March 30, 2014
I met Steven Bise before I met him. I was working at a small station in Placerville where they were too busy, or just didn’t care about going over airchecks. I sent my cover letter and tape to Steve and he sent me a letter back, giving me pointers on my breaks. No one had ever done that. I was lucky to get a rejection letter. Which I did, eventually, from Steve. It wasn’t really a rejection per se, he said that maybe sometime in the future I could work the overnights on KUIC. When I interviewed for a part-time job at Quick 95, I was working afternoon drive at a station in Davis. I interviewed after work. Steve stayed and interviewed me at 7pm. I ended up getting the Sunday night, 7 to midnight slot. After losing my gig in Davis, Steve gave me more hours filling in. Finally, I got the coveted overnight gig. I was always looking for a better gig, that’s what one did in radio. Until a few years into working with Steve. That’s when I realized Quick 95 was radio fantasyland. No one was fired unless one did something stupid, such as theft. That was unreal in radio. I stopped looking and really focused on working my gig. Steve was the reason I became the disc jockey I did. He worked with me, tirelessly. Steve and I remained friends even though he laid me off twice. Who does that? But Steve was that kind of man. During both of our second employments at KUIC, Steve was raising teenagers. He once told me, as I can be quite passionate about my work, that he knew why God put me in his life. It was to prepare him for teenagers. I didn’t think anything bad of that remark, it was just true. I don’t think I ever saw Steve lose his temper. I pushed him, but he never lost it in my presence. He was so mellow, that when the thermostat caught fire in the control room when he was on the air, he didn’t panic. He calmly walked out and asked if someone was there to work on the thermostat because it was on fire. I don’t know about you, but I would’ve freaked out!
Steve’s daughters meant everything to him. The morning Delaney was born, Steve called into the station to let everyone know he was a dad. I was on the air when he called, and he was so happy. Delaney, I think he and your mom named your after some hippy group. It could’ve been worse. I think his second choice was Hot Tuna.
I remember the first time Steve laid me off. He wanted me to come into work early and I couldn’t understand why he wanted me there. He wanted to tell me in person, but I forced him to do it over the phone. I swear I heard him crying. I wouldn’t doubt it. Steve gave everything and more to his work. When he was laid off, he said it was okay because he was able to be a house dad.
Steve was meant to play the bass guitar. As the bass guitar anchors the sound of the band, so did its player in Steve. There could be thunder and lightning all around, but Steve was Mr. Cool even in the toughest of storms. I looked back on his Facebook page and what I wrote on his last birthday rings true. I was glad to be able to wish him a happy birthday. He fought the valiant fight.
The world is a harsher place without Steven Bise. He was the best boss anyone could have asked for. And a better friend. Godspeed to you, Steve. Have fun in Heaven’s Bluegrass Band.