RE-REMEMBERING MIKE HODEL 2013
RE-REMEMBERING MIKE HODEL
July 12, 2013
Today would have been my older brother Michael Paul Hodel’s
74th birthday. Mike was the
host of his own local radio show, HOUR 25 (KPFK) and was diagnosed
with cancer (melanoma) which quickly metastasized to his brain and took his
life in May, 1986 at the relatively young age of 47. (Mike’s death was the primary factor in my
decision to retire from LAPD with just under 24-years’ service. I retired two
months later, in July of that same year.)
friend, Harlan Ellison.
Harlan took over hosting Mike’s radio show immediately following his death and
continued hosting the show for about one-year
L.A. Weekly May 16, 1986
Mike wore many different hats during his life. One little
known and long forgotten was his 1969 job as managing editor of L.A.’s underground
newspaper, OPEN CITY.
Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1969
A young Mike Hodel with our mother, Dorothy Hodel,
celebrating his First Prize win in an Essay Contest for L.A. County Schools.
Mike, age 25, visiting our father in Manila in 1964.
REST IN PEACE MIKE.
YOU WERE ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS AND ARE DEARLY MISSED AND NOT FORGOTTEN
Steve, It is always hard when someone dies and when that person is a family member it is always worse. I am very sorry for your loss even though it occurred in the past.
I’ve read all of your books and I had no idea that Mike was your brother! I remember his show very well. I was a regular listener. I remember so clearly when he passed.
Melody: Yes, brother Mike is missed majorly by me and many of his dedicated fans from KPFK Hour 25 days. The three day tribute to him after his death was very inspiring. Lot of love out there for the man. Best, Steve
Steve: I first met Mike in 1966 when he was working at WBAI New York. I was a 16-year old high school student who had just signed on to do the radio news at the station, and Mike was the news director there. I learned so much from him about journalism, truth-seeking, professionalism that I do not know where to begin. He helped kindle within me a lifelong affinity for radio. Years later, I re-connected with Mike at KPFK. I did news there, helped with Hour 25 sometimes, and many other tasks. Again, it was Mike who guided me while I was there. I was also buddies with Lucia Chappelle and a working acquaintance with Terri H. Later on, as a professor of Communication, I was saddened to learn of his premature death. I had known about his illness, but his death was still a staggering even for me.
I am writing to you today because I just came across this obit on the Internet. Please know that Mike’s great and good influence has stretched far and wide across the years and across the miles.
John L. Hochheimer, PhD, Professor
College of Mass Communication and Media Arts
Southern Illinois University
1100 Lincoln Drive, MC 6609
Carbondale, IL 62901
Thanks so much for the email background on you and Mike both at WBAI and KPFK. Your last name sounds familiar to me, maybe connecting it with your on-air time at KPFK or on his show?
Because I was the “Black Sheep” of the family (an LAPD cop, horrors!) and sort of went my separate ways, I didn’t catch as many of Mike’s shows and commentaries as I would have liked to. But, fortunately, many are preserved on recordings, so have been “catching up.”
I was truly blown away at Mike’s 3-Day Eulogy shortly after his unexpected and untimely death from cancer. Had no idea just how much he was loved and respected by both his peers and his listeners. He did impact so many individuals in a positive way both singularly and en-masse, on air. He was a rare man, a man totally without gile, and only cared about truth and justice and the importance of getting it right, as a professional journalist. Thanks for sharing your memories of Mike and congratulations on what is obviously your own successful career in Communications. I’m sure Mike would be very proud of what you have accomplished.
Best Regards, Steve
Hour 25 was a special show. I do miss it. RIP Mike Hodel
Gary S. Thanks Gary. Yes, I miss brother Mike bigtime. He would have loved living in today’s world. Steve
Mike was and remains a major influence in my life. My mother worked at KPFK in the 60’s. Mike and Terry were at the hospital when I was born and Terry used to tell me stories about that day. They were at every holiday party in my early life.
When I was 11 years old, Mike gave me a $25.00 gift certificate to the magic shop Hollywood Magic on Hollywood Blvd. Forty years later I’m still that boy. When I was 16 he invited me to a poker game attended by the giants of science fiction. To this day I enjoy a good poker game with the right people.
I believe I reached out to Steve a few years ago. I thought I’d share my love for Mike and Terry.
Hi Bruce S: Thanks for sharing your Mike and Terry remembrances. Both send their love back from on high. Happy Holidays and have a super New Year. Steve
Wow, coming across this webpage brings back a lot of memories of Mike Hodel and Hour 25.
I didn’t know Mike personally but starting in 1972 until he died I used to listen to Hour 25 almost every Friday night I wasn’t out doing something else. The show connected me with a lot of SF that I would have never found out about any other way. Mike was a very perceptive interviewer and when he was on the show was never boring. The memory of his last show just a few days before he died is still with me after all these years. But most of all I remember Mike as a sweet, gentle man who never had a cross word about anybody in all the years I listened to him.
Milton S. Yes, you describe him perfectly. Mike to my knowledge never had an enemy EVER. Was a great soul. He is MISSED. steve
I worked with Mike at KPFK-fm in the mid 70s and remember him fondly. He was a sane, even-tempered presence in a chaotic work environment. Reading these comments, I am sorry we didn’t get to know each other better. One day I mentioned that I was trying to get in touch with John Huston and he told me Huston had been his mother’s first husband. He went on to talk about his dad and brother Steve who was trying to uncover the truth of his dad’s life. How wonderful this union produced two truth seekers extraordinaire.
Mary B: Yes, Mike was way ahead of his time on social issues. Mom and Huston were married for seven years. She was his first wife and their marriage was from 1926-1933. George was friends with John from High School and mom married him after Huston. Literally “out of the frying pan in to the fire.” Not sure what brother Mike’s reference was back then to you as I didn’t start to look at or search “to uncover the truth of our dad’s life” until after his death in 1999? He was always a man of mystery and enigmatic to all his children, but at that time I was too busy with my own life to try and look at anyone else’s. Best Regards, Steve