Farewell To Kccc
By Kyle MarksteinerI stood silently in the empty recording studio, overwhelmed by the cacophony of my memories. It was my lastin-personshift as the Monday “Community Forum” host on KCCC Radio. I’d shown up most Mondays for three years to talk about projects going on with the City of Carlsbad and filled in as a guest host on other days. Marion Jenkins first started the station in 1963, and the small AM station planned to quietly close its doors on Dec. 31, 2020. Thank you to Nick Jenkins and everyone at the station for the opportunity. KCCC had a small conference room where Bob Scholl helped host community forum for 30 years every Tuesday and Thursday with a variety of hosts. Just four chairs around a table, with microphones pointing in each angle. This is a place of sound, however, and the memories hared should be of that nature. Close your eyes, therefore, and listen to Bob’s voice, reciting his list of regular listener sat the onset of each show. There were forty some names on the list, including three or four cats. Bob determinedly continued to host Community Forum until just a few months before he died, which was just a few weeks prior the station’s closure. He was 93. One of Bob’s frequent co-hosts was Mario Salinas, a local advocate for veteran’s rights who also passed away earlier this year. Mario was one of the most honest men I’ve ever met and never backed away from a potential conflict. Community forum sometimes got pretty heated -listen closely and you can still Bob and Mario bickering over the airwaves. A glass window separates the conference room from the station’s control room, which my good friend Phil Tozier operated for many years. One of Phil’s jobs was to run the program “Let’s Trade Even,” in which listeners called the station to offer up items they wished to acquire or get rid of. It was eBay way before eBay was a thing. The show had a set of rules, which callers didn’t always follow, and Phil ran a pretty tight ship. Listen closely enough and you can hear Phil re-explaining the show’s procedure, with varying degrees of patience. Phil also helped run the command post when the station broadcast Friday night football games. Not himself much of a sports fan, Phil would bury himself in poetry and philosophy books while waiting to trigger a station break. He also
usually brought several stuffed animals to the studio to keep himself company. I always wondered if there was ever an occasion in which Phil was so deeply immersed in the works of Kant or Kierkegaard that he just flat out to switch back to the game. On the other end of the line was Bill St. John, who ruled local high school football broadcasts for many years. Bill was every inch the local sports enthusiast. He would quiz me about my favorite Cavemen and Cavegirl games as he and I waited together to interview coach Ron Arrington while preparing our respective pre-game shows. For the record, my favorite Carlsbad High School football game, or any football game, was a game in which Carlsbad trailed Mayfield, 28-0, at halftime. The Cavemen scored four touchdowns in the second half but lost by a single point after going for two to try to win the game. Yes, it was a loss, but it was still the best football game I’ve ever watched. Bill also recorded a weekly halftime show focusing on local issues and personalities. We lost Phil and Bill both in 2017, but the sounds of their half time interviews and station breaks still resonate in my memory. As with Bob Scholl and Mario Salinas, I will always treasure the fact that our paths crossed, at least for a little while. It was an honor to get to work with these unique and remarkable men. In closing, to borrow from Odysseus’s final line to the movie “Troy” -If they ever tell my story, let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Phil Tozier, reader of philosophy. Let them say I lived in the time of Bob Scholl.