most embarrassing moments as a Vegas wheel man
- The owner
of the station quickly realized what a jerk he had hired when he went down
to the police impound yard to bail out his expensive mobile unit that reeked
of beer and vomit.
made a surprise appearance at the opposition victory party. He was accompanied
by his 11-year-old son, Nevada, with newly elected City Councilman Steve
Miller at the wheel. 'Bob is a tremendous sport,' Miller told reporters.
'He wanted to come over to just wish Ron all the luck in the world, and
I respect him very much for that. Here's Nevada Stupak next to us. And
this is a lot of fun. It's the American way.' "
KENO mobile unit courtesy
of Tim Watters, George Thomas Apfel, & Cheryl Cross
Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, Las Vegas SUN
Bob Stupak and Steve Miller, courtesy of Tom Hawley, KSNV TV News
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 20, 2014
LAS VEGAS (long ago) - I am driven to share
these two stories. Not because I'm proud of my actions, but because they're
both so "Only in Vegas."
beginning and end of my radio career:
The first story involves my job in 1961
as a full time janitor-part time newsman/DJ at the local Top Forty radio
station. As a seventeen year old high school junior, my dream was to be
a disk jockey - not a very lofty goal, but my dream nonetheless. To get
exposure to the industry, I took the janitor job at Las Vegas' number one
radio station, "Color Radio" KENO AM 1460, located at the intersection
of Paradise and Flamingo Roads.
After a month or so of getting to know
the KENO DJs including G.L.
Vitto, and Gus
Giuffre who helped me get a one hour stint each Sunday spinning records
and telling jokes for no pay, I was on a roll! Each Sunday's soirée
playing Dick and Dee Dee, Neil Sedaka, Ray Charles, Bobby Vee, and Elvis
got me so charged up that I burnt off my excess energy spit polishing the
entire station. I was making friends, the kind of friends who refrained
from throwing cigarette buts on the floor in respect to the kid who idealized
them. (Gus later became my realestate business partner.)
Early on a Sunday morning after a flash
flood, I received an emergency call from the station. KENO was located
smack in the middle of the Flamingo Wash, a river bed leading from the
Spring Mountains to Lake Mead. In those days, there were no flood control
facilities in our city of 80,000. The station's rule was to NEVER open
the back door if it was raining, but the late night DJ needed a smoke and
inadvertently opened the west facing door and couldn't close it before
the station was inundated with mud.
When I arrived, I was met with an inch
of mud running through the station from end to end. I dutifully cleaned
the mess up, and was thankful the floors were covered with linoleum. That's
when Max Hurst the station's owner complimented me on my cleaning skills
and ask if we could talk when I finished cleaning the toilets.
Mr. Hurst asked me questions about my life
including my ambitions. I told him I want to be a disk jockey, and that's
why I was cleaning his radio station. He then asked if I would like to
drive his brand new VW bus mobile unit around town on weekends reporting
breaking news, traffic, and doing remote broadcasts from advertisers?
I blurted out YES! My pay? $2.25 per hour.
The first and second week at the wheel
of the mobile unit went well, but then something happened that ruined my
fledgling radio career and caused my parents to pay a lawyer to have my
juvenile criminal record sealed. So as not to be repetitive, here is a
to the story as told in the INSIDE VEGAS column of March 15, 2004, a column
dedicated to my probation officer Mike O'Callaghan, the man who straightened
beginning and end of my political career:
The second story is inspired by a call
from Nevada Stupak, a long time friend. He wanted me to look at a KSNV
TV Video Vault story by Tom Hawley about an embarrassing moment
Nevada and I shared in 1987.
Hawley's story includes a video of Nevada's
late father Bob Stupak arriving at a party to purportedly congratulate
his opponent Ron Lurie for winning the 1987 Las Vegas mayoral election
Lurie's victory party had been orderly until Bob arrived on the scene.
I had the dubious honor of driving Bob and Nevada to the event, something
I should regret - but don't - because the result was so hilarious.
Here is a LINK
to the raucous video, and story as told by Tom Hawley.
During the melee, Channel 3 reporter
Hank Tester stuck a camera in my face and ask me "Why did you bring him
here?" Without thinking I answered, "Its the American Way,"
and the rest is Las Vegas' history.
Following these two events, I'm very leery
of who I offer a ride.
Bob Stupak's Private Photo
Bob Stupak's Wikipedia Page: