Fred Radloff (Fred in the Hills): Beloved Talk Show Host, Wonderful Storyteller, Co-Producer of ‘Marijuana Man’, And Local Icon
This section includes announcements of important events in our lives–births, graduations, engagements, marriages, and deaths. If you want to share an event with your community, please send a photo and a written piece to [email protected]
Fred Radloff, known as Fred in the Hills, died peacefully on February 22, 2020, in the home he built, being held by his beloved wife, surrounded by a prism of light reflecting the green trees and morning sun.
He leaves behind many who know, love and respect him, as well as an artistic body of work that reflects the beauty and creativity in which he lived his life.
He was a writer, director, painter, filmmaker, comedian, talk show host, philosopher and mystic. He lived life passionately and fully, and was forever a seeker and explorer of inner and outer phenomena.
Fred had an inordinate ability to bring humor and a light touch into everything, even into the most challenging moments of life. His funny words, quotes and perspectives continue to ring true and add levity to the daily lives of everyone he knew.
He was born on June 20th, (which he regarded as ‘the most refined day of gemini’) 1941, in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his father was stationed as a doctor. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he and his family were relocated to Wenatchee, WA, where he spent most of his youth.
Fred was a gifted and natural athlete, competing and training for the Olympics in the high dive and winning the state doubles tennis championships in his age range. He joined the Wenatchee youth circus and at the age of 12 he culminated his trampoline career by breaking his neck in front of 5,000 people while attempting to do a double flip (instead he did a ‘one-and-a-half!’) Paralyzed from the neck down, he was told he would never walk again, but he persevered, regained his mobility and went on to live an active life and pursue his interests in the arts, theater and entertainment.
Fred had a lifelong love for movies and consumed them with enthusiasm. His draw to the dramatic brought him to Hollywood where he pursued a career in film and theater. He was successfully cast in many film and stage productions and found his own taste for filmmaking. In L.A., not only did he find an outlet for his artistry, but he also found many friends who later joined him in Humboldt County, California, as well as a beautiful young woman named Leah whom he had literally seen in his dreams before he ever met her in person. Leah was the love of his life.
In 1971, Fred and Leah chose to move to Humboldt County, where they built a nine-sided home in the shape of an Enneagram, a symbol of the laws of the universe. There they birthed and raised their two daughters and planted their deep Southern Humboldt roots.
Despite their move, Fred’s dedication to film and theater remained intact. With neighbors and friends he made the film “Marijuana Man,” and later “Laugh I Thought I’d Die.” He performed his original one-man shows: “An Evening with Albert Einstein,” Salvador Dali’s “Fifty Magical Secrets of Painting,” and most recently, “Fred and Friends,” in which he played Einstein, Dali, Mark Twain and Bertolt Brecht. He was a long-time member of Pure Schmint Players, appeared in countless plays, theatre performances, emceed CLMP meetings, and for 17 years he was a beloved talk show host on KMUD’s “Thank Jah It’s Friday.”
Fred had a lifelong passion for the study and practice of Consciousness Work. He was a master of the work of G.I. Gurdjieff, a student and Trainer with Oscar Ichazo’s Arica Institute, and was an Explorer with Robert Monroe at the Monroe Institute where he carried out scientific exploration in the study of Astral Travel and Remote Viewing. With these learnings, he acquired knowledge, experience and great understanding of the workings of the “seemingly infinite universe” and of the vast microcosm of the self. He achieved insight that led to his attempting to “wake up” as he strove always to be a balanced human being.
He was also an outspoken proponent of the sacred herb. He had concluded that “if you’re not high, you’re low.” His essential stance in life was one of amusement, and his fix in the creative domain was enhanced beautifully by his love and advocacy of the herb.
Fred wrote his own script in life and it was full of truly outrageous tales. He was a wonderful storyteller, surprising his listeners with his iconoclastic diversity and eclectic histories, such as: He was kicked out of every school he attended, then, ironically, became a teacher, specializing in the Theatre of Being. He won a blackjack tournament which enabled him to buy his land. He was psychically instructed to paint and would often joke that it was his “karma to paint millions of leaves,” resulting in a vibrant collection of natural landscapes and portraits of family and friends that decorate the walls of their unique home. He took up golf mid-life and quickly won the local club championship. He took the stage with song and dance, played the flute with an enchanting timbre, and lit up the room with his ideas, and his smile.
Having studied journalism in college, Fred became interested in politics and justice. He spent hours every day reading news from around the world and formulating solutions for the more harmonious development of humankind. He was an avid reader for both entertainment and education, having read the Great Books following the ten-year liberal arts program. He constantly read through stacks of literature, novels and reference materials. His intellect was tremendous and his memory and retention were astounding.
He also wrote books to entertain and enlighten, which included “Yet, Another Beautiful Day in Paradise,” “All-American Honorable Mention,” “Redwood Summer,” “Casino Kid: How to Raise Money and Your Consciousness at the Same Time,” and “The Warrior’s Road to Gambling.” At the time of his death he was working on his 50-volume autobiography titled, “Hagiography of an Idiot.”
Fred was a dedicated and loving father, always present and available, offering grounding connection, profound wisdom and gentle guidance. He was not only a father, but a best friend to his children.
He is survived by his true partner in life, his wife of 50 years, Leah; his brother Jim (Peg); his son Shaw (Teena); daughters Laurel (Tanner Speas) and Brooke (Tim Talbott); and grandchildren Josh, Colette, River, Kaira and Ora Luna. He was preceded in death by his parents Fred and LaVerna (Maher); his brother Richard (Diane); and his oldest daughter Raven.
There will be a gathering to celebrate Fred’s life in the coming months, with more details to follow. He is deeply missed, however, we suspect that (as he would say) he has “found the door” and has gone to “where we were before we were born and where we go after we die.” Meanwhile, “the sky is blue, the trees are green, the air is fresh, and it is yet, another beautiful day in paradise.”