OSKALOOSA— Patrick Flaherty, a gentleman who will be turning 86 years old later this year, has been doing radio for over 60 years and is still going.
Flaherty has a weekly radio show called 'Classics on Vinyl' every Wednesday nights from 8-9 p.m. Live from KIIC. He has worked with various stations like KBOE, KKSI, and other stations.
When asked why he got started in radio, he said a friend urged him to.
“I grew up in Minneapolis. There was a sign that said American institute of the air and a buddy was with me and he said 'you know you outta do that, you have fun making people laugh. Anyways, long story short I went in, and they took about everybody, they wouldn’t have taken me if I stuttered," he said jokingly, "but anyways I went in and went to school for six months and then in the year of 1955 in March I took my first job in Fairfield, Iowa.
A lot has changed in radio since Flaherty started.
“I mean, everything when I started, we had a couple of turntables and a board and that was it. Now everything is digital. I couldn't go into any station today and work or operate a board. People today who are doing it are good at it."
Flaherty first lived in Oskaloosa in 1955. Then he went back to Minneapolis in 1959 for a couple of years and then moved back to Oskaloosa in 1962 and has been here since.
When asked why he is still doing radio he said, “Well I gotta work, number one," he said. "I have been doing it a long time, I'm healthy, I'm having fun, the station I am with right now is hot, were doing a lot of things nobody else is doing and stuff like that.”
Flaherty said he didn't have time for hobbies, with radio and G Strings, which is the only complete music store in Southeast Iowa.
“I go to the nursing home twice a day to visit my wife. I go there at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. till 9 p.m.," he said. "I do a live show every Wednesday night. I am just turning my music store over to my granddaughter, and then I do radio all day, so my day is full.”
Flaherty has been with G-Strings for five years now and is ready to give it up to his granddaughter, Ashley Schultz. She is going to open up her own store with a different name, and different location.
He said he wanted to get out of the business anyway.
“Just another item off my mind,” he said.
Flaherty is still full of energy and is going strong after 60 years of being in radio.