Two colorful Reno figures have died.
• Ed Carlson, known as “the Waver,” died on Dec. 27 at age 75 in Iowa.
Carlson became well known in Reno starting in the 1970s by walking along streets and waving at passing drivers. It continued for years, intermittently. He would disappear for months or even years at a time. He was doing the same thing in other communities. Though Renoites thought of him as a local icon, other areas described him the same way. David Jensen of Arizona, a Science magazine writer, called him “one of Sedona’s more unusual residents, a fellow we simply call ‘The Waver’.”
Carlson was author of the book I Walked to the Moon and Almost Everybody Waved. He lived in Cedar Rapids.
A “Final Wave for Ed,” organized by Willie Puchert, was held in downtown Reno this week. “He made people happy with something so simple,” said participant Carol Cizauskas.
• Former Reno radio personality “Wild Bill” Cody died on Christmas in Colorado. He was 62 and had been experiencing heart problems.
During a 35-year career, Cody had worked at KWNZ in Reno, WBBM in Chicago, KLCA in Tahoe city, KWNZ in Lovelock, KJMP in Fort Collins, Colo., KIGN in Burns, Wy., KSXY in Shelton, Wa., and WYGY in Cincinatti.
Most recently, he worked at Cheyenne’s KING. That station’s website carries a tribute from his colleague Gailen Sprague:
“Bill breathed, ate and lived for radio. It was his obsession. Many times people would simply shake their heads and proclaim that “He’s CRAZY”! Yup, that was our Bill! A very creative man behind a cartoonish voice. [He] was the essence of what radio was and quite possibly still should be.”