Looking back on my life which I’ve been doing as I write all this, I realized that I have lived in three countries, five states, four provinces, and twenty-two different cities.
However, if pressed about what city I liked the most, I would have to admit that San Diego was the best. (see above)
Ever since I was a kid growing up in Winnipeg, I’d always dreamed of living in California someday.
As I said, I’ve lived in a lot of cities, and one of them was Indianapolis. One day I woke and realized that if I didn’t move to California right now, I never would.
The only way to get this done was to find a client somewhere in California and then start my own company.
Luckily, the Shadeks who owned KOGO/KPRI in San Diego and KLSS in San Antonio stepped up and made me their corporate consultant.
One of the first projects that I did for them was to launch my new “Class” format in San Antonio. “Class,” which was modeled after KVIL in Dallas and done again successfully at WRMF in Palm Beach, was a concept that I hoped to prove would work anywhere.
I loved living in San Diego because it was breathtaking, and it took me over two years to get over feeling like I was on vacation. The first thing I did was buy an old house in Coronado, which I immediately begin to remodel. (pictured above with my brother Reg parked in front) While all the construction was going, I lived with Tom Shadek, and his girlfriend Rose in La Jolla.
As I said, we were doing the Class Concept on KLLS in San Antonio, and At KOGO in San Diego, we were doing a new talk format called the Radio Magazine. The Radio Magazine, which was the brainchild of Jack McCoy, was not only very experimental it also very fun.
The News Page of the Radio Magazine, which was headed up by Greg Tantum (pictured above with some of his crew), was surrounded by a bunch of characters like Mike Dewey, Steve Tom, Lee Mirabal, and Perry Allen who all sounded great but they were crazy.
Doing the Sports Page was Jerry Gross, and handling the Early Edition in the morning was Bob DeCarlo, who was replaced by movie star Martin Milner when he left for Tampa. Throughout the rest of the day, we had Shot Gun Tom Kelley and Mad Dog Maddox handling the music pages and Captain Stan in the chopper on the Traffic Page with Reid Reker acting as the Assignment Editor.
When I first arrived in San Diego, Tom Shadek graciously gave me his large office which was right across the hall from Ed Shadek. (pictured above) Ed was not only a great guy, but he also was the company president.
Shortly after Tom moved to the other end of the building I discovered that he left his fridge behind which before long led us to the good times.
As I mentioned, I lived with Tom while they were remodeling my house in Coronado. One day after finding out that I loved to play racquetball, Tom said that his complex had a couple of courts, so maybe we should play. When I asked him how much he played because, as I told him, I play all the time so it might be a little unfair. Tom just laughed and said that he thought that his youth would more than make up for his lack of experience.
However, after playing several games, and Tom was not doing so well, he stops and says that he needs an incentive. Whoever lost the next game had to buy the winner his favorite adult beverage. Mine was Canadian Club and his choice was Chivas Regal, Unfortunately, for Tom, he never got another point but my fridge now had a bottle of Canadian Club in it along with some Chivas that Tom bought so we could have a toddy at the end of each workday.
Before long, we were going through more than a couple of bottles a day as more and more of the staff popped in to have a quick one before heading home. Hell, “Toddy Time” at five was becoming so much fun that Greg and a bunch of his morning crew started coming back into the station to enjoy the fun.
My office was pretty large, but it sure wasn’t big enough for this crowd, we were elbow to elbow, and you could hardly hear yourself think. Although I do remember hearing Ed shouting from my doorway, “You people do know that according to the FCC, there is to be no alcohol consumed at a radio station, don’t you”? When and we assured him that we were well aware of the ruling, he nodded his head, smiled, went back into his office, and closed the door.
Here’s to the good times!