McAvoy Layne
Special to the Bonanza

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February 26, 2013
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Pine Nuts: When Incline Village had 2,500 watts

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Thirty years ago, Incline Village got its own little radio station, KLKT, thanks to Dave Metts, Jim King, and 20 dedicated employees who wanted to make our village rock.

KLKT became the little station that could. We told the kids when to stay home on snow days. Parents were instructed by principals not to call the school, but to listen to KLKT at 6:30 a.m. for snow day instructions. We got to tell skiers where the best snow was to be found, and for that we were invited to ski at those resorts free. Payola? No. We were Radio Free Europe for the Tahoe Basin.

When Ski Incline expanded to 8,500 feet with a new quad to become Diamond Peak, Lee Weber Koch invited me to be the first civilian to ride up with her and mountain manager Jim Bradshaw. School was out that day and I didn't get off the air until ten. But they held the line and the kids were peeing in their pants while hating me for holding them up.

Well, to be the first civilian to glide down from atop Diamond Peak would have been nothing to George Galante, God rest his beautiful soul, but it was a memorable honor for me, and it was all thanks to KLKT, and Diamond Peak of course.

We had many memorable KLKT fundraisers for charities. One I remember in particular was a golf tournament in the middle of January. We procured some empty ice cream drums and placed them on the greens. We used tennis balls, and you had to hit the drum before moving to the next hole on cross country skis.

What made it particularly interesting was one of Incline's finest, who shall go unnamed, arrived at tee time with a breathalyzer. You had to be legally drunk to tee off. That's right, if you weren't .08 you had to go sit down, enjoy some conversation, and try again. Only your own capable imagination can pay justice to the scene that followed. The good news is, we raised a respectable amount of cash for charity and nobody got hurt.

One Christmas morning, while playing Karen Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling," the phone rang and I picked it up to hear, "We can see you!" I glanced out the control booth window to see hands waving from a condo across the street.

"Come have an eggnog with us when you get off the air."

"Why wait ... I'll be right over."

I put an LP of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the turntable, flicked out the lights, locked the door and joined my new best friends for eggnog and holiday cheer. We skied together for two days. It was the best Christmas I ever had.

Frank Fisher filed an excellent article on our 30 year reunion in last week's Bonanza if you'd like to find out more online.

It sure was great communing with all those talented and able folks, and it sure was gracious of Dave Metts to host us at the Hyatt. Thank you Dave, and thank you KLKT.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 26, 2013 01:52PM Published Feb 26, 2013 01:51PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.