Looking Back with Gratitude: There Was Always Hope

Jun 24, 2020

Chapter Eleven

“Two Join Hall of Fame” read the headline from the Garden City Telegram, Monday, May 19, 1986.One inductee was Quentin Hope, Class of 1972, Garden City High School.

The article continued “Hope, from Pierceville, is the executive director of KANZA Society, the non-profit organization to which public radio station KANZ-FM is licensed. He generated community interest, federal and local funding, location,

facilities and staff during the formative stages of establishing the station.

He told those in attendance that when he left Garden City after high school graduation he had no intention of coming back. But when he decided what he wanted to do – establish a public radio station – he could think of no better place to do it then here. Garden City, he said, offers opportunities if you have an idea. The community’s acceptance of the idea of public radio is what has made it succeed.’’ 

In 1972, Samuel Hudson was a writer/producer/director at KERA TV 13, the PBS affiliate in Dallas. He shared this story with HPPR:  “I hired an eighteen-year-old kid from Garden City, Kansas named Quentin Hope as my assistant. On a trip to Houston to do research for a film, Quentin and I spent two hours at the downtown campsite (studios and offices) of KPFT FM 90.1, the non-commercial Pacifica Radio station in Houston. KPFT was doing great work. The people doing it were talented, causing a righteous kind of trouble and were generally having fun. Quentin knew what he was looking at and began thinking about starting a community radio station in Southwestern Kansas. He did.

I’ll add an anecdote about Quentin’s days in Dallas:  One day in 1973, walking down a shabby hallway at   KERA, just before I turned a corner, I heard a fellow producer yell, ‘Sh*t, yes, Sam Hudson gets a lot of good work done! If I had a goddamned genius for an assistant, I’d get a lot of good work done!’

By that time, after only five months on staff at KERA, Quentin’s title on credit rolls was changed from Production Assistant to Associate Producer. That just never, ever happens.” 

In an article about the station, The Southwest Daily Times – Liberal, Sunday, December 28, 1980 wrote “Hope was always there. Quentin Hope, that is, one of the organizers, a driving and knowledgeable force behind the entire operation, and finally the KANZ-FM station director who flipped the microphone switch and spoke the first sign-on of KANZ-FM.”

Thank you, Quentin, and thank you, everyone who served on staff, were volunteers, members, underwriters (including Regan Jewelers, who has supported the station since the beginning), and supporters since 1980. This is your Celebration! You “saddled up” against all odds and made the impossible happen, and you connected the people of the High Plains and kept them “in touch with the world…at home on the High Plains.” Well done!

Continue the story with a gift to High Plains Public Radio by visiting our website.

 

Acknowledgements:

With gratitude….
For generously sharing their personal achieves: Kathleen Holt, Doug Woods, and Loralee Gooley.

For creative assistance: Rock Langston, India Kennedy McGill, and Jenny Inzerillo

For providing the real beginning of the dream story: Samuel Hudson

For audio reflections: HPPR Listeners, especially Chris Currin, former KANZ producer

For proclaiming June 27, 2020 as “High Plains Public Radio Day”: Cities and Towns in the High Plains and their mayors

For their service to HPPR: Isabelle Link, Amarillo College Intern; Cameron Plumley and Jennifer Ugalde, Amarillo Independent School District Interns

 

 

Resources:
Minutes & Agendas, Board of Directors, The Kanza Society, Inc., 1978-1987
HPPR Archives: Building the Studio, Pierce Studio Era, 1980-1991, Books Two and Three
“Building Community by Pioneering Public Radio”: Kathleen Holt
“KANZ History”: Van Lynn Floyd
30th Pioneer Reunion Roll: Don Harness
Dreams in a Kansas Town: Holly Hope
Historical Perspective 1980-1981: Nancy Selbe
News articles: The Prairie Drummer, Garden City Telegraph, Scott News-Chronicle, Syracuse Journal, Lamar Daily News, Hutchison News, Kansas County Living, The Southwest Daily Times – Liberal, Citizen-Patriot, The Salina Journal, and the Wall Street Journal from Library of Congress Archives