VIOLA - It started out innocently enough: a silvery voice and an inordinate collection of music coupled with extraordinary knowledge of rock ’n’ roll.
Dane was hooked. Like a fish on a line after the fight has gone out, he was slowly being pulled in. But, I was still clueless.
On a Friday afternoon, we were heading toward Richland Center for an event. I had sensed Dane was distracted as soon as I got in the car. He barely glanced my way as he reached to turn up the volume on the radio, leaned back again, and took off down the road with his right hand still hovering near the volume knob. It wasn’t until we’d cleared the numerous curves on Highway SS, soaring up and down the hills with Joan Jett screaming in the background, that I noticed his head tilted ever so slightly toward the radio.
Dane’s obsession seemed to come on as fast as ants on a hot summer day when you spill lemonade. Little did I know, it had been building for weeks on Friday afternoons between 3 and 5 p.m. While I was finishing up my workday, he was already turning the dial of his old brown box radio to 91.3 FM, WDRT, our local community radio station in Viroqua.
Chatting away loudly, in order to be heard above a Patti Smith song, I rambled on about my day with no response from Dane. When I’d ask a question to try to get some reply, he started shushing me. Slumping in the passenger seat, I began channeling my childhood book heroine, Nancy Drew, to sort out this mystery.
Soon it became apparent that Dane was not only in awe of the song choices but also mesmerized by the sexy lilt in the disc jockey’s voice. Upon further investigation—as his head nodded up and down, not just to the music but to the DJ’s commentary—I discovered Dane was also impressed with this woman’s knowledge of the artists and her well-spoken mastery of the English language.
“Who is this DJ?” I casually asked.
“I don’t know. I thought maybe you would. Shhh.”
As we got closer to our destination, the reception started to get fuzzy and faded. Dane looked disappointed, almost despondent.
“How can you not know who the DJ is?” I inquired.
With a roll of his eyes and his voice full of impatience with my ignorance, Dane answered, “She calls herself Kitty Slick, the Rock Chick, but I don’t know who she really is.”
I smiled as I hopped out of the car and date night began.
The following Friday, when Dane was late getting to my house, I began thinking of the Slick Chick again.
“Hi! Hey, you’re kinda late,” I greeted him. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, I got involved listening to that gal’s radio show and lost track of time. Who is she?”
“I don’t know. Have you tried searching online or going to WDRT’s website?”
“Yes, but they don’t say who she is. Her show is called ‘Flippin’ the Hits.’ Looks like she’s a Deadhead.”
Saturday morning, I decided to put on my Ms. Drew hat and get busy. I started with a basic Google search. ‘Flippin’ the Hit’ came up but there was no mention of the disc jockey’s name. I tried going to social media. Sure enough, she has a Facebook page, but strangely there’s no photo of her or any hint of her real name—just ‘the Rock Chick.’ I’d struck out. “Who is that flippin' chick?” I asked the dogs sitting near my chair.
To anyone paying attention, Fridays roll around every seventh day. Sometimes, we’re out and about, but more often I’m waiting for Dane to come over, or we’re driving in his car with her show blaring away, or we’re at my house where Dane has his computer streaming the ‘Flippin’ show.
Listening to the Stones sing on Ms. Slick’s show—I can't get no satisfaction… 'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try—I began to devise a plan.
By then, I was just as curious as Dane as to who this person could be. After all, it’s a local small-town radio station, I used to be a volunteer DJ there, and Dane still is and has been for over five years. And, I’d become as smitten with the show as he had.
I waited till the following Friday when Dane picked me up. An AC/DC song was playing when I opened the door to get in. As we drove to Viroqua, our now-typical Friday afternoon conversation commenced: “Who do you think she is?”
“I don’t know, but she sounds familiar.”
“Maybe it’s Christie?”
“No, Christie’s not a rock chick so much as a smooth operator chick.” And on and on we went, while we both enjoyed the music.
When we reached Main Street, I directed Dane to drive by the studio so I could glance in and see who was sitting behind the microphone. Only slightly shocked at my suggestion, he turned around and slowed down as we neared the station’s huge picture window.
“Dang! There's a glare. I can’t see anything. Let’s wait until it gets darker and she has the lights on.” Nancy Drew would have known better: it’s summer and it doesn’t get dark till after Kitty’s show goes off the air.
“Park the car and just go in,” I suggested. “You’re a DJ there. Just walk in to get a CD and look into the studio.”
“Okay, get out of the car and walk down the sidewalk and peek in the window.”
“Then let’s wait until she finishes her show. She’ll have to leave the building.”
“What if she’s wearing a disguise?”
Months and many entertaining radio shows later, we finally learned who Kitty Slick the Rock Chick is. Do you know?A sad farewell to Kitty Slick who aired her last show (#175) on Friday, October 4, 2019. She will be greatly missed.