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Yesterday in La Crosse

Ten-four, good buddy…loving radios, 37 years ago

Brad Williams

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By the spring of 1984, the CB radio fad may have been done, but special radios were still popular…especially police scanners, for people to listen to squad-car radios.  Wettstein’s in La Crosse was selling a Bearcat scanner for $99.  If you wanted a good car radio with a cassette player, you could buy a Clarion model for about $200 at Schaak Electronics in Valley View Mall.   

Talk radio was becoming popular in 1984.  Listeners to WIZM could hear Talknet at night, to get financial advice from Bruce Williams or information about personal affairs from Sally Jessy Raphael.  Both hosts later came to La Crosse for public appearances.  And Larry King was on late at night.  He hadn’t started his TV show on CNN yet.  

Robert Quackenbush was retiring from the legislature.  Republican Quackenbush had been a school teacher in Tomah before being elected to the Assembly from Monroe County for seven terms.  He was 60, and decided that was a good time to retire.   

George McGovern was no longer a U.S. Senator.  He was defeated in the 1980 election, but the former presidential candidate was trying something new.  McGovern hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ in April of 1984, yesterday in La Crosse.   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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