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Another radio legend is tossed out by down-sizing.
This time it happens to be my friend and talk radio mentor and it just makes me sick.
Lee Rodgers, whom I call Desert Rat, or D Rat for short, conducted his last radio show for KSFO radio this morning, although he didn't know it at the time.
Jack Swanson, Vice-President of Operations for KGO and KSFO radio (and my husband) had this to say about the radio legend.
"Some of us have enjoyed long careers here. Lee Rodgers has enjoyed two. First with KGO during the 1980’s and 90’s. And then with KSFO during the 90’s, 00’s and 10’s.When we talk about absolute “pros” in the radio business, Lee defines the term. You will never meet a person in our industry who works harder every day at his craft than Lee.
As many of you know, Lee and his wife Susan moved to Arizona several years ago. Then Lee asked if we could accommodate his need for a reduced 4 day a week program, which we were able to grant with the help of Brian Sussman, who in addition to his own nightly program, also became KSFO’s morning host on Monday mornings.
But for years to come when people talk about mornings on KSFO in San Francisco, they will talk about the great Lee Rodgers.Thank you Lee !"
Myself, I can't say enough good things about Lee - he taught me everything I need to know about politics ("never fall in love with a politican cuz they'll always break your heart") and plenty of cool things about life (Kyoto in the Springtime must be on your bucket list) and has kept me and the San Francisco Bay Area entertained and informed with his radio presence for over 25 years. He took a Seattle sabbatical in the 90's, but that doesn't count.
He tells the worst jokes, and still, I laugh.
He's that funny.
Lee is wicked smart, self-educated, prickly at times, generous to a fault, and extremely opinionated. As if you didn't already know that.
Did I mention he's funny? Yeah, he's really funny.
Rodgers has been married to the same woman for nearly 30 years, and Susan is a saint. Honestly. She loves her man, and he loves her. They are a great couple and a ton of fun to be around.
I got an email from Da Rat about his future plans, life after radio.
"We're going on a retirement cruise next month...ten days in the suth'n Caribbean (St. Maarten, Barbados, etc.) and another to the Med in September. Just have to readjust the body clock."
Lee, me, Miss Yee and OV (Officer Vic) were a team for 14 years.
We sure had a wild ride, recalling a governor, enacting legislation banning cancer-causing chemicals forced on us by environmental whackos, excoriating the dopes in politics, and adopting a lot of puppies (with your help.) Lee also is VERY proud of the fact that he has pissed off Media Matters and other left-wing liberals. There were never enough hours in the day to bitch-slap those people, politcally speaking, of course.
I like to think we had a pretty good show. I like to think we might still make some chin wag together again. Who knows?
But I wish Brian Sussman and Officer Vic a lot of luck, and much success as KSFO radio continues into the future.
Before I get teary eyed (and I hate to cry!) I want to tip my cloche hat to Mr. Rodgers ...I'll miss him in my neighborhood.