Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa TV/radio/movies/pop culture of the past      

Remembering Gene Tincher

(from Guestbook 69, 1/8/2001) Dale McKinney said:

Today I, along with a number of other people, said farewell to Gene Tincher. To paraphrase Josey Wales, I worked with him and I got no complaints.

I think Gene would have liked the understatement. He was a master of understatement. The preacher who spoke at the funeral had talked to people, and the first thing he brought up was Gene's giving nature. The second thing was his dry sense of humour. I kind of think they were part & parcel of the same thing. Gene made it fun to come to work. You knew you could count on him and that it would not be dull.

Quite a few people showed up today. The left side seemed to be reserved for family. The right side had a number of people I didn't know, but many I did. Carl Bartholomew was there. A pair of engineers named Jack, a Leon, two directors [myself & Davis], Lynn & J. from KTUL. I felt like I was in quite a group! There were a couple of moments Gene himself would have loved. One was when the preacher repeated something he'd heard [possibly from the newspaper, which, as Sonny pointed out, made the same error], saying Gene worked as an electrical engineer. I think he would have chuckled. At another point, someone's phone went off. When I recognized the tune, I bit my lip. It was the wedding march. The person quickly took up the phone & left, returning after taking the call, I suppose. I'd had a bad moment for a second until I remembered I'd turned mine off. I understand that not everyone has that luxury. And I think Gene would have gotten a chuckle out of both of these things.

The casket was a nice, subdued color, with a spray of flowers on top & a perfectly folded American flag. Gene's service in World War II was mentioned, as well as his having run audio at the Nuremburg Trials. A couple of hymns were played over a sound system. I apologize for not being able to remember what they were.

Towards the end, they opened the casket, and some of us filed past to say goodbye to our friend. I knew I would have no trouble remembering Gene, not as he was there, but as he was when we worked all those late nights together. Though he might not crack a smile, there would be a twinkle in his eye. I don't know about the rest of you, but on those occasions when I made him laugh, I felt like I had done something.

I've tried to do a couple of things with this posting: 1. to say farewell to Gene, and b. to give a brief description ot the funeral for those of you too far away or tied up to make it. I know you would have been here if you could have and I bet Gene does, too.

My memory of Gene is this, that he could synch up ABC late night delay tapes so well, that you could dissolve, or even wipe from one 2" tape machine to the other, and not see the wipe. That's skill! So he would come down the hall into A control to tell me. Well I would watch my monitors, testing the match on my preview monitor. Then through the window, I saw him approach. I made the switch. In walks Gene, opens his mouth to tell me, sees that I've already made the switch to the other machine by the tally lights, shuts his mouth, turns & walks out. Both of us chuckled about this, then & later.

I also have to thank him for an image he put in my mind. When the equipment was "getting on in years" at channel 8, he used to say they would one day shut the station down, turn it into a museum, and have wax dummies of all of us in natural poses around the machines.

I remember how he used to put his name on a styrofoam cup & say how nice it was for Mr. Allbritton to supply us with coffee cups. And I think he tired of people tearing the bottoms off of memos on bulletin boards anytime they needed scratch paper. So he wrote at the bottoms of memos, "If anyone needs any paper, tear off here." I too got an email from around December 21. The header was one of his favorite sayings, at least in my time there. I close with. Farewell, Gene.

Don't pay the ransom! I escaped.

(from Guestbook 69) Jim Reid said:

Sign-off tape with the crooked NAB seal

Gene and I spent many nights working together at 8. Besides being great at his job, he was just a great guy to be around.

I was very young at the time, and used to stay there talking to Gene long after my shift was over and we were off the air. He would be making dub reels or cleaning the gates on the film chain projectors.

It was late one night he told me about his experiences working on the Nuremburg Trials. He told me never to tell, that he didn't want the news department wanting to interview him. I wish they had, he would have made a great story.

We had the same sign-off tape running for years. When they had produced it, the NAB seal was mounted crooked in the slide. Every night when the tape ran and the crooked slide showed up on the air, you could always count on Gene to announce over the production page, "slide's high on the right".

I, too had been in contact with Gene since he showed up on this forum. I'm glad I had a chance to get in touch with him one last time.


In 1977, I decided to go to Los Angeles for a two week vacation. I've always been a big movie fan, and spent the entire two weeks seeing the sites and trying to break into the studios and backlots. (I was successful at MGM)

When I was getting ready to leave, I was telling Gene Tincher about my plans and he told me that in Long Beach there was a Eugene Tincher Elementary School. He told me that he had heard of it, but had never been there.

When I got to California, I made sure to drive down to Long Beach one day and take pictures of the school, the sign and the portrait of Eugene Tincher in the hall. He didn't look much like Gene.

I gave him the pictures when I got back and he was very pleased to get them. I think it might be the only time I ever saw Gene get caught off-guard.

(from Guestbook 68) Lynne Grigsby said:

Gene e-mailed me Christmas Eve just to say hello. I'm terrible about checking my e-mail so I didn't read it until after I found out he'd gone. Wish I could have gotten one last note to him. Gonna miss our e-mail chats. Worked with him for many years at KTUL. Had the same schedule for a long time, same days off. We still quote some of the funny stuff he use to say about the "news monkeys" and such (no offense to you news monkeys). He helped me a lot when I first started working at KTUL, especially with the dratted two inch machines that needed some sort of magic incantation to make them work ... Gene of course was the wizard of two inch. Now two inch machines are gone-I'm not going to miss them. Gene is gone too but I will miss him very much.

(from Guestbook 69) Mike Bruchas said:

Here are some e-mail excerpts I got from other former co-workers....

From R.L. Bullock – former 8 Tape Engineer now at CBN:

“I can't believe it. Gene and I exchanged Email on December 21. This is one of the times when I'm glad I followed up. You never know….”.

From Rick Christensen – former KTUL projectionist:

“ I wished I had dropped Gene a line, since you told me he had e-mail. I remember Gene very well, particularly his kindness. Some of the people working at KTUL seemed to me at the time to have "attitudes" or were rather high strung, but Gene was not one of those people. He was always trying to help me out as much as he could when either I goofed up, or things got bizarre around there, and more than anything, he calmed us all down. He, along with Cy Tuma, and John Chick, and you of course, were part of my fondest memories of working there. Sorry I cannot attend any services.”

From Mike Miller – former KTUL newsman/anchor/news director:

“Strange. I just exchanged email with Gene on December 20 and told him I was glad to see he was "alive and kicking." This is indeed sad news.”

From Don Lundy at KERO – remembering a classic Gene pun:

“…wasn’t Gene the one that lamented about going to a "seminar" and wishing that the company could have afforded a full "nar"?”.

From Sonny Hollingshead – a former Supervisor at 8:

(Gene spoonerisms) "I wonder how much those Tornado Watches cost?"

"Say...does anyone know the name of this Indian feller on the air?" (He knew it was Dick West from the super that ran forever on the tape!)

"Thank Q."

"I was Gene's supervisor for a number of years until his retirement in 1993. Toward the end of his career, Gene was somewhat misplaced because much of what he had done in television had become automated. The (RCA) 22's and 70-C disappeared long ago. He adjusted well to the Ampex 1" and Sony Betas, but spot playback was carted in the mid-80's".

"Jay Johnson, a MC op at 8, spoke with his wife, Doris, Thursday night. Jay had done the best job at maintaining communication with Gene since he left. He visited with Gene last April and told me that back at that time he was having a hard time moving around, and depended on an oxygen bottle for breath".

"Gene blamed it on smoking, but there's some experiences in his military background that suggest otherwise".

"I kick myself for not visiting him since his retirement, except for occasional phone calls on his birthday.”

From Bob Coxsey – former KTUL announcer + talent – out in Vegas:

“Sorry to hear about Gene. I really liked him when I was at 8”.

Here is the recent correspondence with Gene Tincher on this site:

(from Guestbook 65) Mike Bruchas said:

Larry Miller, courtesy of Jim ReidGene Tincher was in his early 40's at 8 when I was a pup there.

But he could load and set up a 2" tape machine faster than anyone - maybe Larry Miller (at right) could get close or Pete Abrams would race Geno to see - every so often.

With only 3 tape decks then - a lot of "hot loads" were done or we ran off a break reel that Huck had edited together in the wee hours before sign-on. In the afternoon - Gene or one of the guys made sure all news spots were edited together. Editing with the TEP was pretty primitive but better than "the electronic splicer" editor on the TR-22's. Before that kids - engineers had to physically splice reels together! THEN unsplice them after breaks!

Geno was Bob Hower's and most producers' favorite 2" editor for news from ABC feeds - he was fast, always wiped extraneous audio and counted us out of the shot.

(from Guestbook 66)
Date: December 20 2000 at 08:02:47
Name: Gene Tincher
Location: Same since 1957 in Tulsa
How did you find TTM: I turned on my computer

Gene Tincher (courtesy of Jim Reid)Actually, Sonny Hollingshead told me to look in here. I am very glad to see that many of my old friends from KTUL are still doing well.

It is strange to realize that I am a legend in my own time, and will return and read more. I still have five old automobiles, but finding it more difficult to keep all of them ready to roll. My doctor asked if I ever had cataracts, and I said no, I always like to drive chevrolets.

I joined KTUL in 1969 and was fortunate to get hired by Robert Snider and Lewis Brown. At that time I had a second class FCC license and engineers needed the first class license, so they hired me with the understanding that I would go take the test and get the license, which I did. I almost did not take the job since the starting wage was $3.00 per hour. I told them that I would have to go home and think about it, and they assured me that they allowed us to work at least 44 hours per week to get a bit of overtime. So I slept on it and went back the next morning and told them I would take the job. I think it must have been difficult for them to find engineers at that time. I did leave to go to work at KOED as transmitter engineer for a couple of years but returned to KTUL in 1981 and retired in 1993. Merry Christmas.

(from Guestbook 66) Mike Bruchas said:

Mike Bruchas Yea! Gene Tincher is amongst us and the humor is still there!

Good to hear from you!

To paraphrase an old 8 saying, "Roll 'em, when you get 'em!".

When Gene was doing video tape at 8 - you got 'em fast - for recues or ABC late night feeds. He played the RCA TR-22 and TR-70 machines as a maestro! Fastest/funniest tape man at 8 for years!!!

And a good sage for us "kids", too.

(from Guestbook 66) Mike Bruchas said:

Gene Tincher mentioned his car "collection" - I best remember a rust/primer gray early '50s Chevy he had - twasn't beautiful but it ran well and never seemed to have any body damage for a car of it's vintage. I think Gene also have a newer big Chrysler from the '60's but think he liked the Chevy best - basic transportation!

Fellow engineer Jack Maynard - now retired from OETA - had a yellow Borgward for years - we thought it a communist German car but found out it wasn't - many never saw these shores and Jack had one from somewhere.

Gene (and I think Jack), like Chief Engineer Lew Brown, was a HAM radio op - we had several at 8, I think also at 6. I wonder if his AOL address is his ham "handle"?

As mentioned in previous blurbs here, a lot of TV engineers "inherited" old 2 inch tape machines and out West is a growing bunch of ham operators transmitting video originating off 2" machines. Gene told us way back when - that some day hams could put out video over the airways, too!

(from Guestbook 66) Gene Tincher said:

I was just thinking about all the fine folks I worked with, plus some celebrities we encountered.

Sonny Hollingshead had been our Engineering Supervisor the last several years I worked, and I suspect he went to bat for me and kept me from getting fired several times. I noticed that he was very understanding of several others who had various problems, and was a very tolerant yet firm boss.

Someone had mentioned that I was a speedy operator on the 2" tape machines. It must have been due to the practice we got on them since they were very busy, and we never had more than four of them. Each machine had its own personality and I did love them all. There was one operator who taught me all he could about the 2" tape machines, and that was Findlay (Huck) West, now deceased, and he was actually faster than I on loading and running those machines. Many times we had to reload one and cue it in less than 30 seconds.

At one time we had sons of famous movie stars working in news and production, namely Vic Montalban (son of Ricardo) and Christopher Lewis, son of Loretta Young. Both were nice gentlemen and not the least spoiled by their famous heritage. I will always remember that I once got bitten on the hand by a dog that belonged to Loretta Young's son, and I try to remember to tell all my great-grandchildren about that. Things like that just do not happen to everybody.

Someone was wondering about my email address, which uses K5NYT as the name. That is the FCC assigned callsign for my amateur radio operator license. Lewis Brown was our chief engineer for many years before he retired and his call sign is W5MAH and he now resides in Arkansas City, KS. I catch him on rare occasions on ham radio on the 40 meter band. I just checked to see if he has his email address listed in the ham callsign web site, but no luck. His mailing address is there and you can find any ham if you know his call sign, and sometimes can do a search by name at http://www.qrz.com/ and if you want to learn more about ham radio there is a web site for the American Radio Relay League at http://www.arrl.org/.

I saw Lewis Brown at the KTUL re-union that Nancy Sevenoaks hosted and he looked fit as a fiddle and just the same as always. Bob Sullivan, my first supervisor was also there. And I got to see Bob Hower and many others. Jack Maynard and Leon Holland, two very good fellow engineers while at KTUL. Jack Maynard was working for the division of Seismograph Service with me when we were doing tests at the Atomic Energy Department Test Site in Nevada in the early sixties. Leon Holland was the head maintenance engineer when I joined KTUL, and he later became supervisor. Leon was, and probably still is, a real magician when it came to handling video. He had an uncanny ability to sort out the problems in video and other equipment and fix them. Happy Holidays.

(from Guestbook 66) Peter Abrams said:

Geno is here!

First of all - Gene - It's wonderful to see you here, and know that you are doing okay. Gene was the guy that taught me more about tape and camera operations in 5 years than most people get to learn in a lifetime.

He and Huck would let me go where no other switcher guy had gone before, Making dub reels, editing, and actually setting up them dang PE-250/350's. Very few people ever get the chances I did to learn all this stuff, while still only being a po po pitiful projectionist. No, I didn't get paid, No, I didn't get extra credit. Yes, I stuck around for many hours past signoff to have the opportunity to play with the big toys. And I have Eugene Tincher to thank for that.

He let me do all the things I wanted to. Touch the 22's. And the 70C too. Load the things up. Edit with'm.

When I was kicked upstairs to Director, It was the same. I could always count on Gene to have the tapes there when I needed them, and when the show was goin down the toilet, He was the guy that helped me fix it.

Practically speaking, I'da never got to be the high priced taxi driver I am now, were it not for Mr. Tincher and other folks like him. As Betty would say, God Bless.

(from Guestbook 68) Mike Bruchas said:

Need Gene Tincher to drop a line on his Nuremberg Trial work after WWII - also if Jack Maynard is on-line. They were a good team at 8 AND OETA. Jack is/was known in Tulsa for his work in the 70's of re-habbing teletypes and gizmos for the deaf - to communicate via phone lines -- this long before the development of those tiny keyboard devices now used by the hearing impaired.

Sonny Hollingshead, courtesy of Jim Reid (from Guestbook 68)
Date: January 05 2001 at 07:03:14
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Location: Tulsa

Folks, this is really sad news. Many of us lost a dear personal friend and co-worker on Wednesday.

Gene Tincher has passed away in Tulsa at age 73. Over the last 15 years or so he has suffered with lung disease, which left him short of breath. In the past few months it was real hard for Gene to get around.

Services are pending with Nick Reynolds Funeral Home here in Tulsa.

Following WWII, Gene was an audio operator for the trials of Nazi war criminals. Following the service, he worked at and then owned a television repair shop before joining KTUL in 1969. He left KTUL for a short time to work for Seismograph Service Corp., then rejoined KTUL until his retirement a few years ago.

Many of us have already provided enough memories of Gene to fill many guestbook pages.

A side note...I'm sure he'll say Hi to Huck for us...

(from Guestbook 68) Mike Bruchas said:

Thanks, Sonny.

Here's to Geno! He made quite an impression on so many of us.

Last time I saw him was at OETA/Tulsa with Jack Maynard and Leon Holland about 8-10 years ago. He was looking great and the same old Gene.

Since Xmas when he found TTM - have e-mailed him several times and geezervated.

Findlay 'Huck' WestYep - he rates up there with "Huck" Findlay West in my book of great engineers that I have been lucky to have worked with.

Yep, it's okay to shed a tear about someone you knew and loved as a mentor - when they are gone....


Gene Tincher's funeral service is now 2pm Monday at the Nick Reynolds Funeral Home, 1916 S. Sheridan in Tulsa, 74112, 918-838-1332

Geno had family in So. Illinois but has been an Okie so long - I am sure it will be in Tulsa or at a military cemetery.

If anyone hears anything else or anything from Geno's family - please post it here....

(from Guestbook 68) Edwin Fincher said:

Gene Tincher was a good engineer (people like me need them) and a fine man indeed. At 8 we both had similar last names. When I got his calls it was no biggy (fine man as he was)....BUT, when he got my calls it caused him much perplextion (strange creature as I was/am)

He cared for his craft.

(from Guestbook 68) Peter Abrams said:

What a day. I find out that Geno's no longer with us, after establishing contact with him after a 16 year gap. Very sad am I. I'll miss him once again, this time until I'm up there shootin the you know what with him and Huck. If they let me in.

Greg Sherrill. That was a hard hit too. I spent a lot of time with him. He was too young to die. One of the truly giving people at KTUL. He was a film guy, and I was a Video guy. When I was a projectionist, he and Robert Billings were the news editing gods. I've always missed him since I left, but now that it's a finality, I'll miss him more. Rest in peace, my friend.

When I first found this place, I was afraid, very afraid that I'd find out that nobody I knew when was still around, or MIA. It has been an amazing journey through all the guestbooks, and with so many people still showing up day after day, I've been overwhelmed with memories.

The transitions - people no longer with us, people that have been gone for a while - It's all a part of life. These things happen all the time.

But before I discovered this place, I had no clue. The people that meant so much to me then, and the people who remembered me, well, We all kinda drifted away from each other.

This site has had a major impact on my life, and the lives of the folks I knew, and the folks I now know.

James Taylor - Enough To Be On Your Way

My Catharsis is simple, and already spoken for. There's a song on the James Taylor CD, "Hourglass", Track 2: "It's Enough To Be On Your Way" I played this for the long deceased. I played it when My Daddy died, I played when my dog died in my arms.

I'll play it again tonight. I'll use the guitar, I'll use the B-3. I'm not good at expressing things out loud. I 'm not a loud person. But I think If I play the music, they'll hear it.

I hope so.

Thanks to all the people that have corresponded. (I Meant to mispell that on porpoise)

Peter D Abrams,
Jax Fl.

(From Guestbook 68) Edwin said:

I do TV...the show must go on....

(From Guestbook 68) Charlene Tincher Sappington said:

I just viewed the tribute to my dad Gene Tincher. This made me so proud. I always knew he was a great man and to read about him from other people really touched me. It reminds me how much I miss his weird sense of humor. He could just crack me up. But it seems like his silly jokes had to come from him cause when I try to repeat them, I get some really strange looks. Thanks so much to everyone that wrote about Gene.

(From Guestbook 80) Doris Tincher & family said:

We just saw the tribute to Gene for the first time and just wanted to let you know that we appreciate knowing that he is remembered by all of you.


I remember that daddy (grandad) always worked nights. When I was young, we mostly got to see him on his nights off, and we would all sit down to dinner together. Inevitably, he would glance at the clock on the wall and then proclaim "Well, it's 8 o'clock (or whatever time it was), I wonder what time it is?" Not to mention the story about his grandfather being an old indian fighter.....his grandma was an old indian...and on and on.

My grandad raised me, and I must say, I am very lucky that he loved me enough to do what my own mother wouldn't.

Your fond remembrances made me laugh and cry.....and I go home tonight feeling a little lighter.

Thank You

Stephanie (the Grand Daughter)

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