So far I’ve had some pretty special years but none of them compare to the memories I have of 1964.
1964 was a very good year; I married my childhood sweetheart, saw the Beatles, signed a recording contract, met my life-time mentor, Jim Hilliard, began my radio career, and built my first house at 67 Brighton Court in Transcona.
However, not too long before any of that happened, I was still living at home. At our place, my Father’s house rules were King, and one of those rules if I wanted to live there was, I needed to have a job.
Even though I made decent money playing with my band called The Phantoms (pictured above), my Dad said, “Son, the Johns men work; we don’t play guitar for a living.”
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at finding jobs, mostly because I couldn’t find anything I’d liked to do. My Dad’s job-hunting skills were much better than mine because he didn’t care what I liked to do, so he got me many jobs, but I hated them all.
I made Ice Cream, cleaned floors, installed furnaces, and even became the Assistant Manager of Loomer Lanes in Transcona even though I didn’t know much about bowling.
Being an enterprising kind of guy though even back then, I decided to see how far my assistant manager’s title would take me. Hence, I applied for a GM position at a new bowling alley in Winnipeg that was still under construction.
What made this particular bowling alley so cool was that it would also have a pool room. Now I may not know squat about bowling, but pool I knew after being educated at a pool room on my way home from school each day.
My interview with the owners went very well, but they couldn’t consider me for the job until I was a certified bowling instructor.
However, the good news was they would pay for me to go to bowling school, where I crushed the course and got certified and waited for their call. (see below and on top)
However, that call wouldn’t be coming until the new bowling alley was still under construction.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t hurting for money, so I just sat back and relaxed because my folks were finally off my back about my finding a real job.
Early on, I’d learned that sometimes fame leads to fortune. So with that in mind, I’d always suggest that the venue hire a dee-jay from CKY as the MC, which would result in our getting an enormous amount of on-air publicity all week.
The dee-jays would kick off the evening by throwing out a bunch of records to all the folks at the dance, introduce us, and then they’d be gone before we finished our first song. Come Monday, there I was at CKY delivering Mark Parr (pictured above) his take from the weekend dance.
Embree McDermid (pictured below), who was at the front desk when I got there, told me that Mark was expecting me, so I should go right into the FM studio.
Mark was filling in for the FM board op for his lunch break, and after we got the business part out of the way, we chit-chatted a little, and at some point, he asked if I’d ever run a radio board before?
When I told him that I hadn’t, the next thing I knew, I was in the chair doing it. Wow!
It all seemed simple enough and was going well until all of a sudden; he spotted Deno Corrie, who was two studios away in the production studio and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Can you spell PANIC? Everything was running at once, and I had no idea what was on the air and what was coming through the cue speaker. I was frantically waving at Mark, but he too busy yucking it up with Deno to notice.
To make matters even worse, suddenly, several “suits” walked in. (I was told later that one of them was the owner)
One of them was obviously someone important because he was proudly showing off the brand new 360,000-watt radio station to the group. I bet he would have freaked out had he known that the kid piloting his new flame thrower only had about ten minutes of radio experience?
It seemed like an eternity, but they finally left, and I took a deep breath and began to sort things out. By the time Mark finally got back, everything was running smoothly, and all he said was, “See, I knew you wouldn’t have any problems, kid; you’re a natural.”
I’m forever grateful to Mark because from that moment on, he pestered everybody at CKY until they hired me as a part-time board op. It didn’t pay diddly, but I loved it and had no idea that I’d be doing radio for the rest of my life.
My good news was bad news for my Mom because when the Bowling Alley owners called to say that I was hired and she heard me say, “Thanks but no thanks, I’m a radio guy now,” she cried. (me on the job below)
When and who decided that it didn’t matter if you lose a war, rich people never lose anything? Oh, and how come Cuba and Israel didn’t buy into that concept?
The only thing good about having a crisis like Conid 19, it unveils how incompetent most politicians are.
How long do you suppose it will be until using the word “racist” finally burns out?
When you stumble, make it part of your act and keep on dancin’.
Is it just me, or do the folks who are in charge of how much everybody makes tend to overpay themselves?
What successful company bought out by someone ever become better?
Women used to know their place, but I never had to tell my daughters that their place was upfront.
Does anybody know in days, hours, or minutes how long coming soon is?
For the last decade or so, we’ve been fighting the war in the desert door to door, yet the military still wants more money from congress to build faster airplanes and bigger warships. What are they for?