I remember when I was growing up that I dreamt of one day becoming a veterinarian. Maybe it was all of the James Herriot books that I read (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.) or perhaps it was my large collection of stuffed and real animals. Our menagerie included a Maltese Poodle, a Mynah bird, a Cockateil, three rats, tropical fish and a rabbit at one time.
When I was a teenager, I would watch the TV show, WKRP in Cincinnati, and I identified with the character Bailey as a role model of someone whom I could become. Young, smart and shy, I saw her as someone I could emulate. Ironically, my first part-time job was working at a radio station.
And WHAT a station to begin one’s career! It was KFAT Radio, based in Gilroy, Calif. with a business office in San Jose. KFAT was more than just a radio station—it was a religion. This was in a time before corporate radio was formulated–when disc jockeys were gods and actually controlled the airwaves. KFAT’s format was eclectic, to say the least. Song choices ranged from “Moose Turd Pie” by Utah Phillips to “Drop Kick Me Jesus through the Goal Post of Life” by Bobby Bare to “Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne. I started out as a receptionist, answering phones in the afternoons after school and providing relief for the overworked office manager. I was only 19 years old, and the head salesman, Michael Kilmartin (aka Killer) immediately declared I was a “radio virgin” because of my greenness in the wild world of radio…. (more to come.)