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KDHX Tonight

September 21, 2009 Media Comments Off on KDHX Tonight

Tine into KDHX 88.1FM tonight at 7pm (Central) to hear me on Collateral Damage with hosts DJ Wilson & Fred Hessel.  Not in St. Louis?  No problem, you can stream the program live.

– Steve Patterson.


Urban Homesteading Eliminates the Green Acres City vs Country Issue

Forty-four years ago today the CBS TV series Green Acres was first broadcast.  I loved repeats of this series during the 1970s.  Part of me wanted to live in the urban penthouse while another part wanted to try the farming thing.  The show started with Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor) crying over the prospect of leaving the city to follow her husband’s dream of farming the land:


So why am I talking about a campy 60s sitcom?  Last night I listened to Amanda Doyle interview a father (Jules Dervaes) and daughter (Anais Dervaes) on KDHX taking about their urban homestead in Pasadena California where they use their typical urban lot to grow food for themselves and sell the rest to others.

(click image above to view website)
(click image above to view website)

Lisa Douglas didn’t need to be dragged out of the city for Oliver Douglas to farm, a small plot of land in the city is sufficient.   Their website is http://www.pathtofreedom.com/.

The podcast of the interview should be posted on KDHX shortly and is usually available for a week or so.  The podcasts are also on iTunes.

Speaking of farms, today is “Fresh from the Family Farm, a restaurant event to benefit Farm Aid.  Participating restaurants will donate 20% of their September 15 profits to Farm Aid.”  I visited The Terrace View in Citygarden for lunch and will do another restaurant on the participant for dinner tonight.  Will be either Local Harvest Cafe, Stellina Pasta or Pi.

– Steve Patterson


Steve Patterson on KDHX radio 8/10, 7PM

August 8, 2009 Media 9 Comments

I’ll be a guest on KDHX’s Collateral Damage program Monday 8/10/09 from 7pm to 7:30pm.  Use the comments below to suggest discussion topics.  Tune in at 88.1FM or listen online at kdhx.org.

– Steve Patterson


Cronkite’s Early Missouri & Oklahoma Roots

Yesterday, as you know, Walter Kronkite Cronkite died at his New York home at the age of 92.  Kronkite Cronkite was born on the other side of Missouri in St. Joseph Missouri, 56 miles north of Kansas City.

Street of fine homes in St. Joseph, May 2007
Street of fine homes in St. Joseph, May 2007

Wikipedia indicates his family lived in Kansas City, MO until he was 10, when they moved to Houston, TX.  After attending the University of Texas in Austin Kronkite Cronkite found work at the oldest radio station West of the Mississippi River, WKY in Oklahoma City, my hometown:

“5XT” became the 28th licensed station in the United States on March 16, 1922. The station was assigned the WKY call letters and began broadcasting weekdays from noon to 1:00 P.M. and from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. On Sundays, WKY was on the air from 3 to 4 P.M. and 7:30 to 9:30 P.M.

In November 1922, WKY announced a “silent night” policy, meaning the station would broadcast only four, and later three nights a week. This was so listeners could have a chance to tune in to other stations in neighboring states.

WKY operated from the Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City from 1936 to 1951, and was contracted to broadcast live from the Venetian Room from 11:00 to Midnight every evening.

Kronkite Cronkite announced on WKY the football play by play for my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, during the 1936 season.  Kronkite was only 20 years old.

My junior prom was held at the Skirvin Hotel, above, 1984.

The Skirvin Hotel, where WKY broadcast during Kronkite’s Cronkite’s time at the station, was one of the fanciest hotels of the day.  Remember that Oklahoma had only become a state in 1907.  The Skirvin Hotel was opened by Michigan native Bill Skirvin:

On September 26, 1911, Skirvin opened the ornate hotel for public inspection. Visitors attracted to the 10-story building found an unique exterior with two wings, each facing south, and a rounded bay between the wings running the height of the structure. The façade was red brick laid in a Flemish bond pattern, the lower level was faced with limestone, and two covered entryways were located on both 1st Street and Broadway.

By 1923 the hotel’s success and the continued growth of Oklahoma City convinced Skirvin that expansion was justified. Again, the oilman went to Sol Layton, who developed plans to add another wing and bay to the east, replacing the one-story Skirvin garage, and to raise all three wings to 14 stories. In addition, plans called for remodeling all existing rooms, the first of many refurbishings which would change the hotel each decade thereafter. By 1926, with revisions in plans and the investment of $650,000, the hotel had a new wing of 12 stories and two wings still 10 stories.

Although his original plans had been temporarily halted, Skirvin persevered. In March 1928, as another prosperous era was overtaking Oklahoma City, the rotund entrepreneur announced plans to raise all wings to 14 stories and to initiate an extensive remodeling of the entire hotel. As Skirvin noted, “we are planning our improvement in anticipation of a greater Oklahoma City,” an attitude which would consume every subsequent owner of the grand dowager of hotels.

One year later and three months after the first well in the world-famous Oklahoma City oil field was discovered, Skirvin let the first contracts for the renovation. When workers left in April of 1930, the proud owner opened the hotel for public inspection. The entire building had been raised to 14 levels, capacity had been increased to 525 rooms, a roof garden and cabaret club had been added, and the old café had been enlarged and converted into a modern coffee shop. The improvements carried a price tag of $3 million, almost twice the cost of the original building.  (source)

Skirvin himself had done quite well over the years. His daughter Perle Skirvin Mesta also did well.  In 1916, the year Kronkite Cronkite was born, she married George Mesta at the age of 27.  By age  36, in 1925, she was a widow.  A rich widow, inheriting her late husband’s $78 million estate.  She lived in Rhode Island, Maine during the year that Kronkite worked at WKY radio in her father’s hotel but it is possible they met. After Perle Mesta moved to Washington DC in 1940 she became a leading socialite.  She served as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg for four years in the early 1950s after being appointed to the position by President Harry Truman.  She died in 1975 but it is possible that Kronkite may crossed paths with her after he became the CBS News anchor in 1962.

The places we live and the people we know along the way contribute to our character.  Walter Cronkite was from my late parents generation — he was 12 when my father was born and 14 when my mom was born in March 1931.

My folks watched Kronkite on the news like so many others.  They would have seen his reports on the assassination of  President Kennedy and the moon landing. Kronkite Cronkite, as we’ve been haring, was fascinated with space travel.  Among the 12 or so graduates from my dad’s 1947 high school class of 1947 was astronaut Thomas P. Stafford.  Stafford was commander of Apollo 10 that orbited the moon in May 1969.  Two months later, in July 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon with Commander of that mission, Neil Armstrong, walking on the moon.

Thank you for indulging me in a sentimental journey that was triggered by Kronkite’s Cronkite’s passing.  RIP Walter Kronkite Cronkite.

– Steve Patterson


Poll, How do you receive TV?

June 21, 2009 Media, Sunday Poll 9 Comments

Earlier this month the U.S. completed the decade long transition to digital television. The weekly poll, located in the right sidebar, asks how you receive television.  Over the air, internet or a paid option?  From an urban perspective it doesn’t really matter.  Or does it?

At two prior residences I had satellite service.  In both cases I had the installers located the dish out of sight. But we’ve all seen places with an out of place dish.

When I moved downtown in November 2007 I didn’t move a TV.  A few months ago I purchased a small HDTV.  But rather than spend a ton on cable or satellite I stuck with free channels over the air.  I was fine with not having tons of channels except that my reception wasn’t so good.  Some channels wouldn’t come in.  With a digital signal it is either all or nothing.  On some channels I had nothing.  My old antenna just wasn’t doing the job it had done with digital.

I recently received a digital antenna from antennasdirect.com for review.  The ClearStream antenna (Cleastream 1 Convertible, $79.95) is compact and is discrete.  Once I rescanned the channels they all came in.

PBS in St. Louis has four channels – World (9.3) and Create (9.4) are awesome.  It is said over time each region can expect up to 60 free channels.    With this news I have no regrets about receiving free television rather than pay huge monthly fees.  Now if I can just get Charter Communications to stop mailing me solicitations to get cable.

– Steve Patterson