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.
Don! Patti! (she hasn’t changed a BIT!) how cool is that! I’m lucky to admit I’m still having so much fun in radio (when they let me play…) and am really loving the new mix with social media and the great ideas 20-somethings are bringing. There is still a lot of LOVE for radio!
I can’t believe you have a picture of yourself and Bob Adkins. He may be my earliest radio memory, as part of the team of Bob and Jim (Jim Johnson, or maybe Johnston) at KREM in Spokane in the early 60s — where I ended up working with Mr. Burns about 15 years later. They were very funny.
Nice blog — hope you’re doing well.
It was even more fun to watch the old music jocks hit the post on the way out of the parking lot.
But seriously…that was a great time. It would have been fun to hear some of the radio veterans stand up and tell some stories. But (insert your own standing up joke here).
Patti Par HASN’T changed a bit, you’re right Lisa. Don Riggs either. Tim Hunter though…
What is Patti Par doing these days?