My father – Eugene Ware a.k.a. Mitchell Harding
My grandfather on my dad’s side was Guy Ware and my grandmother Eloise Engleman. My dad was born on July 14th, 1928 in Kankakee, Illinois. He lived in Illinois until his father died when he was 14 and his mother, brother Don, and he moved to Pasadena, California.
Larry, as he was known back then, went to school in Pasadena, read every book in the library trying to escape the ‘brown darkness’ of Protestant middle-America, as he put it, and went on to study graphic design. He went to Art Center School and worked in graphic design on and off until 1980.
My father was 17 when WWII ended, just missing being drafted into military service. But he was later drafted to serve in the Korean War and served as a military police officer. Just before he was going to be shipped off to Korea he had to have his wisdom teeth extracted, and the war ended while he was recovering.
In 1959 he volunteered at the new Pacifica Radio station KPFK, lending his deep, friendly voice to station promos. Before long he was hired on to produce shows and became a fixture at the station, having a significant impact on the character of a staple of 60’s counter culture in Los Angeles. He took the pseudonym Mitchell Harding which he used for his entire 34 year career in radio. At KPFK he met my mother Katherine Calkin.
While at KPFK he produced a wide array of shows, from politically heavy to strange and humorous, and interviewed many figures of cultural significance, such as Albert Hoffman, Richard Neutra, and Ray Bradbury. Perhaps the most widely remembered show was “Hour 25,” about science fiction and fantasy, which he hosted with Mike Hodel.
After leaving KPFK he moved to Santa Monica and went to work for KCRW. He worked there until he retired in 1994 as head of traffic and operations, helping the station grow from a small college radio station to the flagship station of Nation Public Radio.
My father passed away on November 9th, 2007.
My mother – Katherine Calkin
My grandfather on my mom’s side was Allan Calkin and my grandmother Marguerite Bergman. My grandmother, the only grandparent I knew, was the youngest child of seven and the only one of her siblings born in the United States. The family, of Jewish heritage, moved to the U.S. from Poland just after the turn of the century.
My mother was born on January 29th, 1945 in Hollywood, California. She grew up in Hollywood, attending Hollywood High and went on to attend UCLA, getting her degree in music and then working for the university.
In 1972 she started working part time at KPFK in the music library and soon was hired full time doing programming, announcing, and board operation. She was very likely the first female classical music announcer in the country. In 1976 she went to work for KUSC, the classical music station in Los Angeles, where she worked full time and hosted an early music program.
Leaving the field of radio she began a new career in technical writing and editing, working for a CAD company and Hughes Aircraft on computer manuals. From there she moved to working for the Boeing satellite devision as a systems analyst. She is currently retired.