Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I have ambivalent thoughts ricocheting across my mind this evening, one is sad, and the other laconical.

Dan Garber, was not a CBS employee, but he was a man of our industry.
I went to school with Dan at the RCA Institutes on West Fourth Street in the "Village."
Along with Joe Gallant, our deceased friend from the sound effects department at CBS, we three were inseparable in school. Well, Joe is gone, he died in the sound booth in a studio, where the old "Sgt. Bilko Show," emanated from, on 26th street.
Today I received a Christmas Card, and it reads that Dan is gone, also.
When the different companies, and agency's, came to the school to interview students as possible employees, Dan and I took all the test we could to get work.
Dan, breezed through the FCC license test for First Phone, as easily as anyone I ever heard of.
The FBI, and the CIA, came and tested most of the class. Dan and I passed, the exams, but, I couldn't pass the Morse code reading. Dan could do that easily, for he was a special agent for the Air Force in Korea, in the early fifties. His assignment was to stay in this tower on a hill, and advise the military of enemy troop movements.
Well, he did just about the same thing for the CIA for 27 years, around the world, in most places as, in Viet Nam, Cambodia, and developed what was possibly agent orange, and I guess that shortened his life.
He ended his career as a Senior Communications Officer, in the prestigious Paris Embassy, the plumb assignment in the company.

We kept in touch through the years. But, I just learned he died the week after Christmas, last year.
Sometimes opening a card can be less than cheerful.

Part Two

While witting the above story, I was listening to a song by Margaret Whiting, daughter of the famous show and song maestro. His big hit, "Moonlight in Vermont" was also Margaret's hit.
We were assigned to do a Broadway hit show at the time, in Studio 45. During setup, Jimmy McCarthy, and Jim Murphy and myself were standing around musing about the great voice of Margaret Whiting, and all the visual implications that she conjured for all us retreads from World War 2, when Jimmy McCarthy remembered that he was listening to her sing that famous song of hers while making love to a young maiden of that era.
She joined the conversations because she was listening to us reminisce without us knowing she was nearby. We were slightly embarrassed, but, she quickly put us at ease by reminding us that many a GI, got (his first sexual encounter) in the back seat of cars listening to her voice.
She was a great gal to work with, and so relaxed that we were rooting for her success with this pilot.
It was stars such as she that performing work at CBS was such a delight to be there.
Happy Holidays to all.

Tony Cucurullo.