"Master of Cheerful Smiles," "Humorist Laureate" and "Master of Merriment" are but a few of the titles bestowed on self-described funaholic Jeff Brown, our 2013 4th of July Parade Grand Marshal.
Anyone who has crossed paths with Jeff, either in person or over the air, has come away with a laugh or a smile and a lilt in the step. Jeff has been working that magic on us for more than 37 years, ever since he first arrived in Juneau as a medic with the Coast Guard. In short order, he hooked up with KTOO and launched into his multi-media, multi-talented mission to inform us, inspire us, brighten our rainy days and especially exercise our funny bones. He is a radio and TV talent, musician, organizer, artist, writer, friend, sage, magician and former gorilla.
Real Alaskan Magazine is one of his more widely-known creative endeavors. If you're looking for a serious look at life in Alaska, you've come to the wrong magazine. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a goofy look at life in Alaska, you've come to the right place. Even the advertisers get with the general silliness. Curiously, you may come away knowing more in-depth about Alaska than you would with more serious works.
While perhaps best known for his work before the public, Jeff is also a strong behind-the-scenes creator, worker, supporter, booster of public radio in Southeast Alaska and of anyone who wants to contribute to community life through radio. Readers submitted comments to the Juneau Empire on the occasion of Jeff's 2011 Governor's Award for Arts & Humanities, Lifetime Achievement: "Jeff took me under his wing, as he did so many volunteers, and taught me the ropes"; "...he has been a great role model for me working in public media"; "...grateful to him for shepherding South East Native Radio through 15 years at KTOO"; "Jeff...has always been an advocate for community participation"; "KTOO's glue"; "...always welcoming and always encouraging"; "He's done hundreds of poster designs for musicians and thousands of radio promotions for events."
There is so much to Jeff that can't be told in this limited space. The man is a humble giant in the community life of Southeast Alaska. If you see someone walking around in a ridiculous balloon hat, that may be evidence that Jeff Brown is in the vicinity. Laughing.
We especially thank his wife, Maureen Conerton, children Callie Conerton and Colin Conerton for sharing their husband and dad with us on this occasion of the nation's 237th birthday.
Jeff Brown, our 2013 4th of July Parade Grand Marshal.
Written by Paul Wescott.
& Jerry Harmon