Being raised in a small town in Southeastern Kansas, I learned that hard work has its rewards. Many of
my favorite childhood memories were of working with my dad. You see, my dad was the kind of hard
working man that would save up 30 days paid vacation from his job, and then take them during the
summer when I was out on school vacation. We worked. From stretching fence, to cutting or splitting
firewood for winter, any yard/garden work or vehicle maintenance, my dad and I did it together. On
many occasions, we would be listening to the radio. Dad’s station was 86AM KKOW (before it changed
to 860AM), and all of us kids knew better than to change the station!
I remember when Dad’s radio would go off in the morning he had it set to the radio instead of a buzzer.
I would hear Dan Willis saying “Good morning” and a polka song would play. I always thought it was
much better to hear polka or some other music upon waking up to than an annoying buzzer! And when I
got about 10 years old, my dad taught me how to drive his 1977 Chevy pickup truck on the gravel roads
outside of McCune, Kansas. One thing I was not allowed to do while driving Dad’s truck was to change
the radio station, so country music was what we listened to.
Although I had older siblings that introduced me to the 80’s heavy metal and later on found classic
rock to be more of my liking, when it came time to ride in Dad’s truck, or working in the garage, or just
waking up and hearing Dad’s alarm clock, it was country. So now that I’m older and have the great
pleasure of working as a voice on 860AM KKOW, when I enter the “Dan Willis Studio”, and listen to the
music being played, it reminds me of a time in my life when things were much simpler. Even though
when I thought it was horrible to be working so hard when I was supposed to be on vacation, I look back
now and realize that those days were some of the most precious memories I have of my childhood.
After all, how many 14 year old boys do you know that are allowed to operate a chainsaw?
And so now that I’m a part of the KKOW family, I take comfort in knowing that my Dad is most likely
hearing his son on the air, and it puts a smile on my face. I have a great group of people that I work
with and I have learned a great deal from all of them. They are the reason that I climbed up in such a
short time in the radio business, not just from the folks on the AM station, but also the crew that works
on our sister station 96.9 “The Kow”, and everybody else in the building. We’re like a big family and
when you have that kind of workplace, it’s a great job all the way around. We want to make your day
as informative and as fun as possible, just like we strive to keep our own day the same way! And it’s so
rewarding to know that when severe weather comes, we keep our listeners well informed so they can
be safe and take precautionary measures.
So I want to personally thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to listen to our stations. We try
our best to give you the very best broadcast every day and will continue to do so in the future! Have a
great day and keep listening to 860AM KKOW!