Friday 12/08/2000 11:27:20pm
Name: Dale A. McKinney
Location: the dining room, at present
Comments: Confound you guys. I am staying up way too late at my age. But I had a couple of quick comments.

First, thanks to Sonny H. for the kind words. I have never liked the yelling/screaming. We all do it at one point, it seems. I remember practically screaming at Dave Davies once. But eventually, you should grow out of it. And you are right about Gene being dependable. I think he & Jim were both that way. Their heads were always in the game.

Jim, you're right. Vamco switchers. I remember you could take control in engineering on one of those & then neither A nor B control would be online. That was a great way to train people to do newsbriefs. That RCA switcher with the bad take bar was described to me as having a gremlin in it. To this day, I sort of picture that. But I loved that switcher at first, just because it was the first one I got to play with. One night, I was trying to follow the news cast as they switched it in A control. What I'd forgotten was that switching up a camera threw the tally light on. Suddenly I hear Russ Brown [remember him???] screaming at me. Oops. I was just trying to learn to direct.

Sometimes you would get in automatic mode. One day I decided to check my stand-by slide for Gunsmoke, during the show. This was a mistake, as it was on the same film chain as the show. So in the middle of the segment, I doused the multi-plexer over to the slide, just as I heard Jim yell, "No!" I only did that once. But the thing that got me was I never saw Jim do anything like that.

Part of that was something Jim taught me. He would never mark off a break on the projection log after it had run. The theory was, if you have to read the break & look at it, you'll be focused on it, and less likely to make a mistake. That worked. Eventually, I had the lowest number of mistakes of any day part when I was switching prime time, news, and sign-off.

Man I would love to talk to Gene again. I remember when he gave notice. When I came in that day, everyone was looking to see how I would react because he & I had done a lot of late night together. I'm glad to see so many people remember him for his humor & talent.

Well this was far from quick comments. Sorry. Later.

  Friday 12/08/2000 10:14:06pm
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: Magic Empire
Comments: I like editing. Even if you have a deadline, split-second timing is not essential and mistakes can be corrected. Since I was good at editing, I always assumed that I would be good at switching also, that is until I did a dry run. I was no genius, that's for sure! I quickly saw what all the yelling and cursing was about in the control room. Ain't as easy as it looks!

I remember we did the same live opening on one show every week and I was given the command to change camera positions at the same moment every show. After doing this week after week, I knew exactly when I would be called upon to dolly, so one day, out of habit, I made the move before hearing the command. Of course, this is the one time that the switch had not been made and I gave viewers a rapid panaramic view of the floor, cables, equipment, lights, the walls, etc. 25 years later and I still haven't forgotten that.

  Friday 12/08/2000 8:41:10pm
Name: Peter D Abrams
Location: The Glorious State of Lawyers aka Chad
How did you find TTM?: Force of habit
Comments: Foreword to Mike R. - You need to open the How didja find window. We all have our reasons. (OK, done...webmaster)

OK. Switchers I have known, and the Calluses they inflicted. Tomorrow on Oprah.

I'm only including the KTUL buttons that I pushed. That's just for reference.

Ok. the TS40's. I know JMB wasn't enamored of them, but I loved the both of them. Maybe I just like the Clear, Green and Red buttons (composite and non composite sync, for the techies), but the faders were perfect. almost as good as the 1600. (Is that the Red Buttons who liked to tug on his earlobe while hopping around? Har, har!...webmaster)

Mikey said...
*Very basic - 1 effects bank and a half-assed SUPER button on each bank that half-cut in a key if you set it right. The outrigger chromakeyer was a pain for some weather bits and spots and I think we had to add a second outrigger RCA wipe generator on 1 switcher. Seems like I remember the Engineers had to "throw effects" from one switcher to the other just before News time. *

Yup. The dang thing only had one effects keyer for the 2 switchers. I *think* the A/B switch was in A control, AKA Production. I felt that every time I had to do a super in B for a 'live' key, I was depriving the Production department of their creative output.

Quoth the Mikey again,
*"We got KATV Little Rock's old RCA TS-51 "big" switcher - which was not much more powerful than the TS-40, just newer. The 51 had a wacky take bar that often flipped sources on us on its own and square buttons more akin to today's switcher.*

Ok. My more than 2 cents. Us switcher types hated the b'jaysus out of that thing. The 'Take Bar' bounced back and forth more than any check I ever wrote in those days. The engineering folks hated it. Leon, Huck, Geno and several others showed me the 'pecking' (hello, bang bang bang) marks on front of the controller modules in engineering. Apparently this @#%$! had been a bane at KATV, and T Rudy Garret was more than happy to give it to us Okies. The buttons were stubborn as hell, and when you're used to the solid feel of the TS40, well, this thing was dogdirt. I remember at least one time I was in the control room, and Rudy and Eric Nelson were there from Little Rock. Glen, or Howard, I don't remember which one, Broke into *my* control room, right before a break, with Rudy and Eric, all of them extolling the virtues of this 'Adopted' MC Switcher. With my aplomb intact, I managed to blow the @#%$! out of the local break, kudos going to that silly take bar.

Life went on. I hated the b'jesus out of that thing.

Tomorrow. The 1600, and how it made me grow more hair.....Not.

  Friday 12/08/2000 8:04:08pm
Name: Jim Reid
Location: Dallas
Comments: When I first started at 8 I remember listening to all the stories from the older guys about how much fun tv had been in the early days.

Then when I came to Dallas, I got to listen to the older guys talk about how great it used to be. (and some really interesting stories concerning Nov. 22, 1963)

The other day, I was editing a spot for a producer who was born the year I directed my first newscast. I was telling him some stories about my days at channel 8 and he said "I guess that was when tv used to be fun".

I wonder if he'll look back in 20 years and decide that these were his golden days. I'm beginning to think that tv is getting so slick and computerized, not to mention concerned with the bottom line, that there may never be any golden days left. Am I just getting senile, or do I have something here?

  Friday 12/08/2000 7:52:38pm
Name: Jim Reid
Location: Dallas
Comments: I think the routing switchers were made by a company called VAMCO. They were made locally and I always got the feeling they were manufactured in someone's garage.

  Friday 12/08/2000 6:08:41pm
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Location: Bundy Burger
Comments: I too had the good fortune of working with Gene Tincher for a number of years at 8. He retired a couple of years before I left, and (as far as I know) is still living in West Tulsa. Gene got into PCs early on, and purchased a lifetime charter AOL membership for around two or three hundred bucks.

Gene was always proud of his collection of old cars that all worked. None were antiques or collectibles, just old cars, which he saw as a valuable investment which prevented him from being forced to buy a new car.

Gene was one of the most dependable people I ever worked with, coming in with the sniffles on many occasions. I believe I do have his email address, and will try to get him to respond here.

Looks like Dale McKinney checked in here lately. It's good to hear from him. Dale was always one who could retain control in hot situations with young producers who thought screaming and/or throwing fits was the proper way to handle tense situations.

Special thanks to Mike B. for his short history of Channel 8 video switchers. I wonder if any other station in the country had to "throw effects" between control rooms, and "throw control" with a small 10X bang box switcher from master control to "A" control. Does anyone remember the manufacturer of the bang box switcher, also used as a router? It started with a "V".

The old RCA audio boards were rotary pot two-channel workhorses which were RCA's first attempt at stereo consoles. The consoles worked well for our purposes, and lasted well into the 80's. I think we were the last station in the country using "live" announcers for IDs and tags.

Also glad to see that PDA and Anita Justus checked in too! Remember Arvin Echo, Pete?

Thanks for allowing us to share the memories, Mike!

Thanks, Sonny.

  Friday 12/08/2000 4:59:08pm
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Duh Capitol, DC
Comments: Maybe John Hillis can answer this question - didn't Lee Woodward have a couple of Corvairs for snowy weather driving to 6?

I know Don Woods drove VW's forever - lastly remembering him loving his VW Camper.

Fred Norman in OKC liked big Chrysler behemothes but ended up also owning 2 or 3 Fiats because he said they drove thru anything when it snowed and I think he could push the cars if they got stuck - Fred no big guy himself....Former KOCO News Director Nick Lawler was from Buffalo and did his stint in OKC the year Buffalo was first blizzard bombed. He told us snow was usual there but alll the stations drove big Fords or Chevies - he could not believe that 5 had 4WD news vehicles (the infamous AMC Eagle wagons). 4WD cars then were not an item you budgetted for...

Here in DC - the stations will send out 4WD Suburbans to bring in news talent on blizzard days and take all home after work. Good deal!

Unfortunately my employer doesn't do this - though a couple of times we got nearby hotel rooms to camp in. When your GM lives in DC and drives a $60,000 BMW to work - he can't figure out why folks living 15 miles away in their tract homes with unshoveled side roads can't get into town. He's never lived like this....

The old mentality here was - bring a bag - sleep on a couch if a blizzard was incoming and you are "essential" personnel. Oh, yeah - Dominoes ALWAYS delivers!

  Friday 12/08/2000 10:21:48am
Name: Mike Bruchas
Comments: Pete Abrams and Dale McKinney have been exchanging Tincherisms back-channel in e-mail - the corny/funny stuff from Gene "Geno" Tincher a revered engineer at 8 used to say. Will try to edit some down for this page from what I have been cc'd. Gene was tape engineer then transmitter engineer at 8 and OETA lured him away to work with Jack Maynard and Leon Holland at KETA there. I think he is retired - was a longtime ham radio op and as mentioned before here - as a kid soldier of about 18 from downstate Illinois at the end of WWII - ran audio on the Nuremberg trials. He also did work BEFORE TV for Schlumberger and other oil patch companies repairing test gear. Geno was living just across from the Skelly Bypass in WesTulsa at about 41st West Ave. - have not seen him in about 7 years.

  Friday 12/08/2000 2:15:00am
Name: Webmaster
Location: T-Town
Comments: I just saw the new Mazeppa tape Volume all about it on the What's New page!

  Thursday 12/07/2000 10:59:09pm
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin, TX
Comments: Here is another Burma-Shave poem. It was sent to me by a high school classmate.

To kiss a mug

That's like a cactus

Takes more nerve

Than it does practice!!


  Thursday 12/07/2000 5:56:13pm
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Warrshington, Dee Cee
Comments: In about '71 I had an interview at WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago for a trainee editor's job. A co-worker of my aunt's brother was a film editor at WBBM. He (Terry Tomaso) still cut film but video was encroaching. No - I did not get the job - had I would have never finished at TU nor met all you folks. Got a control room tour - the switchers there were BIG compared to what I would be flying a year later at 8 as a trainee. CBS though tight on light bulbs in the dark hallways had spent on good studio gear.

John Doremus
Wayne McCombs and I went to Chicago again in '72 or '73 and stayed with my folks. Went to a Cubs game and all over. That was when John Doremus invited us over to his all night show on WGN radio. I had started at 8 in Tulsa and the last time I had been to WGN was about 1965.

Since another host was on air - John parked us with the TV switching crew doing WGN "Late Edition" with the legendary Carl Grayson (never knew his real name but he was trained as a classical actor!)- who had been a kids show talent, booth announcer and at Midnite or 12:30 am after the late movie on 9 - was on camera doing late headlines. WGN literally had a small announcers booth with lights and a full blown color camera wheeled in. Must have been a sauna to work in - he wore a tie and jacket. Maybe they had 2-3 bits of natso film they rolled into the cast - WGN was NOT into news in those days. Carl did the headlines with a tech crew of about 7.

WGN then had a GVG 1600 for production like 8 would later buy, but the news was switched on a home-brew switcher not unlike what I would work on at 6 in Tulsa 4 years later.

It had HUMONGOUS round knobs about 3/4"-1" wide for buttons - I guess to prevent mis-punches. To this day - have never seen a switcher like it again!

  Thursday 12/07/2000 5:35:14pm
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Underground in DC
Comments: I learned to switch at 8 on the RCA TS-40 switcher - we had 2 so doing news was no problem when I became a director after 2 years as a projectionist.

Had round plastic plug buttons that lit up when you took a source, if they didn't light you would
a.) hit them again,
b.) try to gently pull a button back up
c.) scream on the P.A. for an Engineer!

Very basic - 1 effects bank and a half-assed SUPER button on each bank that half-cut in a key if you set it right. The outrigger chromakeyer was a pain for some weather bits and spots and I think we had to add a second outrigger RCA wipe generator on 1 switcher. Seems like I remember the Engineers had to "throw effects" from one switcher to the other just before News time. That super button we used only if we hadn't set a key right or "the effects" were transfered to the other control room. We had crappier color monitors in B control and tinier space than A.

Don Lundy and Howard Sanders helped lobby for the GVG 1600 switcher in A control that lasted almost 20 years - it hummed. PDA was a pianist on it, too.

We got KATV Little Rock's old RCA TS-51
"big" switcher - which was not much more powerful than the TS-40, just newer. KATV got a GVG 1600 too. The TS-51 had a wacky take bar that often flipped sources on us on its own and square buttons more akin to today's switcher.

The "original" mobile post office REEmote truck had a dinky switcher - maybe made by a company more known for video d.a.'s - but it worked for our remotes. Maybe PDA can remember the model.

When 8 got the BIG new and improved Crown mobile post office later (after I had left)- they had some other bigger switcher on board. I visited that truck at the Fair when Stu Odell was running tape on it.

When we had the ex-LewRon/Kenneth somebody religious (not Copeland)/original Watergate Hearing pool Norelco semi-trailer - we had a Ward-Beck mega-switcher on it. Whooee - powerful box but the monitor wall in the truck was goofy. The one and only Norelco audio board kept burning out (literally) on Scott Blaker but it HAD been a network grade truck. Jimmy Leake sent it back to the religious guy in Ohio on on flatcar - guess it did not make the $$ he expected. Originally 6 had it for a short while for doing Billy James Hargis and could not crew it.

After a year's hiatus/exile from TV (2 wouldn't hire me) at Honest John's - thinking I wanted to work in retail music - I got a gig at KVII in Amarillo -where I worked on the original GVG 1400 switcher first-ever delivered that was grandpappy to the 1600 we had at 8. They had bastardized it there to switch audio-follow-video except for News and it WAS the only switcher on air! The upper take bank went out the line - the lower preset/preview bank fed the tape machines for production. It was NOT unusual to get wrapped in a studio production and realize that when the ABC morning re-runs of "Bewitched" was on air - you had pre-empted the video of that show inadvertantly with your studio production shots when you had flipped switcher banks... Grrr...though for years at ABC stations - at 10:30 in the morning you could set your watch by ABC and "Bewitched" hitting on time!

It is now in the GVG Museum after KVII bought a GVG mega-switcher in the '80's.

My vision in my right eye is about 50% now so I haven't TD'd in about 8 years (driving is tough enough in DC!) but I worked into the days of high tech video switchers with e-mem's and set-up menus here. Before this we were all glorified "piano players" flying across big switchers - re-setting and re-punching casts manually.

I have switched on the following low and high tech boxes in my days - Sony 2500 and later 7000 digital series; Vital VIX 114/1400; Duca-Richardson (which became Ampex switchers); Polar (now defunct); Pansonic toy type cable access gear of various forgotten models; GVG 300's, 200's, and 100's and component versions of the 200 and 110 plus a million glitch switchers from Lenco, Leitch, Videotek, Panasonic and GVG. Plus as a Master Control manager - GVG 1600 and M2100 digital audio-follows-video switchers.

Guess I am a dinosaur of technology but loved doing news RIGHT. So maybe Jim Reid, Pete Abrams and I plus many of our forebears ARE/were performance artistes when doing news or live shows. As KOCO's/now OK's UCP director Jim Rankin once said 20 years ago - the challenge is that it is LIVE - you get one chance to do it right.

That was the "juice" as young directors, calling and switching our own shows.

That news work often meant scads of cursing on my part at my sudden technical ineptitude or the technology breaking down in live casts - but never the people I worked with. I may failed them as "captain of the ship" in alive cast but usually not they me....

I would have loved to have shot more film and had more lighting training but stayed away from commercial production generally unless a product I liked or appreciated - so I got tagged a "newsie".

  Thursday 12/07/2000 11:08:31am
Name: Dale A. McKinney
Location: Tulsey Town
Comments: Right after I posted, I saw Mike Bruchas' comments about Tuffy. I always call him Tuffy, never Wayne, & it is a compliment. Well said, Mike. I had my fill of some of those young screaming producers, too. When you compare them to some of the really good news producers I've worked with, it makes you sick.

But back to Tuffy, this goes back to what I said about having good people around me when I was new. Tuffy wasn't there then, but the same principle applies. There is nothing new under the sun. If you are willing to keep your mouth shut & ears open, these guys have seen it all & can let you know what obstacles to expect.

Tuffy did a stint as an mc op here at my station, RSU-TV in Claremore, for awhile. So I did get a chance to work with him. We had fun, didn't we?


  Thursday 12/07/2000 10:56:48am
Name: Dale A. McKinney
Location: Tulsa & sometimes Claremore
How did you find TTM?: Friend sent me
Comments: I keep meaning to post something here. Today I got email from Jim Reid telling me PDA had said something about me. Thanks, Pete, I'll take it as a compliment. I had heard about Peter from Jim & Dick Van Dera & others long before I ever met him. That still happens to me. Last year I met someone at the channel 6 reunion I'd only heard about.

I was really lucky to be at 8 when I was. My audio guy, much of the time, was legendary Cy Tuma. I was a green kid just out of college. A lot of what I learned about switching came from Cindy Martin & Dorothy Roche, as well as Jim. When I got to be a director [ironically on John Ford's birthday], it was Cindy who showed me nuts & bolts. But it was Jim who taught me the fancy stuff. I figured out that there were two kinds of directors for live shows, especially news: those who lived for it & didn't want the show to end, and those who just wanted it to be over for another day. The latter types made better commercial production directors.

I think Jim has a mind like a computer & could consistently switch the most complicated news casts. We are so spoiled today with non-linear & computer edit controllers [not that I'm complaining...I just feel sorry for master control ops these days].

Channel 8 was tops back then, partly because there was a good system. When I was plugged in as switcher/projectionist, I would work with an audio op, and an engineer. So I always had someone to ask, until I was sure enough to do it myself. I did many a sign-off with Steve Williams in audio & Gene Tincher in engineering.

Gene TincherHas anyone heard from Gene since he retired? I remember how every single night, when we ran the tape of Dick West doing the Lord's Prayer in Indian sign language, we did the same joke, as a ritual.

Gene: Say, does anybody happen to know this here Indian feller's name? [the super DICK WEST would show up on the tape, built in]
Dale: There it is. I supered it for you.
Gene: Oh. Thank you!

When it's 2:00 AM, you have to amuse yourself somehow, I guess.

  Thursday 12/07/2000 10:37:04am
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Far far away from Tulseytown
Comments: Re: Wayne "Tuffy" Johnson - I am glad he is working at 8 and raising his goats at home with his second wife.

He said the past is prologue - when I saw him a year ago. He WAS a great director in the old small switcher days at 8 - unflappable - might say "Oh, Sh-t." And get on with shows. Wayne 'Tuffy' JohnsonDid a lot of the BIG TIME Ackerman spots before Howard Sanders came on board. Is a lifelong friend of Phil Atkison - one of Tulsa's best film-shooters and Tuffy could shoot commercial film well too. Unfortunately he never worked the big new Sony switcher there and he said in news - directors are pawns of 22 yr. old screaming producers - not comrades in arms trying to get a good show on the air.

I was a little po'd that the new generation at 8 thinks him a dinosaur - the man "made his bones" 25 years ago in Tulsey TV. He did do a short stint at 6 as a director before he forsook TV for about 20 years to be a welder and make big money...

  Thursday 12/07/2000 8:18:19am
Name: John Hillis
Location: Outside Tallahassee (aren't we all?)
Comments: Forcing habit is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

Like Mr. Abrams, I had a learning experience in Tulsa TV.

Thanks to the wonder that was Corinthian, I had the opportunity to fill an hour a day with the output of three crews, an AP photo machine, a bucket of wire copy and the CBS hotline feed. A thin gruel, indeed, but for the massive contributions of some remarkably talented home folks--first and foremost the King and that fella who drove him to work every day and did the weather while he was waiting with the motor running on the Renault, but also Ken Broo, and the letters segment from the remarkable Mr. Vaughn.

While I'm at it, even though the statute of limitations has expired on most of my crimes, I probably need to offer public contrition to the poor people who were the victims of my screw-ups, chief among them Vaughn, Pitcock, Woodward, Broo and the directors like Irv Johnson and Mike Bruchas who sat next to this nutcase and tried to make sense of what he was asking. All I can say in my defense about these screw-ups is that I learned from 'em.

The other thing that's different then from now is that less was riding on them. In my three years in Tulsa, KOTV won the 6 o'clock news in exactly one rating book. Nowadays, nobody'd survive with a record like that for one year, much less leaving under one's own power after three.

When people ask, I tell them that my years in Tulsa were like vaudeville--I could hone my craft, learning what's right by doing what's wrong and learning. Gasp.

That's probably why so many people at early CNN has Oklahoma somewhere in their careers.

  Thursday 12/07/2000 7:32:12am
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY
Comments: Mike Bruchas: Don't have your email address so I'll respond to your comments here.

Yes, Drury is getting old--he's pushing mid-seventies, now. Still, a helluva good run for a local anchor. Volkman is still around, I believe, and will be until somebody drives a stake through his heart and buries him at a crossroads.

Rushing along from stake to steak, one of the advantages of the old days was the possibility of free chow when a client restaurant ran a live spot. One place in particular stands out: It was a bowling alley-cum-steakhouse and for a while sponsored bowling on KOTV.

Because the show ran on Sunday, only a skeleton crew was around. The best way to sell a steak on television, of course, is to show it supine and vulnerable on a platter. This was done with what must have been 36 or 48-ounce slab of sirloin, and when the sizzling (or so it appeared because it had been rubbed with olive oil) steak had finished its appearance and we switched back to professional bowling, the floor crew, the control room, and other undernourished souls would dash out to the studio set to carve a chunk in lieu of Sunday penalty fees.

Actually, the old bucket lights, brought within a couple of feet of the meat, produced enough heat to equal a fair approximation of a just-grilled entree.

And the olive oil wasn't bad. Beats that macaroni-and-ersatz cheese stuff you were talking about.

  Thursday 12/07/2000 1:10:21am
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin, TX
How did you find TTM?: Friend sent me
Comments: I'm a little late in getting this Burma-Shave poem in, but here goes:

Look here birds

These signs cost money.

Roost awhile,

But don't get funny.

  Wednesday 12/06/2000 8:39:12pm
Name: Noel Confer
Location: T-Town
Comments: At last, I'm not so left out. Since I returned, after 40 years, to Tulsa, and found this page, I've felt very left out. So many words and so much praise about one Mr Sartain, and I had no idea who he is. I'd left Tulsa TV before he came on the scene and I'd left Hollywood before he arrived.

This week I watched a Robert De Niro flick and saw his name on the credits.He had a small, non-comedy part and was very good. I've seen him before but didn't know who he was...or is. I was beginning to feel I was not really part of Tulsa TV history. Can I stay now?

Noel, are you kidding? With your roles as the evil Karzoff in "Zeta, on Satellite Six", boy-hero Elmer the Clown on "Uncle Hiram" and Grandpa Hawkins on "T-Town Jubilee", your place in the pantheon is high and secure!

A picture of Grandpa Hawkins will be seen here as soon as I can get to a scanner.

  Wednesday 12/06/2000 8:16:16pm
Name: Anita Justus
Location: KTUL-Master Control
How did you find TTM?: Friend sent me
Comments: Love your site! It's great to read all the e-mails about this place in the past. I've been here almost 16 years. Tuffy #2 actually still works here as a cameraman. He left for a while and came back about 12 years ago.

Thanks, Anita! I've met Tuffy #2 (Wayne Johnson), so who is Tuffy #1?

Sorry, I meant to say Wayne #2.

For those arriving late to this site, Wayne Johnson #1 worked at KOTV and was once a clarinetist with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Wayne #2 was Tuffy The Tiger, and is a Channel 8 cameraman today. He is noted as an excellent director as well.

  Wednesday 12/06/2000 7:42:11pm
Name: Peter D Abrams, aka Chadboy
Location: Jacksonville Fl. Don't ask why. just do.
Comments: If a Director screams Roll A, and the projectionist is watchin' Charlie's Angel's, who's right?

Michael brings up something I wanted to mention as well. There is a tradition, or whatever, that existed among fraternal organizations referred to as a legacy. Someone made someone a frat brudder, whatever, I was a GDI at TU, But my female family members knew it well. Legacies were sons and daughters of previous frat folks. Something like that.

Anyway, I don't know the entire lineage, but if you look at the people who went from switcher/projectionist to director, you might run across this one, where the S/P becomes the D, and the next S/P follows right after. Strange, but true.

1. Mike Denney leaves KTUL, heads West. Mike Bruchas, Chief Projectionist, goes from Projection to Director.

2. A black hole in Projection. "Mr X" is inscribed on the schedule as new hire. That would be me. Eventually (30 years or more) I get to Chief Projectionist, not the most aspiring job, but wow. The things I got to be a part of. Oil in Oklahoma stuff, among other things. Where's Robert Billings? In retrospect, very cool.

3. Much later, I get a director slot. What to do. Why, hire Jim Reid, of course! Jim becomes Chief Projectionist, like me, eventually.

4. I leave. Guess who takes my place? Daz right. JR. He did/does excellent work, BTW.

5. His projection replacement, I think, was one Dale McKinney. I have met Dale only once in my life, but my impression was that he was a combination of Michael, Jim, and myself. An amazing Darwinian example of survival. I loved the Melvin spots so much, I bought a Honda in '85. Doug Wren had, and still has, an excellent sense of humor, provided he's not the talent. 'nuff said.

I think the reason all of us turned out to be good was the experience as 2nd line witnesses. When you're sitting back there during the John Corn Show, at 6 in the morning, you have a lot of time to do nothing but pay attention. I was back there when Bob Welch, David Finch, Don Lundy, Glen Blake, Howard Sanders, Jonathan Jeffries, P Kent Doll, and J Scott Blaker all punched this show. Some times I learned, sometimes I laughed out loud, and sometimes I used the Emergency Vomit Bag.

But I got to learn and learn, and learn some more. I felt I was ready.

Well, I learned very quickly that I had a lot more to learn. Duke (Clint Baul), Heat (John Heatley) and Ricardo (Richard E. Wilson) were in the studio the first morning I punched that show. They ripped me 12 days from the last millenium. Not a single word. I kept telling them what to shoot, and they kept aiming the cameras at the *correct* thing to put on the air. I didn't feel humiliated in the least, just um how do you say it, 'unempowered'? I just took the cameras. Let the show ride, worry about the breaks. And learned real quickly that respect is what it's all about. These folks were my friends outside of Lookout Mountain, but when it came to the job, they made it rather clear that I needed some camera operating time before I was going to get any respect from the floor.

I started volunteering for floor work right then.

I thank them every day. Does anybody have experiences like this now? I'd like to hear about it.



  Wednesday 12/06/2000 5:20:37pm
Name: Mike Bruchas
Comments: Yeah - been e-mailing Peter D. Abrams, he said sadly though he IS the original PDA - he is not getting residuals from Handspring and all others "pirating" his initials on their 'lectronic gizmos.

He IS repairing/working with legendary Hammond B-3 organs as a hobby - so if any of you jazz "fiends" are into this - e-mail him.

Mr. Jim Reid - you were a far better pupil at 8 then many a projectionist-trainee in the '70's. Pete was probably one of the better trainers there, too, so I guess ya passed muster! I was trained by Jim "Jimbo" Phillips who left 8 to be a lineman at PSO and make "real money". He scared the bleep out of me when I made a mistake as a trainee but he did a good job, too.

Always remember Jim talking about the good old days of making $2 an hour as a seasoned projectionist and still being able to eat steak a couple of nights a week - in the early '70's! When I was a director at 8 - it was Kraft powdered/not real cheese-product macaroni and cheese on Warehouse Market special sales. Did not eat steak for years on my $2.50 an hr. wages except at home with my folks when in Chicago. Though we all needed fried pickles from Roberta's on SW Blvd. by Crystal City for lunch with our "burgies".

  Wednesday 12/06/2000 2:11:36pm
Name: Webmaster
Comments: Just archived Guestbook 63.

There, we finally found out about a piece of music remembered by the webmaster in Guestbook 1. It was used as KTUL signoff music and as background for Trust House Theatre in OKC.

Robert M recalled the 1st verse of the OTASCO Christmas jingle. This led to the Tulsa TV commercial quiz...and a new question concerning the toy "Odd Ogg" (pictured).

Burma-Shave signs were quoted. Stubby Kaye's nephew wrote in, and some links for Stubby's kid show "Shenanigans" were found. A new Tulsa history link was discovered...see the Golden Drumstick, Parkey's, Will Rogers Motor Court and more.

Lee Woodward paid a visit and sent the Christmas photo of King Lionel you see on the main page.

We learned that a 3rd volume of The Lost Tapes of Mazeppa is now available for Christmas orders!

The Guestbook changed format slightly...we'll see how it goes. The TTM Gift Shop was created, just in time for Christmas!

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