South Dakota broadcaster Chuck Anderson died on New Year’s Day. He was 83 years old. Chuck was multifaceted as a radio broadcaster, and during his career he talked with everyone. Farmers and athletes. Actors and politicians. Business leaders and war veterans. He was a generous interviewer, and he was a master at finding the story — to be specific, he was a master at getting someone to tell him a story. He always seemed to know how to ask the right question.
Chuck Anderson was also a frequent guest on "In the Moment" as part of his "Personalities with Chuck Anderson" series. He brought some of those historic interviews to South Dakota Public Broadcasting. SDPB’s Brian Gevik and other SDPB staff crafted the conversations into digital stories featuring photos and audio excerpts, and Chuck joined me on "In the Moment" to talk about his interviews and his memories.
Here are a few things to listen for when you listen to Chuck on "In the Moment." First, he was a United States Marine. He knew I had served in the Marine Corps, and he always wanted to talk about it. We shared a common language. He was a student of history and passionate about recording his slice of that history. He knew how important the recording of these conversations were. As far as I can tell, he never took his work for granted. And here’s my favorite part — listen for the resonance of his voice when he was a young broadcaster and the humor and delight in his voice as he listened back to those stories from years ago.
I never met Chuck Anderson in person, even though I learned much about broadcasting from him. Now I wish I had driven to Huron to record a conversation with him where we could just talk about his time in the Marine Corps. I bet he would have liked that. I didn't get that chance. But I did get to share the airwaves with one of South Dakota's great conversationalists. Today I am confident that, as the Marines' Hymn says, Chuck Anderson has now discovered that the streets of heaven are indeed guarded by United States Marines.
Semper Fi, Chuck. And thank you for the stories.
(Chuck's obituary is posted online here.)