Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 98

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Date: December 31 2001 at 18:46:55
Name: Jim Back
Location: Edmond

Thought you guys might like to know about the big media flap over here in OKC. Several months ago, in the name of "convergence," KWTV and the Daily Disappointment started a joint venture to produce and report news together. One of the results is that Ch. 9 weatherman Gary England writes a daily column for the weather page of the paper. His column is not about the day's weather, but is typically about interesting weather facts, science trivia, etc.

A small weekly paper over here (The Gazette) broke a story the other day that claims Gary has been lifting stuff off the Internet and putting it into his columns without attribution and as though he wrote it himself. The paper cites three or four word-for-word examples from NASA and other Web sites that indeed look plagiarized.

This story broke a couple of days after Christmas and so far neither KWTV nor the Oklahoman have said a word about it. However this has been about the only subject callers on the talk shows on KTOK have wanted to talk about since then. Some people support Gary and others think he should be fired.

It's kind of fun to see all the sniping that goes on in the media over here.

Date: December 31 2001 at 15:08:24
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY

Very sorry to hear about George. What an antidote he was to the stereotype of the TV executive.

Lee's alter ego Date: December 31 2001 at 10:34:16
Name: Lee Woodward
Location: T-town South

The new year will begin with the passing of another great KOTV personality. Former G.M. George Stevens passed away in Tarpon Springs, Florida. He was 80 years old. George's first wife Josie was a huge Lionel fan as was George. Two reasons for our longevity.

George attended the first KOTV reunion at "The Fountains" in 1995 (I think) and just looked great. He had a very successful career in TV in Kentucky and retired to Florida in the early nineties. At the early KOTV Christmas parties, he and Josie insisted on everyone who could, to perform, that included his wife Josie, who was an absolutely fantastic singer. They were a great couple and a real plus for KOTV.

We all owe Mr. Stevens and his wife a debt without having known it until now.

Here's to the Stevenses, and to Lee & Lionel.

Date: December 31 2001 at 08:19:17
Name: John Hillis
Location: Washington
How did you find TTM? In the dregs of a bottle of 3.2 champagne...

The Radio-TV museum in Bowie, Maryland, is a project of a group I've supported for a long while, the Radio History Society. Radio legend Ed Walker (Willard Scott's radio partner and a remarkable guy in his own right--see www.thejoyboys.com) is president. The museum itself is fairly new, and the result of donated space, doesn't look impressive, but the collection of stuff is remarkable for old fools like me.

Atwater-Kent, Crosley, Sylvania, and many more long-dead models of radios and tvs, plus some great and historic microphones used here in the Washington area and elsewhere.

As we reach the point where a lot of television innovations are 50 years old, we forget that the people who made them were literally making it up as they went along. The now-everywhere video tape recorder was but a dream as 1952 dawned.

We came a long way in a few decades, and I'm glad to have known some of the originals and to have had the opportunity occasionally to do a little improvising of my own along the way. A happier new year to all.

I wondered if any of our readers in the D.C. area were somehow involved with the museum. A Happy New Year to you, too, John.

Date: December 30 2001 at 20:30:33
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Charlotto, Norf Carolino

Growing up in Chicago - Walgreens always had tubes and tube testers and my dad was considered quite the shadetree TV fixer when I was a kid.

Learned long ago TV Engineers always saved dying tubes they replaced - for use in a pinch at some other time!

Date: December 30 2001 at 15:21:34
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: Under mistletoe
How did you find TTM? Eclectic and electric

Don't forget we used the tubetester before solid-state radios and amplifiers were all the rage. As a kid with no money, I often depended on the testing machine at the Suburban Acres Rexall to get my old Silvertone amp cranking again.

I am proud that my sons' band, The Gadabouts, was one of the bands that was selected from a number of groups, from Texas to South Dakota, to play in the big Wherehouse band contest next month. I will let you know how they do.

May God bless each of you with a prosperous New Year.

Guitar amps are one place tubes are still favored. I imagine that the waveforms, harmonics and overdrive characteristics of the tube can be closely simulated today. But guitar players are often "noble savages" who prefer the natural warmth of tube amps.

I noticed that Russia is still heavily into the vacuum tube ("Svetlana" is a Russian tube manufacturer). I understand that their equipment would survive "electromagnetic pulse" lots better than ours. Maybe tube tester kiosks still have a place in Russian supermarkets.

Congratulations on your son's musical success and Happy New Year!

Date: December 30 2001 at 10:59:17
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
How did you find TTM? via Sparky at Radio Shack

Mike and co.,

I see TV Tube Testers every now and again on Ebay. I'm always tempted to get one just for show but I don't have any place to put it. My dad always used the one at Git-N-Go over at 15th and Sheridan...which eventually became Wizard Records. Maybe the venerable webmaster can rig up a virtual tube tester that would play different 'Tulsa' musics/quotes when the right plug was inserted...like "Shawnee adds the me".

Speaking of "Tulsa musics", David has just released a new CD, "Keystone Lake & Palmer". You will be reading about it here shortly.

Date: December 30 2001 at 06:03:06
Name: Webmaster
Location: indoors
Once upon a time, TV sets were made not with chips or transistors, but with vacuum tubes. When the picture started to roll (I've rarely seen it happen with a modern set), playing with the horizontal or vertical hold controls often proved ineffective. The TV repairman was pretty expensive.

The frugal approach was to unplug the set, take off the back cover and pull the tubes, despite the hazard of residual voltages in the thousands (only dads were authorized to get back there). You would bag them up and head over to Safeway or U-Tote-M to check them out in the self-service tube tester.

You looked up your tube (e.g., "6BG6") on the handy flip chart. It told you which socket to plug it into. You then pushed the test button and watched the meter. If the tube tested weak, it could be replaced from the stock stored in the kiosk.

Most of the time, replacing tubes didn't fix the problem. After suffering for awhile longer, THEN you called the TV repairman.

It's been quite a while since these machines were ubiquitous; I was able to find only one picture on the internet. It is from the Radio-Television Museum in Bowie, Maryland. Not only does this machine still work, but visitors can bring in their own tubes for testing.

7/2/2008: Photo found on eBay
Tube Tester
UTestM machine, found at UToteM convenience stores among others.

Date: December 29 2001 at 07:59:00
Name: Edwin
Location: between Lewis & Peoria on Skelly Dr.
How did you find TTM? uh?


Black Fox protest, from video courtesy of John Hillis Golden Drumstick turned into the Middle Path Cafe in the 70's (late?) The city did not like the "hippie" idea & cost much money to get open. It had food that tasted like food should for people who had to go down that "middle" path.

My dad played tennis with a guy who worked there. This fellow was also involved with the protests about the Inola Black Fox reactor (led by Carrie Dickerson), so that would put it somewhere within 1973-1982.

The bread WAS good. The reactor was never finished due to the protest and the high projected cost to consumers.

Today is Tulsa TV Memories' third birthday!

Date: December 28 2001 at 20:34:31
Name: Webmaster
Location: near the airport

NPR's "Fresh Air" (KWGS, 89.5) featured Hoagy Carmichael today (the show can be heard here). It was noted that one of his favorites among the songs he composed was "One Morning in May", which you can hear sung by our own Lee Woodward on the main Lee & Lionel page.

Date: December 28 2001 at 13:39:00
Name: Mike Bruchas

I shopped Harrington's in some other downtown location then they moved to Boulder - see previous posting on finding the lost remnants of the KOME studios upstairs at this location with Hal O'Halloran's name found on an office door (near the bottom of Guestbook 2)....I was buyin' a lot of double-knit then in pantaloons and clothes. Liked Harrington's for their good general mix of Western and tradional menswear....Are they still in business?

Harrington's was also the place to get Cub/Boy Scout uniforms and gear...it's not around anymore.

Date: December 28 2001 at 12:03:32
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin

On the subject of old stores, my mother always took us to Sears on Boulder. We’d have to go round and round the block, waiting for a vacant space in the tiny Sears parking lot, which had capacity for maybe twenty cars. But, it was worth it to get the free parking with a purchase. Cars would be lined up around the block waiting for a space.

There also was a nice, red-haired lady who always helped us at Sears. It was a strange feeling for me, as a five to seven-year old, to have her measure my inseam for pants.

As we got older, we moved to Main St., first to Brown-Dunkin, then later to Harrington’s (“The Store for Son and Dad”) and Clarke’s (I think Ed Brashier was the omnipresent salesman. [We didn’t have “salespersons” back then.]) If you were buying a suit, the big thing was to get the coat with two pairs of trousers. Your mom always bought them a size too big, because she knew that you’d be “growing into them.”

In the evenings during nice weather lots of adults would “window shop,” a term used for couples slowly strolling up and down Main St., wistfully looking at all the goodies in the store windows, and wishing that there was enough money in the family budget to be able to afford the tantalizing items.

A big rite of passage was the purchase of your first watch. They were quite expensive for most middle-class budgets then. Some kids got one for a high school graduation present. Because few people had watches, most of the businesses all over town had a big clock, either in the window or on a far wall, visible from the street.

Date: December 28 2001 at 08:04:31
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY

Re Mike Bruchas:

Things we can remember clearly and things we forget:

I'm pretty sure the store was right on Main Street. It was a full department store, with chiming elevators, complete with human operators. While I can't recall the location with exactitude, I can remember a saleswoman, a red-haired lady named Miss Webb, who always waited on us--My mother, my two brothers, and me.

That's what I mean about selective memory.

Date: December 27 2001 at 21:34:19
Name: Rod Stites
Location: Tulsa
How did you find TTM? Serendipity

Mike, I've enjoyed watching your site develop and grow. As a bi-coastal kid (the Missouri River in Kansas City and the Arkansas River here in Tulsa), I spent my summers with my grandparents here in T-Town. My mom and dad were members of Will Rogers' first graduating class in 1941, and their names are engraved in stone in front of the school entrance in honor thereof.

One of my favorite pictures on your site is The Golden Drumstick, which stood on the northeast corner of 11th and Yale. You'll notice that it has a southwestern adobe and stucco look to it, very incongruous for a fried-chicken joint.

Casa-Del, aka The Golden Drumstick That's because it was born in the late 1930s as THE CASA DEL CLUB, a popular nightspot where folks went to see and be seen, especially TU students. I have a picture of my folks sitting at a table there, taken in December of 1946 with a bottle of 7-UP on the table, their faces lit up as though it were a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.

Dad used to tell me stories about the old Casa Del Club when we passed it en route to the country where my grandparents lived and stabled their horse at 33rd and Yale!

Thought you'd enjoy this interesting tidbit about the history of the Golden Drumstick. By the way, do you recall Channel 2, intra-act, announcing itself as "KAY-VOO, CHANNEL 2, TULSA" I have vivid memories too of KVOO radio announcing itself proudly as "The 50,000-Watt Voice of Oklahoma."

(courtesy of Rod Stites)
Rod: "...on a Sunday afternoon, 1946 (three years
before I was born.) Doesn't he look lovestruck?

Webmaster, 12/3/2002: Rod passed away while I was in Hawaii on my honeymoon.
My wife Gaye and I recently watched "Mulholland Drive" with Rod on his big-screen TV and planned to have him over to see "Twin Peaks"  after our honeymoon. It was a terrible shock to hear of his passing. He was a fine colleague and friend, and I miss him.

STITES -- Donald Rodney "Rod," 53, passed away Wednesday, November 20, 2002 in Tulsa. He had lived in New York, Kansas, Texas, France and California before moving to Oklahoma. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Linguistics at the University of Houston in 1977. He spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, France where he earned a French Language Competency Certification in 1978. His most recent employment was as an Information Specialist with EDS in Tulsa. He was preceded in death by his father, Jack E. Stites. Survivors include: his mother, Louise Dyer of Owasso, OK; brother, Rick Stites of San Diego; second mother and friend, Glenna Stites of Overland Park, KS; uncles and aunts, Guy and Maxine Morrison of Bartlesville, Bud and Jeanne A. Carter of Tulsa; cousins, Sammy Lee Garner of Dallas, Jerry Morrison of Kansas City, MO, Sally Ann Wallace, David Carter, Dee Carter, all of Tulsa, Kay Kalber, Lindsey Kalber, James Kalber of Crofton, MD, and an exceptional family of friends.

Date: December 27 2001 at 18:54:18
Name: Don Norton
Location: Tulsa

Anyone familiar with the Dallas/Fort Worth market since the 1970s (I know several read this site) should remember Robert Phelps "Chip" Moody II. He was the only person to anchor the featured evening newscasts on three major D/FW stations (KXAS-NBC, KDFW, then CBS, now Fox, and WFAA-ABC). "Chip" fought a losing battle with cancer and died yesterday (Wednesday, December 26) at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He was only 54 but will be long remembered in north Texas.

Date: December 27 2001 at 14:28:52
Name: Mike Bruchas

Where in Tulsa WAS Montgomery Ward back then, Jim?

Date: December 26 2001 at 17:10:22
Name: Googy Egan

Someone asked who the other old car collector was (Besides James Leake?) His name is Delray McGlumphy (owns Mac's electric supply store.) Has about fifty vintage cars housed on fourth street just off Peoria. Open every Sat. & Sun.

Date: December 24 2001 at 10:16:13
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY

How about this one from w-a-a-a-y back? Going to Montgomery Ward's, in 1938, and getting a pulp paper coloring book about a reindeer named Rudolph? It was given away free to kids that year. The song was written a couple of years later.

Here are several pages from the original book at Amazon.com.

Date: December 24 2001 at 08:30:11
Yogi Bear ball toss Name: Charles
Location: Fargo
How did you find TTM? Under the escalator at Sheridan Village

Christmas memories of Tulsa....Going downtown to see the lights and the parade. Going to Sears (at 21st and Yale of course) when they had their expanded toy department at Christmas time. Seeing Santa arrive at Sears by helicopter (Lee and Lionel were there, too). The Otasco toy commercials (e.g., Odd Ogg). Christmas dinner prepared by Mom (Miss you Mom).

Date: December 22 2001 at 17:09:38
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: North Pole
How did you find TTM? Under the tree.

I mentioned watching a prime backup group of famous pickers back up Earl Scruggs on Letterman's show a few nights ago. I did not realize it at the time but Leon Russell, hidden from the camera behind a wall of speakers, was playing the keyboard.

Nice write up in The World's Spot on some of the local guitar legends. A few were left out but it was a good article.

Merry Christmas.

And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Lowell.

The Tulsa counterculture page should appear here just after the New Year...there is an interview pending. If anyone has any relevant stories or pix, please send them this way.

Date: December 21 2001 at 10:48:22
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY

In case anyone is trying to find Ralph Blane in a Tulsa Central yearbook, his full name, before he showbizzed it, was Ralph Blane Hunsecker.

John F. Lawhon, courtesy of Jim Reid Date: December 21 2001 at 08:42:24
Name: John Hillis
Location: Warshington
How did you find TTM? Coded smells from the Bama Pie Plant

Doug Dodd, who I always thought was good folks, even if he did become a lawyer, did some wicked imitations. His John F. Lawhon was particularly good. Perhaps someone on the campaign trail will ask what one should do if one is looking for the best furniture buy in Oklahoma.

Date: December 21 2001 at 07:53:52
Name: Webmaster
Location: at home

Today on NPR, there was a feature about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from MGM's 1944 musical, "Meet Me in St. Louis". Hugh Martin and Tulsa native Ralph Blane wrote this tune with different lyrics than are popularly sung today. The older lyric is perhaps more appropriate this year. The link has Judy Garland's version (on MP3) and James Taylor's new recording of the original lyric.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more

Through the years, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Date: December 20 2001 at 08:06:43
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Location: Sand Springs

To all ex-Tulseyites who may not know, Doug Dodd is the Demo candidate for 1st District Congress representing Tulsa. He faces Republican Candidate John Sullivan (no relation to Ed or Bob) in a special election in early January.

This election is to replace former NFL receiver and Hall of Famer Steve Largent, who is resigning to run for OK Guv next November.

I never worked with Doug, but I remember he did the best impression of Jim Leake I ever saw.

Date: December 19 2001 at 21:11:13
Name: Edwin (via email to the webmaster)

When TPS (Tulsa Public Schools) had their first live telecast of the "Back to School" thing...

Explanation---All employees (7000!) would gather & hoot together on TV. We put a presentation on that included well-known peoples whom graduated from Tulsa. One of them was J.H. Franklin.

Of course, we all now love the pre-recorded video on BIG screen projection. The teachers liked it. Nice personal speech, too! Fine guy. The only one that wouldn't make a tape for us was Paul Harvey who wanted money for it. (get it!)

Walt Brewer was a saleman who sold Colortran lites. Colortran had this wonderfull device on their 2K's that was called "the ring". It was a ring around the fixture that stayed cool & would focus the lamp easy! Problem was...if you pointed it down below 45 degrees that ring falls down into pure spot! Colortran no longer lives.

Meadow Gold sign...When I was 3-6 years old...from Gage, Ok. to Baxter Springs Ks., I would be laying in the back seat or back window (depending on my dumb younger brother) & when I would see that lighted Meadow Gold sign from where I lay, I would know we were half-way. You know?

To Mike B...I have the anti-drug films from the 60's...cool stuff. Some guy turns into a chicken and another turns into a transvestite & gets burned by fire! too cool.

Did I fall to mention...I am working with Art Linkletter's old producer?...Poor old guy (I feel for him as I do I) he accepts no pay. He does what we all should be doing in 20 years...

Date: December 19 2001 at 13:17:14
Name: Mike Bruchas
How did you find TTM? Next to the jalapeno cornbread at Luby's

Who was the other old car collector in Tulsey besides Jummy Leake?

Had a warehouse on 6th just east of Peoria by all that old oil company gear - but collected and stored old cars in a vintage metal-sided warehouse there....

If you watch SpeedVision on cable 12/30 and 1/5 Hemmings Old Car show has a great interview with car collector AND mechanic Jay Leno - showing off a Stanley Steamer that he owns and DRIVES. He owns several in fact and restores cars. Funny seeing Leno as your knowledgable (but tired and greasy) mechanic and steam engineer - but he is. He has a passion for cars and cycles and also worked as a mechanic.

Date: December 18 2001 at 16:37:09
Name: Mike (Sign-off Crew) Bruchas
Location: Fox Speed Channel - Charlotte
How did you find TTM? Better after I passed on the Xmasy-colored fried pork rinds....

High Flight was I believe USAF issued as part of a p.r. package - as years went by - newer jets appeared. Don't know if it is still being issued.

I believe there was a Navy version "For Those in Peril on the Seas" or some variation...do you remember a great Army version with stills with moves on them - we first saw it on KTVY and later learned it was the Army's. I think 4 later did a version of their own of famous images....

Date: December 17 2001 at 19:36:28
Name: Webmaster

Archived Guestbook 97.

We just discussed the Kon-Tiki, a coney/burger place on Admiral between Yale and Pittsburg (across the street from a future Greer's Tape Center).

We learned of the passing of Walter Brewer, a well-known lighting man in Tulsa TV. We also mourned George Harrison. The webmaster's home movie of George's 1974 Tulsa concert can be seen in RealVideo. Leon Russell was a special guest that night.

Oklahoma books were discussed. A look back at Tulsa in the days of Pearl Harbor was provided by Don Norton, Jim Ruddle and Frank Morrow.

We welcomed the late John Hudson's daughter, Heather, to the site.

KOED Channel 11 still uses "High Flight", a poem recited over film of a jet, as its sign-off. New reader Ray Haas wonders if anyone has information about the clip (when produced, by whom, etc.)

Finally, 70s and 80s Tulsa radio was discussed throughout this Guestbook.

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