I came to Alaska
with my parents and siblings in 1945. I grew up in Anchorage, but left there
From 1962 to 1965 I was in the U. S. Army, most of the time with an Army band in France. This was a great experience, giving me the chance to meet many people as we helped various towns celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their liberation during WWII.
After returning to Alaska in 1965 I spent 2 years working for the Highway Department on the Kenai Peninsula before moving to Fairbanks in the fall of 1967. I continued to work for the Highway Department during the summer and attend classes during the winter. During the fall semester of 1969 I took an audio production course which introduced me to KUAC . I took a part time position there in the spring of 1970. For the next couple of years I alternated working between KUAC in the winter and the highway department during the summer. In 1972 I quit the highway department and devoted all of my time to KUAC, working part time in radio and part time for the new public TV station. I was KUAC's first news director and set up the first true news department. I also spent time as the Operations manager, being responsible for training of all on-air staff.
Then in 1974 I married Marlys Ross and moved to Sitka for a year to spend some time working for a commercial radio station.
We returned to Fairbanks in 1975 when KUAC converted from all volunteer to full-time professional staff. I continued working for KUAC until I retired in June of 1999.
During my years
at KUAC I held every possible position, but most of that time was spent as Operations
Director and mid-day on-air host. I designed and built the first web site for
KUAC. I was also the stations computer guru.
My first computer was an Apple II plus. I stayed with Apples until they pulled the rug out from under the Apple II users. That made me so mad that I won't have anything to do with MACs. Over the years I've dealt with a variety of operating systems including CP/M, OS/2, various flavors of DOS, Linux, and Windows (through XP).
Here's a timeline of my life:
Born in May of 1944.
Family moved to
Grew up in and
school in 1962 as part of the first
October 1962 –
enlisted in the Army. Took basic training at
January 1963 –
May 1963 – Orders
1963 – received orders to go to an Engineering Unit in
I proceeded on to
– arrived at assigned station outside of
The main assignment of the band was community relations. We played in many towns around the region. This period included the 20th Anniversary of the liberation of many towns during WWII so we played a lot of commemoration gigs. We traveled by bus and the towns provided housing and meals. At the time I didn’t think much about it but now realize what a great deal that was.
1965 – Honorable Discharge and return home.
1966 – worked for the highway department out of Kenai. Worked
until weather shut us down for the season in October. Also
applied to the
Flew out with my parents in November to visit relatives. While “outside” I received an acceptance letter from UA.
Returned to Kenai
after Christmas, packed up all of my stuff and drove to
Spring 1967 – attended classes with an eye toward a Civil Engineering degree. Discovered that I didn’t have the drawing and math skills needed for that.
Summer 1967 – worked out of Kenai once again, this time as a materials inspector then asphalt plant inspector.
1967 – returned to
Late spring 1968 – moved to a three bedroom apartment with two friends. The apartment was the top floor of half an old barracks building. Very nice for three bachelors.
July 1968 – had
decided to remain in
1968 – return to UA. Changed to a music major.
I worked as check station attendant for the “
Spring 1969 – again spent the summer working for the highway department as an asphalt plant inspecter.
Fall 1969 – returned to UA. One of my classes that fall was audio production. I had been an audiophile for years. Became a volunteer announcer at KUAC in October. Our class project was to produce Norman Corwin’s “Plot to Overthrow Christmas.” Discovered that doing radio stuff was great fun.
Spring 1970 – hired by KUAC to do tape editing for “Crossroads in Time.” Still did some announcing.
Summer 1970 – back to construction work
Fall 1970 – back to UA and work at KUAC. Developed a major crush on a young lady who worked at KUAC which contributed to my desire to spend time at KUAC.
Spring 1971 –
moved to a basement apartment. That turned out to be a big mistake. That winter
we had a large amount of snow. As soon as spring arrived we were flooded out.
Lived in a tent for a while then got a cabin on
1972 – again worked construction, mostly in the immediate
Fall 1972 – back to school and KUAC with increasing responsibilities. Did many different jobs: audio engineering, announcing, chief announcer and news director among them. Also did some television work both behind and in front of the camera. All KUAC staff were part-time but I managed to get paid for 40 hours per week even though I worked much more than that because it was fun. Bought a used trailer near campus for my own home. No roommates. All mine! Had year round work at KUAC.
In May 1974 got
married to one of my announcers, Marlys Ross (not the girl I’d had a crush on
since 1970), and moved to
May 1975 returned to KUAC for a fulltime job. Started as late night announcer, then moved up to audio production engineer. Ultimately became Operations Manager with responsibility for all on-air staff. Continued to do audio production work, both as engineer and host. Also handled all remote recording and live events.
Fall 1979 – KUAC’s first on-air fund drive (radio and TV). Did on-air work for both every year. Fun, but very wearing.
Fall 1981 Bought a "spec built" house, three bedroom. We remain there to this day.
and on - Started many KUAC traditions, like the broadcast of the Summer Folk
Fest. Three days on site using our Class C RV as a recording and broadcast
facility. More fun than a barrel of monkeys.
We went to lots of interesting places in that rig, the Dalton Highway to the north slope, the Dempster highway in Canada to the arctic ocean. The CANOL road which runs from near Johnson Crossing on the Alaska Highway south of Whitehorse to the oil fields near Fort Norman, NW Territories or at least it used to. Now it ends at the border between the Yukon and North West Territory where maintainence stops. Built at the same time as the AlCan it was used to aid in the construction of a pipeline to bring oil from Ft. Norman to a refinery which was built in Whitehorse. The pipeline was just laid on top of the tundra. This was all done during the first year of WWII in fear that the Japanese might interfere with shipping up to Seward and Anchorage. Turned out they didn't. I'm told that the refinery ran long enough to process one delivery of oil and was then dismantled and moved to Texas. The oil from those wells was excellent for use in the north as it had a low paraffin content and thus flowed easily at cold temperatures. My dad worked on maintenance along the line and said it leaked like a sieve. Built KUAC's first web site. Also became involved with the CompuServe Science Fiction Forum which led to attending several World Science Fiction Conventions.
KUAC’s first web site. Also became involved
with the CompuServe Science Fiction Forum which led to attending several World
Science Fiction Conventions.
Fall 1981 Bought a "spec built" house, three bedroom. We remain there to this day
1992 Drove out to Edmonton to hook up with a convoy of restored WWII vehicles that were travelling the AlCan during the 50th anniversary of it's building.
June 1999 – retired after 30 years, 27 of them stuck in a basement with no windows.
enjoying life without having to work.
2009 – attended
the first North American Disc World Convention in
2011 – attended
Second North America disc world convention in
2012 – attended World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago (it had been several years since we had last attended one). A very large convention but gave us a chance to reconnect with old friends. Oh, alright, to tell the truth I was much more interested in the Chicago Jazz Festival and spent more time there than at the con.
2013 - attended the third North American Disc World Convention, this time in Baltimore. Unfortunately Sir Terry's health would not permit him to attend.
2015 Remodeled the interior. New carpet, new cabinets and countertop (with a deep undermount sink) as well as new flooring in the kitchen. The only new appliance was a microwave that would fit neatly into the cabinets. Also had the ceiling painted to cover the dirt and we painted all of the walls. During most of our married life we had a dog or dogs. Unfortunately I was diagnosed as allergic to dog dander so when the last one died we opted to go dogless. Thus the need for new carpeting. Subsequently learned I wasn't allergic to dog dander but I'm getting older and would not want a dog to outlive and feel abandoned.
2015 - Attended Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington.
2016 - Attended MidAmeriCon II, the World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.
2018 - Attended WorldCon 76, the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California.
2019 - attended
the fifth North American Disc World Convention in Los Angeles. A small convention
but great fun. Reconnect with friends I hadn't seen in four years.
Also bought our third new car, another Subaru Outback.
We hope to continue attending World Cons, Disc World Cons, and others in the future.