By MICK HOLIEN
I’ll bet you thought my background was comprised mostly as being the Voice of the Grizzlies or maybe you heard me for the first time when In My Opinion hit the airways in October or maybe you Read my Unabomber or Alberton chlorine spill Missoulian coverage.
Or maybe even just maybe you are one of those fine folks who bought one of my trio of books about the history of University of Montana football.
Or maybe…well you get the idea.
While I didn’t go to school in the Treasure State and wasn’t lucky enough to find employment here until the early eighties, you’re right in assuming I have touched a few bases since then.
And no this isn’t my swan song. Just reminiscing with some remembrances of Dave Wilson who was on Saturday inducted into the Montana Broadcasters association hall of fame.
The reason being, although several different people played a part, it really was those golden pipes of Dave that got me into the radio and more specifically the play-by-play business.
Now whether Dave just saw I had radio potential or just was pushed into a corner cuz he had no one to do high school games is anybody’s guess but he was behind it all.
But more about the legend, who possessed the greatest – maybe like say Sam Elliot – kind of pipes.
A great entertainer in his own right, he fronted several bands and always seemed to have the capacity to work all night yet still be robust, funny, and professional returning to the air just a few hours later.
When we shared the morning dais in Missoula I knew nothing about him being named the most listened to announcer in Montana in 1976.
But it wasn’t always easy going between us as we hit the air together after CBS news at 6 a.m.
We were in separate rooms and that first hour always brought its challenges as missing a cue or misspeaking just wasn’t acceptable in Dave’s highly professional world.
And when he announced one morning after I covered the Mt Sentinel fire and a Southside shooting and was named news director that we were going to news talk with a trio, instead of just a morning, news blocks, let’s just say I was chagrined .
Chagrined? It was more like terrified