I am in Palm Springs. Most people have heard of it, probably don’t know a lot about it.
First, it’s the desert. Less than six inches of rain a year. We’re under an inch since October and this is the rainy season!
We are in the Coachella Valley. It’s a very well defined lowland with the San Jacinto Mountains on one side and the Little San Bernadino Mountains on the other. Peaks exceed 10,000 feet. Much of the valley floor is below sea level.
The northern edge of the valley funnels into San Gorgonio Pass, making it consistently breezy. It’s home to nearly 4,000 windmills, most 160 feet tall to the hub. Huge.
Winters are mild. Summers are unbelievably hot. It once hit 100 in February! July’s average daily high is 105.
Humidity is very low, which does diminish the effect. It’s still searing heat.
“Gays and grays,” said a co-worker. This market is loaded with both.
The Hollywood crowd hung out here in the 50s and 60s. Sinatra, Crosby, Dinah Shore, Gerald Ford all have streets named after them. I ride on Fred Waring to get to my hotel. A casino is located off Bob Hope.
Lots of retired show biz types live here. Some active too. Easily recognizable names. People I’d go out of my way for, just to say I met them. Legends in music, pictures and TV. Comedians. Stars I grew up watching on TV.
It became a very nice place to retire, especially if you had some cash. There is a large community of well-to-do people in the region. We’ve had a bunch of stories on-the-air mentioning local philanthropists. Philanthropists live here. Lots of them.
Bill Clinton was here last weekend. He is attracted to philanthropists as a moth is to light.
There is a large gay community here. 60% of Palm Springs proper is gay, I’ve been told. I enjoy the vibe. It’s a great city for visitors and the residents love it.
There is also a large Hispanic community. Lots of my co-workers come from Spanish speaking or multilingual households. We are close to the Imperial Valley which has been a magnet for Mexican workers. The Southwest in general has always attracted families from Mexico looking for a better life.
The Palm Springs area has a “season.” During the winter, our season, we consistently have America’s best weather. Humidity is always low. The mountains usually protect us from nearby storms.
Do not confuse the desert with Florida. Totally different. The palm trees throw you off.
During summer the population shrinks. It’s tough to go outside.
I have focused cameras and set up shots. That’s Thalia Hayden, our late news co-anchor during a commercial. Everyone wears many hats. I like that. I touch things and push buttons. It’s all the stuff that got me into broadcasting in the first place.
KMIR is, by-and-large, a station of happy people. I don’t want to Pollyanna it, but I’ve worked at places that seemed ‘grudge powered.’ I’ve yet to hear an angry word spoken.
I’m doing my first public appearance February 14th. I’ll be in Cathedral City for the Balloon Festival. Psyched. I’m looking forward to it.