Sunday, March 20, 2005
An Open Letter To Larry Ahrens
SAN MATEO & GIBSON SE--Years ago, when this piece of sculpture, known locally as the "Chevy-on-a-Stick" was first unveiled, Larry Ahrens, an Albuquerque radio icon belittled it and insulted the artist mercilessly day after day. He was on 770-KOB. Day after day without letup I listened to the ignorant, hateful, and self-serving comments by this morning announcer, trying to boost his own standing in the community by demeaning the honest efforts of another. Eventually I couldn't take it any more and quit listening both to him and to KOB.
There was a time when KOB was The Voice of Albuquerque. Indeed, it was the Voice of New Mexico. If you needed to know the story you turned to KOB. Even if we were under nuclear attack, KOB was the place to go. KOB loved to be here. KOB echoed the hopes of our people. It spoke for the people...many felt it WAS the people. Mike Roberts is a case in point. He is one of us: respected and loved.
At some point the station brought on Rush Limbaugh. And Larry Ahrens became mean-spirited to get laughs. It became a niche station...a big niche to be sure, but no longer was the soul of New Mexico.
Now Larry has a new station. But he seems to be operating in the same mode. At least there is an email post in the Sunday Journal talking about his berating the Lobo men's basketball team. Come on Larry. Start over. Become that great figure that we would all love to see.
But the specter of the sculpture incident won't seem to stay in the past. I took the picture of the "Chevy-on-a-stick" Friday night, thinking I might bring it up somehow in the Jim Scarantino show, since Mr. Ahrens is connected with the same station. But I didn't. I don't go looking for a fight. But it seems to have come to me in terms of this morning's news. Larry Ahrens has a talent for getting laughs by criticizing what others do. How wonderful it would be if we were all together, even consoling each other through laughter, instead of laughing AT someone. And for a talent like you, Larry, it wouldn't be that difficult.