In the late fifties and early sixties KPFA was a community station. Not just
broadcasting for local f listeners but also as volunteer talents, artists,
engineers, office help, virtually every (fascit, meaning aspect) of the
station was assisted by volunteers. In those days the station didn't need
fund raising, it survived on volunteers. For the operations of broadcasting,
recording, control room duties and many other services there were community talents, some already famous writers, performers, scholars. They came to us, and created surprising new programs that greatly interested and pleased the audience. There were returns, one such was learning how to produce a program and get it on the air. Many young people, some seeking a career in radio, learned at KPFA how to do it. Warren Van Orden was a prime example.
Within a year he mastered the use of Ampex machines, running the control room, and for our purposes in Drama & Literature, how to make sound effects, and mix the many elements that make up a radio drama.
All the departments shared these youngsters. For my own productions Warren was an expert. Quiet, efficient, he took direction for many details that more experienced operators hadn't mastered, and learned from many of his seniors how to do it.
His political interests were (roused) by many of the staff and Warren was
pretty much steered into their groups and technical needs. Eventually he
became Station Manager, for a time. Then, just as suddenly he disappeared
from the arts departments and, as Station Manager, helped to disengage
(fire) them from the station. He did not succeed fortunately. But as well
he left no hard feelings. He was efficient and likeable, and no doubt still
is, and no one wishes him ill. I understand he currently has developed a
great interest in soccer.