Tuesday, July 30, 2002

From Bill Naeder Sr.

The sad news of Al Sabin's passing saddens all of us. In all my years with CBS I checked into TX hundreds of times. When you had Al at the other end, you knew all was well. He was the kindest most humorous man that I had the pleasure of working with. To his family, I can only say "May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace" he was a gentle man among gentlemen.

Bill Naeder, Sr.

From Harve Gilman

Les I am sure nobody realized that ther was asbestos in all the ceilings at the Broadcast Center. Many years ago they had to do some rewiring in the videotape
department, and when they pulled down the coverings, the asbestos started falling all over the place. The guys got all teed off, but nothing was done about it. Maybe
that is a possible answer to your question. I guess nobody realized that this may have been the cause of so many of the health problems stemming from there.

Harve Gilman

NOTE: Most of the tile floors in the BC were asbestos-filled, as well as the wiring in the lighting grids being covered with asbestos insulation.

Dave M.
We all lost a great friend and co-worker with the passing of Al Sabin. Al had a major influence on my life, and I will miss him.
There is a funeral service planned for Al this Thursday, August 1st, at 10:00am at St. Cecelia's R.C. Church in Clarkdale, Arizona.

His wife May and her daughters (4) can be reached at:
500 Everett Lane
Clarkdale, AZ 86324
(928) 639-0412

They are also planning a memorial service for Al in New York on August 10th at St. Anne's Church on Staten Island. More details will follow.

God bless, and keep Al in your prayers.

Mal Wienges

I can only hope that the past few years of Al's life that were spent in Sedona Arizona were good to him. It is a lovely place to visit and must be a beautiful place to live.
Al will be sorely missed. I remember years ago, as a young lad fresh at CBS, going down to TX and meeting all those gentlemen who manned that department, all of them characters in their own right. Al was one of my favorites because of his unique sense of humor.

Now that I am an "old fart" (like the rest of us) it still hurts to hear the news of the passing of ones' peers. I wish good luck and good health to those of us who remain. I always felt it was a privilege to have been a part of what I still consider the best of all Networks.

Please stay in touch.

Bob Brown

It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I inform you that Al Sabin passed away last night. He was recently diagnosed with Ideopathic Pulmonary Environmental Fibrosis. This condition is usually associated with asbestos inhalation. No one knows how Al contracted this, as he was never exposed to asbestos, at least that he was aware of. Please pass along this information to many of his friends at CBS. I, for one, am losing a very very dear pal. I will miss him and his words of wisdom.

Bruno Fucci

Monday, July 29, 2002

I just received the message about Al Sabin. I've known him for 49 years. He and Mae came down to Tucson for the 25th Anniversary Suprise party Betty Ewing threw for us. He was there when Leo Kuranuki, Ed Benford and Bob Schultz were killed at the parking lot. He rescued my 20th year CBS gift when I misplaced it at the party, and there are many more fond memories we had together. Here is his home address, I leave it up to you to publish it so his friends can send a card to Mae to help her through this.

Regards Harry Charles

Mae Sabin
500 Everett Lane
Clarksdale, AZ. 86324-3725
Sadness about the loss of a friend comes in many forms, depending on the degree of personal knowledge of that person.
You will be receiving the news that Al Sabin died as a result of some strange or misunderstood ailment. I truly hope that is not the case, because we all rely on the expertise of the medical profession to keep our bodies glued to our spirit.

Bruno Fucci doesn't cry, but he had a difficult time passing the information to me about Al Sabin. He and Al and some of the other CBS family members that now reside on the West Coast formed a bond that has lasted quite some time. Al Sabin had an unusually savvy layman's knowledge of the law and was good council to those that needed his advice.

During his time at CBS New York, I became good friends with Al, because I used to drive him home to Brooklyn. We worked together when Al was the Supervisor in Master Control at Grand Central.
He handled personal tragedy with aplomb and dignity. I could say that for many of his friends, Al Sabin was a Supervisor without portfolio. He wasn't aloof… his mannerism was that of a friend talking to a friend.

If there was one at CBS, the place we call our home, Al Sabin could have represented CBS as the poster man. He was that respected, by all.
I wish peace to replace the hurt in the hearts of his family. In addition to Al's spirit, I pray that the good he did for others is his key to his place of eternal rest.
Si bene Dei.

Tony Cucurullo

Friday, July 26, 2002

One of my gripes with the Naval Special Warfare Group history now being compiled is the fact that the grunts, or swabbies, such as myself don't even come in for an honorable mention, or for the matter, even in the footnotes. That, of course, brings me to the people at CBS that are the heart and soul of the company. The support technicians that do all sorts of functions. They do their jobs without the fanfare and so-called glamour of the studio-field techies.The Mantenance, Control Room, Master Control, Engineering staff personnel provide all the hi-tech support gadgets that get the job done. Actually, the management teams that have existed over the years at CBS have been top-drawer. They hired all the talent that made CBS the premier network in the entire world. Petty politics aside, the paternal atmosphere that William "Bill" Paley engendered in the entire staff was the glue that made a cohesive organization from the top down. It was all destroyed when the "Barracuda of Wall Street" came along and decimated this once great company and today, I am told, the company is only a shell of the former great network. Nevertheless, the men behind the scenes were the magicians that put the great shows on the air, and "on time."

It seemed too, that each department had its own "mensch." When I served in Telecine Maintenance, I would be hard pressed to name just one, but who could argue with the name of Dick Locke, a gentleman and a very good mechanical maintenance man. Then there was a guy, that really might not come up on anyone’s list. Val France, who was built like a linebacker and had these very thick hands, but he could fix anything. What most people don't know about Val France is that he was one of the most generous men alive. He liked to help budding musical talent and in many cases if he heard that there was a student that needed an instrument to continue studying music, without all the fanfare and such, he would purchase an instrument and donate it anonymously to that person. I know, because he bought an accordion for a neighbor of mine after I mentioned the need to him. Neal Curtis should take a bow, even though that would embarrass him. Walter Prince and Herb Foster are gone now, but if in your travels to the netherland, look for Walter and you will find him in a cloud of cigarette smoke and probably helping someone adjust his wings and things. Tony Tobia, Pete Constantine, George Gray, Bernie Sweeney, Barry Yuzik, all characters that have interesting backgrounds and each contributed to the growth of CBS, along with most of the staff.

CBS, was my home away from home. I watched it grow and change during my lifetime there, but, I wouldn't swap one moment of the time I spent there for any other profession. The men and women were bright, erudite, and professional and the key to the success of the great company of Paley and Stanton.


Tony Cucurullo

August starts the pre-season games of the NFL pro-football league. At least that was the sports format for the CBS of pre-1992.
We would usually start off with a game in New England. We would be housed in hotel rooms in Boston and an early morning trek got us to the New England Patriots field in south Mass.
As usual, the home team's name never matched the field it played on, such as the NY Giants play in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, the Dallas Cowboys play in Irvine Texas, the Detroit Lions play in Pontiac, Michigan (at least 20 miles from Detroit.) That name phenomenon exists with most of the big time sports. The demographics of the areas involved don't support stadiums that are in the cities anymore, hence the management scions opt for the buck and the fans be dammed.
Well, back to the first game of the summer, the setting takes place in a former college bowl. The TV truck is parked on the outside of the stadium and access is achieved by walking through a telephone company room at street level, which is many floors above the playing field.
During one particular setup, several of us were on the field and it had rained heavily during the night and the ground was soaked. Anita O'Mara Brooking was pulling cables along with Jeff Pollack and myself. I had the camera head in my hands, when someone in the truck inadvertently turned on the power to the cable. Anita's quick thinking pulled me free of the cable and I was pale from the jolt.
The next day was game day. The sun was out in all its fury and on the field, the temperature was a sweltering 107 degrees, as was shown on camera during the game, when a thermometer was placed on the turf. During the game, the referee and a line judge passed out from the heat, and substitutes were recruited from the playing coaches.As Bob Vernum will attest to, it was never uncomfortable in the truck for the switchers.
But memories abound for the field crews. That was the last time I saw Dick Douglas, an outstanding cameraman, before his medical problem took him from us. Then too, I remember the movie star, handsome Ed Magliola, breaking his leg while showering. We told him to use water instead of gin for washing.

These are just more memories from the past.


Tony Cucurullo

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

88 cents, may not mean much to most of you, but to the men that walked the strike line outside of Grand Central in 1958, it has an amusing association.
My walking partner that year was a giant of a man, Sy Elliot. I asked that he be relieved from walking, as it wasn't good public relations to see a man of that girth representing the fact that we were underpaid in wages. As a matter of fact, that whole line was a cross section of wealth among technicians.
We had George Gray and Fred Dansereau, who had the top of the line sport cars parked out front. Then there was Henry Sietz, an elegant looking man, walking up and down Vanderbilt Avenue, wearing a strike sign, as he read the Wall Street Journal.
Back to the main theme... One mid-afternoon, as I was doing my strikers strut, an office-looking-type gentleman walked up to me, bearing a train time schedule in his hands.
"I am totally embarrassed," he professed. "I need 88 cents to get the train to get home. I work in the building across the street and all of my coworkers are gone. If you could lend me that amount, I will repay you in the morning and we could also go for breakfast ....?"
Well, who the hell has just 88 cents exactly in their pockets? So naturally, I gave him a buck. I felt as a good Samaritan might, and I kept it to myself. Next morning came and went and at lunch time, while feasting on the "strikers meal" of soup and roll and butter, in the Horn and Hardart cafeteria, across from Grand Central, on 42ND Street. I was sitting with a group of my coworkers and we were watching the line pass the cashier. We had just told the lady cashier that we saw a man, (Art Tinn), put two of the little square patties of butter in his pocket so that he wouldn't have to pay for them. As she tallied up Art's food, she said to him, "and that will be two cents apiece for the extra butter in your pocket," Well Art, who is the epitome of gentleness, turned scarlet and professed innocence. He emptied his pockets, but the lady wasn't satisfied.
When he joined us at the table and realized that we had pulled this prank on him, we then started on scams and stories of that ilk. That is when someone mentioned that he was hit again by the 88 cent man. A couple of days later we spotted him and accosted him on the ramp in the building. He said,"come on guys, it was only a buck." We laughed at ourselves and let him go. I felt like a fool for being so overly pious about my selfless act. The lesson being, give from your heart and expect no reward as you keep silent about it.
But for a dollar, I have another memory for my unexpurgated brain to muse over...

Tony Cucurullo

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I just read Tony's accounting of the Travers. When I worked on it for several years, it was just a round trip on a bus with Lou Scanna as the" tour director."
Due to contractual commitments, we would cover the Travers in the same mobile unit that covered all of the other races. It was truly a "white glove" remote, a one-of-a-kind! Among the most memorable remotes for me was the bi-centennial in Boston, July 4,1976, with Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops at the hatch shell. We were on the air less than 20 minutes, but it was the most physical work to set up. A cable harness had to be run along light poles for blocks, and then "flown" to the roof of a very tall building at the anchor position. I spoke with a police officer who told me at 1P.M. they already had a typical 8 P.M. crowd. It turned out that the crowd was in the hundred thousands. Announcements blared over a loud speaker system announcing the waiting times for rest rooms. We were more fortunate, in that we had a rest room below the stage. At one point, while I was using the facilities, I sensed a person next to me----it was the maestro himself. We exchanged greetings. When I returned to the switcher in the MU, I was asked where I went. I remarked that I was" hanging out" with the maestro!
I will save the Elvis Presley shows in Omaha and Rapid City (his last before his death) for another time…a lot to tell! Hope no one is offended by the rest room story---it happened.

Bob Vernum

Thursday, July 18, 2002

By the end of the week in New York, racing will shift from beautiful Belmont Park, on Long Island, to the picturesque setting in the mountains of the Adirondacks, called Saratoga. It is truly a treat to be there. The atmosphere on the main street, is choreographed from a Damon Runyan book. The stores are all a glitter with racing paraphernalia. On the sidewalk, impromptu musicians play gaily, and even in rhythm. The restaurants are a bit overpriced, but not as much as the hotel room rates. The scene at some of the bistros is a mixed bag of shortsighted horse players and erstwhile racing columnists, each spewing their picks on the ears of anyone that will listen to their pipe dreams.

On the day of the BIG RACE, “The Travers stakes”, CBS would send a crew to cover that race. If there was a smart "roadie" in the plant he would get off that remote. Because I rate that one of the toughest, and physically hard shows to put together.The work is not for sissies, as there isn't any layout of cables. The setup requires that the cables be hoisted over the grandstand, and then down to the field and across the track. Cameras are lugged up on shoulders, as there isn't any elevators. Microphones are also treated the same way. When the race is over, and one is weary, that is when the hard part comes into play. On one particular remote there, someone, (that just came over to us from ABC-TV, he was one of the 'Boat People' as, I euphemistically called him) well, this ex-Vietnam, Marine, cut the restraining rope and let all the cables fall into a rats-nest, pile on the ground. It was after midnight, when we finally untangled that mess. the EIC, was having a conniption, as the Overtime was piling up. A difficult day, as difficult as some of the others, such as Election Day coverage in the freezing Washington, D.C. weather, or the remote to the Statue of Liberty.
Can you come up with one of your favorites?

Hard work, indeed, but, not one person asked off the next year..."How about that"
Tony Cucurullo

Monday, July 15, 2002

Latest communication re: Sid Rothstein:

"Hi Les;
Sid is home and is using a walker to get around the apartment. He has 24/7 help which, I understand is covered by some insurance that he subscribed to.

Home phone 954-979-8527

2404 Antigua Ct Apt. A2

Coconut Creek FL 33066. "

Also, it appears that some of us may have a virus in their computer... If you have an anti-virus program, please update the files. After update, please scan your computer.
If you don't have an anti virus program, you can get one on line from www.mcafee.com. In fact, they will scan your computer while on line.

P.S. You can also do the same at www.norton.com.

Dave M.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Just received from Les Burkhardt:

Hi to all
We've been away for a week and found these pieces of mail when I turned on the computer this morning. It saddens me every time that I read about the passing of one of our own.

#1 Received from Hy Freilich:
Hey Les
Sorry to have to send this to you. Sid Rothstein had a heart attack this past week and is in the hospital. He asked me to let the net know.The info is following. I don't know his room #
North West Medical Center
280 N. State Rd. 7
Margate 33063
The phone # of the hospital is 954-974-0400
Sid's extension is 954-987-4411

Any update on Sid's condition?? Just called the hospital and was informed that he was discharged on the 12th. Hope that is an omen of good news.

#2 Received from Tony Cucurullo
Dear Tony:

I am sorry to have to tell you that my father Bert Amian passed away in
Burlington Flats on July 5, 2002. The memorial service will be held on July
20, 2002 at the Village Church of Bayville at 10:00 am Please help me in
letting the rest of his CBS friends know.

Thank you

Carol Amian Sedlak e mail v95mom@aol.com or (516) 628-1420

#3 Sent to me from Bob Meyers
CBS announcer in early days of TV dead at 83
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) - Hal Simms, the CBS announcer who intoned
the titles to dozens of shows in TV's early days, died July 2 at
the Goddard House nursing facility. He was 83.
Simms, who grew up in Boston's West End, was the announcer for
shows that included "The Edge of Night," "Beat the Clock,"
"The Guiding Light" and "The Frank Sinatra Show." He was a CBS
announcer from 1948 until 1972, and also acted, reported and
delivered weather forecasts.
"For a kid from a tenement, it was really quite a life," his
son Adam told The Boston Globe on Thursday. "He was there when
Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid were young men in a new medium.
He got to work with sports figures such as Frank Gifford and
entertainers like Frank Sinatra - figures who were larger than
He was an announcer-actor on the "The Morning Show" with Jack
Paar, once delivering the weather forecast in the gorilla suit he
had been wearing for a skit because he didn't have time to change.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Simms began
his career in radio in Portsmouth, N.H. He was working for a
Philadelphia radio station, his son said, when his college friends
Robert Q. Lewis and Mike Wallace persuaded him to move to New York
and join CBS.
He also announced for radio shows, and for 10 years prior to his
retirement was announcer in chief of CBS.
Simms leaves another son, Hank, and a daughter, Sarah Simms
Rosenthal. A funeral service was held.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-12-02 0813EDT

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Dear Friends -

Thanks to all who expressed their sympathy on Fred's passing. He loved his "CBS family". Many of you were very helpful during his illness. Many people visited the funeral home and did not sign the book. To all of them, a sincere thank you. My family and I are eternally grateful.

Agnes Schutz

Friday, July 12, 2002

Sports Greats

The recent passing of Ted Williams brought to mind some "off the playing field" meetings I had with super stars. Back in the late 50s, early 60s I would frequently visit “Chock Full of Nuts” on Lexington and 44th. One day I noticed a man behind the counter in business clothes, he was black, tall and very polite none other than Jackie Robinson. The company’s exec offices were above the store and Jackie was a VP. He always had time to chat with customers, a great guy.
While on vacation in Florida with family, we were driving to a hotel on Islamorada. As I passed a tennis complex, I remarked to my wife that maybe they had people who would be willing to hit with me. Upon returning to the courts to make a reservation, I was met by this towering, handsome and friendly man... it was Ted Williams, owner of the complex. We shook hands, my hand was lost in his! He set me up with another vacationer, wish I could have hit with him!
On a trip to Molokai in 1980, I went to the tennis courts for a pre-arranged hitting session with the pro. He asked if it would be OK to hit with another player against him. I agreed and found myself next to the football great, LT. Neither one of us offered any competition to the pro, but it’s fun to remember all three events.

Bob Vernum

Indivisible? Wanna Bet?
The Pledge of Allegiance was a cold-war litmus test, the words ‘under God’ a way to indicate that America was better than other nations.

NEWSWEEK Story by Anna Quindlen

July 15 issue — Every year somebody or other finds a way to show that American kids are ignorant of history. The complaint isn’t that they don’t know the broad strokes, the rationale the South gave for keeping slaves, the ideas behind the New Deal. It’s always dates and names, the game-show questions that ask what year the Civil War began and who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, the stuff of the stand-up history bee.

BUT IF AMERICAN ADULTS want to give American kids a hard time about their dim knowledge of the past and how it’s reflected in the present, they might first become reasonable role models on the subject. And the modeling could begin with the members of Congress, who with few exceptions went a little nuts when an appeals court in California ruled that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional.
I don’t really know whether that is an impermissible breach of the firewall between church and state. The proper boundaries ‘twixt secular and sacred have been argued long and hard by legal minds more steeped in the specific intricacies than my own. But I do know this: attempts to make the pledge sound like a cross between the Ten Commandments and the Constitution are laughable, foolish and evidence of the basest sort of political jingoism.

So let’s go to the history books, as citizens of this country so seldom do. The Pledge of Allegiance started in 1892 as a set piece in a magazine, nothing more, nothing less. It was written by a man named Francis Bellamy in honor of Columbus Day, a holiday that scarcely exists anymore except in terms of department-store sales and parades. The words “under God” were nowhere in it, hardly surprising since Bellamy had been squeezed out of his own church the year before because of his socialist leanings. His granddaughter said he would have hated the addition of the words “under God” to a statement he envisioned uniting a country divided by race, class and, of course, religion.
Those two words went into the pledge nearly 50 years ago, and for the most deplorable reason. It was the height of the Red scare in America, when the lives of those aligned or merely flirting with the Communist Party were destroyed by paranoia, a twisted strain of uber-patriotism and the machinations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, after whom an entire vein of baseless persecution is now named. Contrary to the current political argument that “under God” is not specifically devout, the push to put it in the pledge was mounted by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic men’s organization, as an attempt to counter “godless communism.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill making this law, saying that the words would help us to “remain humble.”

Humility had nothing to do with it. Americans are not a humble people. Instead the pledge had become yet another cold-war litmus test. The words “under God” were a way to indicate that America was better than other nations—we were, after all, under the direct protection of the deity—and adding them to the pledge was another way of excluding, of saying that believers were real Americans and skeptics were not. Would any member of Congress have been brave enough at that moment to say that a Pledge of Allegiance that had been good enough for decades was good enough as it stood?
Would any member of Congress, in the face of the current spate of unquestioning flag-waving, have been strong enough to eschew leaping to his feet and pressing his hand over his heart, especially knowing that the percentage of atheist voters is in the low single digits? Well, there were a few, a few who said the decision was likely to be overturned anyhow, a few who said there were surely more pressing matters before the nation, a few who were even willing to agree with the appeals court that “under God” probably did not belong in the pledge in a country founded on a righteous division between government and religion.

But most of the rest went wild. Even Sen. Hillary Clinton invoked “divine providence,” even Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the court decision “embarrassing.” What was embarrassing was watching all those people—Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives—shout “under God” on the Senate floor, as though government were a pep rally and they were on the sanctified squad. Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire had this to say: “If you don’t believe there’s a God, that’s your privilege, but it is still a nation under God.” Huh?
I have a warm personal relationship with God; I often picture her smiling wryly and saying, in the words of Shakespeare’s Puck, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Or perhaps something less fond. Now, as almost 50 years ago, a nation besieged by ideological enemies requires nuanced and judicious statecraft and instead settles for sloganeering, demonizing and politicking. One senator said after the court decision was handed down that the Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves. The person who must be spinning is poor Francis Bellamy, who wanted to believe in an inclusive utopia and instead became in our time the father of convenient rhetoric.

© 2002 Newsweek, Inc.
Director John Frankenheimer, 72, dies

Credits include "The Manchurian Candidate", "'7 Days in May"

LOS ANGELES (AP) --- John Frankenheimer, director of such Hollywood classics
as "The Manchurian Candidate'' and "Birdman of Alcatraz,'' died Saturday.
He was 72.

Frankenheimer died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of a stroke due to
complications following spinal surgery, said his business manager, Patti

Frankenheimer was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards in a career that spanned
nearly five decades. His work ranged from social dramas to political
thrillers, and included a highly regarded run of feature films in the 1960s,
and a string of 152 live television dramas in the '50s.

He won four consecutive Emmys in the late 1990s for directing cable-TV
movies. In 1998 his ``George Wallace'' won a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe
for best television film.

"Full bore. You gotta give it everything. You just got to give it
everything,'' he said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press. "And
sometimes that's not even enough.''

"The Manchurian Candidate'' (1962), a satirical conspiracy thriller about a
Korean War brainwashing victim, was the film that made Frankenheimer's name.

It was followed two years later by another highly regarded political
thriller, "Seven Days in May,'' which starred Burt Lancaster as a renegade
general planning a coup. Other films included "Seconds,'' "Black Sunday''
and "The Train.''

A native New Yorker, Frankenheimer got his first taste of directing movies
while in the Air Force stationed in Burbank. He worked on some documentaries,
and in 1953 walked into the CBS office in New York and convinced network
officials to give him a chance as an assistant director.

Frankenheimer moved from weather and news programming to television shows.
His early credits included 42 episodes of the "Playhouse '90'' anthology
series and his success with political thrillers followed. As producer Frank
Mancuso Jr. once put it, "He made the template'' for such movies.

In the 1970s, Frankenheimer ran into some personal difficulties, including a
drinking problem, which followed the assassination of close friend Robert F.
Kennedy. Kennedy was staying at Frankenheimer's house, and Frankenheimer
drove him to the Ambassador Hotel the night he was killed in 1968.

Frankenheimer lost his touch, making such clunkers as "Prophecy,'' "The
Challenge,'' "Dead-Bang'' and "Year of the Gun.'' Job offers dried up in
the '80s and he had to work to re-establish himself.
Fred Schutz

I remember so well, your coming to studio 50 on Sundays for the
Ed Sullivan show where you and Bert Littlefield would polish the patch cords in the Audio booth. You took your job seriously but not yourself. You always had a smile and were a class act. After the mass retirements, you were the one to keep the group together with the retirees get-togethers. You are going to be sorely missed. Your legacy lives on.

Sid Kaufman

Thursday, July 11, 2002

This poignant story was spotted by Howie Purnick. It belongs in the pocket of all Americans so that they can read it often.
Tony Cucurullo

"The Pledge of Allegiance" - Senator John McCain
Subject: Sen. John McCain
From a speech made by Capt. John S. McCain, US, (Ret) who represents
Arizona in the U.S. Senate:
As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner
of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment,
the NOVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell.
In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into
large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as
you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the
efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs
10,000 miles from home.
One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named
Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama.
He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he
enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to
Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and
was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep
appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide
for people who want to work and want to succeed.
As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some
prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages
were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got
himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he
created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every
afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt
on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know the
Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our
day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the
most important and meaningful event.
One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically,
and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.
That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the
benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple
of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in.
We cleaned him up as well as we could.
The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which
we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As
I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the
excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting
there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt
and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting
there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received,
making another American flag.
He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better.
He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us
to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.
So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never
forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made
to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.
You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Some men come along and work diligently, but it goes unnoticed, because these men never push themselves into the limelight of recognition. They do a good job, always!
Bert Amian, helped me when I was laid off from CBS in the 1960s. He was a Videotape maitenance man, at MGM-Telestudios, on the corner of 42nd street, and Broadway. I was assigned to work in the maintenance area. Burt, without any prompting, just led me to the right path.
He was a good man, a fun guy with an infectious laugh. And I know if I continued to have lunch with him I would have been over 250 pounds. The man had a prodigious appetite.
But, it was his kindness that was his major attribute. This planet could surely use more men of the Bert Amian mold.
Another CBS giant, to fill the pantheon, of an industry loaded with giants.
Peace to the family of this gentle and helpful man.

Tony Cucurullo
From Tony Cucurullo

This week of the 4th, much is and of course about this country's freedoms. During this time of patriotic celebrations, we lost a baseball, and combat fighter pilot hero, Ted Williams.

Then too, we lost a song bird. The sultry singer, Rosie Clooney. What makes this poignant for me, is that she made a record with my favorite band of that era, Harry James. The song was, "You'll Never Know."
I was stationed in Little Creek Virginia, during the year 1950. The Korean War just started, I was on a pass into town, Norfolk. There was only one bus to and from the base. The last bus left for the base at midnight. I had just got on when I heard the song by Rosie and Harry playing in the bus stop, I asked to driver to wait until it finished,....yeah....sure! So, I got off the bus listened to the song, and walked the distance back to the base.
That lady could sing, and Harry James could play that trumpet.
Today, I can't walk a city block, but, I would still get off the bus to hear Rosie's smooth style. Gosh, that was along time ago........Go ahead and say it for me, "Time flies when you're having fun?"

Tony C.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Copy of Fred Schutz eulogy written by Tony Cucurullo

Dear Agnes, and family members, and loyal friends. To speak volumes about Fred, is very easy to do. For his legacy to all of us is the universal legacy of Jesus. That His only commandant that Jesus gave to us and that is, "To Love one another."
Fred, personified that dictum. He lived it, and espoused it.
His work ethic always embraced an ecumenical attitude. As a result, more fellow employees, felt that camaraderie and the kinship they felt was genuine.
Agnes, and Fred, spent their leisure time keeping the flame of fellowship burning brightly, by the efforts they made to force the CBS Retirees Association to expand, and embody those attributes, that come from the Schutz family so easily.

Most people will remember Fred for the very good that he did. His close friends, will hoist a glass of good cheer, to this curmudgeon, of fellowship.
Who could not like Fred Schutz. His memory is cherished in the highest of places. The staffs of the United Nation send their warmest regards, for this giant of friendship. CBS, to the corp. will lock in their heart a special place for Fred, because it a comforting knowledge that they all shared warm memories with this very kind and gentle man.

He is now with God, and the fellows of his industry that have gone before him.
This man, this very human person, placed a tear in our hearts, that wont leave us for a long while.
God Bless you Fred and peace to the heart of Agnes and his family.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

The sad news that we all knew was coming, but just didn't want to believe.
Fred Schutz was one of the finest men at CBS in its history. A true gentleman and scholar in every sense of the word. There was never an air about Fred that would categorize him as Management or Union. He was simply a wonderful man doing a wonderful job. Always a friend with a kind word.
He epitomized the golden age of television and all of the gentlemen engineers.
I know he put up a good fight until the end. I hope not only his family but also good doctors comforted him. It's very sad to think that anyone had to suffer though such an illness.

Gayle De Poli

We have lost one on the best. I worked with Fred and started with him. I even took his 3-D wedding pictures.

Let us know where and when.

Tony Ancona

Monday, July 01, 2002

Fred Schutz
September 24, 1928 - July 1, 2002

I included his email address, as you see. It just doesn't seem right that we can't reach him, physically, or metaphysically.
But, as a human, he left enough of a legacy that we will remember Fred, particularly when we reminisce about CBS and the men and women that made major contributions to it's development and success.
Fred, was a Renaissance man, in that he was current, and adaptable to any situation. He exerted managerial influence with tact, and a pleasant personality.
More than that though, he was a friend to so many people that it is difficult to see the separation from "Boss" to coworker.

Fred, and his wife, and companion Agnes, made a success from what could have been a chore, into a haven for happiness; "The CBS Retirees Association."
The camaraderie that he engendered made the unkind years for our countenances seem enjoyable and acceptable. As we all aged, some of us did not fare to well as mother nature played her tricks on our outward appearances, Fred, always used that, curmudgeon smile, and incisive wit to make us all feel less wrinkled, as he put more smiles on our faces.
Even though the paternal company he loved changed faces as a chameleon might, Fred, fought for our rights, and with his own purse opened wide.
One-in-a-million, you might say, I rather that you thought of him as one for all time.
Fred joins a list of technicians, and coworkers that have gone on to the eternal rest. I'll bet, that if there is indeed another plane of existence, then Fred and Doris Reardon are already organizing another meeting place for us to gather and once again share the comradeship of a spiritual bond.
God Bless you Fred, and thanks for your efforts to make people love one another.

Tony Cucurullo

Just got through reading one note from Harold Deppe, which reminded me of something Harold forgot to mention. One night on the evening shift Harold and Charlie Carambelas were changing out a power supply in the power supply racks off Master Control. Harold was on the MC side of the racks and Charlie was in the power supply room lifting the bulk weight of the power supply, when he bent forward to get a better grip on the supply the top of his head hit into the supply above the one they were replacing. Charlie took Raw DC in the top of his head and out his hands. He was unconscious when Harold pulled him loose, Luckily; Grand Central had Medical help around the clock. After much excitement Charlie was revived and taken to the Hospital, and things finally calmed down, although it took a while...in those days the power supplies were very heavy high current and voltage, 600 Volts at 2 Amps or so...

I also remember a tube cabinet behind the racks in master control but that’s another story for another day...

Harry Charles

When Sinatra or Streisand waxed musically, "Bring on the Clowns," they weren't referring to those CBS lighthearted Pagliacci's, that filled the working hours with their brand of buffoonery. The technicians didn't have a corner on the market of funny lines, quick wit, sly humor, or subtle pranks, or trash.

Bill Mauldin, of World War 2, cartooning fame, used actual battlefront scenes and penned them into factual jokes. In our studio settings, Johnny Brennan, could make any line laughable, however, for sheer buffoonery the studio champ would have to be Joe Desmond.

For today's page out of my Alice in Wonderland mind, I chose Bruno Fucci as the "Clown of the road." What makes Bruno, different from the other roadies, is that he enjoyed himself while being one of the very best at his trade. Fucci (pronounced Foo-Chee), is a strong, gregarious man that believed in himself to the point that he held back none of his feelings. He is up front at all times with his thoughts. No one can mistake his intentions.
However, for sheer idiocy, lightheartedness, and slashing wit, Fucci is a clown character. Stories abound about him throughout the States. Go to any hotel counter and mention Fucci's name and you will either get a smile, or get thrown out of the joint. Bruno also had culinary skills somewhere between a Frankfurter Stand on 56th Street, and a Sunday's home cooking from your mother's kitchen.

All this good-humored brusqueness was a fa├žade. Beneath, and deep in his big heart, was a gentle soul that could put a comforting arm on a friend and walk him to a corner, and commiserate, and share the burdens of the mind that only a roadie can talk about. He was there for you when needed.
Bruno has Emmys, more than that though; he has the love and affection of all that plied their trade with him at CBS.
Like the CBS icon, the "EYE", the technicians have Bruno Fucci.

Tony Cucurullo