When I was just a young disc jockey, only in my twenties at KVIP, back when the station was commercial and a sister station of KVIP-TV, now KRCR, we were required to do several remote broadcasts on the weekend.
This particular remote was at Rick Russell’s Wharf Restaurant in the Park Marina. The nightclub stood about where the round building is today.
An engineer came down with me and installed a control board with turntables and controls and plugged it into a phone line to send it back to the station.
We got it on the air and proceeded to extol the benefits of coming down to the new Wharf. My boss, Don Chamberlain, had invited several friends and business people to attend.
All was going well and we were attracting a crowd until Maurice Johannessen, former Calif. Senator and now owner of Viking Skate Country, showed up with his jaguar. Not the car but the cat, a full-size Jaguar.
The cat spooked, even though on a leash, and charged directly to my control board, knocking it over and putting us off the air.
Mr. Johannessen was beside himself and apologized several times, but it left me shaken for the rest of the broadcast.
What a pet to have in your house.
The Wharf bought many spots, ads and remotes and Russell overextended his budget and told Chamberlain that he couldn’t pay his bill. So, Don told him he could work it off as a disc jockey at the station.
One Sunday when I finished my shift, in came Rick and his companion, Murill Dussel, to do their air shift. Both were hung over from the night before and attempted to do their show.
What a mess they made of the program and the studio.
That was the last time Don Chamberlain let Rick perform on the radio.
Budd Hodges is a retired disc jockey, newsman, talk show host and lives with his wife, Nancy, in Redding.
Photo courtesy of Doni Greenberg
Note from Doni: The Don Chamberlain to whom Budd Hodges referred was my father. The cropped photo above was from my photo album, of a young Hodges eating dinner at a place I believe was the Wharf restaurant. As you may have observed, Hodges has been a frequent and enthusiastic commenter on anewscafe.com since its start, and he often refers to his insider’s information regarding Redding’s more colorful historical moments. Please join us in welcoming Budd Hodges to anewscafe.com “From the Dish-Washing Station at the Back Sink” where he will periodically share some of his favorite north state recollections.