On Facebook recently, I did a straw poll asking folks who they'd like me to catch up with among former radio personalities.
Naturally, Kim "The Kimmer" Peterson came out on top.
He's been off the air for nearly seven years since 640/WGST-AM abruptly let him go around Thanksgiving, 2006.
Yet his adoring fans have turned his name into a "Freebird" type calling card on my blog. People post "Bring back the Kimmer!" more often than "Why is this news?"
It's been more than two years since I last spoke with the Kimmer so I gave him a call to catch up. Fortunately, he still has the same cell number.
"It's flattering," he said, when told how much his fans still want him back. "It's not like I'm Rush Limbaugh or something."
The Kimmer (as I'll call him the rest of this entry) worked in broadcasting for 42 years. He arrived in Atlanta in 1972, where he was part of the WSB-AM morning show. He spent some times later as a TV broadcaster in Chicago. "I hated it," he said. "I couldn't wait to get back to radio." He returned to WSB and was part of the morning show with "Skinny" Bobby Harper and Kathy Fischman until 1991.
WGST nabbed him soon after where he perfected his mix of politics, goofy characters and zany bits. His time at WGST, he said, "was the perfect storm of happy. I had more fun than any one person is allowed to have, the most fun you can have with your clothes on."
Since he left radio, people have approached him about coming back but nothing congealed. Instead, the 67 year old is living the life of a retired man, taking care of his horse Jack the Good Boy and playing golf almost every day in Palm Beach County, Florida.
"I love this horse," he said. "He's a real nut, as big as a Clydesdale. I ride him every day. I also have my two Harleys and a three handicap in golf."
He owns a home in Massachusetts but the cost of moving back and forth between Florida and New England was too much. So his brother lives in his Massachusetts home. "I hate the summers down here," he said. But staying in Florida made more financial sense.
He said he lives in the poorer section of Palm Beach, not the ritzy West Palm Beach portion where Limbaugh resides.
Now, he'd love to go back to radio if someone offered him a good job. Unfortunately, in this day and age, with political news talk dominated by syndication and sports talk on the rise, there are few openings in Atlanta for the Kimmer if he were to stick with politics. He said he is open to doing sports since he has done it before. He even sent a tape to Terry Foxx, program director at 92.9/The Game, but said he got no response.
"I do miss radio," he said. He still follows the news, reads the paper from to back every day and watches network news.
The Kimmer admits he's a loner. "I don't socialize except with my golfing buddies and some horse people," he said. "I don't go to parties."
"But I'm not complaining," he added. "I'm very content. I'm very happy."
So what's the rest of his former team up to?
His former producer Wayne "No Offense" Kitchens is back at Delta Air Lines "making great money and doing well," he said. "His radio days are behind him." According to his Linkedin page, he's a technical account manager.
Sports guy Pete Davis just wrote a book about football rivalries, the Kimmer said. "He's hanging in there," he said. Davis identifies himself as a writer on his LinkedIn page.
Funny man Jim Gossett still lives locally doing stand up and feeding funny bits to radio shows, the Kimmer said. He also does voiceover work.
Past stories on the Kimmer: