In this picture we're on our way to El Compadre, a frequent stop just up Sunset Strip from the station where margaritas and mariachis welcomed a bunch of entertainment industry types.
I like social media's "remember when" aspects and I like writing about unforgettable friends. When I find pictures like this one I know I'm fortunate to have shared a chunk of life with these people. Sandra Williams, on the left, worked the front desk at KBIG sometimes. She was also an extra in movies and last I heard, a makeup artist. Morgan hosted a public affairs show for KBIG and I hosted afternoon drive.
Here's what Variety said about Morgan when she died.
"August 3, 1999 12:00am PT
Morgan Williams, a longtime Los Angeles news and public affairs reporter, died July 24 at her home in Los Angeles after a short battle with lung cancer. She was 68. After graduation from William and Mary U, she worked in the media in various locales around the country. During the 1960s, she worked as a news reporter for KABC, Channel 7, and KHJ, Channel 9, (now KCAL) in Los Angeles.
During the 1970s, she segued into radio, where she had a long stint with radio station KFI-AM, covering news and public affairs. During the 1980s and '90s, she served as the public affairs director for KBIG radio, where she became known for her interviews on "The Big Picture." During the late 1950s, she was married to Tony Williams, the late lead singer of the Platters. She is survived by a son."
I'm guessing Variety got part of that information from Don Barrett, whose laradio.com "Where Are They Now" archives are still the go-to for information about anyone who was ever on the air in Los Angeles.
Variety doesn't mention how Morgan named her big old sedan "Diana" in honor of Miss Ross, and how she loved that car so much only one mechanic was allowed to work on it. Variety doesn't tell you about her devotion to her sports teams and her crush on Kareem Abdul Jabbar, whom she interviewed several times because she loved him and because she could.
Another thing that doesn't fit into an obit, but it played a big role if you hung out with Morgan – she hated freeways and refused to drive them. Getting around in Southern California without using freeways requires a whole different set of navigation skills and guarantees the driver will arrive late for many functions. If you loved the driver a lot, you sat outside on a Sunday morning at Farmers Market until Diana rolled into the parking lot at 3rd and Fairfax.
That smile, that big beautiful smile of hers, she loved to tell how she got it. After her Mama died, Morgan inherited a sum that she planned to spend on something she'd always wanted, a smile to resemble Diana Ross. Most of us thought Morgan's smile was already dazzling but she wanted veneers that were bigger, the biggest that would fit, so she got herself some.
Today Karin Moss and I have been friends for several years because of Morgan. Karin contacted Don Barrett at laradio.com looking to find Morgan and he sent her to me because he knew Morgan and I were friends. Karin had worked in the record business in Hollywood with Morgan way back before I knew her. Karin and I both live in Northern California so we met for breakfast to share Morgan stories and we've been getting together ever since.
As we traded details about our experiences with Morgan, we learned this was a lady who'd reinvented herself several times. I see reinvention stories woven through many careers in entertainment and each time I write about someone I hear from someone else who knew them in a different way.
Back then, just before that Variety obit, my last lunch with Morgan was on the calendar. I arrived in Santa Monica expecting a nice catch-up but she was a no-show. I called her work phone number and they told me she was very ill. She'd chosen not to disclose it to any of us.
Follow me on Facebook.