Remembering KDHS – Les Simar, Student

Les Simar loading a tape at KDHS

MRMWhat year(s) were you involved with KDHS?

LS – 1972-1974


MRM
What did you do on KDHS? 

LS – Most of us had a weekly one hour on-air time slot. The station had a small music library, but most brought their own. Each show was unique. In order to raise money for the station, which depended on sponsorship from local businesses, the students went to local businesses for donations. I have fond memories of talking to business owners about the station. In the early 70s, having a high school radio station was extraordinary. Pictured is one of the leaflets we passed out to businesses.

KDHS Program Guide from 1973 (courtesy of Les Simar)

 

1972 – My lunch time task was typing the schedule for the programming that day. 

 

1973 – This was my most active year with KDHS. I tried to be more influential. As Program director, I tried to group together those with similar taste in music to give the programming a little more continuity. I updated the music library and brought in Billboard magazine to help people understand different formats. At the end of the year I was presented with a golden microphone trophy for “All Around Best Broadcaster.” 

 

1974 – After Friday night sports programming ended I did a Friday night shift—an unpopular time slot, which I called Friday Knight (the school mascot). I was Station Manager my senior year but I was involved in too many activities and clubs, so unfortunately my involvement with KDHS waned. Burt Vasche The faculty advisor gave me gentle but wise guidance about how too many priorities is not a formula for success, a lesson I took with me long after high school. 


MRM
How did KDHS affect your career decisions?

LS – Radio and audio became more of a hobby. I ended up in a technical career, just not in radio. 

 

KDHS Engineers Row 1: Harold Caudle, Missie Kullijian, Ron Ham Row 2: Teresa Trout, Les Simar, Mike Green, Tom Grow, Scott Leverone, Jon Zagaris, Chris Wincensten, Neil Harris

MRMWhat is a favorite memory of KDHS?

LS– I visited as many radio stations as I could get into. I was fascinated by the studios and how the on-air personalities that I listened to sat in a booth, while an engineer operated the equipment. After one trip to KSFO at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco I told Ron Ham I wanted to do my shift from the classroom next to the station and ask him to be the engineer. We ran a mic cable around the corner and set up a stool in front of the glass between the two rooms. We had no idea how hard it is to coordinate. I talked really fast in my best DJ voice and pointed at Ron when I wanted him to start the next record. We laughed our way through the hour.

 

MRMHow did KDHS help you as you entered into a career? 

LS – After college I accidentally landed a temporary gig in a data communications position where my experience in audio and radio helped me understand how things are connected—the goesinta/goesoutta as it’s said—and how to be unafraid of technology. I wound up staying with that company for 32 years in various roles and locations.

  

Don Sherwwod, “The World’s Greatest Disc Jockey” on KSFO

MRMAny individuals who stand out as mentors or inspirational in getting you started?
 LS – I started listening to Don Sherwood and Dan Sorkin on KSFO when I was in junior high school and thought they were clever. They didn’t just announce the name of the song and artist. I was smitten, it was like improv, inventive and spontaneous. While I idolized some of those radio personalities, I was also attracted to the technical aspects. Some kids had comic books. I had a Gates Radio catalogue that I looked at frequently. My mom met Sharon Lovejoy, who at the time was on KOSO, and took me to see her. Later, after Lovejoy made a move to KCBS, we went to see her again. I was amazed by the KCBS studio.

I drove out to the nearby KLOC studio one day on a whim and met Chet Jensen. That was the first of several times

Les Simar today

visiting Chet over the next few years at KLOC and KBEE. Chet was a good influence because he was approachable and humble. I always enjoyed our visits. Our classmate Mike Green stuck with radio and I have always admired him for what he accomplished in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering KDHS – Ron Underwood, Speech Instructor/Advisor

Remembering KDHS – Jeff Cree, Student

Remembering KDHS – Angie Decker Allen

Remembering KDHS – Mike Green, Student

Remembering KDHS – Ross Rumsey, Student