Date: 25-Dec-99 11:10 AM 
Name: Mike Ransom (webmaster)  
How did you find TTM? by examining the inside of my cranium
Along with Christmas and New Year's, there is another occasion to celebrate: TTM will be 1 year old on Dec. 29.

This website has become far more interesting than I originally envisioned...the Guestbook has proven to be a gold mine of information, a way for people to get back in touch with old friends, and just fun watching to see who and what will show up next.

I would like to thank the many people who have contributed stories and pictures over the last year. It truly could not have happened without your participation and interest.

Here's to another year of fun and discovery!

Happy holidays,

Mike Ransom

Date: 24-Dec-99 08:43 PM 
Name: Noel Confer
Geographical location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Uncle Hiram
How did you find TTM? e-mail
I, too, was a member of the KAKC rat patrol. Not long after I returned from the Army, my old friend Jim Ruddle left for his service and I was hired for that night time gig. After a few months, the PD (Wheeler?) called me in and told me what a good job I was doing. He also told me that he had- an old-friend -whose- wife-was -expecting -,and- this- pal- needed- a -night -job. He allowed that, if I was still around in a few months, he would be glad to hire me back at my old pay scale, $1.00 an hour. Ah yes, the rats of KAKC. I, too, was a student of Miss Ronan and have never known anyone I respect as much.

I recognize some other names registered here, mainly Ruddle, with whom I've been friends since high school, acted with, and worked in radio, & TV in Tulsa, and radio in the San Diego market. I am tickled with this guestbook.

In spite of limited talent, I had an interesting 50 year career, which allowed me to work in the shade without having to lift anything heavy. I spent 40 years in So. California and have retired, to my surprise, in Tulsa. I'd love to hear from any other geezers from the past.

Noel, thanks for being a part of this site.

Date: 24-Dec-99 12:22 PM 
Name: Terry Young
Geographical location: Tulsa
Glad to hear from Bob Coxsey. Bob, like so many on-air personalities, genuinely guarded his real last name. It was a long time before I ever knew Shannon WASN'T his name. But leave it to me...and a SWEAR it was an innocent mistake...the first weekend news show after I learned his real last name, I pitched it to him to do the sports from my weather segment saying, "And now the sports with Bob Coxsey." I thought he would kill me after the show. Bob, it really was just a mind-fart. Didn't mean it.

Date: 23-Dec-99 09:32 PM 
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, TX
Tulsa Central High School students from the ‘30s until the early ‘50s had a unique opportunity to get experience in radio. In addition to “KVOO Day,” where Isabelle Ronan’s speech students took over the production and performance responsibilities of the 50,000 watt, clear-channel station for one broadcasting day, the young people had a weekly thirty minute program over KOME on Saturday mornings---“Experimental Theater of the Air.” Under the guidance of Miss Ronan we produced a wide variety of works, including music performed by students, comedy programs and drama shows, some of which were written by the students.

Some of the music programs were purely of a performance character by individuals or small groups, while others were sections of operettas which were under production by Central’s Opera Club, songs by the Central Acapella Choir, or band combos. Because the copyright laws were not so restrictive then as they are now, as a non-commercial program we could perform almost any scripts we desired. Consequently, we could re-create some of the best programs available such as “Untitled” by the premier writer Norman Corwin.

The show was created at the KWGS studios, with the director being a TU student who was getting credit for being the director. In my years, Bob “Dusty” West, who narrated the Easter Pageant, was the first director, followed by Dave Croninger the next year.

Many students from 1949-52 later had significant careers in radio, TV and the theater. Jim Ruddle, Noel Confer, and Larry Bettis from the Class of ’49; Charles Connor from ’50; Jack Eddleman, Shirley Barbour, and myself from ’51; and Bob Griffin and Lo Rene Washburn from ’52. Shirley and Lo Rene became Miss Oklahomas after they graduated from Central and were students at TU.

I don’t know when “Experimental Theater of the Air” was started; “KVOO Day” (or “Central Day” to the people at the station) commenced in 1936. After Miss Ronan retired in 1952, all the special productions went with her: The weekly radio program on KOME, “KVOO Day,” and the large, prestigious Easter Pageant at Memorial Park ceased to be produced, although “Experimental Theater” continued for a short time, but it was broadcast over KWGS (to a non-existent audience because there were no FM receivers). Selecting an annual recipient for the full, four-year radio scholarship to TU also was dropped. Miss Ronan had been speech teacher at Central since 1922. She deeply touched many, many young people. She was an incredible inspiration to all of us. Her retirement marked the passing of a golden era at Central High school.

Just created a new Tulsa Radio page 4 with these comments, some of your pictures, and a bio sketch of Noel Confer.

Date: 23-Dec-99 08:08 PM 
Name: Bob (Shannon) Coxsey
Geographical location: Las Vegas, NV.
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Jack Morris
How did you find TTM? From Frank Morrow
I was with KTUL-TV from 1964 to '65 and, again, from 1971 to '73. Used the air name "Bob Shannon". Announcer/week-end sports anchor. Mike Miller news anchor..Terry Young weather. Announce staff was Cy Tuma, John Chick, Carl Bartholomew, and myself. Wayne Johnson head of camera crew. Bob Gregory news director. Bob Hower news anchor, Hal O'Halloran sports, Don Woods weather.

Remember someone putting a bass in the fish aquarium we used to open up the "Joe Krieger Show". Had all these beautiful, exotic fish and the bass ate them all. Krieger was furious. I ran audio on the John Chick Country Music show in the mornings. Chick did not audition anyone. Had some real winners on the show. (have not liked country music since then.) Moved over to KJRH in 1973 as announcer/week-end weatherman. Morris was news anchor, Jerry Webber sports, Jon Hudson weather. Remember Duane Jones falling off a chair during a morning "Today" news cut-in. Trying to reach the mike under the desk that he had forgotten to put on.

In 1975, on my Saturday nite weathercast, I told everyone not to worry...Tulsa would never have a tornado because of the old Indian folklore saying. That night 3 hit. Made a career adjustment after that into real estate.

Moved to Las Vegas in 1989. Loan Officer with a bank. Still free lancing.. doing voice overs and commercials for ad agencies here.

Enjoy the web site and seeing familiar names. Keep it up.

Great to hear from you, Bob. Frank mentioned that you had found the site, and I'm glad you like it.

Date: 23-Dec-99 06:43 PM 
Name: Jim Ruddle
Geographical location: Rye, NY
A holiday greeting to any and all who ever tried to cue up an old ET and couldn't get the damned thing on the spindle, who forgot to change the turntable from 33 1/3 to 78 when the ET was finished, who put on a shellac 78 and discovered it had a Grand Canyon-sized crack and sounded like artillery fire every rotation, who bumped his head on a boom mike running to get some wire copy, who found the wire machines had run out of paper and couldn't find the key to the storage locker, who (now you have to be a real old-timer) tried to splice the wire on a Webcor wire-recorder and got the square-knot backwards so the splice hit the playback head like a hay fork when it rolled by, who had a Magnecorder on fast rewind and sent tape all over the room when the brake snapped the tape, who stumbled over the word "City" in a piece of copy and had to explain how it happened, who did NOT shoot the copy writers who persisted in putting that word next to words like "shoes," "sugar," or "Shawnee," who only flinched slightly when one of those monstrously large bulbs exploded in a studio bucket light and showered glass while you were on the air, who learned that a cart machine might be unjammed by kicking the hell out of it, who found out that certain salesmen were taking personal rebates on some spots that were supposed to include a talent fee and who didn't make a federal case out of it, who went to work with colds, flu, bronchitis, laryngitis, and assorted ills, bolstered only by those licorice-flavored throat discs and tincture of terpin hydrate with codeine, who tried to run "B-wind" film as though it were "A-wind," who left the lens cap on while shooting an important story with a Bell and Howell 70DR, and who got back to the shop and discovered there were not enough useable cutaways, who turned on the transmitters, turned out the lights, worked for peanuts and Christmas fruitbaskets (if they went that far), who watched one just-learned technology get replaced by another, then another, and found that everything was to be learned at his own expense, who probably smoked too much, drank too much, laughed too much, and bitched too much, but who couldn't think of anything else that was so much fun, and had such an entertaining mixture of jerks and good guys.

Merry Christmas.

Date: 23-Dec-99 12:00 AM 
Name: Mike Ransom (webmaster)  
Here is a URL for a sister site in L.A.:

Especially interesting are the stories about late night horror hosts Seymour and Vampira (of "Plan 9 from Outer Space" fame).

Attention, Frank Morrow: Check out the parallels between KTUL's "Marjean", and "Voluptua" in L.A.

Remember Jack LaLanne's exercise show in the early 60s? I sincerely wished to look like Jack when I was a kid. My mom ordered a "Glamour Stretcher" from him. He is now 85 years old and going strong:

Date: 22-Dec-99 09:09 AM 
Name: Lowell Burch
Geographical location: Home of the UFFCM
The Surf Ballroom is in Clearlake, Iowa. The ballroom is kind of a Buddy Holly shrine and they have a Winter Dance Party every year with guests such as the Crickets. I think the Tractors performed there this year. We went out and saw the plane crash site while we were there. It was an interesting trip, especially since there was a Tulsa connection (via the movie, Busey, Sartain).

Date: 21-Dec-99 11:05 PM 
Name: Lowell Burch  
Geographical location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Teddy Jack Eddy
I stopped in at the Surf Ball Room, the scene of Buddy Holly's last concert, and met the present owner. He asked where I was from and when I told him Tulsa he said, "That's where Gary Busey is from! Do you know him?" I told him not really but our paths had crossed from time to time. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that he was so excited about meeting someone from Busey's hometown.

Where is that ballroom?

Date: 20-Dec-99 10:18 PM 
Name: Sleepwalk in Bartlesville
Web siteRockin John Henry Tulsa's Oldest Teenager
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Has to be the old 'Uncanny Film Festival'
How did you find TTM? You visited RJH's website :)
Just love surfing around this place. I found your Porky Pig's Blue Christmas. lol We have our version over at Rockin John's site too. Its playing as the background music this week. Lots of informative and fun links at the RJH site right now including some links to Gailard and Gary (Busey). Come by and visit and sign the book :) Stay with R&R and you'll always stay young~

I heard Porky's moving rendition first on KOOL 106.1, as it happens. Then I thought, this has to be on the internet somewhere...and so it was.

Date: 20-Dec-99 09:11 PM 
Name: Bob Oertle
Geographical location: Ttown
Web siteAMA Pro-Am Arenacross Oklahoma
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Teddy Jack Eddy is one...burned into my brain cells
How did you find TTM? Like everything else...R & D....
Teddy Jack Eddy (Gary Busey) has incredible musical talent. If I recall correctly, He sang all the songs in the Buddy Holly Story movie himself, as he played that character. It made the film seem even that much more real to me. His band in ?Tulsa was called the "Rubber Band" and another band I cannot remember the name of. Anyone remember the original IHOP Pancake House across from Utica Square, one could eat there in the early AM hours on Friday or Saturday night and see Menlo Park, Ya Hootie Menu, Teddy Jack Eddy, Mazeppa the whole crew there creating yet another classic scene.

Stories told by long time friend of that crew "Fleas" the late Ralph Imbo "Commercial Artist Unique." Ralph once told me of Mazeppa' Marble Tribute to Rogers High School...and of the Orbach's Clothing store Epilectic Seizure stunts...Toilet paper out of their 50 story penthouse in Sherman Oaks California...Sherman Oaks...what a character.

Date: 20-Dec-99 06:23 PM 
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, TX
I hated Hillbilly music. That was our term; Country and Western came to be used later. To us, Western music was that which was as synonymous with “Cowboy Music” as sung by the Sons of the Pioneers and Riders of the Purple Sage. The only good thing about working a split shift at KFMJ was not having to do the “Willy the Hillbilly” show which Hillis Bell had been hosting. (He liked the music.)

However, I got cornered into having to enduring it when KAKC hired Bill Glass and Dottie Lewis to do a Saturday night country music program. I had to do the engineering. Glass and Lewis were the darlings of the media for some reason, and had been married recently. They were very attractive, friendly and energetic. The program was sponsored by Charlie Shepherd Kaiser-Frazier, the cars (along with the “Henry J.” model) which flopped so badly in the late ‘40s and ‘50s. Charlie Shepherd had been buying a lot of airtime on all stations for very obnoxious commercials which featured loud sound effects and screaming announcers. (Jack Morris and Roy Pickett did some of them.) Shepherd had tried doing a “Top-40 count-down” type of program with regular pop music for a couple of weeks with me as a host; but he wanted something more spectacular and different.

The music made me physically sick. I had contempt for the lyrics that were filled with self-pity and pseudo-sincerity, and I especially couldn’t stand the maudlin, nasal whining of the singers, especially the male vocalists. Fortunately, the program lasted only for about six weeks, giving me a parole from the cruel and unusual punishment.

Frank, I'm guessing that you weren't a regular viewer of "The Porter Wagoner Show".

Date: 20-Dec-99 04:46 PM 
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, TX
It was unheard of for a woman to occupy a high position in a radio station in the ‘40s and ‘50s. KAKC had the first woman executive---general manager, sales manager or program director. Before Program Director John Wheeler left in 1952, he called a meeting with all the announcers. He had the traffic manager with him whose name (or nickname) was Rusty. I don’t remember her last name. He announced that he was quitting, and that Rusty was going to be taking his job. We didn’t mind at all because she was very nice as well as quite competent. Wheeler said, “Rusty is taking my job, but just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean she has no authority. She can fire you on the spot!”

I thought this was funny, because I don’t think anyone had any qualms about Rusty doing the job. In fact, Wheeler was all right, but Rusty would be an improvement. As Wheeler looked menacingly at us all, one by one, I turned to Rusty and said in a childlike, pleading voice, “Rusty, please don’t fire me.” She just chuckled. Wheeler glared.

It was also about that time that KTUL’s sales manager, Bud Blust, gave Sadie Adwon a job as a salesperson---the first in Tulsa. Sadie came by Karl Janssen’s house about three years ago to visit when I was there. She told me that it was a big decision by Blust which required no little courage to make. She said that she would always be grateful to Bud for that opportunity when no one else was in favor of it.

Also at this time, Helen(?) Alvarez proved that a woman could be general manager of a TV station in Tulsa---KOTV. I never did work for her, but I heard that she was as tough as she was competent.

Date: 18-Dec-99 10:22 AM 
Name: John Boydston
Geographical location: Atlanta, Ga
Web siteDaddy A Go Go
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Coach Chuck
Does anyone know where to find a CD copy of the Leon Russell song "Slipping into Christmas?" I know his stuff is on CD but I've never seen this song and remember hearing it this time of year on a "Season's Greetings" PSA one of the locals (KTUL?) used to run in the early 70's.

Date: 18-Dec-99 09:43 AM 
Name: Patrick Cook
Geographical location: Denver, Colorado
Web siteColorado TV News Theme Museum
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: The News On 6 (I watch the webcast sometimes!)
How did you find TTM? A link from another site...

I am writing about a couple of things. One is how MARVELOUS and NOSTALGIC your site is. Another was to spread word of my website at the URL above or wherever the link appears.

Also, I happen to know of a Ham Radio Club that apparently has its own equipment atop the KOTV tower. If I can find the URL, I'd be happy to send it to you if you'd like (they have PICTURES too!).

Lemme know either way, will ya?? Thanks...

Thank you very much, Patrick. Yes, I'd be happy to list the link for the ham radio club.

Found a site for OKC TV fans:

Date: 18-Dec-99 09:38 AM 
Name: Lowell Burch
Geographical location: Tulsa (1954-1999)
Jewelry is the gift to give cause it's the gift that will live and live;
So give the gift you know can't fail from B.C. Clark's Anniversary Sale.
Most Sales are after Christmas but Clark's is right before;
Most everything is marked way down; Savings you can't ignore!
At Oklahoma's oldest Jeweler since 1894.
So give the gift you know can't fail at B.C. Clark's Anniversary Sale!
(courtesy of Susan Burch, native of Rush Springs and my wife)

Date: 17-Dec-99 09:55 AM 
Name: Jim Back
Geographical location: Edmond
Speaking of old Christmas-oriented radio jingles (such as the OTASCO song), a jingle created in that era (1950s/60s) in Oklahoma City is still used every Christmas over here. It even gets mentioned by radio listeners as among their favorite Christmas songs!

I'll bet anyone who's lived over here (or who went to OU or OSU and listend to OKC radio) can complete the second line of this jingle:

"Jewelry is the gift to give, "Cause . . ."

Hint: It's an ad for Oklahoma City's equivalent of "Ernest Moody Your Jeweler."

Date: 17-Dec-99 08:57 AM 
Name: Robert M.  
Geographical location: Oak City
Yessir, Mr. S.Artain did the artwork for Leon's 1975(?) incredibly versatile "Will O' the Wisp" album.

Amongst the musical credits on a few tracks of this LP is Teddy Jack Eddy (on drums) who, among other things, was an occasional character on "The Uncanny Film Festival" skits.

I believe Gary Busey played this character in the skits, but was he in reality the studio musician on this album under the guise of Teddy Jack Eddy?

Thanks, and keep up the good work!


He was one and the same. Leon liked the character so much that his son is named Teddy Jack Russell.

Date: 17-Dec-99 08:44 AM 
Name: Frank Morrow  
Geographical location: Austin, TX
The cessation of the fifteen-minute newscast is a reflection of the demise of the Golden Days of Radio. It also reveals the vast chasm which exists between then and now in regard to the emphasis on the legally mandated “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

Look at the news line-up for KVOO on May 9, 1951, a typical broadcast day:

Fifteen-minute newscasts---9 (only two of which were from the network); Five-minute newscasts---3 (Two were from NBC, and one was part of a 15 minute package of news, sports and weather.); Fifteen-minute sportscasts---two; Five-minute sportscasts---one; Five-minute weather news---two; Fifteen-minute agricultural news---one

In “the old days” the man who did the fifteen-minute local newscast was held in high esteem, particularly if it were the 10pm newscast. People would listen to the news, perhaps followed by the sports, then go to bed. They would wake up to news the next day. Jack Morris’ morning newscasts on KTUL were the top-rated shows at that time of day.

Nationally, the day of the great newscasters and commentators, although diminishing, was still strong. H.V. Kaltenborn, Walter Winchell, H.R. Baukage, George Hicks and Raymond Graham Swing were gone, but CBS still maintained a capable stable of men like Edward R. Murrow, Eric Severeid, Larry Laseur, Lowell Thomas, and Charles Collingwood. Mutual Broadcasting System maintained its line-up of unique voices like Fulton Lewis Junior, Bill Henry, Cedric Adams, and Gabriel Heatter. However, NBC only had Alex Dreier, Earl Godwin and Morgan Beatty, while ABC had Edwin C. Hill. Ben Grauer, although still around, was seldom heard, as I recall.

Perhaps the demise of the fifteen-minute newscast is a reflection of the change from slower-paced days to the more frantic, kinetic time we live in today where the attention span is much shorter, the choices are more numerous, and extended free time is more limited. It also could be that today’s newsreaders simply do not have the skills to make a fifteen-minute newscast interesting. Of course, with the increased technological capability we have today, we simply MUST use all the toys available. Now, the “newscaster” frantically goes from one very brief topic to another, merely introducing the subject, then calling the name and location of the “reporter on the spot” who has poor reading skills, bad pronunciation and bad grammar. This is sandwiched in between commercials, providing us with a grand total of three minutes of “news”---if we’re lucky. Central High’s Paul Harvey is an anachronism.

It also is a result of the deregulation of radio, with the broadcasters given free reign to pursue profits without the velvet sword of “public, convenience and necessity” hanging over their heads. The change in programming is a factor, going from general programming to formulas and formats. Finally, the incredible development of monopolistic ownership contributes to this. With capitalists now free from the 7-7-7 restrictions, they can purchase as many stations as they can buy, with some owning over 300 stations. There is an impending merger which would place over 800 stations in the hands of one company. Fifteen-minute newscasts have no place in their plans.

But, as the newsreel always said, “Time--marches on!”

Date: 17-Dec-99 06:53 AM 
Name: Lowell Burch
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Mazeppa
The mention of Sartain's artwork: He has had several shows around town over the years including one at the PAC. He also has done album covers for Leon and Roy. In addition, he did the graphics for his own show. One of Gailard's paintings would make a nice Christmas gift (hint, hint).

Wasn't Leon's "Will O' The Wisp" cover done by GS? And whatever happened to the picture of the chinless man, mentioned in the Mazeppa interview?

Date: 17-Dec-99 06:45 AM 
Name: Lowell Burch  
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Don Woods
I really enjoy this guestbook. You guys that have been around have some great stories. Regarding Miss Frances, she was the lady on Ding Dong School. I believe Romper Room had local shows, not one national show.

For me to call the Count Gregor show `lame' my have been a bit harsh. I did like him, I just did not run home to see him every Saturday night. (P.S., Good ideas on the marching band music, Mike. Thanks.)

Date: 16-Dec-99 07:29 PM 
Name: John Long
Geographical location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: too many to mention
I was browsing through the guest books of Tulsa TV Memories (March 1999), when I saw a question about who was the host of Romper Room. The name Frances came to mind, but I am unable to verify it. I searched Yahoo and found an (1997) Obituary in the Detroit News "Original 'Romper Room' host, Nancy Claster, dies at 82". The story goes on to say that the program was created by her husband and aired on WBAL in Baltimore MD.

Does that name ring a bell? Was there more than one Romper Room around the country? I now recall it coming on after the Dave Garroway show or as part of his show. Am I totally confused?

Indeed there were many different hostesses around the country; visit Other kiddie shows on this site to read more,

Date: 16-Dec-99 04:39 PM 
Name: Frank Morrow  
Geographical location: Austin, TX
Tulsa radio announcers of the ‘50s were very active in various forms of theater, ranging from high school to Tulsa Little Theater. I’m sure that Bill Hyden and Jim Ruddle can provide many more names and performances than I can, but here are a few for starters:

High school: Bob Griffin (CHS ’52), Charles Connor (CHS ’50), myself (CHS ’51), Wally Renegar (CHS ’51) [He briefly did a teen program on KOME.], Noel Confer (CHS ’49), Jim Ruddle (CHS ’49). Larry Bettis (CHS ’49) and Johnny Chick (CHS ’50) were in the Opera Club as well as in plays. Incidentally, Jim Ruddle performed as Scrooge for a school assembly. Although he was only a senior in high school, I have never seen his performance topped.

College: Griffin, Chick, Bill Minshall and I were in plays at TU. Little Theater: Bill Hyden was in many plays, one of which was with Frank Simms. It was a very entertaining comedy which featured four people including Virginia Banfield Thompson. Karl Janssen also was very active in TLT. I saw Roy Pickett perform the lead in a play which had the word “whistle” or “silver whistle” in the title (I think). Roy was a very laid-back guy, but the role called for a character which was the opposite. He did a great job. I have a slight memory trace of Ed Neibling also being in a play.

Incidentally, Charles Ellis (KAKC), a KRMG announcer, whose name I can't remember, and I narrated the Easter Pageant. Additionally, Ed Neibling narrated a small Christmas pageant which was performed atop the outdoor balcony of Brown-Dunkin in 1953.

I’m sure this is a very limited listing, particularly because I entered the Navy in July, 1957. I hope Bill and Jim will provide more info.

Date: 16-Dec-99 03:10 PM 
Name: Robert  
Geographical location: OKC
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Mazeppa, and actually Mr. Sartain's artwork
How did you find TTM? searching for radio commercial lyrics
In the 60's the now-defunct OTASCO stores ran a radio ad that aired around the holiday shopping season. I believe I remember hearing this on KVOO as a kid. I need some help with the '2nd verse':

It's holiday time, time to be gay,

save on your gifts in a wonderful way,

get a merry Christmas value from OTASCO

(short flute interlude)

? - - - - - - - - - - ? (2nd verse)

? - - - - - - -- - -?

Get a merry Christmas value from OTASCO!

Anyone out there in TV/Radio land have a better memory?

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Robert M.

I wouldn't be surprised if Dick Schmitz of Irving Productions actually has that on tape.

Date: 16-Dec-99 10:01 AM 
Name: Jim Ruddle
Geographical location: Rye, NY
To add a couple of memorable moments:

The Tulsa Zoo had a herpetologist whose name eludes me. He started there as a very young man and built quite a reputation as an authority on Oklahoma's reptile population--the real snakes, not management--and he sort of straw-bossed the annual Okeene Rattlesnake Roundup, collecting hundreds of specimens for venom extraction, I believe. I know they had a big rattlesnake barbeque at the conclusion of each hunt.

It must have been in '55 or '56 that he came to the KOTV studios with an assistant and, somewhat alarmingly, a gunny sack full of writhing rattlers. With the cameras on and the hot lights making the critters active, I interviewed the snake doctor live while he held various reptiles for me and the cameras to examine. This went well.

Unfortunately, the assistant was interested, too, and neglected to secure the top of the gunny sack. Suddenly, somebody on the floor noticed that rattlers were roaming across the studio's concrete surface. Jack Ryder, a cameraman of considerable heft, leaped nimbly onto the camera stand, an act quickly followed by the other cameraman--Leon Meier, perhaps--while I, trying to maintain my on-the-air sang froid began a sort of vaudeville shuffle backwards. It would have made no difference. The cameras were not focused on anything. The zoo man and his charge calmly corralled the wayward snakes and rebagged them.

On another occasion, I was interviewing the "fastest gun" who was on tour in those days of "Gunsmoke," "Have Gun Will Travel," and assorted other western shows. This lad hailed from Indiana and was named Jim Beaudry, pronounced "Bowdry" or Jim Bowdry, pronounced "Beaudry." What the hell. Anyway, this guy, I'll call him Bowdry, had won a fast draw contest against all comers and had been used in various horse operas as the close-up double for some movie heroes--Glenn Ford was one I remember--and was now in vogue in TV as he slapped leather in tight shots, later edited to look like Jim Arness, or somebody else's hand.

Bowdry had a trick that I guess he performed at every public appearance. "You hold your hands out, about a foot apart. I'll count three and draw. I'll get the gun up between your hands before you can clap them together." Being the original damned fool, I said, "Okay." Bowdry assumed his killer stance, right hand poised over his holster and I stood like an oaf with my hands positioned as he had instructed me. He counted "One...Two...Three..." and I clapped my hands as fast as I could.

He brought up the barrel of his revolver--a big Colt .44, or some such--and cracked the bottom edge of both of my hands which, so much for quick reaction time, had come together just before the barrel arrived.

I was paralyzed with pain all the way to each elbow, but trying not to show it too much.

"Golly," says Bowdry. "I guess I was a little slow that time." I think I had tears forming.

"Let's do it again," said my tormentor. Again, I agreed. "One...Two...Three..." He swung the barrel up with lightning speed, or something close. But it was a wasted effort, because I made damn sure my hands were still a foot apart until he made his move. Then, I feebly brought them together.

"Boy, you sure are fast," I said, praying that the interview was over and that I could hurry to the men's room and groan.

Date: 15-Dec-99 11:46 PM 
Name: Lowell Burch
Geographical location: T-Town
Favorite Tulsa TV show or personality: Mazeppa
I, too, remember Count Gregor from college days. He was OK but after coming hot off of three years or four years of Mazeppa, I'm afraid the old Count was pretty lame. PS Yes, I am a musician but this fall I started my current gig as band director at Tulsa Hale High School. We'll see how that goes, hey?

I don't think Erick will like that assessment of the Count, but Mazeppa is a hard act to top (see Guestbook 16 for more about the Count as well as Ho Ho the Clown in OKC).

While running at LaFortune Park this fall, I listened to the marching bands playing at Memorial High. The songs were very familiar to me: Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk", Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4", etc. I realized that the songs I played in high school band were also about 30 years old. I thought it would be cool for the kids to play some current songs, maybe even with electronic instuments added to the mix (my unsolicited 2 cents worth).

Just archived Guestbook 29. We were discussing KTUL radio's transformation into KELi, DJ hijinks, Winky Dink, woodshedding, mikes and clocks. Frank Morrow contributed more from his radio days in the early 50s.

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