After I went to San Francisco, Carolyn assumed a job I had done at KFWB. She handled the station's public service announcements in addition to the very important jobs of scheduling commercial announcements and checking to see that they adhered to Group W's rigid copy standards.
We talked by long-distance phone when need be. Some of the calls were business ... some were personal. Until then our relationship had always been strictly business. Now it was becoming something more profound. We were falling in love.
After returning to Los Angeles, we began to see each other socially. I also knew I could no longer stand my marriage to Geneva. We began divorce proceedings and the marriage ended in March 1974. It wasn't a pleasant parting of the ways but after fourteen generally loveless years with your Grandmother, I wasn't ready to take anymore.
The one regret in all this is that Mike and Chris were suddenly without a father. It was a big regret at the time and still is. I tried, at least, to make sure that Geneva and the boys could maintain their comfortable lifestyle. Geneva got the house in Walnut Creek, a station wagon, household goods and a generous monthly support payment. And the support payments were always on time. Although I was making fairly good money, after alimony and child support, I wasn't keeping much of it.
Carolyn and I were married in April 1974, after the divorce was final. We set up housekeeping in a nice one-bedroom furnished apartment near the station. We started with the most meager of worldly goods. But we shared a love and a friendship that was second to none.
More than 31 years later, the "worldly goods" have increased. Even better, that shared love and friendship has increased as well.
Looking back over more than 3 decades of married life, it's difficult to know what might be of interest to you young people. Possibly many things, but we need to be a little selective or this booklet will weigh a ton.
Carolyn suggests our trip to Europe with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra as one topic. In the mid-seventies, I was doing some classical music reviews on KFWB in addition to other newscasting. Thursday nights, during the summer, Carolyn and I attended concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in LA. I did a review of the concert and phoned it to the station. That experience led to a wonderful belated "honeymoon" trip of sorts. Under conductor Zubin Mehta, the L.A. Philharmonic was planning a major European tour. The orchestra's publicity man approached KFWB to see if I would travel with them and report on the tour. The orchestra would pay the expenses. I said "yes" with one condition ... Carolyn had to go, too. The Station agreed to pick up her trip and we had a deal.
So, five months after our wedding, we were on the way to London's Royal Albert Hall ... the scene of the first concert. Using the Group W network line from London, we fed reports on the trip from London, and other music festivals in Switzerland and Italy as the Philharmonic moved from one concert hall to the next.
For several years, we were active in an annual radio industry drive to raise money for leukemia research. Many stations staged "radiothons" with local celebrities. Our group in L.A. helped with special features using Hollywood celebrities.
It had always been assumed that our own station, KFWB, could not participate because we were all-news. "Who ever heard of an allnews station doing a fund-raiser", asked someone at a meeting we attended. No one! But Carolyn and I didn't think much of that argument. We looked at each other, got up, and walked out of the meeting. After the door closed someone said, "There go the Brailers ... and they're pissed." We went home and drew up an idea for a "radiothon" tailored to an all-news format, presented it to the management, and did it. The first year, we raised almost $10,000 --- even more in later years. Not only did our fundraiser make some money but also presented a lot of interesting news about leukemia and cancer research.
Carolyn and I are politically conservative and for many years were active in the Libertarian party. In 1978, a Libertarian lawyer named Ed Clark ran for Governor of California. To get him on the ballot required a big petition drive. The Party needed enough names to qualify the Libertarian party for the election. Carolyn jumped in and headed that signature drive for Los Angeles County. She opened an office in Burbank, hired people to circulate petitions, and did a bangup job.
But she went one step further. With Clark on the ballot, she used contacts she had from her KFWB days to help get publicity for his campaign. Clark was not elected ... no one ever expected he would be. Something else no one expected ... Clark got over 7% of the vote. That was the best showing by a third party candidate in a statewide race in almost 70 years! My bride had done a bangup publicity job.
From our first furnished apartment, we have moved three times over the years. When Mike finished high school, he decided to leave Walnut Creek and live with us. We needed a house ... not a onebedroom apartment for that ... and we found one in North Hollywood. Later, we bought a manufactured house in a town called Sylmar, and finally we moved into the house we now own in Lancaster. At one time, Carolyn and I had land in Nevada. We were going to put a home on it and retire there.
But one day we looked at each other and decided that would be a dumb thing to do. We're in a lovely community, now. Why leave it? We've been members of the Chamber of Commerce for ages ... we can drive to a concert hall or a minor league baseball park in less than 10 minutes.
As time passed, there was another reason to stay in Southern California. The doctors and hospitals we know and trust are here ... our bodies were telling us we aren't spring chickens anymore!!!