From Dave Meyer
25 April 2015
The last time I wrote to you was 1970. I was a 6th grader in Belfair. My two page letter had some corny jokes for Levity Limelight and you read some of it on the air. The next day, a cute girl at school who normally wouldn’t give me the time of day, gushed that she heard you read my letter on KJR. Then she remembered I was a nerd and turned away, but for a few seconds I was almost cool. I’d already been thinking I wanted to go into radio someday, but that moment helped seal the deal.
Now I’m about to semi-retire from KPLU, where I’ve hosted the local part of NPR’s All Things Considered for the past 10 years, and hosted Morning Edition for the 17 years before that. I’m stepping down May first and going part time, hosting Weekend Edition on Sunday mornings.
I’ve had a fun career in both commercial and public radio, and you’re one of many people I have to thank for that. I don’t remember what I wrote in that silly fan letter besides calling myself “the mad geoduck of Hood Canal”, but I do remember you saying you were touched by it. That moment of kindness on the air had a big impact on my life, and I wanted you to know it.
Thank you, Norm.
From Casey Edwards
Tuesday, December 31, 2002.
Yeah… I was there ’69-’71.
The great days when teen radio was local, up-close, and in your face. Not corporate. Gary, Norm, and Pat provided a very real forum for those of us who had an eye and an ear for the media and didn’t necessarily fit into the customary jocks ‘n school band thing. Yeah, we got our five minutes of adolescent fame, but it was bigger than that. These guys always made all of us feel like real and damn valuable people. Hats Off !
A few of us (Peggy Mitsukami, Frank & Dave Woodbury, Greg Lee/The Purple Mask, Peas ‘n Carrots, Joanie Mc Collum, et al) were maybe a little out of the box and a little whacked. Norm and Gary gave us the space to participate and flex our fledgling creative muscles– all at the expense of normal good taste and prevailing big-dog authority figures. Every operation needs a Devil’s Advocate, a hardass, and a loudmouth. I was given many a chance to tee off and unload on the mayors or Seattle and Tacoma, the King and Pierce County Sheriffs, the CEOs of St. Regis and ASARCO, the Army, and all the other Levity Limelighters at will. Thanks, Dudes.
I guess my greatest thrill (and deep-down, HONOR) was to have Gary or Norm censor something out of my mailed-in diatribes and later STEAL it and USE it as an ad lib in their own shows. Man. . . we really looked up to these guys. I consider Gary and Norm the most important teachers of my adolescent years. Yes, they did creatively egg us on to become bigger and better in the “language arts” and to be respectful of the truth, more or less. Our school English teachers couldnít touch that. Maybe all this contributed my later success as an Olympia bill drafter and political hack writer (fiery floor speeches for the KING5 cameras/ Film at 11:00Ö! ) and my contemporary success in business 30 years later.
Norm & Gary: You guys are AWESOME, and I’ll always have a special place for you in my jaded and obnoxious little heart.
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Friday, December 06, 2002.
Hey Norm is the audio here the one i gave you all those yrs ago at that Other radio staion ??( I was that shy teen girl who did odd jobs for you, mavis, & laurie in 77/78) I remember this one as one i have on cassette.
Levity Limelight used to get me into trouble all the time as 9pm was my bedtime and i would sneak my transistor radio on in bed just to hear it. Those were the days!
Best wishes Miriam
From Joe Coburn
Monday, May 28, 2001
“Jive and Groove Norm, Jive and Groove Gary! The NightTime is ours!”
“Hey Norm, Hey Gary, why do we need Hippies? We need Hippies to keep our pants up!”
From Kacie Sommers
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Yea…I was one of those loony toons that thought Emperor Smith, Gary Shannon and Norm Gregory were little people inside my AM Clock Radio. Needless to say, when I finally did meet Norm I told him he was a lot taller than I expected.
My All Time Fav Rave Program: Levity Lime Light. Gary and Norm would yuk it up at night with jokes and stuff from listeners. Hey Norm…got any of that audio handy?