Days Gone By: Genevieve Hovde Rugo
Genevieve Hovde Rugo
She couldn’t believe it when she was presented with first place prize of 20 silver dollars in a First National Bank cloth bag (which she still has).
The next night River Falls Journal publisher C.E. Chubb introduced her to Frank Blood of radio station KSTP. He immediately asked her to be a guest on his show at the studio on University Avenue in St. Paul.
Genevieve was a skinny 11-year-old with pigtails when she walked into the St. Paul Hotel with its beautiful crystal ballroom, doormen in uniforms whistling for taxis and elevator operators ready to whisk passengers to their floor.
For nearly 16 years she appeared with the KSTP barn dance show, first with radio and then television, all owned by Stanley E. Hubbard.
She’s been patted on the head by Hubert Humphrey, met astronaut Neil Armstrong at a party in Nashville, and appeared with movie stars Rex Allen, Pat Buttram, Ken Curtis, Jim Reeves, Sons of the Pioneers, Marty Robbins, and Elvis Presley.
She is now the oldest member of the original broadcasting group and has been awarded “Pioneer Broadcaster” status. In September she will be interviewed once again on the Wayne Eddy Show on KYMN, streaming online worldwide, and still receives fan mail from loyal listeners.