Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Farewell to a legend: Gloria Penner
There are times that even I don't have the heart to use my "dig a hole" catchphrase. While we never went bowling or to a movie together, I knew Gloria Penner and was fortunate enough to have worked with her on several shows at KPBS. The news of her passing at age 81 from pancreatic cancer saddens me deeply.
Gloria was a tough, committed, and extraordinarily dashing woman who was also astonishingly fast on her feet and never afraid to mix it up with me both on and off the air. Gloria was too busy living her life to spend two hours in the dark eavesdropping on the lives of others, so we seldom talked about movies. Her knowledge of Jewish customs and traditions -- a favorite topic of discussion -- never ceased to amaze me. She was a great listener -- the hallmark of any talk show host worth their salt -- and the times I was able to work with her proved to be as pleasurable as they were enlightening.
Gloria had been with the station since 1969, a remarkable run by all accounts. I join her legion of listeners in expressing my condolences to Bill Snyder, her husband of 26 years, and her sons Steve Penner and Brad Penner. We're going to miss you.