My co-worker and fellow recovering radio addict Scott Burns and I went to the Lake City Elks today and it was like having your radio career flash before you, just very slowly.
A couple of months back, some of the radio buddies I remain in touch with–Gary Engard and Dick Cross–told me about this annual gathering of broadcast folks that took place in April. They invited me to join them at the event and so I brought along Burns for the muscle. As we arrived, the room was packed with folks from our past, some going back 25-30 years ago since the last time our paths crossed. Over there, Bob Adkins, one-time GM of KOMO radio and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Is that….? Yep, Wally Nelskog, former owner of KIXI AM & FM. I couldn’t move around the room fast enough–Don Cannon, George Towles, Clem Daniels, former KOMO-TV engineer Warren Severance, Don Riggs, Patti Par…and yes, even Chris Wedes, better known to many as J.P. Patches.
While most of the hour was spent telling tales from the old days (and, as you know, the best ones can’t be repeated here), there were a couple of guys who stood up and said they were part of a museum effort to preserve Seattle broadcasting history and so they asked to interview each of us come July. They’ll get some of the stories out of us, but the best ones stayed in that room.
Radio is light years away from where it was when I was involved and even further down the track from most of the folks I hung out with today. It was just another reminder that I was lucky enough to have participated in the medium during it’s swan song. I still have hope that one day that one of the short-sighted owners will experiment with bringing radio back to where it was and have a huge hit on their hands.
For now, I’ve got the memories of my days in the biz, along with all the new ones I picked up today at the lunch. Enjoy a few of the pictures I grabbed at the event. More to come next year.