By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
If you’re a longtime resident of Bryan-College Station and are familiar with local police departments, you might recognize Ronnie Horcica. He’s served in various civilian roles since he graduated from Bryan High School in 1981 and was named the City of College Station’s Employee of the Year in 2009.
What you might not know is that he’s also a radio legend – at least among polka fans.
“I don’t talk about it much, so a lot of people aren’t aware that I’ve also worked in radio for 27 years,” Horcica said. “Both careers are in my blood.”
Horcica was a police dispatcher in Bryan before moving across town to the College Station Police Department in 1984, adding the role of jailer to his duties. He later moved into data processing and is now the department’s technical services coordinator.
In 1987, he began volunteering as an on-air personality at KAGC, a Christian radio station in Bryan, where he learned the business from scratch. In March of 1998, he suggested a new program to station owners Bob and Judy Bell that would feature polka music, a staple of his Czech heritage. The Bells decided he could test the show for a month to see if it attracted an audience.
More than 17 years later, the program is still going strong. In fact, this weekend marks the 900th broadcast of Czech Polka Time on KAGC (1510-AM), which is now owned by Bryan Broadcasting. Originally broadcast live, the 55-minute show is taped on Thursdays, then airs Saturdays at 10:05 a.m. and Sundays at 4:05 p.m.
The show has a wide following, especially among those with Czech, German and Polish backgrounds. Thanks to the internet, the program can be heard around the world. Horcica has even received fan mail from the Czech Republic.
“I spend about three hours a week preparing for and recording the program,” Horcica said. “It’s much more than a hobby – it’s a ministry to me because the Czech culture is slowly dying away. Polka music, as well as waltzes and two-steps, is music you can dance to. The only complaint I get is that the program isn’t long enough.”
In 2008, Horcica was honored for the first decade of Czech Polka Time by the City of Caldwell, Burleson County, and the Texas Polka Music Museum.
Congratulations, Ronnie, on your 900th broadcast!
If you found value in this blog post, please click on the buttons below and share it with your network and friends. Thanks!