It was around November of 1992 that I made my first move away from my hometown of Minneapolis to San Diego, California. I had secured a job at a local independently owned TV station called KTTY. KTTY was the one of the last of a dying breed–the locally owned independent TV station. I didn’t make any money working at KTTY. But it was really fun to work there. It is still one of my favorite jobs and I made lifelong friends there. There was no HR department, the stress level was really low and no one was overworked. Things were so laid back that the owner of the station didn’t say a word even if the company lost money in a particular quarter. He would just sit in his office smoking a couple packs a day, eating El Pollo Loco chicken and watching his other investments which actually paid dividends. KTTY was easily the lowest rated TV station in San Diego, but no other station had more fun that we did.
We even had a silly locally produced Friday morning community events program called “What’s up San Diego?” Even though I was working as the assistant program manager, I was one of the few people in the building who knew how to operate a TV camera. Therefore, I was assigned the position of lead cameraman. It was on the set of “What’s Up San Diego?” where I met one of the hostesses of the show. Her name was Lisa. She was a sort of “roving reporter” for “What’s Up San Diego?” And not only that, she ended up being the woman who would eventually become my wife.
Lisa and I ended up “getting involved” when we made plans for her to set me up with one of her friends. I was suppose to go see The Buzzcocks with Lisa and her friend, but her friend went delinquent that night. So it ended up just being Lisa and me. And the rest is history.
On one of our first dates, Lisa and I went down to the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. I had been spending a lot of time in the Gaslamp back in those days because of place down there called “Patrick’s II” which is one of best Blues Music venues in Southern California. However, on this night, Lisa and I would be going to a place around the corner called “Croce’s” owned by the family of the late Jim Croce. Croce’s was a pretty nice place with a fine dining restaurant on one side and a bar on the other. Croce’s specialized in a genre of music I knew little about at the time but soon come to appreciate–Latin Jazz.
So anyway, Lisa and I wormed our way through the bar and found a couple seats at this nice private table in the back. We listened to some awesome jazz, made some jokes and generally enjoyed our private little romantic spot in the back of the bar. No sooner than we had become secure in our private spot when this trio of older adults came into the bar, walked toward the back and sat right down at the table where Lisa and I were sitting.
“What the hell?” was our mutual reaction. There were other places in the bar for these people to sit (or stand for that matter). What possessed them to intentionally invade the space of what was obviously a romantic rendezvous. We bitched and moaned for a little bit until Lisa came up with an idea. She slid her chair closer to mine and then initiated a colossal make-out session. We had tongues flapping in each other’s mouths. It should have been enough to make anyone feel compelled to leave the table. These people were completely unfazed. It was as if they didn’t see it at all. They just continued chatting loudly drowning out the music that I was personally enjoying.
Just like that our romantic night at Croce’s was abruptly cancelled.
I always think of that night when I see the Jazz Flute scene from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
If you liked the little story above and the video below, you might also like “The Fun Time Music Festival” — An online only radio program here on KFAI.org. Click HERE to view our webpage.