Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wallace and Ladmo, KRUX, and the Monkees!

The other day, I was watching some show, I can't even recall which one now, but someone made a reference to Wallace and Ladmo!

Wow, instant walk down memory lane.
Not just because Ron and I used to love to watch the Wallace and Ladmo Show, but the mere mention of the show made me think of the 60s, Phoenix, AZ, canals, KRUX-AM 1360 radio station, and the Monkeemobile!

Now, I'm sure you're wondering what all these things have in common. Well, Wallace and Ladmo were just the kick start that took me back to Phoenix, which took me to the canals where we sometimes played, which took me to the very day we were playing in the canals out near the KRUX radio station when the monkeemobile came to town!

A bit of history: For a time in the 60s, we lived in Phoenix, AZ. Our dad had bought a gas station there which he called Grover Noe's Texaco. It was really a family business, with our mom and uncle working there as well and sometimes a cousin or two. That left Ron and I with plenty of time on our hands after school, on weekends, and during the summer when we didn't have to go and hang out at the gas station. Now, don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun hanging out at Grover Noe's Texaco, but we also really enjoyed days we got to stay home and run with the neighborhood kids.

One of the "in" things to do was explore the canals, and many times, swim in them. Now, first, we weren't supposed to, and second, the term swim is being used loosely here. What really happened was the older kids would toss us in the canal and the current would grab us and send us flying along where other older kids waited to fish us out! As I think back on those days, it makes the hair rise up on my arms, but we were kids, what did we know?

On one such adventurous day, we all decided to hike the canals and see if we could discover something interesting to do. We just never knew what might become entertainment.

There were maybe ten of us in all, though the only name I can recall was Candy, a girl in her teens, who played a mean tambourine in the band Ron was with (he was in grade school!). Ron had a BIG crush on her. I had a case of hero worship, I guess, as she was the first "older" girl that let me hang around with her, which was pretty cool! Anyway, we all followed the canal for a while and soon found ourselves out by the KRUX radio station.

And that's when things went a little crazy! We all spotted the Monkeemobile about the same time. Wow! The Monkees! OH MY GOSH!! They were right here, at our local radio station! The Monkees!

I recall just standing there with my mouth hanging open while Candy took off like a flash around the side of the building. Ron and the rest of us soon followed. As we rounded the corner, there was Candy trying to crawl through one of the station's window, bound and determined to get in and see Peter, Mike, Mickey, and Davy!

With Ron's help, she actually got boosted halfway through the window before some man came around the side and ran us off. Or I ran, at least. I'm a coward. I think the rest of them sort of trotted.

All the way home we whooped and hollered. Wow, the Monkees! Weren't we just the luckiest kids in the world! We talked (bragged) about seeing the Monkeemobile for days, and as I recall now, the story grew by leaps and bounds the more it was told. We all became the envy of our peers, at least for a while. Which for us, made us stars!