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                                A Day At KSAN 
                                                                                        Cathy Roy

“Here, Ski,” she said as she passed the joint back to me, looking around the parking
garage.  The parking attendants smoked up there also, sometimes with us. I leaned back against the front of her 1968 VW Van, gold and white, nicknamed “The Duck.” The latest craze was to put “ski” at the end of everyone’s name, or to simply refer to them as Ski.  It also referred to the amount of cocaine that was happening in radio and college:  coke, snow, ski.  For a while, we called our boss  Kate-ski, but now we had started to refer to her at Skate-key.  I took a hit.

“We should go, we’re late.” I pointed towards the KSAN Building. From an open window somewhere we could hear the faint strains of the Flaming Groovies singing Shake Some Action.

As we walked along with the morning commuters, my purse felt unusually heavy.   I pulled out an empty champagne bottle and tossed it in the trash can before we turned a corner. I had been to see Greg Kihn with some of the interns the night before.

The air was clean and the sun was bright.  While the rest of the country was watching the leaves turn color in October, California was having summer weather.  Who knew?  The longer I lived in the Bay Area, the more I realized I had no idea about anything.

We stopped in front of an old beige one-story art deco building, nondescript among the fancy offices in the Financial District.   Larger structures cast shadows over the entrance.  We were told that in the 1940s it had been a bank.  In small letters on a gold plaque were the letters KSAN. 

Moby Grape’s Hey Grandma blasted through the hallways. I went to the record library to file albums. 

The station manager came down the hallway with a middle-aged man in a jacket and pants.  The station manager looked at me, smiled and pulled the gentlemen over to my desk. Oh no, I thought. The station manager constantly introduced himself to me, even though he did my initial intern interview.  He had the memory of a guppy. The interns referred to him as Ted Baxter behind his back. The deejay was reading a commercial about cars. 

“Errr um intern, this is Timothy Leary,” he said.

I shook Mr. Leary’s hand and said hello.  He wore neatly pressed khaki pants, with a white shirt and a blue blazer.  He looked like he could be attending one of my parents’ Friday night cocktail parties at the Country Club.  The On-Air sign blinked off and they went inside the studio. I was going to have to ask Jill about him.  I had heard the Moody Blues song with the refrain Timothy Leary’s dead, but apparently he was alive and kicking.  You never knew who you were going to run into at KSAN.



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