I wrote of my burning desire to claim fame and fortune as a rock and roll disc jockey, in yesterday’s post. The college I attended had a class in radio announcing run by a grumpy professor by the name of Thompson. The station he ran played only to a loudspeaker, a totally deflating proposition for me and a few of my aspiring friends. We wanted the real deal, to be live and on the air.
I spent the summer building a control board and my friend had built a 250 watt AM transmitter, based on a Fender guitar amplifier for the modulator. We even had call letters figured out; KFJC. K because all radio stations west of the Mississippi required the letter “K” (W on the other side) and FJC for the name of the college. All we needed was a place to set up the studio. And it just so happened that attached to the student center was a vacant corner room with windows facing the open quad.
The radio club, as it was now known, had grown to about 10 members all eager to be on the air. If we could make this fly, most of Mr. Thompson’s radio class would bail and work for KFJC. I was elected its head. With hat in hand I approached the school board with our proposal, and it was a simple one. We would supply all the equipment, all the labor, take all the responsibility, and give Fullerton Junior College something to be proud of, run entirely by students. They should have been thrilled. But then reality struck.
One of the deans asked a rather obnoxious question. “Don’t you need some sort of license for a radio station?” The other deans agreed and told me to come back with a license, signed and sealed by the Federal Communications Commission, more commonly known as the FCC. Being a good salesman, I asked the right question. “If I return with a license, can we build the station?” The five caucused and their answer was, “yes”. I had been given marching orders, and march I did, to Santa Ana California and the offices of the FCC.
Tomorrow we learn how to run circles around bureaucrats.