Given the purely nautical achievement -- two thousand miles of treacherous water in a thirty-two-foot ketch -- as well as his preceding literary fame, Rons landing at the Alaskan port of Ketchikan was no inconsiderable event. Newspapers were immediately on hand, and Voice of Alaska Radio KGBU soon welcomed him onto the airwaves as a nautical commentator and host of a local literary contest, The Golden Pen. His particular slot was The Mail Buoy, and featured Captain Hubbard responding to such listener questions as how to best rig a fishing ketch or safeguard against onboard fire. Yet to round out the hour, he also sang ballads of his own composition.
As noted, LRH was a considerable balladeer -- professionally performing while still attending George Washington University, and possessing an admirable baritone. He was also deft on ukulele and banjo, and the lyrics speak for themselves. In the main, lyrics from his Alaskan ballads were inspired by regional events and personalities. The Sofia, for example, tells of an actual wreck with severe loss of life on the Vanderbilt Reef, while Larry OConnor was an actual Ketchikan personality -- self-styled author of doggerel and panhandle fisherman. Then, too, like all such wilderness ports, Ketchikan was indeed home to many a Waterfront Empress, which, in turn, proved the ruin of many a young man.