(This letter, one of many, was found in a box at KTRB. )
June 9, 1980
"To Everyone at KTRB,
This is not a Birthday Greeting for the competition. However, since I will not be in Modesto on the 18th to help celebrate, I do want to send a special hello, since I have fond memories of the time I worked out "on the farm" with the beloved Bill Bates as my boss. He gave me the opportunity to be the first woman announcer in the Valley.
I started in April of 1943 and worked up until my marriage October 29, 1944. Besides giving five newscasts each week-day afternoon, I also typed the Auction Block and Spot Announcements which had to be just the way Bill wanted and thus many that were sent in had to be reworded and shortened. On Friday afternoons I also sat at the "Board" and spun platters, read spots as well as giving the news. When the office girl had her vacation, I filled in there.
The year and a half I was at KTRB was a satisfying period and I really had mingled feelings. Then I left, but a new husband (my only one) and the move to Florida where the Navy sent him, was compensation. It was sort of amusing to me that when I left, Bill hired three young men to replace me.
Memories include quite a few persons in one or another connection with the station -- Bill himself, that inimitable fellow with his swinging lope to compensate for the leg affected by polio but which had never stopped him from doing whatever he wanted to try. That old Sunrise Serenader, Eldon Barrick; Rolland Stone - the Rolling Stone, who patiently taught me to use all those dials on the "Board; (these three I believe have joined the Big Broadcasting Company in the sky); Doug McGready and Rodney ? whose whereabouts I do not know, Cecil Lynch with the Knick Knacks program who always put me on the air with "Here's Ruth and the News"; people from the community with their special programs - Rev. Donald Weston, still active here in town; Professor of Public Speaking, Edwin Oscar Smith and a former Hethodist minister who had a Saturday afternoon travelogue; Tony Hanneman, a WWI veteran at that time Commander of the local Post of Veterans of Foreign Wars with his weekly commentary on the attempts of the VFW and American Legion to have Congress find ways of doing better by the returning WW2 vets than had been done to his generation and of course all the musical groups.
The Saturday children's auditions at which Chester Smith got his start and a last but not least memory was the time Bill had listeners send in harmonicas and gave me the task of getting them mailed out to nearly a thousand servicemen overseas who wanted a touch of home. I took them to the USO downtown where I had help with the wrapping, but I typed the labels for mailing and took them to the Post Office. Such a project !
How the station has changed since those days - not only in personnel but in the building itself. Thirty-seven years makes a difference.
Back in 1937 during the Spring I also was one of a group of Modesto Junior College students from Prof. E.O. Smith's Public Speaking classes who drove out to the old station on McHenry Ave. at the corner of Sylvan near the Sylvan Club House. We had a weekly program of reading poetry or short stories or anecdotes. Jim Stefan, now with Salinas County Schools Special Education Department had a little enclosed four-door sedan - box type and he took us out. A blind student, Agnes Lindquist from Turlock and a couple of others went. She lives in North Carolina and is retired from social work is married.