After 23 years living, working and having a blast in Milwaukee, radio personality Karen Dalessandro is moving to Phoenix, Ariz. OnMilwaukee's Matt Mueller reported the sad news earlier this month, citing Friday, March 26 was her last day as the host of 96.5 WKLH's afternoon drive show.
"My heart is breaking as this becomes reality. I'm so happy for social media to stay connected," she said.
This morning, I chatted with Dalessandro – someone I've always admired for being so badass, high-spirited and kind in a tough industry (especially for women). I've also always loved this story of friendship between her and 99.1 The Mix’s Elizabeth Kay.
During our conversation, she also shared this letter, a love letter / farewell letter she penned to Milwaukeeans. And with her permission, I now share her words with you.
Looking around at my home cluttered with moving boxes and packing supplies, the reality of leaving you is beginning to fully sink in.
For more than 20 years, you have been my hometown and it’s been exciting to watch you evolve and flourish. New venues, new retail, new restaurants, new hotels…such growth in the past two decades! But one thing remains true- this is a community that is hard working, compassionate, quirky and loveable.
There is so much I will miss about you….
-Morning walks along the shores of Lake Michigan past Discovery World, the gorgeous Calatrava Museum and the Summerfest grounds.
-Chasing beer gardens around town and hanging out at Juneau Park sharing a gigantic pretzel with my dog and my husband
-Festivals, festivals, festivals!
-Driving past Bradford Beach thinking fondly of Dick Bacon, one of the first Milwaukeeans to welcome me when I arrived in town
-Catching up with the ushers at the Riverside/Pabst Theater every time I attended a show
-Being the ONLY person to eat a salad at State Fair (at least the lines were short!) and a baked potato and a pork sandwich. I will come back for State Fair!!
-Seeing the lights shining on the ballpark from my car during game nights as I cruise home from work
-4th of July Fireworks over the Amphitheater at Summerfest, cocktails at Jo Jo’s Lounge and the sounds of live music coming from every direction.
But mostly, I will miss the privilege of being a regular part of your day. Connecting with you at concerts, radio station events, on the request line and around town has been the highlight of my time in the Brew City.
The truth is, after 23 years, knowing that you might have grown up listening is not lost on me. That’s special. You will always hold a place in my heart.
Thank you for your friendship and for accepting me as one of your own (even though I came across the Lake as a Michigan flatlander!). Please stay in touch on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter. If your travels take you to the Phoenix area, I’ll be rocking the afternoon show at KSLX and would love to hear from you!
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.