I stopped by the birthplace of my radio career recently while visiting my family in El Paso. The tiny cinder block building at 5300 El Paso Drive is still standing. Although empty, it serves as a reminder of my dues paid at KINT 1590 Radio. We were the little station that could, pulling numbers that, by today’s standards would dominate a market. With no budget, a poor signal, and no night-time presence, we managed to make it big.
Our secret was not knowing what we couldn’t do and loving every minute. Even our interns were fighters.
There was a young high schooler named Dave Kelly who had the tenacity of a winner. While his friends were out playing, Dave was living and breathing every moment of the radio station. Little did we know what we were teaching him by our daily enthusiasm for radio
One day, in the only room big enough to hold 10 people, during an important staff meeting, our owner/General Manager, Larry Daniels, noticed that Dave Kelly was sitting in the back of the room.
“Kelly! What are you, doing here?” he shouted.
“Oh, hi Mr. Daniels. I was just interested in what was going on.” he replied in his Leave It To Beaver voice.
Mr. D took him aside and gently told that he couldn’t come to the station anymore. He was getting in the way.
As he was leaving the building, Dave overheard our receptionist calling a landscaping company to mow our lawn. The next day, a Saturday, Mr. Daniels drove into the parking lot to the sound of a gas mower and guess who was pushing it!
Dave Kelly loved radio so much, he had gone to work for the landscaping company, just so he could be “where the action was” for him.
From that day forward, he became a permanent member of our radio family.
Today, he’s still in radio, having actually become a business partner with Larry Daniels in later years and currently serves as a sales manager for the Univision cluster in El Paso.
Dave Kelly stands for everything radio should mean to a broadcaster. His tenacity and love for our medium has never let him down.
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