MY DAD AND WARM RADIO
My father, Stephen "Jake" Yonki, circa 1940.
Today is Father’s Day and my dad was a regular listener to WARM. One of his biggest thrills was when he actually got to go to the WARM Studios in Avoca. I was a Senior in High School and was interested in going to Career Academy of Broadcasting in Washington. Joey Shaver who at the time was the local recruiter wanted me to stop by the station for “an audition” Joey made it seem like CAB was harder to get into than Harvard and I was nervous even though I did some news on the weekends at WPTS.
When we got to WARM, Bill Kelly who was then doing the news showed us into the lobby and got Joey. Looking over his shoulder, Kelly said to me, “You’ll be fine”. Joey got us into a production room and asked me to read sixty seconds of copy. My father stood there watching me. There was a big old clock and I was instructed to hit the sixty second mark. As I read, out of the corner of my eye I saw my father watching that clock. I hit the clock right at sixty seconds. Joey said I was in, gave my parents the paper work and we went home.
On the ride home all my father talked about was how clean and professional those WARM Studios looked. A railroader all his life my dad wanted to see me achieve in a field I was interested in. Although I never made it to WARM as an announcer, I did have a wonderful association with the Mighty 590 through the years. I did make it into that big main studio with the picture window but that was when WKQV was on the air and in that building. As a WARM purist, that doesn't count.
My dad has been gone since 1980, WARM is certainly not what it used to be, and I have no idea what is now in that building in Avoca. But one of the fondest memories I have is my dad watching the clock in that Production Room as his kid “auditioned” at the Radio Station he had listened to since 1940.