Fred Radloff (Fred in the Hills): Beloved Talk Show Host, Wonderful Storyteller, Co-Producer of ‘Marijuana Man’, And Local Icon

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Fred in the Hills, Frederick F Radloff

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.”

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29 comments

  • Beautiful man, wonderful family. !Fred-in-the-Hills, Presente!

  • Dawn Radloff Mouron

    Remarkable man .What a beautifully written testimony.I will always remember his quiet but strong voice .My love to you all.

  • A beautiful testament to a really nice guy. Condolences to Leah, Brooke and Laurel and to all that loved him.

  • Oh, Fred. I am so glad that I had the chance, last Summer, to hug you and to be the recipient of one of your fabulous smiles. What a beautifully written ode to a remarkable man. Tears now. Love to you Leah, Laurel, Brooke and all of your loving family. Call on us if you need us.

  • His radio show was really good. He represented what Humboldt was becoming in the early 70’s, which was really very different from what it is now. Thank you for your vision and dedication towards manifesting it.

  • Wonderfully written, capturing so many true things about Fred and family. You were a beacon of thoughtful kindness. As a young, over-stressed parent in the 90’s, I aspired to your patient, involved, loving parenting style with your kids. Half the time I went away thinking I was the kid, learning values at your knee. I will always remember you explaining your take on the nature of reality, and our best place in it. After years of trying I finally have my place in the woods, and most days I get up, look outside and say “it is YET another beautiful day in paradise” Thank you, and godspeed.

  • Dancing with angels..amidst the stars..over rainbows.
    Into the everything

  • Love to Leah, Laurel, Brook and all who will love and miss him forever. Such a loving, kind, intelligent man and so full of fun with that sparkle in his eyes. He so adored Leah and his family. That always came through. I’ll miss seeing Fred in the community.

  • Paul "PB" Bassis

    Fred may have simply been the sweetest soul I have ever known and I am blessed to have had the good fortune to have known him well. So many great moments of shared laughter with my cohort, my friend. I remember the day he first became known to the KMUD audience as “Fred in the Hills” as if it were yesterday. Of course I can’t remember yesterday, but that’s the way life goes. And speaking of life, if there is one thing that should be pretty well obvious from that beautiful obit, Fred knew for certain that THIS LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL. Bravo, Fred!! Bravo!! Standing O!! Sending much love and smiles across the miles to you, Leah, Laurel, Brooke and all the family.

  • 02-22-2020, or, as a true palindrome, 02-22-20. Well done!
    I never had the pleasure of meeting Fred, but i loved his radio presence.
    I remember him saying in his unassuming way, “If you carry a gun, you might get shot. If you carry weed, you might get high.”

  • Sending love to Leah, Laurel and Fred’s loved ones. Fred lived his life so well, and he leaves us a legacy of thought, humor, and deep commitment to his community, his family, and most of all, his beloved Leah and family.

  • I wonder if it was on February 22nd that I found myself randomly thinking about Fred and recalling all the great things he brought to our community? Fly free and far Fred. Thanks for sharing all your richness with us.

    • I plagiarize Fred from time to time, but he gave me permission to use some of his material…
      Clinton once, somewhat famously, said he tried weed but never inhaled.
      Fred then, much more famously, said when he smoked weed he never exhaled.
      I always found that to be hilarious.
      Sounds like he was much, much more than just a comedian.
      With all due respect to Fred and his Family,
      You can exhale now Fred. Rest in Peace.

  • We are all fabulously blessed to have had this wacky, amazing, artistic, loving man in our community! He loved telling stories and reminding me of my crazy arrival at the birth of daughter Brooke was something he loved doing. Huge hugs to all the Radloffs! He will be missed…

  • Well done, Fred!

  • Fred was also quite the golfer. I had the pleasure of sharing a few rounds with him over the years and enjoyed his indefatigable pursuit of the perfect round. He’s gotta be out on the heavenly course by now with Jimmy Dangler, Danny Wymer, and countless other golfing buddies. RIP Fred in the HIlls, here’s to many more birdies!

  • When i read all this i started crying, and then i was laughing….Thanks Fred…..Blessings.

  • 🌺💜 Love and Blessings to All 💜🌺 Happy Journeys Fred !🌺💜 It has been such a pleasure to share time and space with you 💜🌺

  • I’ll never forget the stunned look and then barrel of laughter he had when I told him that my son who was in Jr High at the time had to read and do a book report and that the book he read was “Yet, Another Beautiful Day in Paradise”. I won’t say RIP because Fred lived in peace and his love and creative being will always be felt. Blessings to Leah, Laurel and Brooke and family.

  • We were so blessed to have Fred in our coommunity. May his influence perservere.

  • What a wonderful piece on Fred ! I am saddened by his passing but know we will all be with him soon enough so as we had said to each other on more than one occasion “ don’t worry be happy “. . Fred was a fun guy! His soft spoken way and sharp wit was always a welcomed encounter ! I can sum up my knowledge of Fred with this story . Fred and a bunch of us took up golf and played many rounds together . As life goes he sometimes would take a leave if absences due to physical problems , but when he could he’d return . I remember one time He showed up out the blue and say he was going to try it again and I remember telling him ,way to go and give it hell Fred . At the end of the day we would gather in the clubhouse to tell the stories of the day and Fred piped up and said he got a hole in one !!!! I remember saying “ son of a bitch “ being that I was 12 yrs his junior and have yet to have one . But ya know I wasn’t really jealous because I knew he really deserved it !! I will miss him as will many of us . Condolences to all his family , your in my heart ! Fred please set up a tee time for when we meet again . T bone

  • This is wonderfully writen ! Fred you inspire me . I love every memory i hold of you .your voice was smooth and reminded me life does not have to be feared . You and leah reminded me love exists and i can find it . . You reminded me that painting helps remind me of all of the above . I am thankful for all you are! I love you leah i know you are in the midst of what no one can understand . I love you brooke and laurel . So sorry for your loss . . . I look forward to celebrating fred with you soon .

  • Here’s to golfing with peaches in heaven. Wish we’d had more time together, thanks for that long bio, It gave us one last drop of Fred’s
    wisdom.

  • Well done in your whole amazing life. Love you and Fred in the hills

  • How you were loved and will be missed. Oh Fred, a true artist sitting alone quietly with a smile, taking in the best of life, a beautiful loving wife and family, a beautiful homestead and lifestyle. You had a sense of humor that kept laughter flowing, with a consciousness allowing people in, a blessing by which you gave and received. Thank you Fred for all the stories.

  • My deepest condolences to Leah , Laurel and her family , Brooke and her family & Ray…….

    Meeting with a remarkable MAN

    During my travelling in the mid 70′ , Noo’stal in Kars told me that i will meet someone very special , a subtil being living in the West , since Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was gone with the flow and left no address behind so far .

    Mid 90′, I finally met you Sir Radloff Fred !

    Thank you for the teaching , the memorable days & nights spend together , doing “work”, for those interminable Gurdijieffian time “Fred & Leah ‘s style ” playing music , smoking Pall Mall and herb, fabulous dinners accompanied with Champagne , Cognac and Leah ‘s wonderful homemade wine. with Laurel and Brooke when they were around .

    Thank you for our many long walks on the hills , doing “gym & méditation” expending ourselves to the sacerd Trimazikmno level…..Thanks to you i still do Gym and meditation every morning .

    Fred you are such a sweet genuine subtil being . I discover you as to be the legend “Nasr Eddin Hodja ” , you are Nasrudin Fred living in Humboldt county .

    Thank you for the most often been wise , and definitely right on with your internal consideration about you , others and life in general .

    Thank you for your theories about esoterisme and your deep comprehension of Mr G.
    Partkdolg – Duty Way .

    Now you are in Assouparksla, the legend Sir Nasrudin Fred .

    This morning after doing gym and at the end of my meditaion i heard :

    Knock knock Eriiiiiiiiiiiiiic

    ” je ne suis pas vraiment mort , j’ai simplement choisi de vivre différemment ,”
    ” I am not really dead , i simply choose to live differently ”

    I retorted
    ” Frederique , tu parles Français ?”
    ” Frederic, you speak French?

    Niet !!!!

    Then we laughed like children do for a long time .

    PS , on June 20th 2020 , the Gurdjieff group, the 4th way and the 5th way group will do a ‘” toast to the idiots ” in Honor and memory of Frederic Radloff . our noble Sir Nasrudin Fred…

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