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Keep It Down! I'm Trying To Write A Book Here…


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I want to thank as many of my many friends that I have made through the years before I forget. The list is long and I no doubt will manage to forget a few. Let me apologize for that in advance. The whole staff at the radio station should be included as it seemed to me quite clearly that everyone employed at KMVI was indeed a member of the family, so let me start with them. First Bob Frost (no longer with us) was the first person I met as Mrs. Cooper gave me the fifty cent tour of the facility. We first saw each other as I walked into the main air studio. We hit it off immediately as he shook my hand and welcomed me with a huge smile. I don’t think I ever saw him with a scowl on his face and he never had a bad thing to say about anyone. At this point my recollection of one of the first laws of on-air staff psychology was: beware of that smile and that pat on the back- it just might hold you back. As the song goes: “Smiling faces sometimes don’t speak the truth.” And in this business it really means something. My tenure at WJIM and then later at WILS in Lansing prior to my trip to Hawaii taught me to use caution when dealing with certain staff members. However I never had my first impression of Bob Frost altered in any way in the years I knew him right up until the time of his death. He will always be remembered as “Uncle Frosty”. The first friend I ever made at the station. If he had a job description it must have been as a true mentor to newbies arriving at the station. He was always there with words of advice and encouragement. If I ever needed help, he was always ready to aid me in my day to day duties. From then on he never let me down.

Moving on the very next person I recall having big time first impression feelings with was Thom McGarvey. He was also part of the KMVI on air staff. AT first impression, he seemed somewhat “stodgy” to say the least. His background was quite impressive as an accomplished pianist and thespian. However we got along regardless and in fact I learned an awful lot about the music industry from him. It was him I owe my current ability to figure out where anyone I meet is coming from. The old “friend or foe” detector was well established by listening to his experiences. The next staff member I was to meet that first day at work was Richard Graham. He had that perfect radio announcer voice. You know, that very baritonish, deep, resonant, articulate sounding voice. It was him who really took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. Indeed for a day of two he would drive me around the island and had me pronounce all of the road signs I saw as we passed them. It was then when I learned how badly I could destroy the Hawaiian Language. In fact my very first day on the air I mispronounced the very commonly used word “Kaahumanu” during a newscast I was delivering. I mean after all, it was the main drag between Wailuku and Kahului. Everybody knew that name and here was this tall skinny “Haole” newcomer stumbling all over it on the radio! The every next day there was an editorial written by a popular columnist for the Honolulu Advertiser who proceeded to rake me over the coals. Railing on about how could a radio station hire such an asinine, unprofessional buffoon. I should have cut the op-ed out of the newspaper and framed it. But I was way too embarrassed. I later learned how to pronounce Hawaiian names by breaking the word down into two letter syllables and in most cases putting the accent on the next to the last syllable. I signed up later that week for language lessons at Maui Community College. Still, it was a rough road to travel but I seemed to have manged it as no further artillery was aimed my way from then on. However, it was a lesson I will NEVER forget I can guarantee you. More to come.


Written by ldreynolds

September 13, 2021 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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