Jack Vincent

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Dipping deep into my youth and San Diego culture:

Just learned yesterday about the passing of our long-time family friend, Jack Vincent, at the age of 99. Jack and my father knew each other from the 1940s on, though I’m not entirely clear on where they met—perhaps in the Pacific, perhaps in California after the war was over. Nona Hines and Jack were married in 1951. When I was young, my mother and father and I were frequent visitors at Jack and Nona’s lovely house on Mt. Helix, and Jack was already famous in San Diego County as the late-night voice of KCBQ, which was then broadcasting with 50,000 watts of peak power. Jack was a suave, soothing MC for a late night show of top 40 and  country western. I remember listening to his show in bed on my crystal radio set in 1959. Shortly thereafter, in rhe early sixties,  I got a transistor radio.

Jack was also an engineer at the station, and customized my first stereo set by making a pair of beautifully crafted  L-Pad volume controls that adjusted the inexpensive amp to the dial’s sweet-spot. Jack turned his house’s den into a multi-speaker music system—and also installed a tap connected to a keg of beer. Talk about a man-cave! To this day, my home stereo is doubtless inspired by listening to Jack’s in the 1960s. I don’t remember getting to drink the beer.

Jack and my father both supplied stories that I’ve borrowed for WAR DOGS, about being in the Navy (Jack was a Marine) and serving together, and helping clear bars together. My father’s nose took more than a few readjusting hits during those years, and likely before, when he worked on a logging crew--but Jack somehow remained devilishly handsome, as we can see from this photo of Jack and Nona in 1946.

Jack also worked on Hoover Dam, and after that experience, decided against construction work as a career, preferring  the long dark nights near the KCBQ  transmitter... Where he now hosts in fond memory.

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