Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 150

TTM main | What's new on TTM? | GB Archive

Time: November 05 2003 at 08:43:30
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: The Cockroach Hotel
Comments: I have seen some cockroaches around here over the last forty-five years but not too many. When I lived in New Orleans - that was a different story! Even the fancy eating establishments had roaches running over the food at the table. No wonder management kept the lights so low! Roaches lived with you, ate with you and even crawled into bed with you.

In New Orleans the mosquitoes, rats and roaches were our constant friends. I wore OFF all year around - and the rain! My feet were never dry. I loved that city but give me Tulsa anyday!

Yeah, I've lived in north, east and south Tulsa, and have seen very few.

Time: November 05 2003 at 00:53:35
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: Speaking of bugs, does anyone remember the terrible cricket invasion in Tulsa in the summer of ’54? Because of the long, very hot summer without rain, the insects burrowed into the ground through every crack and hole they could find.

The problem began at the end of summer when the city was hit with sudden torrential rains. The crickets came streaming out of their hiding places. They were everywhere in clouds. You had to drive with your windshield wipers on, and braking was as hazardous as driving on ice. Skids were commonplace.

But the most revolting aspect was that the crickets couldn’t be kept out of the public establishments. They were everywhere inside the restaurants. They’d fly and crawl into your food, and they’d even crawl up you legs while you were trying to eat.

This cricket invasion lasted a week or two. I have experienced cricket problems while driving out west, making driving a car difficult, but the Tulsa phenomenon was the worse I have experienced or even heard of.

Time: November 04 2003 at 22:32:12
Name: Gary Chew
Location: Sacramento, CA
Comments: More on the Packers in T-Town: I'll follow-up with Mike Miller's comments about playing handball at the health club.

Yes, Don Chandler was a member there, and there were times, besides the handball bouts, we sat about in the bar or one of the saunas just gabbing.

Don had an interesting story which, if you've not heard, was that he was one of the Marlboro Men. Yes, one of those guys who wore a Stetson astride a pony in a cigarette commercial. If I remember correctly, he said he got 85 bucks everytime one of those spots with him in it ran on network television. I remember him as a really a nice guy who had some great stories about Packer games.

By the way, Bill Pitcock was a bear on that handball court. Mike Miller and I both remember that quite clearly.

George Tomek at KTVY, Channel 4, OKC, 1976Time: November 04 2003 at 22:00:12
Name: George Tomek
Location: Edmond, OK
Comments: Sorry to read Lee Woodward's notice that Dale Hart has passed away. Dale was a class act (one of many, many at KOTV). Always professional and helped me as a green rookie just starting out in TV in 1960. When I got to KMOX-TV in St. Louis, I was teamed up for a time with Pat Fontaine, former weatherperson in the very, very early days of the Today Show who had worked with Dale I believe in Arkansas and also spoke well of him. Anybody tell me what ever happened to Howard Whitely from KOTV sales and John and Marge Thomas?

Time: November 04 2003 at 21:41:04
Name: Rogan Josh
Location: Monterey/CA
Comments: Yipes! Someone emailed me with "BEEF BALONEY" as the subject matter, and I deleted the email, not knowing the reference to some local Tulsa talent; sorry, dude. What's all the hoopla about "Tiki" references? Seems a tad ironic, esp. since I had a Surf/Ska/Punk band out here called "Kon Tiki". Whatever happened to that bizarre bar in downtown Tulsa with the cave-like atmosphere inside?

That was me; I re-sent the Beef Baloney email. The Tulsa Tiki thing was my idea; there was not a general clamor for it, though we got some interesting contributions after it was out there. I got interested in Tiki Culture/Exotica as a byproduct of my search for the Fantastic Theater theme, which was the origin of this site.

Time: November 04 2003 at 21:24:00
Name: Rogan Josh
Location: Monterey/CA
Comments: Lawzee, coackroaches! The whole time I lived in Tulsa, 1952-1977; Kansas,1977-1980; and Norman/Ok, 1980-1985, I saw those incredible creatures. In the 18 years I've lived in Monterey, I've only seen maybe 3 cockroaches, but we have zillions of spiders and termites.

Now, back to Tulsa memories...ahhhh... whatever happened to local band "The Rogues Five"? Does Clapton still frequent Tulsa? I remember he did in the 70's, back when L. Russell was putting together his church studio. Is that studio still there?

Come to think of it, Lee Woodward reported seeing cockroaches at one Tulsa location.

More about the Rogues V on the Dance Party page. Steve Ripley of the Tractors now owns the Church Studio.

Time: November 04 2003 at 16:28:37
Name: Kathy Schramm Rapp
Location: Texas
Comments: I remember the Chandlers of Green Bay. I went to Jr. High with one of Don's daughters (Kelly, I think it was) in the early 70's. At the time, they lived in the neighborhood on the hill just east of St. Francis Hospital on 61st Street. I remember going over there for one of her birthday parties. Their home was full of Packers football pictures and memorabilia (trophies?). Mrs. Chandler was very nice, as I recall.

Time: November 04 2003 at 12:52:16
Name: Harold Hill
Location: still in t-town
Comments: The Executive Health club was located, I believe, off of 51st St. near Yale. It may have been behind the current location of the Green Onion Restaurant.

That sounds like the International Fitness club of the 80s, now Tulsa Athletic Club.

Time: November 04 2003 at 12:04:17
Name: Mike Allsop
Location: New Jersey
Comments: Don Chandler had a house out towards Claremore off of I-44, and lived there during the off season. Don't know if his wife was a local girl, but she was friends with the wife of Edison's football coach Ralph Parker back in the late 50's, or early 60's.

Time: November 04 2003 at 11:40:49
Name: Mike Miller
Location: Fort Smith, AR
Comments: I remember playing racquetball with Don (Babe) Chandler of the Packers. He must have spent a lot of time in Tulsa.

Chandler, Bill Pitcock and I used to play at the Tulsa Executive Health Club near 31st and Yale. Wonder if it's still there?

It would have been near the Celebrity Club (which is still there).

Time: November 03 2003 at 20:56:52
Name: Rogan Josh
Location: Monterey, CA
Comments: What a hoot this has been! While researching my cousin's store, Swinney's Hardware, I was directed here, and have had a blast reliving 50's and 60's memories reading these accounts of Tulsa. I'd forgotten about "Fantastic Theater", but it did bring up fond memories. I may return to Tulsa yet, it's just those dang icy streets and cockroaches...

But a question for all you Okies still in Tulsa: are any of you interested in doing any local late night TV? I mean producing segments, or possibly creating a local independent station? If so, write to me, and tell me your interest. Thanks!

Glad you're enjoying it, but...cockroaches?

Time: November 03 2003 at 19:43:00
Name: Harold Hill
Location: T-Town
Comments: I was a student at TU when the Green Bay Packers came to town in the winter of 66-67. Their kicker, Don Chandler talked Vince Lombardi into coming to Tulsa to practice for their upcoming game with the Dallas Cowboys. The weather turned cold just before they arrived in town for the practice sessions that were supposed to be at Skelly Stadium. They did have a practice at Skelly, I saw them arriving there, but then moved over to the IPE to finish before their journey to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl. The Packers won that game with Dallas and went on to the Super bowl.

Reservoir Hill is in near NW Tulsa close to Pine and Denver.

Time: November 03 2003 at 17:49:48
Name: Kathy Schramm Rapp
Location: Texas
Comments: Where exactly is Reservoir Hill? I seem to remember it was the hill on 61st near Sheridan where kids would ride their dirt bikes up and down. We called it Suicide Hill in the 70's.

Time: November 03 2003 at 16:20:30
Name: Gary Chew
Location: Sacratomato
Comments: From Films and Politics/Philosophy to Sports:

When I was working at KELi in the Fair Grounds "Doughnut," The Packers "invaded" the IPE Building for some workouts prior to a Dallas standoff. Can't remember the year.

Someone with stats in their heads might bring more to this, but anyway, some of us got wind at KELi that Bart and the guys were next door doing windsprints or something. We sneaked over and entered the IPE from the Bell Park side. On just getting to the lower floor area, which, as I remember, is toward the East end of the building, they caught us and ran us off, but not before we actually saw some of those Packer Dudes running around on the cement with no cleats on.

I think that they had come down from Green Bay ahead of time for more Dallas-like weather, too, only to be hit with a pretty damned cold Oklahoma front. But can't remember what Super Bowl it was to be.


Time: November 03 2003 at 14:41:30
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: In the Huddle
Comments: Being a fan, I went out to watch Fran Tarkenton and his Vikings practice a couple of times at Skelly Stadium. It is a good memory.

As mentioned, they came here for the warmer weather. Ironically, it was, at the time, notably colder and wetter here than it was in Minnesota.

Time: November 03 2003 at 12:26:24
Name: Chris Starr
Location: Mannford
Comments: I seem to remember the Minnesota Vikings, before the construction of the Metrodome, coming to Tulsa in the early to mid-seventies and practicing at Skelly Stadium in preparation for the playoffs. It seems Coach Bud Grant believed that Tulsa was a good escape for the chill of Bloomington, MN. Anybody else remember this? The Vikes also played their first preseason game of 1967 at Skelly Stadium vs the Philadelphia Eagles on 8/12/67. The Vikes shut out the Eagles 34-0 before a smallish crowd of 24,500. Anybody attend this game or know of any other preseason NFL games played in Tulsa, perhaps with the Cowboys or Chiefs?

Time: November 03 2003 at 09:23:45
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: Michael Moore's book "Dude, Where's My Country?" has some interesting comments concerning Clear Channel's wonderful sense of ethics.

Time: November 02 2003 at 22:21:11
Name: Gary Chew
Location: Sacramento, CA
Comments: I'm reacting to Mike Bruchas' most recent remarks regarding Clear Channel and bike-riders.

Mike, Clear Channel is the epitome of what a broadcaster can become when it loses its sense of professionalism with regard to balance and responsibility. The way the broadcast giant tried to fiscally "do-in" the Dixie Chicks is an earlier example of what it now seems to want to do on a more physical level to people who choose to ride bicycles. (I'm one who choses not to ride a bike. That's not the point, but I feel it coming.)

Clear Channel, and broadcasters like it, should remember that the FCC's Fairness Doctrine was repealed not to allow telecommunication corporations to behave like spoiled brats, but that they might be able to exercise, more fully, their right to free speech. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

We'd all better hope always (and that includes Clear Channel) that democracy means that we have to put up with irresponsibility from some just as it means that minorities (that's not JUST race) must always be protected from the majority, while (and as it should be) the majority rules with the vote.

I learned early in my career right there in good old T-Town that professional broadcasters don't pander; they inform and entertain.

Do I hear any "yes's" being voiced into cyberspace out there?

The Dixie Chicks affair was reminiscent of the 1966 Beatles record burnings.

Cumulus Broadcasting and Cox Radio (with 272 and 78 stations, respectively) banned the Dixie Chicks' records for a time. Clear Channel stations (at 1200+ total) banned them on an individual basis. Nevertheless, the Chicks' summer tour is among the highest-grossing this year.

From a reader re media consolidation:

"Most all media companies, irregardless of size or the number of stations (save the rare single-station small-market owner), are conducting their on-air operations the same. Clear Channel just happens to be the biggest owner and is therefore the easiest target."

Time: November 02 2003 at 21:54:31
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: "monitoring network lines"
Comments: Sen. Don Nickles (along with IA Sen. Grassley) did cameos on "K Street" tonight on HBO.

My workmates and I (my humble KOTV year) all worked at CBS affils in various markets. We dutifully kept an eye on the great "CBS at 75" special.

Good stuff - but we all noticed that a lot of the archival video was not "color corrected" to make all look more seamlessly together. Maybe some of the stuff is no longer under CBS/Viacom control but a lot of the material was dark or out of color phase. Give them an "A" on content, but often a "B-" on film/tape clip preparation for a landmark show like this...

Time: November 02 2003 at 18:31:37
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Sitting on the Fox DC/Dallas game and our satellite receiver conked out just in time for the kick-off...
Comments: Is it me or doesn't Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells look like an older version of Teddy Jack Eddy - aka Gary Busey?

Maybe in 5 years or so - GB could do "The Bill Parcells Story"?

Time: November 01 2003 at 16:39:34
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Not listening to Clear Channel
Comments: Have ya'all seen the story on 3 different market Clear Channel radio stations - encouraging motorists to throw things at bicyclists or hit them? It is supposedly in response to too many bike-riders being on roads in those markets "and tying up traffic". The FCC "may" take action but Clear Channel now claims to have given away $10,000 of pro-bike advertising and is doing "its best at producing public service announcements". This is utterly crazy - has anyone in Tulsa heard of any anti-bike remarks on local radio? Tulsa has become such a great place for recreational riders...

Here is the story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Nothing related to Tulsa that I know of.

Time: November 01 2003 at 10:33:41
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: Halloween passed through Austin last night, and not a child's voice was heard anywhere in the neighborhood. This has been happening for many years now.

My sister recalled her early Halloweens when kids would go up to porches and find a box of goodies there. They always would only take one, making sure that there would be enough for subsequent trick-or-treaters. That would never happen today.

How sad that the world has changed so much from the day that I described in my 1940s remembrance.

We did some decent business out in south Tulsa last night...gave away almost two bags of Three Musketeers to our visitors. Two tiny little kids in tiger and bear suits seemed apprehensive about stepping up to receive the treat, but once they did, they got very nostalgic about the encounter and waved all the way out to the curb.

Time: October 31 2003 at 23:22:22
Name: Lee Woodward (via email)
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Sorry to say, but a KOTV great passed away this week. Dale Hart, the Program Manager who hired me out of Abilene and ended his career at KOTV as National Sales Manager has signed off.

Dale was an unusual man and responsible for many of KOTV's successes. Bob Mills and I were WBAP alumni as was Dale and that likely played a role in our getting hired. Dale knew that people watched TV to hate, as well as love personalities that were on TV and so overlooked the complaints that would have doomed people at another channel.

I know many KOTV staffers will have their own take on Dale, but my wife and I were great friends with him and his whole family and I know they will all miss him greatly....and so will we.

Time: October 31 2003 at 17:00:04
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence, KS
Comments: Happy Halloween! Be sure to tune in to Stevo's show this evening.

Time: October 31 2003 at 15:57:34
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Missing the NAB Codes
Comments: Was home in Chicago with ailing parents this week. A major car dealer has screaming sirens in both his radio and TV spots under the v.o. track almost continuously.

When driving in busy Chicago traffic - if you hear this on the radio and are not listening closely - you start looking for emergency vehicles. In the NAB Code days - spots like this were verboten and maybe for a good reason.

Non-TTM but a Halloween footnote - the neighborhood grade school where my brother and I attended grades K-6 and where my mother taught in 1948 and again from 1961 till the early '80's - was torn down (after nearly 90 years) in the last 2 weeks. My favorite memories of that school WERE the Halloween parades on the playground for so many years. It will become a park - at least not be turned into $400k apiece condo space - yet. But it was weird to see in the wrecker's piles - when I walked around the periphery - old blackboards as scrap. I (and several generations of neighbors and their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents) probably scribbled some of their first writing on them....You can't go home again....

Oh, yeah - the town has had an anti-leaf burning ordinance for 15 years - miss the smell of Fall and burning leaves in the old homestead neighborhood, too.

Time: October 31 2003 at 08:44:13
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: Waiting for dark!
Comments: I loved Frank's article about Halloween, 1940. It reminds me of my Halloweens in the 50's. Things had not changed much. Homemade sweets were not quite as popular but they were plentiful. We had to bring our bags home, empty, and go back out. The treats lasted for weeks.

One year, my eight year old sister took me, age six, out to Trick or Treat. We walked up on a dark porch and a guy dressed like Frankenstein came at us from across the room. The people who lived there had to chase us down and bring us back to the house to give us our treats.

Just like Frank, I remember people inviting us in to look at our costumes. It was such a different day.

I hope each of you have a fun Halloween.

Time: October 30 2003 at 16:33:31
Name: edwin
Location: Airport landing path (where we now live)
Comments: As teens ('60 to '64 or so) we KNEW about that Witch that lived in the stucco-looking house on the hill. She must have been dreadful because we could never quite get to Her door. The scary vibes were TOO much!

Time: October 29 2003 at 15:21:31
Name: Mike Allsop
Location: New Jersey
Comments: I just spent the better part of the day reliving the TSF and and all of the excitement around it. All the crappy midway games, and how many times I didn't land in the center of that Lucky Strike logo to win. The hypnotist on the IPE stage and getting to see all of the new cars.

My fondest memory of the fairgrounds though was probably in about 1970 when my best friend Eddie Klobas and I scaled the fence at the racetrack and snuck into the Leon Russell concert. We were 16 and it was the first Leon show I ever saw.

Leon concert around this time

To this day, I always carry Leon Live in the car and it transports me back to the summer of my youth. I did see Leon in New Jersey several years ago in a very small show and was able to get his autograph. And I love trying to explain the Mazeppa show to people, you had to live in Tulsa and you had to see it. On your belly, on your back, on your belly... I loved Coach Chuck.

Time: October 29 2003 at 13:14:34
Name: Chris Fields
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Can anyone tell me where Brewsters Toys was located?

1003 S. Peoria.

Time: October 28 2003 at 22:41:23
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: The Lap of Luxury
Comments: Greg, I, too, thought the top of Reservoir Hill was the origin of various shows. I actually thought that "The Honeymooners" was being broadcast from there. Why? I don't know!

That is the most beautiful lookout in the county, especially at night. I sure wish it was not fenced off.

Time: October 28 2003 at 12:03:35
Name: Ross Guffey
Location: Nowhere Indiana
Comments: I LOVED growing up in Tulsa in the 70s. It was a time of Mazeppa & Teddy Jack Eddy. I miss Tulsa and all of its great people and get homesick a lot.

Time: October 28 2003 at 08:58:12
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: Chuck Wheat and I were fraternity brothers. One night Chuck wanted to go see his parents who lived in northeastern Oklahoma--Oaks, near Jay. Since Chuck didn't have a car (few students did in those days), someone had to come to his rescue. I volunteered. He said his dad was a rabid Republican who had vowed not to shave until Dean Acheson had ceased to be Secretary of State.

What a shock! Although it was the McCarthy era, I had never met one of his supporters. I had to listen to the man's rabid, far-right harangue for a whole evening. It was scary.

So was his long, gray beard.

(P.S., Chuck's mother was very nice.)

Time: October 28 2003 at 03:24:09
Name: Greg S.
Location: Tulsa
Comments: I have vivid memories of a few TV shows when I was a young boy growing up on Reservoir Hill, in Tulsa, in the mid 1960's. I remember Fantastic Theater, Mr. Zing and Tuffy, and Mazeppa. I also recall one scarier during that time that was not broadcast from Tulsa, which was Night Gallery.

I lived with my grandparents and always asked them where the TV broadcast was coming from. They always told me, 'the big antenna up the street on the hill.' I was really scared, but would ride my bicycle up there late at night to check it out. I think I was like 7 years old when a friend of mine had spent the night. We were watching Fantastic Theatre, and decided to 'visit' the 'hill' after it was over. We were expecting the 'freaky aliens' from the show to 'get us' if we went up there. I'll never forget that night. One of the scariest times of my life!

The music from Fantastic Theater was strange, and scary. Some of the coolest sounds of my youth. I can't believe that so many remember it. The young age I experienced it at made it VERY memorable.

Now that we all remember it, why don't we try to get it back on the air???

Time: October 27 2003 at 22:25:49
Name: Marbeth Baer Snellgrove (via email)
Comments: My father, Aubrey Baer, had a show on 6, I believe in the 50s, called "Science Is Fun". Am trying to find anyone who remembers this show or who has pics or info about it. My dad was also a teacher and counselor at Central High in Tulsa for years. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Time: October 27 2003 at 16:41:51
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: Chuck Wheat is living in the Richmond, VA, area. His wife of many years, the former Carol Nan McDonald--a Central and TU grad--died about three years ago. Chuck since has remarried.

Sure enough, Google lists him in Onancock, VA. Thanks, Frank.

Time: October 27 2003 at 15:44:55
Name: Sam Loveall
Location: Far, far, far, far eastern North Carolina
Comments: I gotta check in here more often. Very sorry to read of the passing of Modell Phipps (or his alter ego, anyway.) I've still got, on an old, scratchy, fadey cassette tape, a recording of Modell on Rick Couri's show from the mid-80's, doing a "Stump Modell" program. Listeners called in and tried to ask a sports question that Modell couldn't answer. Of course, he got all of them right. (It was during this show that we learned that Modell's sister, Modess, had both dated Babe Ruth and invented the napkin.)

Time: October 27 2003 at 12:36:34
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: To continue Billy Spradlin's discussion concerning KTFX...

KTFX remained country on 103.3 until about '95/'96, when Cox Radio acquired the frequency. The calls changed to KJSR, and the format to Classic Rock (Star 103).

The KTFX calls moved to 102.3, which was based out of Sapulpa/Sand Springs, and had switched formats several times. This time, it was classic country.

In '98/'99, Cox took over 102.3 and the calls switched to KRTQ, with the format becoming Active Rock (Rock 102.3).

The KTFX calls are still alive and well, serving the 102.1 frequency for a country station covering the Eufaula/Muskogee area. The former KTFX 102.3/103.3 studios at Admiral and Memorial have been empty and for sale for several years.

KWEN, also owned by Cox, is still country "K-95FM".

Time: October 27 2003 at 11:57:26
Name: Webmaster
Location: Tulsa
Comments: In the last Guestbook, we had just spoken about former Tulsa entertainment writer Chuck Wheat (where is he now?) and remembered toy store owner Bill Brewster and his wife, who both passed away last week.

We heard from KRMG morning man (1964-71) Chuck Adams for the first time, who told us about his popular "Batman" radio spoof, "Dratman", featuring local personalities.

50,000 watt KVOO-AM is no more as of last year, but "KVOO Days" and Johnnie Lee Wills were remembered, as well as the days of Billy Parker and English announcer Garry Kemp.

Gary Chew helmed TU's KWGS-FM in the later 70s and he told us about that period. Writer John Wooley has a great new Saturday evening Western Swing show there, too.

Storme Warren and Ron Swasta are among those who checked in for the first time.

All that and more in the just-archived Guestbook 149.

Back to Tulsa TV Memories main page