Tulsa TV Memories GroupBlog 288

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April 18 2009 at 10:05:02
Name: Rudy Taylor
Topic: I saw the B-47 crash
Email: rudy@taylornews.org
Comments: I was in the sixth grade at Union School and our entire class watched the B-47 fall to earth.

Mrs. Bumgarner was our teacher and our classroom had big windows on the north side. As she was talking from the front of the classroom, she suddenly shouted, "Oh, that man's plane is on fire!" We all ran to the windows but an adjoining gymnasium blocked the bomber's final seconds. We did, however, see that it was going down and quickly.

One of the parachutes was seen floating down in a field near our school and our band director (can't remember his name) drove out and picked him up. I don't know if the crew member was the pilot or not, but his faced was blackened with burns.

His first comment to my teacher: "Do you have a cigarette?" I always thought that was an odd request for a guy who almost lost his life and whose clothes were smoldering.

Andy Taylor, also of the Montgomery County Chronicle (TaylorNews.org) and Rudy's son, previously contributed this photo of Jerry Webber.

April 17 2009 at 21:46:39
Name: Dave
Topic: More Meadow Gold
: Three days late on this, but it's still good: posting on the Route 66 News blog updating the Meadow Gold sign construction on 11th Street.

April 17 2009 at 20:48:07
Name: Michael D. Trout
Topic: Well, I didn't wake up Canadian....
Email: But I like poutine
Comments: That's a great PSA on the new Canadian citizenship laws. There are a number of interesting touches if you look carefully. Amidst all the red and white, you can see one bit of dark blue and white--that's for Quebec. This is pretty much politically mandatory, for reasons far too lengthy and exasperating to go into here.

There's a jug of maple syrup on top of the clock radio, along with a container of food that the fellow dances around with at the end. I'm willing to bet a loonie that the container holds poutine.

Poutine is a wildly popular Quebec delicacy that can be found in most of the rest of Canada. It is made in the following way:

Start with a monstrous pile of french fries. They must be freshly-made from real potatoes (not frozen), and they must be steamin' hot.

On top of the fries you dump a big pile of cheese curd. Now, I've never seen cheese curd in Oklahoma, but it's quite popular in the colder climes, particularly where there's a major dairy industry. It can best be described as finger-sized hunks of mild white cheese that squeak when you bite them. The vital "squeakiness" quality deteriorates within a day or two, so cheese curd is best purchased directly from a cheese factory (there are many up north).

On top of the cheese curd you pour a large quantity of steamin' hot sauce, which varies from place to place. The most common is hot turkey gravy, but there are many variations such as barbecue sauce.

Needless to say, a typical bowl of poutine has about, oh, several thousand calories and enough fat content to keep a sperm whale happy. And the old rule about never eating anything bigger than your head apparently doesn't apply in Canada. However, I can attest that after a bowl of poutine you don't need (or want) to eat for at least a day or two. Some might argue this is good for you, and of course in Canada it is important to maintain a certain caloric/fat intake to combat the all-powerful winter cold.

Poutine is so popular that it is the most common meal eaten in public school cafeterias in Quebec.

Although cheese curd may be difficult to find in Oklahoma, I think that Oklahomans could identify with poutine. I must admit that I get a similar buzz from poutine that I get from a coney islander, or a bowl of real Okie chili, or a fistful of real corn dogs, or a real Okie hamburger with all the fixin's.

If you go to the Web site listed at the end of the PSA, you'll find a clever online questionnaire that will let you know if you're Canadian or not. I took it and I'm not, despite my mother's side being of Canadian origin. Surprisingly, you don't get any points for being a hockey fan. Or for liking poutine.

April 17 2009 at 18:54:43
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: Are you one?
: New PSA from Canada: besides being an Okie, you might qualify for something else!

April 17 2009 at 17:36:16
Name: Daniel Wright
Topic: The Fairgrounds Dome
: The dome was there until the mid 1990s but not in use as a theater. I had always wondered what it was used for. It was removed after the Zingo's pavilion caught fire.

Does anyone know what kind of projection system was used? I would have assumed it was in the concession stand below and used a system of mirrors.

April 17 2009 at 11:13:49
Name: Rick M
Topic: Bell's Dome and Thrillsphere
: I recall the dome at Bell's also. It was a permanent geodesic structure that was built on the roof of the old concession stand straight inside the park gates. They showed movies like DolfanBob described.

I also recall something similar at the fair. Out on the midway there used to be something I think called the Thrillsphere. A large dome tent held up by air that would hold 1 - 2 dozen people. I think it showcased a combination of laser light show and scenes like the one inside Bell's. I remember a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon that was quite spectacular.

I think these were the forerunners to the IMAX Theaters we have today. Don't recall the robots however. Maybe they were on break?

April 17 2009 at 10:05:45
Name: DolfanBob
Topic: Fair Dome
Email: DolfanBob@lycos.com
Comments: Henry, the only dome that I can remember was at Bell's.

When I went in it, you sat on the floor and were surrounded by the video. Rollercoaster scenes, flying, sky diving and other real cool scenes that looked 3D but weren't because it was so close and all around you.

I remember when it was done and we got up to walk out, everyone was staggering because it made you feel a little dizzy. I also remember it was up off the ground and you walked up a wood ramp to stand in line. Man, where have all the good times gone.

April 16 2009 at 21:53:06
Name: Frank Morrow
Topic: B-52 in Skiatook
Email: frankdotmorrow@cox.net
Comments: I am very surprised that the control area of the B-52 that crashed near Skiatook was still so much intact. I assumed that a government agency would have taken everything away. However, when I arrived on the scene, only the main part of the aircraft was roped off. I looked inside the cockpit It was a tiny area that had broken off from the rest of the wreckage. Looking inside, the cockpit seemed undamaged. The body of the pilot had been removed, leaving strands of flesh dangling from the control column. It might be that the control panel previously discussed was indeed from the B-52.

April 16 2009 at 08:41:30
Name: Henry Pussycat
Topic: Tulsa State Fair (early 1980s?)
Comments: I have a memory from the Tulsa State Fair during the very early 1980s (possibly late 1970s).

I was a young child, and it is all rather fuzzy. One year, there were "robot-like" aliens who escorted you into a large silver dome. I think there was a light show inside. All I know was that I was scared to death, wouldn't go inside. I remember posters or leaflets with pictures of the spacemen and the dome.

Anyone know what I am talking about?

April 15 2009 at 12:35:27
Name: Erick
Topic: Plane crashes
: Talk of plane crashes remind me of an event that I was unfortunate enough to witness as a child. I grew up in OKC, and a large air show was hosted yearly at Will Rogers World Airport for about a dozen years. My family went almost every year, and it was always cool to see the military jets up close.

One Sunday in 1988 or 1989, we went and were gathered at the safety fence to watch a performance by the director of the air show, who was flying a single engine aircraft. He would fly the plane straight up, where it would stall and fall toward the earth. At just the right time to make it exciting, he would fire the engine and pull out of the spiral. He did this very successfully several times.

The final time he did this, we could hear the engine try to start, but it never did. The plane impacted the ground nose-first at a very high rate of speed and burst into flames. The pilot was killed instantly.

I remember that the air show was essentially cancelled for the rest of the weekend, other than a fly-over tribute by the planes that attended the show, including the then-new Soviet AN-225 cargo plane, which is the largest plane in the world. The Soviet plane "waved" its wings as it passed over the crash site in tribute.
Time has mellowed a lot of the shock and horror of seeing this happen, but it is certainly something I will never forget.

April 15 2009 at 12:11:44
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: Bob Brown
: From a TV news website:

Bob Brown, who joined ABC News in 1977 and has reported for "20/20" since 1980, has been told his contract won't be renewed when it expires in June, when Brown turns 65. The network has offered him occasional freelance work.

April 14 2009 at 21:12:54
Name: Michael D. Trout
Topic: B-47 explodes over Tulsa; death of Michael Todd; B-52 Skiatook crash
Email: Them Rooskies might harpoon us....
Comments: The day was Thursday, 13 March 1958. I was home sick from kindergarten at McKinley Elementary. I was out sick a lot, mostly bronchitis, for most of my time at McKinley. I was lying in bed reading. I remember it being a sunny day.

Earlier that morning, a U.S. Air Force Boeing TB-47B Stratojet training bomber took off from McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita. Assigned to the 3520th Combat Crew Training Wing, the jet's USAF tail number was 50-013, indicating the 13th aircraft accepted by the Air Force in 1950. On board were a student pilot, an instructor pilot, and an observer pilot. McConnell AFB, right next to the Boeing Wichita plant where B-47s were built, was the main training center for B-47 crews. The B-47 was the Air Force's first all-jet strategic nuclear bomber, but was really more of a medium bomber pressed into service while awaiting the much more capable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. There were 66 TB-47B trainers, which had been converted from standard B-47B bombers. The Douglas plant in Tulsa had done 48 such modifications, while the Air Force itself did 18 mods at Tinker AFB.

At an altitude of about 23,000 feet, 50-013 flew to the Tulsa area, where it received clearance to fly within a 50 mile radius of the Tulsa aircraft radio beacon for 2 hours and 30 minutes. As the training began, the student pilot was ordered to put the plane into unusual positions, and then recover. The student achieved the first such position and recovered successfully. The second position was a 30-degree right wing low descent; as the student was recovering the pilots heard a "crack" or "thump," but nothing seemed amiss.

The student then practiced two steep turns. The first went as normal; the second was to be a left turn from a heading of 180 degrees, in a 45-degree bank at 250 knots. As the student put 50-013 into the 45-degree bank, there was a "rumble" and "muffled explosion." The TB-47 shuddered violently and the control column was abruptly yanked forward. The student noticed flames forward and below his left foot. He activated the alarm, blew off the canopy, and ejected successfully. By now the cockpit was engulfed in flames and the left wing had separated from the aircraft. 50-013 was tumbling out of control. The instructor pulled up his ejector control but, fearful of the plane's wild gyrations, elected not to eject. He waited until the plane was upside down, unbuckled his safety belt and fell clear, activating his parachute and landing safely. The observer did not escape. He made no attempt to eject, and Air Force investigators were not able to determine why.

The flames reached the enormous main fuselage tanks (the wings were too thin for fuel tanks) and the tumbling wreck exploded in a spectacular fireball over Tulsa. Our house shuddered from the impact of the violent bang, and I dove under the covers in terror. My mother, in her bedroom next to mine, looked out the south-facing window and saw the fireball, with pieces of flaming wreckage spinning earthward. Hanging from the ceiling of my bedroom were more than a dozen model airplanes my dad had built; the impact of the explosion knocked down the B-36 heavy bomber, which crashed to the floor. Like most Revell model airplane kits, this B-36 had an ugly plastic ball molded to the bottom of the fuselage, to serve as the attachment point for a plastic table stand. When the model hit the floor, the plastic ball snapped off cleanly. There was no other damage, and the B-36 model looked much nicer after my dad hung it back up. In U.S. Air Force service, the B-36 was the plane replaced by the B-47. The irony of it didn't hit me until many years later.

The explosion, over southeast Tulsa, rained debris over "at least 6 square miles of populated area" according to the Tulsa World the next day. My mom turned on the radio (I wish I could remember which station!) and people were calling in with reports of junk falling around them. I remember one terrified woman's voice: "There's an airplane wing in my back yard!" Callers were urged not to touch the debris.

The Air Force's investigation revealed that the left wing had failed, due to fatigue cracks "that had existed for an undetermined period of time." This was the first in a series of B-47 crashes due to wing cracks. This led to the "Milk Bottle IRAN" modification program. The huge attachment bolts that held the wing to the fuselage were shaped like milk bottles, and IRAN stood for Inspect and Repair As Necessary.

I went to school the next day, and we impressionable kiddies thought we could see a little piece of twisted aluminum caught in the telephone lines near Sheridan and King. Everybody was saying that the plane had blown up shortly after taking off from the Tulsa airport, which obviously was not true. There was another story, repeated by my dad, that one of the men on the plane was one of the Boggs brothers from two houses east of us on Newton Street, but I've never been able to confirm that.

The B-47 saw various improvements, eventually reaching the B-47E variant, but its operational life was relatively short. The obviously superior B-52 began to reach nuclear alert status in 1959, and B-47 units began to phase out in 1963. The last B-47 nuclear bombers were pulled from service in 1965.


Nine days after the loss of 50-013, legendary Hollywood film producer (and husband of Elizabeth Taylor) Michael Todd was killed when his badly-overloaded Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar blew a master rod bearing on a flight from Burbank to Tulsa. The plane, named "The Lucky Liz," was also experiencing icing, and went down about 65 miles west of Albuquerque, near the halfway point of the flight. Also killed were the two-man crew and Todd's biographer, journalist Art Cohn. At Todd's death, he was producing a lavish film version of Don Quixote, and helping to fund Lawrence Olivier's dream film of Macbeth. Neither film was ever made. Cohn's wife finished Todd's biography, The Nine Lives of Michael Todd. Does anybody know why Todd was going to Tulsa? Might he have been seeking money for Olivier's project, or was it something so mundane as a fuel stop?


My good friend from across the street, Steve Lindsay, had some cousins up Skiatook way. One day they brought some cool control panels they claimed were from a crashed B-52. I was skeptical, but we sure had a lot of fun playing with the huge banks of toggle switches, with were hardly damaged at all. Some years later, I noticed a very striking resemblance to the B-52 control panels in Dr. Strangelove, which eventually became my favourite movie. Stanley Kubrick had received no cooperation from the U.S. Air Force in recreating a B-52 interior for his film, but soon located all the information he needed in a British aviation magazine. Kubrick was briefly questioned by U.S. intelligence agents who were unaware of the magazine.

Michael, we must have both been in Mrs. Spurgeon's kindergarten class. And my two favorite movies are "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Dr. Strangelove". Thanks for all the great stories!

April 14 2009 at 00:23:56
Name: Jim Ruddle at WGN in 1965Jim Ruddle
Topic: Wreckchasing
Comments: Obviously, I have nothing to do tonight.

The Wreckchasing website calls to mind the experience of flying into Guatemala City.

I don't know whether many of you have done this, although I suspect many Tulsans have ventured into various Central American sites, but it is an engaging sort of thing to look out the window of your plane as you approach the runway and see in canyons to right or left at least twenty totaled aircraft smashed on the ground far below.

I don't know whether they are planes that pancaked on the airstrip and were bulldozed down into the nether areas, or if they missed the field and became spots for Guatemalan Wreckchasers.

In any event,it gets your attention as you settle in for a landing to look out and see piles of wrecked planes on your approach.

April 13 2009 at 23:56:14
Name: Jim Ruddle at WGN in 1965Jim Ruddle
Topic: Easter Parade
: In 1952, as a young Tulsan who was aboard a ship home ported at Staten Island, I found myself back in New York at Easter time. Having seen movies--Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, et al. about the Easter Parade, I ambled over to Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday to see the wonderful parade.

What a bringdown.

There was no parade, as such, just a bunch of weirdos, antique ladies with oddball attire, and precious fellows in the damndest get ups one could imagine, all of them wandering about with small perfumed and beribboned dogs and cats.

It was all eclipsed a few years later when the Gay and Lesbian parade in the Village got TV coverage, an event which still brings pitty-pats to the hearts of many Manhattanites.

April 13 2009 at 19:40:40
Name: K. Bolen
Topic: Ann Nyberg
Email: bojoker@att.net
Comments: Hi Mike.

I live in Branford, CT. now and Ann is a local anchor for WTNH (ABC)ch. 8 in New Haven. My wife worked for LIN TV for 6 years out of the New Haven station as the Business/HR Manager and became good friends. Ann's one of the nicest people you would want to meet.

April 12 2009 at 14:10:07
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: Der Bingle on Easter
Comments: Former OKC KOCO anchor and current long-time Hartford, CT anchor, Ann Nyberg, found this on YouTube. Der Bingle seems to have the only reserved horse & buggy parking place at "the church"!

April 11 2009 at 18:42:21
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: "Parks and Recreation"
Comments: Amy Poehler's new show has a village web page. Take a look: PawneeIndiana.com. BTW - there is NO Pawnee, IN.

April 11 2009 at 12:45:08
Name: M Terry
Topic: Tulsa aviation
Email: terry at cox dot net
Comments: There is an excellent web site that deals with Oklahoma aviation archaeology. It is OKwreckChasing.org. It has information about many crashes in the area.

I have always been interested in finding out more about the B-47 that crashed near 31st and Memorial in the late 1950s. Some of my classmates at Sts. Peter and Paul actually saw the plane explode while they were on the playground.

April 11 2009 at 11:22:28
Name: Terri
Topic: Hilltop
Comments: I recall that Diamond Cleaners may have been an original anchor at the Hilltop strip center (it will forever be known as Grifftop to me).

Does anyone remember Scotty's Donuts? It was either situated between the Hobby Shop and Diamond Cleaners or it occupied the Hobby Shop space. Where my memory is naturally crystal clear is the good donuts they served.

April 10 2009 at 23:28:03
Name: Webmaster
Topic: "Two Lovers"

Gary Chew reviewed it here over a month ago, and today it's finally in Tulsa: "Two Lovers". A romantic drama starring Joaquin Phoenix (in his last on-screen role?), Gwyneth Paltrow, and Isabella Rossellini. Now playing at the Circle Cinema.

April 10 2009 at 19:56:43
Name: Michael D. Trout
Topic: Tulsa aviation incidents; old airports
Email: Waiting for a Central Airlines DC-3
Comments: I found the following in some old NTSB files. To my amazement, I don't remember any of this. Does anybody else?

In January 1957, an American Airlines Convair CV-240 was flying to Tulsa from Joplin. (This was back in the day when Joplin had regular airline service--and from big airlines, too!) Approaching Tulsa Municipal around midnight, the plane lined up southbound for the main runway (17). Unfortunately, the captain's altimeter and the first officer's altimeter were set differently. The first officer was performing the landing, while the captain was observing; a common method of training first officers to become captains. But the captain wasn't very observant, and the first officer apparently let the plane drift too low. It hit the ground about 3.5 miles short of the runway. One passenger was killed; everyone else got out okay but the plane was destroyed.

On 19 December 1970, a Continental Airlines DC-9 was en route to Tulsa from Wichita. A man handed a stewardess a note claiming he wanted to go to Cuba and that he was armed. The stewardess delivered the note to the captain, who asked the man if it was okay if they landed in Tulsa as usual, let the passengers off, and then continued on to Cuba. The man indicated his approval. As the passengers got off the plane in Tulsa, the crew got off with them, leaving the man on board the plane alone. Tulsa police entered the plane and arrested the man, who was unarmed.

On 23 January 1972, an American Airlines 727 was en route to Tulsa from St. Louis. Over Peru, Indiana (I don't understand this; why was the plane there?) a man hijacked the plane. The only other details are that he got away with $502,000 ransom money, but was later arrested.

I also found the following data on some old Tulsa airports, some of which has already been noted.

Garland Airport opened in 1929 at the northeast corner of 51st and Sheridan, and was a dealer for Bellanca, Stearman, Consolidated, and Fleet. It was soon renamed Garland-Clevenger Airport. Sometime in the early 1930s it was renamed again to Tulsa Commercial Airport. About 1935, for unknown reasons, the owners moved everything lock, stock, and barrel to the northwest corner of 61st and Yale, where they reopened Tulsa Commercial Airport at a new location. The old location was abandoned.

But the pressures of World War II forced the reopening of the old location, as Mayo Airport. Many Allied pilots were trained there; the Army reported it had a 2,600-foot sod runway. In 1946 Mayo was renamed Brown Field.

Sometime in the late 1940s my dad, who was a member of the "Flying Farmers," was in the annual air show at Brown. He flew a Piper Cub over from Harvey Young and landed at Brown, next to a cow staked near the grass runway in full view of the crowd. He got out and milked the cow, put the bucket of milk in the plane, and flew back to Harvey Young. (We have a photo.) I suppose the crowd found this amusing, or at least interesting. A few years ago he told me the wind was so strong that day that it nearly equaled the Cub's stall speed, and it was all he could do to get the Cub on the ground. Takeoff, of course, couldn't have been easier.

In the 1950s Brown Field (TTM link, leads to another link) was operated by a George Mace, and in 1954 was reported to have a 3,100-foot runway. In 1960 there were three runways: 13-31 at 2,800'; 17-35 at 2,620'; and 9-27 at 2,200'--plus a closed runway about 5-24 around 2,000'. In 1962 there were still three runways listed, with the longest 18-36 at 2,800'. There were lots of hangars and other buildings. But by 1964 Brown Field was all gone; apparently the owner got an offer he couldn't refuse from a housing developer. There is no trace of it today.

Meanwhile, the owners of Tulsa Commercial Airport at 61st and Yale continued operations. In 1937 it was reported to have a 2,640-square-foot landing area with hangars, and in 1944 the U.S. Army was conducting operations there from a 2,900-foot runway. By 1950 there were three paved runways; the main one (17-35 at 3,000') and a crosswind about 13-31, plus a thin one about 5-24. Hangars and other buildings were just to the southwest of 13-31. At some point after 1950 it was renamed Cherokee Airpark. By December 1954 it no longer appeared on aeronautical charts. The area was used for a housing development called Holliday Hills (same TTM link as above, leads to another link).

Cherokee Airpark's Runway 17-35 was used for the southern 3,000' of South Urbana Avenue north of 61st. Part of Runway 13-31 was used for East 58th Place, although the southeast end was chopped off and redirected to Urbana, while the northwest end was curved into Quebec Avenue. The surface of both Urbana and 58th Place still show evidence of their former lives. Cherokee Airpark's restaurant/office was converted to a home, at one point owned by Jack Sisler and family, complete with separate men's and women's bathrooms. It was still there in 2007; if you look carefully, it's very long and low compared to the other houses around.

Tulsa North Airport appeared about 1944 at the northeast corner of North Osage Drive and East 36th Street North. In 1949 it had a 2,500-foot sod runway; the next year it had four unpaved runways with the longest at 2,400 feet. Between 1953 and 1955 there were drag races on the main runway, causing damage that shortened the longest runway to 2,100 feet. In 1960 there was only one runway, 1-19 at 3,000 feet, but it was asphalt. In 1962 the runway was 3-21 and the owner was A.E. Kobel, and the airport was renamed Tulsa Downtown Airpark. In 1966 Allied Helicopter International began operations there with Bell 47s.

By 1982 there were two runways; the 2,000' main at 2-20 and a new 1,800-footer at 9-27. By this time there was an impressive number of hangars, T-hangars, and other buildings. But although there were assorted minor aircraft and helicopter operations (including some with the Tulsa Police Department), traffic was slow and revenue was insufficient. The new runway was closed by 2000, and the next year Tulsa Downtown Airpark was closed. But it 2004 it was resurrected as the privately owned Allied Heliport, as it is today.

For more details about these three airports, and 1,420 other abandoned airports in the USA, including ground photos and aerial photos, charts, maps, and comments, see Airfields-Freeman.com.

The above links are to that site, except as noted. Frank Morrow told a story here about B-52 crash near Skiatook in 1957.

April 10 2009 at 13:45:10
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: Jim Reid's post / Mena, AR
: I had forgotten all about the Reflection Film Society; I had attended a couple of screenings. It was one of those little nudges of culture in Tulsa. TU at one point in the 70s had recent films shown on campus, but it never took off.


Sad to hear about Mena, AR being hit so hard last night by a tornado. That was long-retired KTUL/OETA engineer, Leon Holland's old hometown.

April 09 2009 at 22:02:31
Name: Jim Reid
Topic: Reflection Film Society
: Does anyone remember the Reflection Film Society (how 70s!) that used to screen classic films in the Aaronson Auditorium at the the central library downtown? It was from 1974 till about '76.

I went to a screening of Duck Soup and asked if they needed any help. I ended up running the projector for the rest of its run. The folks who had started it realized that they had never done the tax thing right and were told that they could pay sales tax for every admisson over the years or just shut down.

I was contacted later by Philbrook Museum who wanted to put on a film series. We ran foreign and avant-garde stuff (yech) in the auditorium in the fall and spring and classic American films out on the back lawn in the summer. It was fun although we had a windstorm that blew over the screen during the burning of Atlanta in GWTW.

I still help run a silent film series here in Texas. I'm always the guy back at the projector.

Jim Reid director credit
Jim Reid director credit

April 09 2009 at 21:56:33
Name: Susan Young
Topic: House of Hobbies
Comments: I read this wonderful site off and on and happened to see a mention on April 6 of House of Hobbies, which was owned by my uncle, Bill Knost.

My recollection is that Uncle Bill started House of Hobbies in the early 60s. His partner was a woman named Esther Granot who he had met when he was working for his dad (and my grandfather) J. R. Knost, who was a contractor. They did some remodeling for Esther and they all got on very well and became fast friends. When my grandfather got cancer in about 1960 and couldn't work any more, Bill and Esther got the idea to start the shop. It was pretty much a family affair as my grandmother and a couple of other members of our extended family worked there off and on through the 60s, 70s, and I think at least part of the 80s.

Bill was crazy about remote-control model airplanes and when we went over there to see him, he was always in the back working on his planes. It wasn't as enchanting a store to my sisters and me as it of course was to boys our age (elementary and middle school), but it was a pretty fun place to visit nonetheless. Bill was quite a character, an imposing 6 feet 8 inches tall, and had a lot of offbeat interests that the store helped him pursue.

I don't remember when Bill closed the House of Hobbies. I'm guessing it was some time in the 80s as I know he retired fairly early in his 60s. He died in August 2007 after 10-12 years of poor health. It was great to see his store mentioned here and remember the years that he and my grandma and Esther enjoyed running it.

Link to Bill's obituary.

Thank you, Susan.

April 09 2009 at 15:06:34
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: "Book him, Dan-o!"
Comments: After being a long running CBS Thursday night staple in the late 60s and into the 70s, Hawaii 5-0 ran for years on KOTV after the CBS Late Movie.

I think later KOTV and KWTV got a deal for airing it in syndication. Now the show is on the CBS Classics net link.

April 09 2009 at 13:55:55
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: WLFM-LP
: Thanx!!!

April 09 2009 at 08:49:32
Name: Erick
Topic: Chicago channel 6
: Mike,

You are likely seeing WLFM-LP, which is a low power station that is affiliated with MTV Tr3s (a Spanish-language version of MTV).

The transmitter is on the Hancock Tower, but it has a very small coverage area, according to the FCC coverage map.

I think we will see more low power stations on channel 6 after the DTV conversion, since channel 6 audio can be heard on 87.7 FM. A station in New York City (Pulse 87.7) has been very successful doing this.

April 08 2009 at 23:34:48
Name: Mike Bruchas
Topic: Life in DTV transition
Comments: We have a very old and Goodwill-rescued Sony b&w set as a spare at the Bruchas house here in the Chicago burbs.

The tuner draws in signals from Milwaukee, Rockford and a lot of still analog low power stations in the Chicago area; we have like 18 full power stations in Chicago over the air. It's a 30+ year old DX signal cruisers's dream set in the dying days of analog TV.

Just started picking up a channel 6, a very weak signal with daytime Spanish-language TV programming which never seems to bother with station IDs. At night, it transmits classic rock music audio with stills of the artists being heard in the background. There is NO full-power channel 6 assigned in the Chicago market.

Am trying to track down where it exactly is at. Very strange.

April 08 2009 at 21:05:10
Name: Daniel Wright
Topic: Parkey's building
Comments: Where is the building located exactly? It looks familiar.

Just west of the northwest corner of 11th and Sheridan.

April 08 2009 at 20:05:57
Name: Dave
Topic: More Meadow Gold
Comments: A few more details plus photos regarding the Meadow Gold sign are on the Route 66 blog.

April 08 2009 at 14:41:15
Name: Oldest one on the Web
Topic: Meadow Gold Sign

I drove past the new structure for the old Meadow Gold sign at 11th and Quaker today. Claude Neon Federal was there hanging the sign this afternoon.

Wonder how much longer it will be before the official dedication? Wasn't the plaza under the sign dedicated last fall?

April 07 2009 at 16:56:33
Name: Erick
Topic: B Girls
Comments: A search of "Baron Walters" in the Beryl Ford Collection returns a lot of advertising slides. Could Baron Walters be an advertising agency? The "Baron-Walters Fina" has several pictures in the collection as well.

Could that Fina station have been a client of Baron-Walters?

Could the "B" displayed by the "B Girls" stand for "Baron"?

What will I have for dinner tonight?

The mystery continues...

April 07 2009 at 07:58:08
Name: Mitch Gray
Topic: Parkey's Past
Email: North Of You
Comments: The Parkey's building, I believe, was also the location of the reknown "Jail Saloon". A jumping live rock joint in the early seventies. After the demise of The Jail, it was also an indoor shooting range and various other watering holes as Roy Lee described.

I rewired the building in 1995 for AAA Vending, who owned it at that time. AAA Vending and R & M Music owned several buildings that were leased out as bars and clubs in the Tulsa area. It was a turnkey deal.

You get the license to operate, and the vending company provided the building and equipment.

Here's a short list of those type of bars: Circus Lounge, 4-Play, Carousel, Mingo 31, Joey's, Buccaneer, etc. Some were popular, some not.

April 07 2009 at 00:43:11
Name: Webmaster
Topic: Previous GroupBlog link

Archived GroupBlog 287.

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