Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Lovely And Talented Barbara Lewis, Per Jerry Sims

Imagine this lovely redhead sneaking up on you as you were about to sink a free throw for the home team. Up behind you at the line, and giving you a little hug and encouragement. She did not usually do it to encourage, but to distract. She was Barbara Lewis. Here I am, still distracted by her as I find this picture among my "stuff".

I have written before about the Emperor Holiday's KAAY Commando Basketball team. We were as busy as we wanted to be, playing something that resembled basketball in high schools around Arkansas. Barbara was playing the part of Daphne, a charactor in the Emperor Holiday episodes that we ran periodically on KAAY. As if the Emperor, A.J. Lindsay, was not enough, with his crown and purple robe running around barking orders, there was Daphne with her short tennis skirt and purple top and tights, doing her thing. Most of the high school coaches (that usually made up the local teams) would shoot up a "brick" with Barbara hanging on to them.

She was actually a KAAY employee, secretary to Len Carl, G.M., I believe. She too, had that team attitude when it came to promoting the station. We would travel, usually getting back home late at night, with whoever we could assemble as a team, usually the G.M. (Len Carl). driving the company car, the Sales Manager (Pat Walsh), engineers like Eddie Graham (Lt. Cavendish), A.J. and Barbara. We had a minimum pay agreement to cover expenses, OR half the gate. While I was handling the team we never had to settle for the minimum. We could always build a crowd talking on air about the "spanking" we were about to lay on the next opponent. I always tried to assure the other team that they would win. Even if we were the better team and had to throw the victory at the end. "That bunch of people who have crowded your gym did not come here to see a basketball game. They came to have fun, see us, and raise money for whatever charity they choose." We tried to put on a show, play a little ball, and get great publicity for KAAY. I cannot remember a time when we did not do all that. We also did an even split with our half of the gate. The big boss got his split, we got ours, and Barbara got hers.

Looking back, I am still very happy and proud of the unselfish efforts that so many made at that wonderful radio station. If we were not that well paid in dollars, we made up for it fun. And who would ever have thought that more than 40 years later, people who still be interested in talking about it. Possibly Barbara is out there and someone will direct her to the blog.

Jerry (Sonny Martin) Sims (#10.....the one with the skinny legs)
(More pictures of Barbara Lewis, with Emperor Holiday, a.k.a. A. J. Lindsey)

(And a color photo of the KAAY Gang...Barbara Lewis is standing next to Emperor Holiday/A.J. Lindsey in the automobile.)

(Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures of the good-lookin' skinny-legged Jerry Sims in his #10 uniform anywhere....so the above picture will have to suffice...he's number four from the left, top row.  Thank you, Jerry!  Bud)

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