Email Marlena

As a child in the 60’s growing up in Topeka, my morning began with WIBW AM Radio and Newscaster Hilton Hodges.  My Mom listened to him every weekday in the kitchen while she cooked breakfast.  Never crossed my mind I’d be behind a Microphone someday.

My Dad, Emory Adkison, was in the US Air Force. He met and married my Mom, Evelyn Little in Topeka while he was stationed at Forbes Field.  He was posted to England for 4 years.  I was born there. We visited Topeka in between jaunts to other “posts” including Massachusetts, Hawaii and Texas. We moved to Topeka permanently following his retirement in 1963. 

My parents built a home in my Mom’s Highland Park Neighborhood, next door to my Grandparents- CW and Allie Little and near my Mom’s brother, sister and their families:  Dean & Mary Ellen Little and Don & Gladys Luce. They are all gone now. Growing up I was a Girl Scout all the way thru Senior in High School and those girls-are still some of my best friends. I was active in Church Youth Group, High School Pep Club, Girls Glee, Choir, Yearbook Staff and Y-Teens.  I loved performing in our High School Musicals: Unsinkable Molly Brown and Mame.  After High School, I attended Kansas State University and left with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and an FCC “DJ” license. My goal was to be a radio commercial copywriter. Which is part of my job now, but I was originally hired at KTPK-FM as a weekend News/Weather Announcer in April of ’76, while I was finishing up college in Manhattan.

I have been on the air in all “Time Slots” plus Promotions, Production, Public Service and was “Program Director” for 13 years. Today, I’m the “Midday DJ” and Commercial Production Director.  The Glory Days of my Broadcasting Career may have been when I was half of “Marlena and Lynn in the Morning” from 1984-1995.  Lynn Higbee was my mentor. He was the GM at WREN Radio before he semi-retired and joined our staff at KTPK-FM.  To this day listeners still call me and we recall that morning in September of 1995 when I announced Lynn’s unexpected passing.  

I live in my “Old” Highland Park Neighborhood with three dogs.  All are adopted from various Pet Rescue Organizations.  I have to two Shetland Sheepdogs and a Borzoi. I proudly served on the Board of Helping Hands Humane Society from 1999-2006 during the fundraising period that preceded the opening of the new Shelter on West 21st Street in Topeka. It’s a dream come true for all past and present HHHS Volunteers.

In my spare time: Tuesday Night bowling on the “Country Legends” team, Topeka Civic Theatre and Topeka Community Concert Season Tickets plus 2014 marks the 21st year for my Monthly Girls Night Out Group! 

In recent years, I’m fortunate to have hosted Cruises for the Radio Station through Cruise Holidays of Topeka. Thank You Dick & Company!  I toured Alaska in 2011 with 88 listeners, Ireland in 2012 with 66 listeners, New England/Canada Summer of 2013 and Western Caribbean with 78 listeners this past February of 2014.  Can’t wait to find out where we’re going next!

There’s a Flashing “On Air” Light down the Hall, that means it’s time for me to go ON THE AIR! 

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