John Schumacher, an 87-year-old Sun City resident, is known to scores of subscribers to the West Valley Talking News as program director and manager of Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind. His friendly voice regularly coaxes participation from interviewees on the segment “Do You Know What We Think?” and his energy pulls each of the dozen segments together every week, so they can be mailed to subscribers on digitized cartridges for play on audio digital players provided through the National Library Service via the Arizona Talking Book Library in downtown Phoenix.
Schumacher’s volunteer work in Sun City began in 2001 in the analog/tape recorded era. Between 2005 and 2010, he oversaw conversion from analog to digital, adding an online radio station (KRUV) in 2016. He loves that station, which operates from a corner of the recording studio at 99th Avenue north of Olive Avenue. You’ll often see his car there at midnight, figuring out programming refinements to bring KRUV to listeners 24/7.
To find this digital radio station, google KRUV Radio Sun – click – and listen. Segments of the West Valley Talking News play at various times each weekend, and the rest of the programming consists of eclectic music, including old time radio. The KRUV Radio Sun library has hundreds and hundreds of digitized recordings at hand.
Schumacher’s career began at age 20 as an officer in his family’s general construction business, doing institutional, commercial and industrial construction primarily in northern and northwest Indiana. The family business, started by Schumacher’s grandfather, began in 1910 and continued until 1980.
From there, some 25 years later and still in Indiana, Schumacher’s work centered around building and operating a themed amusement park near Indianapolis. He designed, laid out and supervised construction and served as director of business affairs and human resources before relocating to Sun City in early 2000.
Schumacher currently serves as treasurer of RRRB’s board of directors in addition to production supervisor of the audio weekly news magazine format, West Valley Talking News, program director for Radio KRUV as well as audio recording for books and magazines.
For more information about Recorded Recreational Reading for the blind or KRUV Radio Sun, visit readingfortheblind.org.