How I went to Hawaii to launch a Radio Station and all I got was a Hernia

There’s no heavy lifting in radio, so that’s not how I came home with a Hernia. In April of 1992, after vacationing in the Hawaiian islands for two weeks, I returned to The Rocker in San Francisco, rested and ready to kill in the Spring Ratings, only to be let go at 5 AM the day I came back. So after signing a one-year contract to for mornings in San Jose and having it end before December, I returned to Hawaii at the behest of a transplanted Bay Area radio colleague who was GM of News/Talk KGU AM and KGUY FM (then called FLY 108) which simulcast the morning show and ran ABC Radio Network’s Classic Rock Format. My friend had a construction permit for a radio station on the island of Kauai. He had bought a transmitter, a tower, and leased a site about a 100 yards over on the ridge above Poipu where a High Voltage Power Line crossed over. Then he called the Hawaiian Power company to get it hooked up. They said “Oh, no brotha! Dat need step-down transformer. Only was up to the ridge by Helicopter. Cost you 1, maybe 2 million. That was the final obstacle. He wrote a book about the experience. Voodoo Tower by Casey Stangl. Later on, another company teamed with a non-profit community radio station and built it. I got to do a show once there with Jon Scott. Oh, the Hernia? During the Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian for Merry Christmas) 3 week stay in December, I worked with a friend “The Book Lady,” who would go island hopping to buy textbooks from teachers at the U of H campuses. I was “Gunga Book.”  Boxing, loading in and out of the car and finally to the airport at each Island. Back in SF at a radio convention in February, I felt a sharp pain in my groin. All that heavy lifting helps put a big hole in the muscle wall. By the time I was healed and flew back to Hawaii, they changed formats of the FM in Honolulu and Kauai had been decimated by Hurricane Iniki.