Ken Hirsch..Rest Easy

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Alzheimers  has claimed another victim..an old friend and fellow broadcaster, Ken Hirsch.
This awful disease started attacking Ken’s brain several years ago stealing away the Ken we all knew..little by little until he no longer knew us.
 
My first exposure to Ken Hirsch was watching him doing sports and weather on the brand new KSOO TV in the sixties.
My first thought was how did this round-faced, bald guy ever get hired for TV. But as soon as you heard his smooth voice and saw how he did the sports and weather with such professionalism and ease, you knew right away why.
 
Little did I know that when I got my first break into television at KSOO in 1973, it would be Ken who helped guide me through my first on-air experiences when I was asked to anchor the High Noon show..which also meant reporting the weather.
He patiently taught me how to read and interpret the information from the weather wire and set up the map with all the frontal systems, symbols and numbers.
But mostly he taught me how to relax and be myself..on the air..confident and friendly.
It was a lesson I would never forget.
 
I was glad when he came to work at Keloland in the 80’s. He’d already found success outside of television with his travel agency and real estate investments..but Ken belonged on TV too and we were lucky to have him.
 
As enthusiastic as Ken was for television and business I believe everything, except wife Lorraine and his daughters, took second place to his love of aviation.
He was a skilled pilot and an expert on all types of flying machines from balloons to experimental jets and a great ambassador of flight.  
Because of his uncanny knowledge of aviation history..and his experience as a pilot and broadcaster, Ken was called to be one of the main announcers at the world’s largest air show in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin every summer.
 
Ken also had a passion for cars. He knew I did too and after showing me his recently purchased beautifully restored baby blue 1956 Ford Thunderbird, he said, “Hey Doogle (his nickname for me)..why don’t you take her for a spin?”.
What a thrill!
 
Ken Hirsch was one of the good guys. I’ll never forget his easy smile, his silky smooth voice and his zest for life. A life cut way too short by a nasty personality-robbing disease that needs to be stopped.
 
 

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