“ROCKY” and the “IDITATOK” JOKE

“It was 1991, when a group of marijuana connoisseurs came up with a companion event to the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. They called their bizarro plan, “IDITATOK.”

Early KFQD Studio – Pre-Marcus

All good things must come to an end they say. An ongoing joke for close to 30-years has finally reached that plateau.

My family has been fans of Anchorage radio and television celebrity, Marcus Lewis, since he first went on the air in Anchorage. Our son, Gunnar, attended the same daycare on Baxter Drive as Marcus’s daughter, Heather. This was around 1979. That’s where I first met Mr. Lewis. He was driving a new, shiny-black Camaro at the time.

Each morning, we’d tune our radio in to the, “Marcus in the Morning Show.” I can’t tell you how many years we listened. I believe my kids were some of the first to call Marcus when it snowed less than an inch, asking, “Is there school today?” Several hundred other children and adults soon followed suit.

In the early 1980’s, I won a free personal pizza at Pizza Hut on Muldoon Road through a KFQD radio contest. Marcus joined a group of us for lunch that day. He was a real hoot, and I observed that the man’s sense of humor was over the top. I won numerous other items from his show, with the best being a glass vial of Mount Saint Helen volcanic ash. I still have it, believing by the year 2525 it’ll be worth a fortune on eBay.

Coming in second were tickets to a Tommy Tutone concert. Of course, Tommy Tutone was a one hit wonder, with “Jenny” being their #1 money maker. Jennie’s phone number, 8675309, has never left my mind.

It was 1991, when a group of marijuana connoisseurs came up with a companion event to the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. They named their bizarro gettogether, “IDITATOK.” Marcus mentioned it on his show, saying that the idea was hilarious.

I dialed KFQD that morning, claiming to be “Rocky” from Talkeetna, desperately needing information on time and place. Marcus was quick-witted in his response, “I’ll have the proper authorities call you with that information!”

Excerpt from March 1991 newspaper article.

Each year around February, “Rocky” made it a point to call and ask Marcus the same IDITATOK question. Most every occasion, Marcus and his co-host, April, had this imposter on the air. My wife and kids covered their mouths to keep from laughing outloud and being heard.

Around 1992, I began working with a fellow named, Kurt Rogers. Not only did Kurt and I work together, we became good comrades. His sense of humor was top notch like Marcus, but on a dryer level. One day at break, Kurt told me that Marcus Lewis and his wife were friends of theirs. Kurt said that he often did remodeling work on the Lewis’ home.

When I told Kurt what I’d been up to, he busted a gut. Informing him that I was going to have to stop calling because of caller I.D., my friend insisted that I needed to keep the joke going as long as possible. We put our thinking caps on coming up with a plan. Kurt’s suggestion was that I send Marcus cards and letters each year, and write messages on them like a crazy person. For me, that made things simple.

Marcus has received a card or letter from “Rocky” for close to 30-years, describing what the IDITATOK veteran from Talkeetna had been up to. Family and friends living in various parts of the country helped out in this scheme, by mailing pre-written cards or letters from their home state.

In this correspondence, “Rocky” has been in and out of the pokey more than once, entered the radio business and was fired multiple occasions, sold used cars, dealt in “herbs”, was a professional gambler, musician, struggling actor, juggler, mime, Amway salesman, and a host of other things I no longer remember.

I always kept Kurt up to speed on the latest. Far as I know my pal never told anyone including his wife, Sharon. Sadly, Kurt passed away a few years ago. I’ve kept the joke going in memory of him, but time’s ripe for it to take a bow. I believe Kurt Rogers would say, “A joke well done!”

Hopefully, Marcus took things in good humor, as this is the first time I’ve disclosed such. I thank him for the many smiles he put on not only my face, but thousands of other listeners as well!

“Rocky” Peace! Out!

KFQD

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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