“At one time, I sat in your chair at the KSST control board”, Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom quipped with Enola Gay during the December 22, 2021 Good Morning Show. “When I was in high school, I was a member of Radio Workshop. That was KSST’s educational program for high schoolers during weekday evenings, where we could sign up for a couple of hours shift and ‘dee jay” the rock n roll hits of the day. It was a long-running program, and I was there in 1969/1970. There were a few of us each evening, and we had lots of fun. Probably didn’t follow all the rules, although Bill Bradford had Steve Whitworth, a kind of ‘supervisor’, not much older than we were, to keep things under control in the control room. Between studio duties, we teens had a great time hanging out. One evening, I had brought my guitar with me, and we jammed a little bit. I came up with some alternate lyrics to the song “Lemon Tree” (Trini Lopez) which was on the playlist. If I remember right, it went like this:
‘When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me, If you’re ever around Sulphur Springs, listen to KSST’ “.
Too bad he didn’t bring his guitar with him, but he sang it well for the Wednesday morning listeners during the December 22 Good Morning Show live interview. Reaching further back in years, Judge Newsom recalled when he worked in the dairy business. “Back then, Peavine Pinion had the early shift, and served as the morning greeter to all the listeners. We would all start our day with him., and I started mine in the dairy barn with the radio on KSST. Peavine was on the air for many consecutive years, I know Jim Thompson was Morning Show host for a time, and then you came along, Enola. I have listened to you all these years, from my time in law enforcement and then running for and serving in office. I recognize also how innovative KSST has been all along, from the Radio Workshop days and all through the turn of the century when we began to use computers and the Internet was developed. Now we have the KSST website which Chad Young began, bringing us all the news online but retaining the usefulness of local radio. Enola, you’ve been on the air since the late 1980’s, and will be missed by a lot of people!”
Judge Newsom further reminisced back to the Campfire Cowboys, a country-western group of singers and musicians who entertained at local events in the 1990’s. “Our musicians and singers included several elected officials; JP Ronnie Glossup sang and did comedy, City Councilman Bill Watts played banjo, and from the Sheriff’s Department Jim Tomlinson. Guitarist Al Davis sometimes joined us, and Constable Tex Maynard played the rub board and sang cowboy songs. There were other members at different times. And KSST’s Enola Gay sang with us, too!” he reminded me. During the brief interview, we meandered down memory lane to “The Law South of the Sulphur”, a play written by Maynard and enacted almost totally by elected officials. Newsom recalled that Judge Minter and Judge Millsap often filled roles when performing at the Stew Contest, in Heritage Park and at the Reilly Springs Jamboree. “KSST and Enola Gay have been a big part of the daily lives of the people of Hopkins and surrounding counties. And it won’t be long until KSST observes it’s 75th anniversary, March 1, 2022. A lot of things have changed since the early days, but I am so glad we still have KSST continuing in the role of local radio along with Channel 18 TV and KSSTradio.com for listeners and viewers to turn to, and to remind us of our history”.
A retirement reception for Enola Gay Mathews will be held at the studios on Wednesday December 22 from 12 noon til 2pm, and listeners and friends are invited. I hope to visit with you there! My last day on the air will be Friday Christmas Eve, and I hopes to read all the Christmas cards and play the memorable Christmas songs that listeners like each morning up til that point. I love to write, and as the mom of five and grandmother of 12 plus four great-grands, when I’m not writing I plan to spend as much time with them as possible. I came on board when I was 36, and I’d really love to stay in my role as KSST Good Morning Show host, but at age 68, I see more now how precious time is. I’m wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and the brightest and happiest New Year!