Dwight “Bill Curry” Kirkland   Biography


I was one of those fellows who always loved radio and I was determined not to pump gas or bag groceries, which was usually the only jobs available at that time.  My Dad owned a couple of Sinclair Gasoline Stations on Formosa Ave in Winter Park and on Hwy 17-92 in Orlando so I was praying earnestly to escape the fate of that work and get into radio. Of course WLOF “Channel 95” was the leader and was the favorite of everyone during my 1960-1970 high school days at Bishop Moore. Colonial Plaza Party Time was the place to be on Friday nights!  I maintained a little radio station in my bedroom with one of those Lafayette Radio AM Broadcasting Kits…I actually had it playing at the neighbors and at the corner store a few hundred feet from our home.  Dan Jones had one as well at his Orlando home and we worked hard putting together our tapes, PSA’s and music formats…those were the fun days as we “hung around” area stations just hoping to actually work at one of them someday! My first “real” radio job 1966-1969 was at WLOQ-FM, Winter Park, “103.1 with studios in the Langford Hotel”…Violet Jean Sidebottom was Operations Manager. She was very interesting and knowledgeable about radio…said she came from a long line of Sidebottoms in Kentucky.  I remember the manual tests of the Emergency Broadcasting System and turning on & off that 3,000 Watt transmitter. We lived in Winter Park very close to WABR 1440 AM located adjacent to the Dubsdread Golf course.  I hung around there during my high school days and made good friends with Bob Andrews and Gabe Burton.  From 1968-1971 I worked some weekends and night shifts.  I was running the old Western-Electric Control Board the last day at midnight for the change to WBJW(-AM 1440) and out of the Country & Western format and right in to playing The Carpenters and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”  I remember in the early 1960’s I was looking for some spare coaxial cable to supply my little home radio station…Bob Andrews could have killed me as I accidentally cut the “sampling loops” that were buried in the ground in back of the station and took them home.  Needless to say they were quickly returned and all was well!   Bob Andrews and I kept up a little thru the years into his final days in Leesburg.  Gabe Burton and I ran around in his little SIMCA car and I won’t reveal all the things we were into! Most everyone I worked with throughout the years knew that I wanted to be a priest.  I eventually studied for the Catholic Diocese of Orlando but had some disagreements with the Roman Church. I finally was ordained in 1981 and have served as a married Eastern Orthodox Priest with parishes in Central Florida and now re-located to Columbus, Ohio where my wife is from.  I authored and published a book in 2017 about the eventual reunion of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches...complete text of the book and more about this part of my life can be found at www.oca-uaoc.org and welcome communication from my former fellow broadcasters at archpriest.michael@gmail.com.
I must say that my years in Central Florida broadcasting were so helpful to my ministry, especially the many wonderful folks I worked with.  Most Orthodox priests maintain 40 hour a week secular work to support their families. I own a Bail Bonding Company (Emergency Bail Bonds at www.delawareohiobail.com) in Delaware, Ohio…working with local courts and law enforcement agencies.  To avoid any confusion…after high school days I used my first name, Michael, and have done so every since.
I worked in various religious formats: 1969-1971 at WWQS-FM 105.1 Stereo…remembering the long, single lane narrow dirt drive…way back in the dark woods off Turkey Lake Road…that went back to the station.  I also worked for a few years in the late 1970’s at WVCF-AM (1480)  in Ocoee. It was also a great privilege in the mid-1980’s to work at WHOO(-AM 990) “Sunshine 99” both as a weekend personality and with Public Service & News for the WHOO FM side as well.  Bucks Braun gave me a chance and I remember working with Bob Nyles, Steve Kennedy and even providing a few days stay at my apartment to “Large” Larry English when he moved to Orlando to work at the station.  I was there when Janell Carrol was promoted to the first Woman Station Manager.  I was fortunate to live in the apartments right in front of the WHOO complex off Silver Star Road. I will always be thankful for my days in Central Florida Radio and for the wonderful times, experiences and memories that I have… 

Bill Curry's final broadcast at at WABR-AM 1440 in 1970

Dwight at WHOO-AM circa mid 1980's


Father Michael is a Priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church


Sharon and Dwight married 42 years
"Sharon...a girl from Columbus but raised in Pine Hills...we met over 55 years ago skating at the old Kemp's Coliseum!"


Father Michael is author of the book: "Being Catholic: That All May Be One! What Pope & Patriarch Must Do to Heal the Church of Christ!".  The book highlights the theological, practical and vital reasons why Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew must complete the work of reconciliation that was started by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I at Jerusalem in 1964.

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