One of the great things about being a journalist is meeting all kinds of interesting and diverse people. Whether it’s someone with a cause, a sad predicament or a story that touches your heart, everyone has something to share with the rest of us.
One such person is Stan Ketcik of Minooka. Ketcik has been in radio for many years and has been everything from morning show host to overnight producer to program director.
He’s been on the advertising sales end since 1994, but being on air has always been in his blood. Last March, Ketcik started hosting a live show on KPRP radio in Hawaii, and he does it from the comfort of his home in Minooka and over the telephone.
His show is “Spirit of Aloha” and his on-air personality is Stan the Aloha Man. For a solid hour every Monday morning, at 9 a.m. Hawaiian time (1 p.m. Central time), he interviews all kinds of interesting people who exude the Aloha spirit.
While it’s common to use Aloha as a greeting, in Hawaiian language it means affection, peace, compassion and mercy.
How Ketcik got the host job all the way in Hawaii is interesting. He and his wife, Jo Ann Ketcik, love Hawaii and have traveled there twice this year alone.
On a cold, snowy day last winter, Jo Ann suggested he call the radio station and tell them what an Illinois winter is like. They loved the conversation with Stan so much that he soon got a call from station owner Emmie Ortega-Anderson and was offered the Monday morning spot.
Ortega-Anderson, by the way, recently was named one of the world’s top 100 influential Filipino women around the globe by the Filipina Women’s Network.
Interviewing Stan Ketcik about his radio show meant the tables would be turned, and he would interview me for his show – it’s fair play. We did that last Monday and he got to be the one asking questions of me.
We did it over the phone. Ketcik at his Minooka home, me at mine and Anderson-Ortega at KPRP in Hawaii running the technical side. The show is like eavesdropping on an hourlong conversation, Ketcik explained
And that is just what it felt like as I fielded questions about being a journalist, a martial artist and my 75-gallon coral reef tank. While I was nervous about saying something dumb (it was live), it was such a comfortable conversation that the time just flew by.
I now count myself among many other Stan the Aloha Man’s featured guests on his morning show, from actress Heidi Swedberg (who played George’s fiancé, Susan, on “Seinfeld”) to musician Justin James (who plays an awesome ukulele) and other people from all walks of life, from inventors to religious leaders.
I’m thrilled to be considered someone who exudes the Aloha spirit.
In addition to meeting Stan the Aloha Man, I also got to meet Ortega-Anderson, and that’s all in a day’s work.
I feel a kinship with Stan Ketcik because his radio show is much like my column – a venue to talk about good things, good people and those who make a difference in our communities and the world.
• Kris Stadalsky writes about people and issues in areas southwest of Joliet. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.