Oh! Wow! Our own radio station, KFUN will be 70 years old Christmas Day. Happy Birthday wished for all of us who faithfully listen in this large broadcast area. I’m seven years older than KFUN but neither of us think we are old yet.
I don’t remember hearing the first broadcast in 1941 but by 1945 I was a regular listener, whether I appreciated it or not. Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club was broadcast every morning on KFUN. I rode the school bus from Watrous to Las Vegas every day, and Mr. Raybon (our driver) faithfully listened to that program. Now I wonder, were we that noisy? Yes, it was a good distraction as we bounced along in that old school bus. And when I lived in Kennedy Hall in the 1950s I’d always turn in to KFUN. It was the only radio station available back then so of course we thought it was great.
The owners of KFUN back then, Ernie and Dorothy Thwaites were both family friends and my doctor father’s patients. I think Doc visited with Ernie about his passion — medical politics, on the radio a time or two but I had little interest in any of their various agendas back then so I have no idea how the programs went. I do know that when I asked Doc if he was nervous talking into a microphone or to a crown, he always reminded me of that old bit of wisdom: just think that you are talking to a friend by a fireplace in our living room. That is still good advise today.
I did take one speech course while at Highlands and the whole class ended up talking on a program on KFUN once. Yes, every one of us suddenly became tongue-tied, and thankfully our professor took over and kept us talking.
Most of us that live in these hills and valleys cannot get good radio reception, even today. My Chicago grandmother always spent her summers with us and she had to listen to every Chicago Cubs baseball game. This became quite a challenge for our Valmora patients who also wanted to hear news as it happens. Some of them had some great ideas and I remember their inventive ways to get a very strong radio wave through a series of antennas that we hooked to our house somehow, just so Grandma could tell the umps what to call.
The other big program my parents listened to (other than the news at 9 p.m.) was the live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons. Sweet brother Bill and I always had more important things to do during that program time and it took me years to appreciate opera. I don’t think Bill ever became a fan. He was a country and western music fan.
I know news is news, no matter how one gets it. But nothing can every take place of real, live radio and all that goes with it. We all look forward to the next 70 KFUN years. Happy birthday and many more big broadcast days to all of the Baca Broadcasting organization.
Editha Bartley lives in Gascon in Mora County. She may be reached at 454-0563.