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Larry Masco (left)and Doug Barton (right), owner of Mid-Utah Radio Co.

 

Radio’s familar voice to retire

By Lloyd Call

Assoicate publisher

12-30-2020

 

“Masco’s been a great employee, a true professional, and he was always very prepared,” Doug Barton, owner of Mid-Utah radio said. “He was an exceptional communicator. He not only has a very nice, pleasant voice, but he is very riveting when he talks. When you listen to him give a play-by-play in sports, you can almost see the game through his voice.”

Masco started his 40-plus-year radio career in his hometown of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, then went to BYU for some more education, where he met his wife Janet in September 1981. They were married in February, 1982 and have since had five children, with eight grandchildren (counting one on the way).

After leaving Provo, the Mascos went to Washington, near St. George (KCLG), where he broadcast for about five years, before moving the family to Manti, where Masco began working for Doug Barton in April 1991.

“During his last day here, he interviewed governor-elect Spencer Cox. He’s just as comfortable interviewing senators and governors as coaches,” Barton said.

According to Barton, one of Masco’s idiosyncrasies was sanitizing everything with his own mixture of vinegar and water. “We could always tell where Masco had been because of the smell,” Barton said.

“Vinegar works great on windows and toilets, so I’ve stuck with it,” Masco said.

Co-worker Mary Pipes came to work at the station about eight years ago.

“He was a great mentor, teaching me how to run the control board when I was his co-host. He would always find interesting ways to present the news, something that would catch people’s hearts,” she said. ”We all worked well as a team and thought alike.

“I was also so very impressed with his devotion to his family,” Pipes said. “He loves his wife Janet tenderly and has never shied away from helping his family with their challenges.

According to Pipes, when Maco’s grandson Eli (now 8 years old), son of Bowen and Chrissy, who live in Providence, near Logan, was diagnosed with Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome, he was very supportive of his son, and daughter-in-law, and grandson.

“Eli he has no motor control,” Masco said. “He can’t roll over, he takes his nourishment through a tube in his stomach, and can’t communicate. He does go to school in his wheelchair.”

Pipes also said Masco was very knowledgeable about many subjects. He was both a history and sports buff.

“He would come in at 5:30 a.m. to be on the air at 6 a.m., he would have breakfast, and then second breakfast, just like a hobbit, because he also would cover sports in the evenings. He would often work long days.”

Co-worker Darcie Dickinson said he loved to do things that would make her cry on the air. “He would find new songs that were very emotional, and wait until I was with him before he played them, to get me to cry. He taught me a lot as a trainer, mentor and friend. We all hope he loves his retirement. We will miss him with all our hearts.”

Dickinson said she will never forget when she and Larry were on the air when 9-11 hit. Masco was on, and I walked in and said, “I think something big is going on. As the day progressed, we went to total broadcast, nonstop,”

Not all the broadcasts were serious, Dickinson said. She remembers when over a two month period, the same family called in four times to report that their turtle was missing. We asked them, “How can you possibly let your turtle keep escaping? It was just hilarious.”

The Beef Council once ran a promotion giving away beef, and Larry had to make it funny. He gave callers the menu for a meal–appetizer, main course, drink, and dessert. He would give them the prize only when they could repeat the meal accurately.

“Masco was very practical,” she said. “He put a plastic orange ribbon on the fence (outside the building), and when it was time for the weather, he would look out the window at his “Windometer” to see which way the wind was blowing.

“One of the hardest things about his job was getting up at 5 a.m. every morning,” Masco said. “It’s a sacrifice. You don’t get to get the kids to school or do scripture studying in the mornings.”

However, he said, he knew he was informing people, providing them with information and entertainment, and that was important.

”I was cut out for rural radio,” he said. “I would never have made it in a big city.”

He said one of the things he loved most about his job was reporting sports, including traveling to games. He also loved interviewing people, such as on Table Talk.

Masco looks with fondness on his career, but also is looking forward to retirement. “I’ll read lots of church books, history books, maybe public policy books. We’ll plant a garden, maybe not as big as we’ve done in the past, just for the fun of it.” (Masco has been known as an expert in gardening. Neighbors are always asking him how grow this or that vegetable.)

“Maybe we’ll do a little traveling to Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hill, places like that….I have a friend there who says we should go fishing, and I might even put bait on the hook.”

In the spring the Mascos will be moving to a new home near Logan, and where most of the grandchildren are.