Saturday, August 31, 2002

Current update on Chico:
Chico is still in Long Beach Hospital undergoing physical therapy following his stroke. He is expected to return home in a few weeks. He seems to be putting up a good fight and he will hopefully bounce back to his old self soon.

Submitted by Ted Perzeszty
Just received the following from Joe Janovsky:

Just a few lines to let you know what's been happening around here. Seems that Chico and I now have something in common. We have both had strokes, albeit mine was a small one. I hope his was no greater than mine. I was in the hospital for five days at the end of July. After many tests, they determined that my right carotid artery is 80 to 90% blocked. So I am scheduled to be operated on September 9, as the doctor put it, to have a roto-rooter job done. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Regards, Joe Janovsky

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

It is very easy to write about this dear friend of mine.
Herbert "Chico" Claudio, has sustained a stroke, and is recovering from that illness with the help of his angel wife Betty.
There are certain people in our business, and in the world at large, that are identifiable by just their first name. Chico was at the top of his profession at CBS. He was on the Ed Sullivan Show from day one, until he racked the boom arm back on the last show.
In retirement, the people on the "Sesame Street Show" knew of his availability and they called him, and it resulted in Chico winning two Emmy's.
Ted Perzeszty is as close a brother and family member to the Claudio's as one can be. He is in close contact with them and is keeping us informed as to his condition.
Chico, in Spanish, means little man. Chico is no small man in any aspect of life, but is a giant to his family and friends.
Chico, was a First Class Petty Officer photographer in the Navy during WW II. He flew in combat missions in the Pacific.
I wish him well, and I am sure all his friends will say a prayer for a successful recovery.
Tony Cucurullo

Hi Tony:
Hope that this finds its way to your computer and that it's up and running once again.
I hope that you're recovery will be a swift one and that all of the pain and misery you've gone through recently will be soon forgotten!
Also, I was very saddened to hear of Freds passing. He was such a nice guy and very kind to me through the years that I knew him.

Being across the street for so many years kept me out of touch with most of the people I knew in broadcast center.

I miss a great many of those who I've worked with going back to the early late 50's and early 60's but I can very honestly say that I do not at all miss those at 60 Minutes with the exception of a very few. It was really a very strange place to work Tony and if I told you some of the things that went on over there you probably would not believe me. All of those strange things one day caused me to stand up and say, "I'm out of here and not coming back!". And I never did. Thirty two years gone in a flash!

But, so far so good here in Maine with one exception .... the land taxes! They are going out of sight. I thought it was bad living in New York! Up here it's really crazy.

They think nothing of jumping taxes over $1000 or more in a year. But, the home prices where we are are going through the roof!
We have small homes ... and I mean small ... going for over $550,000! Our house which we paid about $50,000 for back in 1981 is now worth, so they tell me, over 600,000!

However, I do not intend to sell it and am only afraid that at the rate it is going up that the taxes will out strip my ability to pay over the years.
My wife, Rosemarie and I, are leaving for about 3 weeks next week to travel out to the Dakotas via Canada. We've never been out that way and have decided to take a mini vacation away from Maine to see how the others live in that part of our country.
We have 3 boys, 2 of who are in New York and one is here in Maine living on a boat he recently acquired.
He is in the merchant marine business as a ship board officer and works 4 months on and 3 months off. So, he purchased a 25 foot cabin cruiser which sleeps 6 and keeps it over on the coast about an hour from us. We've been out with him several times and it has really been nice experience sleeping overnight on it.
We live on a small island here in Maine on fresh water which in inland from the ocean. Our lake it about 10 miles long and just large enough for us to enjoy boating on it. In fact, Ro and I were out this afternoon for about 2 hours. We were the only boat on the lake! And, the day was just georgous!
So, enough about me Tony. Keep up the good work and keep me posted on developments. Again, I 'm not sure where we fit into the medical plan since I retired from Viacom and not CBS? I'm almost afraid to ask!

Take care for now and I'll speak to you when we return from our trip out west. You have my e.mail so drop a line when you can. Just is case its:

Megquier @

Joel Dulberg
207 - 998 - 2663 is our Maine phone number.
Has anything happened since august 1st? I trust Tony is ok since I read about the"medical plan." I just had my first hospital experience--a 30 year old hernia finally acted up. I am now at home on a 6 week recuperation after should have been done years ago.

I miss my ten mile bike rides daily and long walks--just must wait awhile. Amusing myself building another giant scale radio control aircraft---B-26.
Hope to see some of you in October.

Bob Vernum

Friday, August 16, 2002


August 15th, 2002 at 12:00 noon.
Meeting held at Local 1212 Union office
225 W. 34 Street, Suite 1118

Meeting Chaired by Keith Morris

In attendance:

Tony Ancona
Betty Claudio
Tony Cucurullo
Mike DeIeso
Bill Naeder
Gene Pasculli
Ted Perzeszty
Marty Solomon
Jerry Sullivan

These meetings are not under the auspices of Local 1212, IBEW. We are guests, invited to use their facilities.
This allows for open dialogue on the subject of the impending "TERMINATION" of our medical plan, as we were led to believe that it would remain in force, with slight modifications. In addition, it would give all of us a semblance of security, earned as a partner in the building of the giant of the broadcast, television industry.
This faith and verve is being subliminally destroyed. The use of subterfuge and snake oil salesmanship has left us with a bad taste in our collective mouths.
"Bait and switch" has become all too common a partner with the other misgivings of the corporate shenanigans.
However, today, it would be terrible to have to say that the company of our careers and lives, has a chance to blacken the symbolic icon renowned throughout the world.
If the current leaders can see that this would be the death knell to this giant, perhaps prudence will prevail and less profit will be replaced by commitment and character that is sorely missing in the corporate world today.
We are waiting for an implied, if not promised, re-evaluation of the plan structure by the company. We wait like the groom for the bride, to meet at the altar of faith.

We won't cower to false and delaying tactics. Don't kill the last semblance of respect we fervently hold onto.
Don't assume that acquiescence to the request for time is a weakness. We do it as a gesture of our proof to the company that we still hold dear, the image of family moribund in our reverie.
So, my dear friends, I two-stepped you around about the results of the meeting because it is too weak to just say " we are in progress on this matter."
I will give you a fair chance to conduct your own business. Let's wait and see. You will be asked to be a participant if needed.
Stay tuned, both management and technical types, for this concerns us all.

Respectfully submitted,

Tony Cucurullo

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Pop Pop Eulogy

My grandfather was both a simple and a complex man- He was simple in that he took people for who they were. He gave of himself and never expected anything in return. He was a complex man in that he was knowledgeable in a variety of areas, had many talents, and had the ability to view life from different perspectives. He was a true Renaissance man.
When looking for someone to deliver his eulogy, we had a very difficult time. Not because there were not willing and capable individuals, but because no one wanted to step up to the challenge of conveying what a special person he was, and doing it as well, and with the same charisma as he would have for any of us.
At this difficult time, we feel our loss even more, because it was in my grandfather's nature to take care of everything. He was the person so many of us would. turn to for comfort, strength, and wisdom. He was a quiet, unassuming hero, always there to pick up the pieces. He was our lifeline.
My grandfather was also very young at heart. What other grandfather would go ice skating with the kids at the age of 67 and continue performing tricks until breaking his wrist? And it's hard to find a man who would ride his bike to Jones Beach alone on his 70 Birthday. He even continued with those long bike rides to the beach up until a week before he was diagnosed in September. And no one could forget his porcupine (which will rest eternally with him). He bought it for himself a few years ago and refused to give it to any of the grandkids because it was "his." We could always find him holding it while sitting on the couch and watching TV.
My grandfather handled his illness with dignity and great strength, which is the way he lived his life. Throughout the many trials of his illness, he never complained, and he expressed more concern for the ones around him, than for himself his own ordeal and suffering. When asked how he endured so much and how he was so brave he replied, "I take one day at a time and don't try to control things that I have no control over." He lived his life in this way, always appreciating the positive, never focusing on the negative. He had a gift for loving each day.
His sense of humor was his greatest asset. When things were at their worst he would make those around him laugh, in order to ease their pain. Following his hip and leg surgery after being wheeled from the recovery room, he said that he overheard his surgeon talking about the barbeque he was having that day and he joked about how he hoped they weren't using his ribs.
His life here on earth was meaningful to those around him, he was a person to be respected and cherished. He was a wonderful husband and father, who cared for my grandmother, my mother and uncle, and everyone who crossed his path. He continuously expressed his appreciation for his family and was concerned about how his illness was affecting them. His main concern was not wanting to "be a burden" on those around him. He was a selfless man who endured his suffering quietly.
With a lot of people we don't realize their good points until they are gone, but with my grandfather, we all knew how special he was all along. Pop Pop - We saw you as a man of principle, who stood up for what you believed in. We saw you as someone who was liked and respected by many people, not only because you were fun to be with, but because you went out of your way to do things for others. We saw you as a man we admired more than words can say. If you weren't my Pop-pop, I'd wish you were.
We know that there is a place inside the heart where love lives always...and nothing beautiful can ever be forgotten. — Be our angel Pop Pop, we will see you soon.

Nicole Grasso (Granddaughter)

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Don McGraw called from my former hometown in Teaneck, NJ. It was nice of him to call with advice on how to overcome the allergic reaction I got from the adhesive tape after my surgery. He and I reminisced about the old remotes at CBS and he reminded me that one time during the 1986 conventions in San Francisco, Bob Wussler, who was the President at that time, (until his appearance on TV before congress), had invited Lonnie, that affable and lovable man that could put the shine on his face on your shoes.
As the story goes, Bob had a stand set up for him, and all the networks covered him as an interest piece.
Lonnie got more votes than the politicians that year. A nice story, from a very nice man.


Tony Cucurullo

Friday, August 09, 2002

Message to Tony Cucurullo:

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Al Sabin. I will never forget how helpful and supportive he was when I was first assigned to Grand Central in 1951.
Your piece on Al says it all.

Hope you and your family are all well.

Gil Miller
Here is a note from another of CBS's finest men. I haven't heard from Gil Miller for quite awhile. "The Duffer Scotsman" probably spends his days chasing that little white ball over uneven greens. He is also one of the finest horse handicappers around. Gil, Leo Kuranuki, Jim Stoller, (of "The Pentagon Bar", across from Grand Central), and Len Ufland and myself would often spend a happy day off at one of New York's tracks, or on some occasions, we travelled to Philadelphia and had a grand repast after a days of punting.

Nice to hear from you Gil. Please keep in touch if you will, old friend.

Tony Cucurullo

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Received from Gayle O'Donnell (Tony Landry"s daughter)

Very interesting. A bit of congressional shenanigans I didn't know about. Makes me want to scream!

(This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society.

They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. Many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this:
When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand, with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds--our tax dollars at work! From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into--every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our
employer) we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000. Monthly benefits for 68 years and one (l) month to equal Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. And that change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us and then watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

" Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." - Francis Bacon
There was a very nice obit in the Staten Island Advance last night about Al Sabin.
There was also information on a Memorial service that I felt should be passed on to all who may wish to attend.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, August 10th, at 9:30AM at:

St. Ann's Church
101 Cromwell Avenue
Staten Island, NY
(The Church is in Dongon Hills, just off Jefferson STREET not Avenue and Cromwell)

Al was a great guy and I miss his long and the great friendship that we had.
Over the years we spent many times discussing many subjects and he always came up with very good advice.
We will all miss him.

Al De Quinzio
A pall of immense sorrow has fallen over us this week with the loss of our beloved brothers. We just recently mourned the loss of Al Sabin, John Pumo, and yet another name is enshrined along with those giants of industry, that of Walter Matwichuk. I wish the words could flow so as to flower his technical background, but I didn't work in the area of the Videotape Department. However, I am quite clear when I say that you could not exist in that area of imaginative and creative people without having the skills to compete, as Walter did.
He spent his career in that department, and was one of the most respected and skilled technicians at CBS.
It is also surprising to me that the men and woman of the Videotape area have endured in longevity, because of the high-pressure that they are under at all times. They tape, play back, and edit at jet-pilot speed.
I hope that Walter Matwichuk is eulogized by his contemporaries as one of the best at his job, and too, as a friend to remember in warm and pleasant memories.
Thank you, Jerry Teevan, for informing us of his passing. It is so important for all of us to keep in touch with each other because life is so fragile and it wispily departs these mortal fields.

Tony Cucurullo

I attended John Pumo's wake this evening, and it was heartening to see the outpouring of love from all the family members, friends, and associates.
John Jr. expressed his thanks to all those who attended in body and/or spirit.
He will be missed, but we should remember him as a good friend and co-worker.

Dave Minott
Charlie D'Onofrio called this evening to wish me well after my brief stay in the hospital to put a stent in one of my arteries, but I was taken aback by the sad news that John Pumo, one of the CBS family, has passed on.
He and Art Tinn will attend a service for him in Malverne, on Long Island.
John, of course, will be remembered as one of the top Technical Directors. He spent most of his career in the video pits as a prime video man. When it came to his work, he didn't fool around. He was all business.
I will remember him for his compassionate act on behalf of Dick Douglas.
CBS was putting on a "Telethon" for WOR-TV. It emanated from the "Sullivan Theater." During the performance, Dick was having a difficult time handling the camera, as a result of his impending medical problem. I was on "cables" that night. I could hear the control room calling for Dick to cover a shot. I reached over to him and said, "I am your camera relief, John wants you to take a break." Dick went and sat in the audience quietly. John never let on to the director, or anyone else, that it wasn't Dick out there. After the show, he called us into the control room and made it clear to all that Dick completed his assignment, and we complied happily.
More to the point though, is that when we reminisce about CBS and its people, invariably John comes to mind, for it seems that he was in the mix at all times. He was truly one of our dear family members.
Le piu' sentite condoglianze. My most heartfelt condolences to his family.

Tony Cucurullo

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I received the sad news from Jerry Teevan that Walter Matwichuk passed away last week August 4th. At this time I have no further information.
Tony Casola
Hi I am trying to find out if you are the person to contact about the passing of John J Pumo. He is my father and was wondering if you could put some info. on the web page. If you could help it would be greatly appreciated. He is being waked at:
Malverne funeral home
330 Hempstead Ave.
Malverne, New York.
The phone number is 516-593-7230.
He is being waked on Wednesday, August 7th. from 7 PM to 9 PM. He passed away on Sunday, August 4th. In Jupiter, Florida.
Thanks for the help.
John jr.
John Pumo passed away, wake 7-9pm at Malverne Funeral Home on Wednesday at 330 Hempstead Ave, Malverne, Long sland.
Phone funeral home at 516 593 7230.
Another fine friend and co-worker sadly gone.

Arthur Murphy

Monday, August 05, 2002

Thank you Malachy for notifying Al's friends and colleagues. The service for Al is scheduled at St. Ann's in Staten Island at 9:30 A.M.on August 10th.

Al's daughter, Kathleen Williamson, -- (writing from Al's email/computer.)
There will be a memorial service for Al Sabin, on Saturday, August 10th at 9:30 AM at St. Annes Church, Dongan Hill, Staten Island, New York.
The family is looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.
God Bless.
Thank you.
Mal Wienges

I worked with Barry Yuzik for 30 yrs at CBS --I am sorry for his loss-I will contact him soon

life goes on--

Tony Ancona
"Old Geezers" (slang for old men) are easy to spot:

At sporting events, during the playing of the National Anthem, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment.
They know the words and believe in them. Old Geezers remember World War I, the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor,Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler.
They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam.
If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize. If you pass an Old Geezer on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady.

Old Geezers trust strangers and are courtly to women.

Old Geezers hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.

Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don't like any filth on TV or in movies.

Old Geezers have moral courage. They seldom brag unless it's about their grandchildren.

It's the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or police, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

This country needs Old Geezers with their decent values. We need them now more than ever. Thank God for Old Geezers!

From Tony Cucurullo

Friday, August 02, 2002

Tony Cucurullo came home from the hospital today, Aug. 2nd. He is resting comfortably at home. We expect him to be able to attend the next CBS medical meeting at the Local 1212 Union office on Aug. 15th. You can’t keep a good man down.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Tony Cucurullo has been taken to the hospital after suffering chest pains on Tuesday. He was treated with angioplasty and a stent was placed into one artery. He will be in the hospital until Friday Aug. 2nd. I will keep you all informed as to his progress.

Ted Perzeszty