I heard over the radio, earlier this morning, about 03h or so, that Jimmy Hollister has passed away. Details are not yet available, the only thing being publicized about it being that he was in California at the time. Jimmy Hollister was 66 years old. Appropriately, I heard the news break on KEX.
He should be regarded as, if not an important part of Portland broadcast history, an important link and a remarkable player in that insular world. I first encountered Jimmy when I was but a neat thing in Silverton, Oregon, and I had gotten my first transistor radio (I'm no fossil, but yes, I got a radio back when the word transistor was part of the marketing). The first station I found was KEX-the 50,000 watt blowtorch of the Pacific Northwest. Barney Keep was the big name then.
Jimmy had a late evening show, if memory serves (and it may not), a two-person act with a gentleman named Victor Ives. Later, he was to replace Barney Keep (not that anyone ever really could) when he retired in the late '70s. By then I had found the wonderfulness that was FM radio of the time and I listened to AM less and less. By the time I'd returned to my AM habit-in the very late '80s, Jimmy was gone from the airwaves, at least around here.
In the meantime though Jimmy had become a fixture on the air...radio and television. See, for a good long time during that time, he and Victor Ives got together to host Portland's late-late-late-late, double-feature B-monster show, appropriately named Sinister Cinema. Lord, I cannot remember what was played, I just knew it was Godawful and that I loved to be scared by it. Victor played himself-or a dapper, urbane, slumming, Dracula-ish (without the Tronsylwayinan accent) vampire version of himself, and Jimmy played Ravenscroft-Victor's hunchbacked, mute companion, with a droop-eye that would have made Shannen Doherty look normal, if they were compared.
Latterly, at least up until 2003, Jimmy had a weekend gig on KPAM. He's not on the KPAM page any more...presumably, being 65, he probably tossed in the towel and headed off into the sunset.
I was just a little saddened by news of Jimmy's death. Certainly by now I understand there's no such thing as immortality; even I know I must someday pass on. But the real sad thing...aside from the loss of an old broadcasting stalwart...is the feeling that the world I grew up in is truly, at long last, beginning to fade into memory-or forgettery, as the case may be.
Goodbye, Jimmy. I hope you find all good things on the other side of the veil. I don't know about a lot of radio listeners, but I will sure miss you.