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A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen

Gloria Penner began working at KPBS as a journalist in 1969.

Above: Gloria Penner began working at KPBS as a journalist in 1969.

It was December 1, 1969 and my younger son was having his third birthday. For both of us, it would be a day of great change. Brad was spending his first day at "Humpty-Dumpty Pre-School," admitted after he had mastered the prerequisite civilized behaviors. My older son, Steve, was in morning kindergarten. And I was stepping back into the media world after a five year hiatus devoted to my role as parent and homemaker. It was a half-time position which worked for my schedule and for the KEBS (now KPBS) budget.

Original KPBS administration building
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Above: Original KPBS administration building

Traditional multi-story office buildings were the venue for my earlier jobs in radio and television in Washington, D.C. and Hawaii. But on that Monday morning, my destination was an aging two-story apartment house built around a deteriorating swimming pool near the SDSU campus.

KEBS general manager John Witherspoon witnesses President Johnson signing of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.  Witherspoon joins the board of directors for National Public Radio in 1969.  
Witherspoon is a 2010 KPBS Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Inductee.

Above: KEBS general manager John Witherspoon witnesses President Johnson signing of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Witherspoon joins the board of directors for National Public Radio in 1969. Witherspoon is a 2010 KPBS Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Inductee.

There I met General Manager John Witherspoon and Program Director Brad Warner in their offices, a living room for John and a bedroom for Brad. It was an unlikely place of business. My doubts about this strange broadcast operation grew when I was shown to my office: a galley-type kitchen lined with traditional kitchen cabinets. The sink was there, but no stove or refrigerator. Instead, there was a desk and chair and nothing more. I had traded one kitchen for another. My adventure had begun...

Look for a new story from Gloria Penner every month.

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