It has been a long time since Hudson Mack lived in Salmon Arm.
But the retired broadcaster continues to hold the community deep in his heart.
“I have such an affection for Salmon Arm,” he says. “I always feel protective of it when I hear about it on the news.”
Mack’s autobiography is an engaging book that describes growing up in Salmon Arm and working in the big leagues.
He will be in Salmon Arm with his book – Hudson Mack Unsinkable Anchor, for a meet and greet from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 at Bookingham Palace in the Mall at Piccadilly.
Mack’s career began in 1980 in the B.C. Interior. He moved to Vancouver Island in 1985, working first at CHEK, before crossing the street to rebuild the New V1 and lead its news department.
But his radio start actually began in Salmon Arm where his father, Clarence, brought big-city professionalism to the local radio station in 1971.
Then known as “The Big R, First Voice West of the Rockies,” the station began winning breakfast ratings over stations in neighbouring cities and towns.
Mack became very familiar with the radio station that was located on the highway across from the Chevron Station.
“For a kid who wanted to get into radio, it was such a great opportunity for me – helping to program the big automation machine, ripping news off the wire and doing Joe jobs,” he says. “Smalltown radio stations had such a place in peoples lives; there was no cable, no satellite and no Internet.”
Over his long career, Mack won many industry awards, including Broadcast Performer of the Year. His community service was also rewarded with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and honours from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Television Digital News Association.
But what longtime residents will likely enjoy the most are the chapters devoted to Mack’s growing-up years in Salmon Arm.
A talented writer, Mack details hilarious shenanigans he and his friends indulged in – sneaking into the school gym in summer to play floor hockey (a regular event that was ruined by someone who trashed and set fire to the school), high school buddies partying out of sight at KFC where he worked as a teen and many more entertaining adventures.
Mack is looking forward to being back in town to renew acquaintances. And, as he does every year, he will visit his dad’s grave in Mt. Ida Cemetery.