Monday, September 29, 2003

Received this letter from the Arnold family. It was mailed to Tony Cucurullo at P.O.Box 45, Massapequa Park, NY.


Dear Tony Cucurullo.

My mother received this in the mail this past week (The luncheon notice).
My father, Orian M. Arnold passed away on October 20, 2000.
I am not sure if you knew this. I do not know how many people my mother notified.
She is in an assisted living place here in South Carolina.
There is no way she could attend since she has broken her hip this past July and is on the mend. She will be 84 this December.
Again, thank you for remembering her and my father.

Yours truly,
Craig Arnold

p.s. Janet Arnold did write me a letter notifying me of Orian Arnold's death over a year ago.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

In Memoriam

It is my sad duty to report the death, August 29, of Jim McQuiston, after a long illness.

Jim was born in 1924 and grew up in DesMoines, Iowa. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy, as a Fire Control Technician on the destroyer Aylwin and survived the sinking of his ship. After the war, Jim earned a degree in Architectural engineering from Iowa State University. This discipline, which combines the aesthetic considerations of architecture with the nuts-and-bolts of building, was particularly appropriate to designing complex broadcasting facilities that became Jim's specialty.

Jim joined CBS Facilities Engineering in 1950, the year he graduated. This was a time of rapid expansion of the fledgling television industry and Jim soon became an expert in planning and design of radio, television and recording facilities. In Facilities Engineering, he headed design for many years, teaching generations of staffers and outside architects the rudiments of the craft. He retired in 1988.

More than for his technical expertise, Jim was known for his warmth the friendliness. As one former colleague put it, "Simply being in his presence made you feel good".

Thoughts and recollections would be welcomed by the family and may be sent to his widow:
Mrs. Marion McQuiston
1 Alpine Drive
Closter, NJ 07624-2808

E-mail: MJimMarion "at"

J. Horowitz
FAX 718-544-0031
I received the answer to my question about Lou Scanna from a phone call from Ted Perzeszty. Thanks Ted.

Tony Casola
Should I add a new "blog?"

From time to time, when I come across some information that I think is useful, even though it may not pertain to broadcasting, I have been posting it here. If enough of you feel that I should start a new area called "Heads Up!", or Alert!", or something similar, I will be happy to do so.
As a matter of fact, I WILL do this, however, I will leave it up to our users to select a name for this "blog."

Here are some choices...
1. Heads Up!
2. Alert!
3. News you can Use

If you wish to submit another choice, please do so, but remember that these "broadcasts" may cover a wide area of topics.
I will wait about 30 days before selecting the title with the most votes.

Put on your thinking caps, and fire up the email - send them to The

Federal Laws Protecting You Against Fraud

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) establishes procedures for correcting mistakes in your credit record, including unauthorized accounts. You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report for free if you suspect you are the victim of fraud. Your credit record may only be provided to people with a permissible need for the information (for example, a landlord or creditor) who must keep the details confidential.

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) limits your liability if your credit card is lost or stolen. If someone uses your credit card without authorization, the most you are liable for is $50 in charges. (Financial institutions sometimes do not even ask for that much). If you dispute a charge on your card, the creditor has 90 days to resolve the matter, and you may withhold payment of the disputed amount during the investigation. For certain loans secured by your home, the TILA gives you three business days to cancel a contract without penalty-a big protection against a "predatory" home loan. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), part of the TILA, provides other consumer protections if you withhold payment while disputing a credit card charge.

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) limits your liability for the unauthorized use of your ATM card, debit card or other device (not including credit cards) used in handling an electronic deposit, payment or withdrawal. If your ATM or debit card is lost or stolen, your liability under the EFTA is limited to $50 if you notify your financial institution within two business days of discovering the loss or theft. If you wait more than two business days to report a lost or stolen card but you notify the card issuer about an unauthorized transaction within 60 days of the date the bank mails the statement containing the error, you could lose as much as $500. If you wait longer than that, you may be liable for $500 plus the amount of any unauthorized transactions after the 60-day period. However, to promote the worry-free use of debit cards and ATMs, many financial institutions are voluntarily treating the fraudulent use of those cards as if they were credit cards-that is, a maximum liability of $50 per card, and sometimes less.

Note: No federal law limits your losses from check fraud, but you do have protections under state law. For example, most state laws hold the bank responsible for losses from a forged check, but they also require the bank customer to take reasonable care of his or her account, including monitoring account statements and promptly reporting an unauthorized transaction to avoid being liable for losses.

A report from Virginia

Well, I'm back! Hurricane Isabel is finally over with. It takes a storm of that force to clean this Italian. We escaped with just debris, and the loss of all that food in the freezers.
We are putting in a claim for all the sauce that Paula stored in those jars, that she keeps for later meals. I don't give a damn about the steaks and such, but my spaghetti sauce, I will kill for.
My neighbors didn't fare as well, several had trees that split their homes down the middle. Yet, others had trees that fell within inches of their homes and didn't leave a leaf on the building. Several cars got completely totaled.
Except for the inconvenience of "No lights" for seven days, we didn't do too badly. Having a candle light dinner gave a romantic atmosphere to the setting. Not to worry though, for it was only a setting, we had my mother-in-law with us all the time. And though Paula occasionally made my favorite dish, Pasta primaviagra, nothing worked besides the candles.

This morning when I went back on line, (and too, the WEB Page) I noticed some more of our people have passed on, how sad it is to read about people that we integrated with.
While reminiscing about them I scrolled down to the bottom of the "Dates" and clicked onto the first ramblings I posted, I was happy, once again, to see the names of some of the old timers I wrote about. Try it, you will be refreshed again to see these vignettes of those bygone days.
Try to make the luncheon, and enjoy each minute, for those in attendance are the treasures of your past.
And finally, someone bring a lawn mower and trim D'Onofrio's eyebrows.

Tony Cucurullo
The luncheon notice that was mailed to Lou Scanna was returned. Does anyone know of his whereabouts? His address is 1845 82 St., Brooklyn, NY. Would appreciate any information.

Regards.........Tony Casola

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Free Vacation Scam

"Congratulations! You have won a free, 4-day, 3-night vacation for two in beautiful, sun-drenched Bermuda." Sound too good to be true? It is. When you get a postcard or letter in the mail (or an unexpected phone call from an unknown company) promising a complimentary vacation in an exotic spot, someone is probably trying to make you a victim of the free vacation scam. Don't fall for it.

If you are first contacted through the mail, you will be asked to call the company to claim your vacation. But there's always a catch. In the most common form of this scam, to be eligible for the free vacation you will be required to pay a service charge or to purchase a membership in a travel club, and that may cost you as much as $200-$300. Don't pay it. And do not, under any circumstances, give the company your credit card number or even just its expiration date.

If you do join a travel club that happens to be run by a con man, here's what you can expect. You will receive a travel packet describing your vacation. But there will be many restrictions on when you can take your trip. You may also be required to pay an additional handling charge of up to $100 to book your reservation. The travel dates you prefer will very likely be unavailable. If you complain, you may be offered an upgraded plan for still another additional fee.

If you are one of the few people who actually receives a vacation, you will most likely be booked into substandard accommodations. Most people who join a fraudulently operated travel club will never receive anything. Ultimately, as the law closes in, some vacation scam operators will close down, move on, and set up operations elsewhere and bilk other unsuspecting consumers of their money. You will be left without the promised vacation and a much smaller balance in your bank account.

Many recently detected vacation scams have operated out of Florida, Houston, and the Los Angeles-Orange County area. But such operations can originate anywhere in the country and can be easily recognized by their common characteristics, as outlined above.

If you have been victimized by a free vacation scam or fraudulent travel club, or if you receive a suspicious solicitation from one in the mail, please contact your postmaster or the nearest Postal Inspector.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Hi guys,

yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Stahler at the Ladies Luncheon event (husbands were allowed this one time). Jerry replaced Bob Hammer as head of Operations at BC. I worked for him, but I couldn't recognize him. Finally I realized why. When he took over I was at the Outside Studios and rarely went to the BC, so I never had the opportunity to meet him personally. Before that he was in the Stations Division.
Jerry says Ralph Greene from CBS Radio lives in the Moss Creek area and will try to get me information on him. A friend of mine says that he knows a former producer at CBS and will also get me the information. Our group is getting larger.

Attached is a picture of the August 2003 Mini Luncheon when I visited Long Island. You may recognize a few faces.
Keep in touch.

Jorge Moran

08-10-2003 Mini Lunch
(From left to right: Everett Schuval, Robert Barratta, Pete Deller, Ted Perzeszty, Tom Maloney, Tony Casola, Jorge Moran, Lou Wiggan)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Another old-timer heard from:
I received the following letter today.

It has be 30 years since I left CBS, but it has been enjoyable to receive the mailings. - I'm always looking for names of people I did some work with. So you can imagine, however, with the passage of time those names have popped up less and less frequently. Now I live in the mid-Hudson Valley area, but next week I'll be moving to a home I'm buying that's even farther north from the NYC area.
Thanks again for the mailings. They have been received with pleasure and appreciation.

Blair Allen

Monday, September 15, 2003

Received sad news from Eleanor Crane.
Richard W. Crane died on June 26, 2003 of a sudden heart attack. He was 86 years old.
Tony Casola

Website Viewing

I would strongly suggest using Internet Explorer Version 6.0 as your browser, as other browsers may NOT display our pages correctly.
I have just tested our current Newsletter under the Netscape 7.0 browser and find that it does NOT display some of the graphics.
I have not tested this with any other browsers, so I cannot guarantee their ability to display our pages correctly.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Hello Members,
The luncheon notice has been posted. The date is October 14th, 2003 at the Radisson Hotel in Englewood, NJ. Please take the time to read it.
The letter luncheon notices were mailed on September 11th, and at this time I would like to apologize for the poor graphic printing. I will try to correct the printing for the next lucheon notice.

Tony Casola

Thursday, September 11, 2003

In Memoriam

Isaias Rivera
Robert Pattison

Lord, let us never forget the tragic events that led
to the death of two of CBS's finest employees.
May their families find the peace in their hearts that strengthens their resolve.
We ask, Lord, that this treachery never again befalls anyone, anywhere that freedom lives.

CBS Retirees Association

Gisele MacKenzie, Singer and Star of 'Your Hit Parade'


Gisele MacKenzie, the Canadian singing star of the 1950's television show "Your Hit Parade," died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. She was 76.The cause was colon cancer, said her daughter, Gigi Downs.

Although she was known mainly for her contralto voice, Ms. MacKenzie also traded barbs and violin riffs with Jack Benny and played the piano on her own variety show. On "Your Hit Parade," she sang the most popular tunes of the week with her fellow cast members Snooky Lanson, Dorothy Collins and Russell Arms.

Gisele Marie Louise Marguerite La Fleche was born on Jan. 10, 1927, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her father, a doctor who played the violin, and her mother, who sang and played the organ, encouraged her musical talent. She studied violin in her teens at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, but she began singing and playing popular songs on the piano after school. At a party where she sang for wartime sailors, she met Robert Shuttleworth, a military bandleader, who later hired her to perform with his hotel orchestra.

He became her business manager, and in 1958, her husband.

Ms. MacKenzie wavered between a career as a singer or one as a concert violinist until her $3,000 violin was stolen from a parked car. Her vocation thus resolved, she began singing on a Canadian radio show called "Meet Gisele" in 1946, her popularity earning her the informal title of Canada's first lady of song. In 1951, when she began to sing in the United States, she took her father's middle name, MacKenzie, as her last name. In an interview with The New York Journal in 1956, she
said she worried that the name Gisele La Fleche "sounded like a strip tease artist's."

She sang for two years on Bob Crosby's radio show "Club 15," and when it went off the air, she joined Jack Benny on tour. The attention she gained with Mr. Benny won her a spot on "Your Hit Parade," replacing June Valli.

She appeared on the show from 1953 to 1957, then left to star in her own variety series, "The Gisele MacKenzie Show," which lasted only six months. In 1963 she was on weekly television again, becoming a regular on "The Sid Caesar Show." Over the next four decades, she starred in regional theater and made guest appearances on television game shows and series like "MacGyver" and "Murder, She Wrote." Her two marriages, to Mr. Shuttleworth and to Robert Klein, a businessman, ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. Downs, of Newport Beach, Calif., she is survived by a son, Mac Shuttleworth; a brother, George La Fleche; a sister, Janine Helzer; and two grandchildren.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times

Submitted by
Gayle DePoli

Comment by Tony Cucurullo

I thank you Gayle for these theatrical stories about the different stars of our industry.
I remember quite well Gisele MacKenzie, not as an intimate friend but as a coworker on the musical shows at NBC. In the 1950s NBC would hire studio tech's on a temporary basis. After the Korean War, we were lucky to get any kind of broadcast work, and the temp jobs were handy ways of getting experience. The oddity about all of this is the fact that the STAFF techs, or permanent techs had to work their way up to the major shows on NBC. Whereas I came along from the outside and was immediately put on camera on the "Hit Parade," Philco Playhouse, The Show of Shows. I was very fortunate to get to be the very first cameraman to operate the mechanical zoom. It was a test of coordination of one's skills. It had a brass rod and handle that had a handle that went from the back of the camera through to the lens and it pushed the lens in-and-out for the zoom effect. It was quite a challenge.
On the show, "Your Hit Parade," one of the singers, Snooky Lansing liked to gamble by tossing quarters, I had a lucky streak going when I left NBC and to this day, he still owes me about three bucks.
One of the female stars of the show was an excellent singer but a bit testy at times and would carry on with her demands. But, later when it was Miss Mackenzie's turn at rehearsals everyone was interested in helping her for she was the consummate performer. When you see the stagehands stop to listen to a performer that is in of itself an accolade to that star.
She was an adored person always friendly, and on occasion could get off some funny ad-libs.
I truly am a fan of her voice. She will be missed.

Gayle, I will take this time to wish you a very happy birthday, (Sept. 11th) and to add, that I think of you as one of our personal treasures. You came from that group (1975, the Bartillucci people) and you accomplished so very much. Keep sending these stories about people we associated with, for they are the gilded edge of our memory banks.

Tony Cucurullo

Sad news:
Charlie D’onofrio called me yesterday to tell me that Phil Valastro passed away last night. Phil never worked at CBS but knew many of the CBS retirees, having worked at Sports Network, WPIX, and MSG. He is being waked at Bennett Funeral home in Scarsdale 914-725-1137 Thursday 2-4& 7-9. He will be buried on Friday, September 12, 2003.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Chain Letters

I am posting this as a courtesy to our viewers. From time to time, messages of general interest will be included here.

A chain letter is a "get rich quick" scheme that promises that your mail box will soon be stuffed full of cash if you decide to participate. You're told you can make thousands of dollars every month if you follow the detailed instructions in the letter.

A typical chain letter includes names and addresses of several individuals whom you may or may not know. You are instructed to send a certain amount of money--usually $5--to the person at the top of the list, and then eliminate that name and add yours to the bottom. You are then instructed to mail copies of the letter to a few more individuals who will hopefully repeat the entire process. The letter promises that if they follow the same procedure, your name will gradually move to the top of the list and you'll receive money -- lots of it.

There's at least one problem with chain letters. They're illegal if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants. Chain letters are a form of gambling, and sending them through the mail (or delivering them in person or by computer, but mailing money to participate) violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 1302, the Postal Lottery Statute. (Chain letters that ask for items of minor value, like picture postcards or recipes, may be mailed, since such items are not things of value within the meaning of the law.)

Recently, high-tech chain letters have begun surfacing. They may be disseminated over the Internet, or may require the copying and mailing of computer disks rather than paper. Regardless of what technology is used to advance the scheme, if the mail is used at any step along the way, it is still illegal.

The main thing to remember is that a chain letter is simply a bad investment. You certainly won't get rich. You will receive little or no money. The few dollars you may get will probably not be as much as you spend making and mailing copies of the chain letter.

Chain letters don't work because the promise that all participants in a chain letter will be winners is mathematically impossible. Also, many people participate, but do not send money to the person at the top of the list. Some others create a chain letter that lists their name numerous times--in various forms with different addresses. So, in reality, all the money in a chain is going to one person.

Do not be fooled if the chain letter is used to sell inexpensive reports on credit, mail order sales, mailing lists, or other topics. The primary purpose is to take your money, not to sell information. "Selling" a product does not ensure legality. Be doubly suspicious if there's a claim that the U.S. Postal Service or U.S. Postal Inspection Service has declared the letter legal. This is said only to mislead you. Neither the Postal Service nor Postal Inspectors give prior approval to any chain letter.

Participating in a chain letter is a losing proposition. Turn over any chain letter you receive that asks for money or other items of value to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector. Write on the mailing envelope of the letter or in a separate transmittal letter, "I received this in the mail and believe it may be illegal."

Courtesy United States Postal Inspection Service

Monday, September 08, 2003

How about a literary applause to Dave Minott for the professional look that the WEB SITE has taken on.
From day one, we the RETIREES, have had a great group of innovators doing us proud with their technical skills in getting this website off the ground.

Adrian Ettlinger
Les Burkhardt
Tony Casola
Ted Perzeszty.

We hope that Dave can keep it going, for it is a formidable task.
So, here then is my literary salute to a fine, and intelligent man, Dave Minott.

Tony Cucurullo

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Jim McQuiston's passing

To all:

My heart took an irregular beat as I read the message of Jim McQuiston's passing.

I remember Jim telling the story of the time he was on a US Navy ship which sank and he made it off, alive. Jim said that after that experience, nothing bothered him.
He was a gentle man. He was a family man. He was a person with a ready smile. He was a person who would help anyone and simply being in his presence made you feel good.

I have not seen Jim since we retired from CBS in 1988. At that time we talked about our respective plans and finances for retirement. He had charted a course for himself and his family. It is too bad that I did not get to see Jim since retirement. There have been times when I would have appreciated the company of a man like Jim. I never got to meet his family but I grieve with them for one of the nicest people I ever had the privilege be associated with.

If it is possible, please extend my feelings to his family.


Simon Volinsky