Thanks, Denver.

By kateandcarla

February 27, 2011

Category: Uncategorized

11 Comments »

Cow Town. Mile High City. Queen City of the Plains.

Call her what you will, it was 39 years ago this week I moved here, and I owe her a great deal.

She has given me opportunities, relationships and a stellar setting in which to raise a daughter. Metro Denver has helped me start out and start over…several times. And even though the beginning was as slippery as scree on a hiking trail, I am grateful for it all.

I arrived in late February 1972 with painfully mixed emotions, excited about a new adventure but aching over saying goodbye to my family. I knew one person. Money was beyond tight.  But I did have a job waiting, thanks to the serendipity of the general manager of KHOW-Radio (a really big deal in Denver in the early 70s) being a native Iowegian, as well.  “Captain Show Biz” was a person of power, and he liked the work ethic of people from his home state, so I joined a small team of transplants. One of them was a young college guy with an engaging manner who had the FM night shift–Harry Smith.  Yes, the same Harry Smith who would go on to anchor the CBS Morning Show.

Anyway, having a job was a huge plus. But this Southern Iowa girl had never driven anyplace larger than Centerville.  Which made the commute from an apartment in southeast Denver to the city center of 16th and Broadway an everyday Amazing Journey.  Since GPS and cell phones were nowhere on the horizon, I kept a pocketful of dimes to call my then-husband and ask, “I’m now at the corner of X and Y, how do I get home?”

Of all the personalities at KHOW in those days–Charley & Barney, Danny Davis, Little Johnny Harding, Lindsay English–it was Hal Moore (yep, Iowegian) that gave the station its true signature.  Every Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., he would yell/tell his audience: “It’s time to kick off another Wonderful Weekend in the West.  If you’re heading home on the Valley Highway or down Colfax or on 6th, pull your car over, face those Purple Mountain Majesties and SING!”  And then he played this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w92oVTrn0H4

An hour later, drive time done, “Hotdog Harold” Moore would deliver his sign off:  a rousing “I LOVE YOU, DENVER!”

After nearly 40 years, I can’t think of a better benediction.

Photo:  Flickr Creative Commons/Brian Papantonio

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11 Responses to “Thanks, Denver.”

  1. You know Harry Smith!!!! I love him. I knew he was a Central grad, but had no idea you had a connection to him. I’d never thought about how you ended up in Denver. Sounds like you made the right decision. Love your writing.

  2. AND…..we Iowa friends still need to make that long weekend trip to visit you!!!!!

    • We will have so much fun…let’s see if we can make it happen. Even make Mr. Huffine drive over from Nebraska and get Wayne Arthur Sell into the party. 😉 C.

  3. Sounds like a plan!!!!

  4. I gotta tell you….that song and sign off meant a lot to me, too. I was busy driving my two sons over Berthoud Pass around 5:00 every other Friday so they could see their dad in Denver. We’d sing that song…every single week…at the top our our lungs and often we were just cresting the top of Berthoud Pass with the sun and snow. What a terrific song and such wonderful memories I have of it! Ahhhhhh

    • Isn’t it amazing how things like that take you back? Guess I’d never thought what your mountain/metro co-parenting was like. Could see that Berthoud crest as I read this! C.

  5. I knew sevral of the people you mentioned, but Little Johnny was a special friend. Being 5’8″ was funny to see us standing together…and he was 6’6…quite tall. The last I knew of him he was living north of both Broomfied and Boulder in a small town that he said was so small that in the evening you could sit on the front porch and listen to the grass grow…that was all there was to do there, but I forget the town’s name now…it’s been awhile….LOL I miss my radio days, but the memories keep me warm. 🙂 I won’t say my name, but I was small time compared to most of those names, but they were/are good folks. I miss personality radio on the AM side of radio…sigh Oh yes, count in there, Dusty Sanders, Perry Martin, Jockey Joe Kelly and countless others.

    • Thanks so much for your note! My coming from a tiny town to a big world was made a little easier by people like Little Johnny Harding. I remember walking into the recording room one morning, as furious as a 22-year-old traffic coordinator could be, saying that my little VW had nearly been creamed by a huge RTD bus…but that “It was the bus’ fault, not mine.” To which Johnny replied, “Honey, if your little Bug gets hit by a bus, whose fault it is will not be your first concern.” 😉 I miss those days, too. Any chance you know Dave Schaefer who’s now in Farmington, NM? Take care, C.

  6. Happy Anniversary Sis!!
    I teared up reading this post! I guess it is because I am so proud of the obstacles you have over come and what you have accomplished thus far in your lifes journey! You should be very proud of raising a great daughter, successful writing career and maintaining friends along the way. As we go through life it is not only the friends we make, it is the friends we keep! You are a prime example of both!!! It be a long way from Promise City to the “Mile High” but you done did it!

    Luv Ya, Gary

  7. WOW! My family moved to Denver in 1963 shortly after I was born. We lived there until my dad was transferred to Chicago in 75. I am in Denver for work and had a “flashback” to 5 pm Fridays and always wanting to have the radio on KHOW to hear Hotdog Harold Moore play that song. Thought I would see what I could find on google and landed here. Thanks for posting the link. I haven’t lived in Denver for a very long time but it will always be home to me. I LOVE YOU DENVER!

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