Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 209
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Here in Missouri, the closest Mazzio's is in Harrisonville about 45 miles from where I live. We occasionally make the drive because it's worth it and my 17 year old daughter was hooked on Mazzio's when we lived in T-town. Her grade school served it every Thursday (Eastwood Baptist).
However, I still "pucker-flinch" every time I drive by a Ken's business. He made his point and I am a better man for it.
He now does an Internet video broadcast each weekday from the San Diego area about the real estate industry. You can get a taste of that broadcast, and of Bob, at dnn.tv.
Bob is delighted with his new job and the environs of San Diego, but he'll still return to Tulsa from time to time for special events and to visit Jana's family who is from the Bristow area, as I recall.
See, over here in Northwest Arkansas, 107.9 is the home of 100,000-watt powerhouse blowtorch KEZA, which you can pick up clearly all the way down Highway 412 into East Tulsa. The result is when driving in T-Town, I noticed that east of Sheridan there's a lot of interference with both stations overlapping. So who in the FCC let this happen?
Otherwise, good station. Sorry I lost it eastbound once I got to Memorial Drive.
I remember going to your batting cages with my little league team, the Reed Redsox. It was fun because one could see how far they hit the ball instead of just hitting into a net. We always got a kick out of trying to hit the ball buggy as it cruised around gathering up balls.
Since you worked there, maybe you can shed some light on an early childhood memory of that corner of the fairgrounds.....
I remember there was a large statue of some sort that could be seen from 21st street, laying in pieces on the ground by the batting cages. I'm guessing it may have been a smaller forerunner to the Golden Driller. Seeing it laying there in the weeds always scared the heck out of me. I imagined it rising up at night and roaming around terrorizing children. I'm sure either my siblings or my dad were responsible for planting that vision of terror in my young mind.
I must admit that I told my three boys a similar tale about the Golden Driller when they were young. That may explain why they always wanted to enter the fairgrounds via 15th street!
Anyway, does this ring a bell with you or anyone else?
The other big news is that my friend and former editor, Andrew Hicks, has bought the Gayly Oklahoman, and I am the paper's editor. Look for big changes! We are hitting the stands in 8 days. It's amazing to me; I've worked in mainstream newspapers, underground newspapers, Native American newspapers, African American newspapers, and a metrosexual newspaper - it doesn't matter what group is putting out a publication, it's always mass pandemonium, regardless of the sub-culture. I feel alive again, exhausted, but alive!
We had a family of 6 kids and our parents had a partnership on the batting cages located at the SE corner of the Fairgrounds in the early 70s. There was a driving range next door. We had a Volkswagen with a cage body that we drove to pick up the balls. We worked basically for free other than my mom bought us Subs from Little Lannie's, in lieu of pay of course. By the way, I can still hit a fastball!
Jay was a colleague of Mike Miller's at KTUL radio (which became KELi), as touched upon in an excerpt from Mike's new book, How High Can A Guy Stoop?
I highly recommend the all-purpose seasoning available from the Hammett House in Claremore. I often dined there with my folks in the '70s. The food is very good. Take a little drive on the weekend, visit the Will Rogers Memorial and have some good home cookin'. If you live too far away, you can order the all-purpose and chili seasoning on-line at: HammettHouse.com.
For those of you who contacted me with regard to the fake "Coney Islander" recipe, you can order Cincinnati chili from Skyline at SkylineChili.com. It's very good, and will make the Coney Islander experience complete for those of us who don't make it back home very often.
David George, Jim Giles and Mike Anderson at KOTV in the 80s
Erick originally suggested a list of folks to be contacted in Guestbook 10 (June 1999).
Here is a list of Tulsa TV/radio people who have visited the site, plus an incomplete (by necessity) list of folks who have not. I've probably missed some who should be on the "visited" list, but it can at least serve as a memory jog for readers. If you have updates, additions or corrections, feel free to email them to me.
Somewhere - TTM has a picture of a vintage KWGS program guide with long time Texaco Operacast voice MILTON CROSS on the cover.
As I recall KGGF and KWGS (or was it KWON and KWGS) usaed to carry the opera broadcast. Ed Dumit will remember.
Ken Selby, the wildly successful founder of Ken's/Mazzio's/Zio's, simply phased out Ken's Pizza in favor of Mazzio's. His first venture was "The Pizza Parlor" near TU. Here is a history.
He was a huge part of the reason I got into radio. We went to different high schools, but when I heard him on KAKC I began to think well, if Roger can do it, obviously I can do it. Plus, he had the record which played on the station, a nice little tune about Judy, his former wife and one of the all-time coolest Tulsa people. He had a kind of Ricky Nelson vocal style. I thought, man, the guy is on the radio, making records, I gotta get with it.
I had been hanging out with Dick Charles at KVOO Radio, sitting in while he did his show, but thanks to Rog I actually auditioned at KAKC. Bob Brown ushered me through the audition process - which was not easy and took a long time, over two months, I think, to get the job. But thanks to the groundbreaking work of Roger Borden , I was able to begin my career at KAKC.
In fact, when I went to Dallas for acting and voice work, it was Roger who helped me into that market, introducing me to his agent, who would become my manager there.
So for me, I think the young man deserves a headline on your home page, at least, and not just because his family owned the Borden's Restaurants that fed Tulsa for so many years. It's a loss, if not for the city as a whole, then for those of us Tulsans who knew him. This is a person some of us have known all - ALL - of our lives. Jim Peters
Jim, I'm sorry for everyone's loss. Here is a blog entry by a friend of Roger's. By the way, nice to see the real Jim Peters here.
Just thought the folks who visit your website would like to know, Roger Borden died on March 14, after a year long battle with cancer.
Roger was one of the jocks I used to visit at KAKC and KRAV when I was thirteen. You will remember his work on camera at Channel 6 as the host of Dance Party, later hosted by Lee Bayley. I learned to run a board at his elbow. I was able to return the favor in 1971 when I introduced him to the station management who hired him in Houston. He in turn helped me make the transition into freelance voice work; Roger was one of the top Dallas VO guys for years, and served on the local and national levels of our union, AFTRA.
In the late 1980s, he came out to Los Angeles to pursue voice work, where another former Tulsa radio great, the late Danny Dark, helped him get into NBC where he did fill-in for Danny himself from time to time. Roger got involved in much public service with recovery programs, and was ordained as a minister in the Church of Religious Science, where he was a frequent teacher and speaker.
Also in the eighties, Roger's son Shawn died tragically. A big piece of Roger's heart was buried with him. He will be laid to rest next to Shawn in Dallas.
I will be at the memorial service tonight...and thought I would remember Roger to your readers tonight.
Good rest, and thanks, to you, old friend,
Skilly was a beauty, but it was an icy beauty. I heard that she and Bob divorced. They both had strong personalities, particulary Skilly. I also understand that she continued to teach dancing up into her later years, still retaining her attractiveness.
Skilly simplified the swing dance/jitterbug/lindy hop. Although I was aware of the term jitterbug, I only heard the term swing dance used for what we did.. I didn't hear the term lindy or lindy hop until I got into the Navy and met people from back East. The word "jitterbug" also seemed to be more applicable to the more wild, fast dance of the Black folks, although we did apply it occasionally to the swing dance.
Skilly's legacy lives on. When you go to high school and college reunions, you can continue to see old geezers still doing the swing dance the way Skilly taught us.
And my best to the world's only laissez-faire lion.
One such station, an AM station in either Kansas or Bartlesville, did carry the Opera and with good atmospheric cooperation could be heard in Tulsa. Then, I discovered KOSU-FM could also be picked up here and I was elated. Lo and behold, KWTU-FM was born and began to carry the Met. Oddly, then KOSU got on the local dial at 107.5, just below the new Jazz station. Whether they duplicate the broadcast or not? I'll have to check it out. I do know that KOSU will program Classical Vocal sometimes; a practice KWTU seems adverse to? Of course, I do not listen 24/7 to anything.
The Met is currently fund-raising to continue the Met broadcasts. The Toll Brothers (Lux Home Builders) have stepped in for the interim as Texaco gave up this prestigious expense. You see... they could no longer afford it! There's just no profit in the Oil Business these days. There is no longer a Texaco (Shell) card in my billfold these days either!
On another subject: "Skilly's" was the dance school of choice, for the south side of Tulsa, anyway. Skilly Forsman was the major-domo of that school. My daughter even taught there for a year or two.
Question? If you really wanted to go out to a club in Tulsa and wanted to dance...where would you go? (No Western, please.)
Note to Bill Mitchell: great work all these years and don't wait too long to find your beach.
The Met has been broadcast over-the-air in T-Town on Classical 88.7 since December 2004. During the Met's off-season, one can hear NPR's World of Opera every Saturday afternoon.
Classical 88.7 KWTU's schedule and up-to-the-minute playlist can be seen at PublicRadioTulsa.org.
Gary said only that the opera was live from the Met Saturday; I'm afraid I was the one who concluded it wouldn't be broadcast in Tulsa.
About the same time KWGS was trying out friendly persuasion, I had my most memorable ad-lib at a radio station in Georgia. Scheduled to do a 3-hour live radio remote for a house trailer tie-down firm. Two of us were making the big bucks of $2.25 per hour for this gig.
We've done our research, and the idea was to do a "play by play" of a house trailer being secured to the ground. Obviously, the number one reason to tie the trailer down is to keep it from being picked up by the ever-present tornado.
Exactly five minutes before airtime, Mr. Tie-Down comes over to us and says, "Boys, you know talk about tornados scares people and brings them down. So don't say anything about tornados on the air this afternoon."
Without saying that it keeps the house trailer tied to the ground in a tornado, there's really not a lot you can say in the way of friendly encouragement for getting the trailer tied down. That was an extremely long three hours, and I don't think Mr. Tie-Down ever bought a remote again.
Zig Ziglar couldn't have sold that pile of tripe.
I think Bill Stokely needs to buy it and make it a Route 66 museum where he could display, among other things, his extensive collection of signage. Maybe the old Meadow Gold sign could even find a new home out front.
I wonder if the seller knows about Lloyd Wallisch's bunker under the Rose Bowl?
That was on my mind, too, using the Rose Bowl as a home for those neon signs. It would be a wonderland.
I added these last two entries to the Rasslin' Page.
St. Patrick's Day was always a huge yearly event at Clancy's. Mrs. Clancy began preparing the traditional corned beef and cabbage a few days before. To this day I can still remember the smell of it cooking. Of course there was also the green beer. We went through many a keg on this day! The celebration always lasted well past midnight and usually spilled out into the parking lot due to the large crowd inside.
The Clancys were a wonderful family to work for. I cherish the time I spent working at Clancy's.
I had forgotten about the "Totten" Studio. Where was it? As a kid, I decided that "Totten" was an misspelled attempt to say "Tot-teen". I didn't imagine it to be a name, since they already had a famous one. Why would they need another?
To attend the funeral and memorial service of American legendary photographer, Gordon Parks. I did not realize that Ft.Scott was where he was being buried - after passing last week at 93.
His book - and movie - THE LEARNING TREE is set there.
My brother said that actor (Spencer for Hire/Star Trek) Avery Brooks gave part of the eulogy and also sang at the service.
The Pink Barn was owned by Jerry and Roberta Keith. I was a student in the very early 60s and met my first real sweetheart there while attempting to master the basic swing-dance steps. (change-weight-touch-back-change weight...etc.)
The studio was a long narrow building which sported a Bogen turntable and amplifier system, along with lines of pre-pubescent youths on opposite sides of the floor, all hoping to experience a dance with their partner of choice. My sweetheart was Eva Skinner. I remember my parents taking us on a good many movie-dates after we had met at the "Barn". We did the hold-hands-and-steal-a-kiss thing a few times, as I recall. Don't know where she is today, but I wish her well and thank her for some very sweet times, if she's a TTVM visitor.
I have no idea what happened to the Pink Barn or its owner/instructors, Jerry and Roberta Keith. They can both feel proud that they may be responsible for teaching some dance-steps of the time and for stirring the hormones of many of Tulsa's youth.
Then, after a year and three months, got an announcing job at KOCO-TV. Also did "Dialing for Dollars", an afternoon movie show that tried to give away money. Went to California for almost a year. Then back to Tulsa where Mister Leake hired me in news.
When he sold the station, went to Little Rock to anchor a morning show...at the NBC affiliate. That's when the news job at KOCO opened. Stayed there almost 11 or so years. Now back in Tulsa for the past 11 as senior reporter. Have a 19 year old daughter in college, UCO in Edmond. Lives there with her mom and step-dad. She and I are very close.
Still here at KTUL-TV...for at least another couple of years, while she finishes college. After that it's off to a radio gig on a beach somewhere along the coast.
P.S., I was the OTASCO man for about a year back in 1971. Also did a couple of crazy professor car commercials. Oh, those were the days.
Here's a photo of Bill from 1980: "Even my feet are pretty."
There was no landing arrangement at 29th and Yale near the BA. We did use live helicopter at that time but those reports were the work of Bill Stokely. We contracted for his "solid gold" chopper and several different pilots including Bill himself.
I appreciate you setting that straight, "Captain" Alan.
Here is a preview of Mike Miller's new book, How High Can a Guy Stoop?, available from Amazon and AuthorHouse via links on that page.