane Smith
We want to thank Annie for the love, entertainment and respect she has given. We can almost see the twinkle in her eye!
Janice & Jim Nugent
We have only huckleberries & rainbows for Annie--our Skipper! Annie, THANK YOU for keeping us grounded in what's truly important, and keeping us informed about the little things, like Cotton-butt bugs, and big things like health & wellness issues for kids of all ages. We've loved the books, and hearing about your walks, hikes and friends. Big hugs from the Nine Mile!
Sharon & Pat Sweeny
Message from Zed

My memories of Annie all blur into one enduring image of her flying around the record library, searching for the perfect music for her show, grey hair bobbing, and a combined impish grin/ exasperated eyebrow furrow reflecting her intensity and passion. Our encounters were almost always fleeting as we both were distracted by the on-air tasks at hand, but they were also always a release valve couched in sarcastic, empathetic humor. Annie is a force of nature whose essence will forever permeate MTPR’s studios and memories. Well done dear colleague and friend; well done.
Sally Mauk
Anne is a one of a kind, amazing story teller. I have listened to her Pea Green Boat Program in Seattle and many friends have tuned in from New York over the years. She has the rare gift of seeing life through the eyes of children with all the wonderment and excitement for the simplest things around us every day. Whether it be sharing her love of nature or animals, she spins a story that made us laugh or cry. Thank you, Annie, for sharing your incredible talent and love of life with all your listeners these past 18 years! You will be greatly missed !
Mary Cox
Dear Annie - when you started my children were very small, and you and The Pea Green Boat were a part of our every day, after-school Snack-n-Relax. Even now, I listen to you & The Pea Green Boat on my daily commute home and am instantly flooded with amazing memories when songs such as 'Little Potato', 'Lime Jello, Marshmallow, Cottage Cheese Surprise' and 'On The Day You Were Born' and ANYTHING by Bill Harley comes on. Thank you to you & The Pea Green Boat for being the soundtrack to our lives all these years - you filled our days with song & story, laughter & joy and your kindness will NEVER be forgotten. May your next sojourn be a glorious one! Your friends - Camie, Madison, Meredith & Sutter
Camie, Madison, Meredith & Sutter
Message from Sally Mauk

As a long time listener I thank you for all your work. You taught so many of us that no matter how mature looking we may be on the outside, we all need to let our inner child shine. Best wishes to you!
Kathy from Kalispell
Annie's Pea Green Boat & the Children's Corner, along with Stan Howe's Folk Show, were programs I was always disappointed when I had to miss them. Annie became like a distant friend whose letters I eagerly awaited. I learned so many things and became positively addicted to many 'children's' songs. Thanks for enriching so many lives.
Margaret Hebel - Dillon, MT
Message from Salty Brian

Annie, thank you for being a voice of kindness and curiousity, and a curator of great children's music. You and the Pea Green Boat helped me and my kids through the years when they were young and I stayed home with them. In recent years I have found myself frantically scribbling down the names of songs and ideas for future lessons while stopped at red lights as I drive home from my job as a music teacher. I've been so impressed that you have come up with so many thoughtful and wonderful things to share with children for so many years. I hope you have a long and happy retirement!
Loy Koch
It was 2010, the middle of the Great Recession. I’d lost my job and was trying to figure out what to do! Annie, I can’t remember how I met you but I DO remember you were there for me as a confidant, friend and singing partner as I worked through this very tough time for me. I'll always remember those music sessions in your apartment where I forgot all about my problems. Thank you!! Let's sing together again!
Mark Vosburgh
I grew up listening to The Pea Green Boat and The Children’s Corner. My husband and I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia now, and we still listen to both of these programs. I’ve never met Annie, but she always felt like a friend. I will miss our time together.
Deb Hill
Message from Beth Anne Austein

When we moved to Missoula in 1981, we could hardly believe (and were thrilled) that a radio station would devote an hour a day to children’s programming. Our children grew up listening to the PGB and Children’s Corner with Marcia Dunn and we thought she was irreplaceable. Annie Garde has done a wonderful job, carrying on the fine tradition of great music and stories for the young and young at heart. We continue to listen, even without kids in the house, and appreciate the stories Annie herself has written, the diversity of guests she has hosted, the sense of wonder she has exhibited, and the personality that shined through. Best wishes for smooth sailing and delightful adventures in your retirement, Annie!
Jean and Bill Woessner
Dear Annie, Thank you for helping to raise our 4 sons! You brought great stories, songs and experts on a wide variety of subjects into our lives. Ghostbusters was their favorite song back when they were young. As a young Mom, I appreciated you being another adult in our home. The boys always listened to you! You are part of the reason why our sons are successful adults. Enjoy your well deserved retirement!
Mary Matelich
I love when children get the chance to meet Annie face-to-face either at the MTPR studios or at an outreach event. There's such a sparkle in their eyes when they hear her voice as she politely greets them. I just love the connection Annie makes with them in person or on-the-air with a funny story, a familiar song or her gentle reminder to come back again tomorrow. She just seems to make that one-on-one connections with every child who listens. We'll miss her so much and thank her for time at the helm of the Pea Green Boat.
Ray Ekness
Message from Allan R. Scott

Annie has the greatest voice and friendly, welcoming manner of anyone I have ever heard on an NPR station and I have moved around quite alot. I am WAY past being a kid (by years anyway), but enjoy her programs very much and will miss her! Best wishes in retirement, Annie.
Pat Dewey Kouris
Oh Annie. One time you walked by my sons rock stand which was more like fossil and gem and local crystal store and bought some of his wares (prob 20 years ago on hazel st between 5th and 6th, they just tore that house down) and his eyeballs were huge… he knew your voice from PGB… ran back to the porch and goes “Mom that was Annie from PGB”… you were such a super star to so many!!! be well on your next journey!
Ashley Hinton-Sharp
Many adults will also miss your rewarding hours of entertaining our inner child.
Andrea Merrill-Maker
She will be a hard act to follow. She is in the grain of both my life and the life of my 2 adult kids. You will be missed!!
Kris Hawley Carlson
Message from Sheryl Noethe and Caroline Patterson

Annie is such an advocate for children and the arts and our communities. I learn something from her each time I listen. She is fun, gentle, and full of grace. Thank you, thank you, dear Annie.
Deborah Schmidt
Upon arriving at the YMCA, Annie was playing “I’m just a chickadee”, and I felt tears rolling down my cheek. I happen to turn to my left and saw a lady in the car beside me. She also had tears rolling down her cheek. As we got out I asked...”listening to Pea Green Boat?” She admitted as much, and an acknowledgement passed between us. Such is the magic of Annie and the Pea Green Boat!
John Pilsworth
Pea Green Boat is one of my favorite shows because of you. I can tell you’re a big kid at heart (as am I). Your observations of nature, including human nature, draw me in every time. The gratefulness and positivity you share are always a pick-me-up! Thank you!
Bonnie Eckert
Oh, I love, love, love Annie! I got to know Annie when I worked at Missoula Public Library and was part of the rotation of staff who would come on Mondays to read kids' books on the air. It was so much fun to see Annie in action and hear her on the air. Such a professional and so very talented. Annie was always up for new ideas. My twins were part of a Girl Scout troop when they were younger and I asked Annie about having the scouts come in and read on the air as past of the Pea Green Boat. Annie was all over it. My twins (now 18) still talk about that fun experience of being in the radio station and reading on the air. Thank you, Annie, for the laughs and legacy you have left. You are the best!
Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson
Thank you Annie for sharing your adventures, moments of wonder and awe, your love of trees , flowers and native plants, your humor and beautiful laugh. You brought me peace at the end of my day with moment of surprise, delight, and music. Thank you for reading stories and sharing your day. KUFM children programing is part of my life, making both the first and last quilt with Marcia and appreciating all the wonderful people who help produce the magic you all make. Deeply appreciated. thank u all.
Secilia Marino
Annie has been one of those people who shaped MTPR into what it is today. Not only do I admire what she did with the Pea Green Boat, but I was always grateful, back when I was doing The Plant Detective, for her willingness to help me with feedback whenever I was trying to improve my show. Annie's kindness has always softened MTPR and contributed to its feeling of family. May she inspire the station forever. I know that once she retires she will be off dancing and traveling as much as she can--I hope we get to see you sometime, Annie! Hugs, Beth Judy
Beth Judy
Annie, I can't express how wonderful it's been to have you as part of our staff here all these years. You've made such a huge impact on children's programming, and with such creativity! You've always brought a fun, warm and caring presence to everyone and to every occasion. I don't have a specific story to share, but I'll really miss you! I do hope you'll come back to visit or to offer some special program. Lots of love and best wishes as you enjoy your retirement!
Susan Israel

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