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I drove into Fort Dodge one blustery day in November, 1957. An attendant at a gas station told me that the radio station was located in the Warden Hotel. I walked in very impressed at this grand location. A very superior appearing guy quickly sent me on my way from KVFD. I eventually found KWMT in a cinder-block compact building in a cornfield at the West End of town! They were about to sign off for the day (I believe at 5:15 PM). I was dismayed to find it was a "daytimer." I met "Chappy" who was the Chief Engineer, and Bob Baker (later to become well known in Boston as "Bob Baker the Record Shaker").

I was a scared young kid of 23 and I came to town with everything I owned in the back seat of my '53 Oldsmobile convertible. I was a little beat down, having been fired three times in a row by the time I made it to this small Northern Iowa city and checked in at the YMCA. Next day I found out that I had signed on to do the morning show (nobody wanted the job because we didn't have a standard sign on). In the winter months we went on the air as late as 7:45 AM. Oh yes, I also did afternoon drive, was the Program Director, wrote and produced commercials, and was the Music Director. My first job as Music Director was to take some of the old 78 RPM records out of their jackets and send them sailing, Frisbee style, into the cornfield that served as landscaping.

KWMT, I found, existed due to pride. Bill Quarton was the GM of WMT, Cedar Rapids, and they advertised their station as, "Iowa's Finest Frequency." Then came that fateful day when they found out that engineering-wise, a radio station could be slipped into Northern Iowa; a daytimer on 540, directional to protect a Canadian station in Regina, Saskatchewan. Bill ran WMT for the Marx family, of Washington, D.C., but for some reason unknown to me, he built KWMT with a partner named Bill Dolph. Bill Dolph owned a station in Oceanside, CA, and a piece of a station in Denver. They were both programmed with Top 40 Music, so that became KWMT's format. He got several of his staffers in Denver to voice as many of our announcements as possible, and KWMT went on the air, I believe shortly before I arrived.

Our first job was to get some respect for "The Mighty 540." Sure we were a cinder block building in a cornfield, but we reached 5 states! I hired Bill McCollough, a friend I met while working at KRNY, Kearney, NE. Bill eventually ended up in Milwaukee. Dean Johnson became our Chief, Chappy was a Prof. at the college, and he figured that was a full time job. Dean, the last I heard, owned a handful of stations. Peter McClaine was a character. One night while he was having a few beers at "Eppy's (a downstairs bar) we took his little MG roadster, put a stick-on windup key on the trunk, and carried it downstairs! You can imagine the fun when he tried to drive it back up the stairs. Pete was the long-time PD at KIOA. Burns Nugent, our station manager fresh out of Harvard, was a quick study, and I was proud to impart some programming ideas to him. He went to work at the NAB, and eventually owned a couple of stations in the Northwest. Jim Mauer was the Sales Manager, and after Burns and I left to run WEBC in Duluth, became the manager, and eventually owned the station!

I did the morning and afternoon drive. Nobody ever mentioned that smooth, cosmopolitan guy who was on in the afternoons, but everybody laughed about that crazy guy who was on in the morning! ] I found out I could supplement my salary by doing "record hops," and I did a ton of 'em. (At $35 a pop). The best gig was at the Larimar Ballroom in Fort Dodge). I joined the JC's, did some little theatre, played duplicate bridge and hung with Ken Petrick, who was the local Marine Recruiter, and my best friend.

I loved Fort Dodge! For one thing I didn't get fired after that (ever) and I met and won Bob & Marge McDermott's oldest daughter, Kae. "Miss McDermott" was the 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Sacred Heart School, and she's been my wife for 42 years! Our twins were born at the Lutheran Hospital. My career started to move forward! After Duluth, I worked in Atlanta (WQXI), Philadelphia (WFIL), and finished my 33 year career at KFRC, in San Francisco.