Sunday, March 28, 2004

The following is a message to Tony Cucurullo from Howie Purnick ----

Dear Tony,
Last week a wonderful person, happily for us, arrived at his 80th birthday. A huge party was held in Hayward, California for our illustrious long-lived Bruno Fucci! Gifts and cards have yet to cease rolling in, along with wishes for his continued health and longevity. Should you and others care to participate and send along your best, here are the numbers:

Bruno Fucci and Gail Wallace, 28223 Wren Court, Hayward Ca. 94545.
Call at 510-782-1941.

Many CBS folks have called and sent cards and some even flew out to California for the party. So, do a good deed, let him know you remember.

Love,
Howie Purnick

For those who may not have known Ralph Gompertz, Ralph, as I recall-correctly I hope- was in Network Operations under Hal Meier in the late fifties. When Technical services was reformed in 1962 under Bob Hammer after all the splits in 1960, Ralph was appointed to be in charge of administration reporting to Bob.
However this was short lived because of his illness and untimely passing leaving a widow and one year old child.

I have forwarded my personal recollections to Steve by mail. In the process of recollection, the name Larry Gumbineer came to mind and whom I believe was also a network supervisor at the time and was promoted to be head of the CBS Traffic department succeeding Hugh Cowham. However after several years Larry succumbed to the lure of the state of Maine and decided that it was personally preferable to a career in corporate CBS.

Bob Wilson

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Gentlemen,

My father, Ralph Gompertz, worked for CBS in NY in the late 50's until his premature death from Leukemia in 1962. I believe he was an Assistant Producer, not an Engineer, and may have worked closely with Vern Diamond. I stumbled across your website and thought I'd write to see if anyone has any memories of him. Since he died when I was less than a year old, I know little of his professional life, but would like to know more. If anyone has any recollections, or pictures, they'd like to share, I'd love to hear from them.

Sincerely,

Steve Gompertz
15098 Yellow Pine St. NW
Andover, MN 55304

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Dave,

Last night was Bruno's suprise party and it was a suprise! a great time was had by all. It took place at the Iron Gate restaurant in Belmont, California. Cal Marotta and George Klimsack flew in from New York. Chick Gulino came from Phoenix, and I came from across the bay. The food and drink was as superb as the company. We had hoped that Charlie D'onofrio would be able to attend-but he had personal problems at home. Looking at these guys, I have come to the conclusion that "some people never age."

Bob Vernum

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Reminiscing: Unusual work assignments of recent memory: 1994 CBS TV Network (Audio)

David Letterman memory:
I was occasionally assigned to his show as A-2 while I was at CBS-TV. Most of my assignments at CBS-TV were A-1.

Dave is apparently a bit eccentric at times.

I was instructed by those who must be obeyed; in no uncertain terms:

Should you ever have a direct contact with Dave do not acknoweldge his presence, do not look him straight in the eye (look away), and most important, DO NOT try to engage him in personal conversation.

Well, my assignment on the Late Show (Stupid People Tricks) as A-2 audio assist, required me to use the elevator in the Ed Sullivan theater to go from stage level up to the 9th floor where a team of Letterman assistants were going to throw all kinds of objects out the 9th floor window onto 53rd St. in Manhattan (Closed to traffic and hundreds of on-lookers on 53rd street by NYPD police barricades between 7th and 8th avenues).

As I waited for the elevator I looked up at the stairway above me. There was Dave, making his way down the stairs..... giving me the evil eye, since I was the only human in view. (I knew, by his look, what he was thinking: Who the hell are you? I've never seen you before. How did you get in here?)

At that point the elevator arrived. I got on and would have saluted Dave as he disappeared into the Makeup Room, but I had my hands full of wireless mikes.

My assignment was to mic the assistants. Most of them were lovely young ladies who willingly lifted their blouses to allow running the wireless mic cord underneath the garment to the xmtr on their rear quarters. (Fortunately, I was not yet a dirty old man and I was somewhat embarrased at the task, but judging from their reaction, they appreciated the personal attention.) There was no telex [ear-piece]. Dave's voice was piped over a speaker where we all could hear him from his desk on stage, 9 floors below (mix-minus for Dave). The tech crew had previously run audio cables from the control room all the way up to the 9th floor via the stairwell. That's a lot of audio cables.

Myself and another A-2 miked the "talent" who were about to throw 10 auto tires on rims, 25 cans of paint, assorted other items and a 500 lb. safe (with the help of our IATSE stage hand brothers) out the open 9th story window (the sash was removed) to the street below, where eveything but the safe either bounced or exploded on the pavement. The paint left a brillant colorful residue. We did it twice. Once for rehearsal and once for tape. (Yes, there were several large cracks in the pavement when the safe hit bottom)

As Walter Cronkite used to say: "That's the way it was."

When folks ask me what I did at CBS-TV I always respond with: When you see Dan Rather's lips move, but you don't hear what he is saying, it was probably my fault. But not necessarily, since there are 50 other people doing things to make the CBS Evening News what it is. Thank God, I was mostly A-2 (Audio Assist) on the CBS Evening News. But there was a time when they had a special bulletin given by Dan and I was A-1- the buck stops there friends. Fortunately it worked OK, although, since there was no A-2, just me, Dan could not hear cue in his ear and finally the floor manager had to verbally tell him/ open mike :You are on Dan, .....you are on Dan (All I could think was......Say something Dan.... dammit!)

As an A-2 on the floor - I miked Dan on the CBS Evening News and made sure his telex was properly in place and working, and following tradition I always helped him on with his jacket after wiring him up, just before the broadcast.

When Ed Bradley or Charles Osgood filled in on the CBS Evening News for Dan, while he was away, it was old home week. I worked with each of them at WCBS Radio in the '60's and they always went out of their way to greet me like an old friend.

BTW, Dan likes Country Music and Western Swing, I presume it's because he's from Texas. He never knew my name, but always went out of his way to greet me whenever we happened to meet outside the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th St. in NYC.

BTW, everyone in the control at Letterman knew I played steel guitar in a country band because the production supervisor, the AD, the TD and the audio guys made a point to make all aware of it when they introduced me to the crew. I was accepted by the crew as a capable audio guy, because I was one of the A1's on the noon, 5, 6 and 11 o'clock Channel 2 news. "The toughest show in the building" (CBS Broadcast Center).

My sincerest thanks to my friends, the CBS-TV audio mavins: Tony Roque, Brian McGovern, Julius McLaughlin, Art Abowitz and Jerry Thrope all of whom broke me in doing the toughest show in the building and to our terrific audio supervisors: Bill Brown, Larry Schneider and Tommy Jimenez.

A little CBS nostalgia on my part. Maybe I'll start documenting my memoirs while I can still remember things. I spent 12 years in CBS TV Show Crews & Sound Effects after having completed 16 years service at WCBS Newsradio 88....but that's another series of memories.

73,

Bob Maickel
W2BOB

Sunday, March 14, 2004


Today as I was musing about different CBS characters that made a difference in my life, I remembered Jim Kelensen, Leo Kuranuki, and of course George Naeder.

The music in our home is always on, and in several rooms at a time, and there happened to be a song from, "West Side Story", the great Bernstein play. I had seen many versions of it, but the one that comes to mind mostly, is the one that George Naeder appeared in as the redoubtable, Officer Krupki.

George was an outstanding friend to me. In my union life for the IBEW, as an adjunct to Mike DeIeso, I came to respect George, for during negotiations he was an impressive force to contend with, because of his prodigious memory of the contracts, 'Past.'

But, it was his after-hours association that he made a boring traveling life interesting. If we happened to be in a restaurant, or a bar with a piano, we didn't need to ask him to play he just mounted the piano-stool and noodled away. George could play the piano, entertainingly. He could sing the score from the "Music Man" and slip into Irish ballads, or the usual familiar bar songs.

However you felt about George you had to respect his verve, and his loyalty to CBS, and the Union. He was always available to anyone for help.

This Sunday George is one my mind, for it is close to, St. Patrick's Day. I can here him singing to that other legendary Irishman Pat Finn. George managed to get Pat tipsy, and to bed singing, "My wild Irish Rose," when we were in Toronto Canada.

Nice to have known ya, laddie!

Tony Cucurullo

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Dave:

I enjoyed the photo's of the last Mini Lunch...pictures are worth 10,000 words...I, and maybe many others, never had the opportunity to meet the technicians at CBS...The broadcast center was a huge family...and the various studios etc. outside of the BC had other families of technicians.
It is a wonderful opportunity now thru these photos and others, that we can view all the other people that helped make CBS.

George Klimcsak

Monday, March 08, 2004

Hi Dave,

Betty Bluethgen (retired from Engineering July, 2002). I enjoy the newsletter very much. There was a message from Goody Freed who was awaiting a callback for a part-time job as a slot technician at Resorts.
I enjoy going to Atlantic City and was wondering if you could give me Goody's e-mail address and I would like to ask him a few questions.
Keep up the good work.

Betty

Sunday, March 07, 2004

This just received from Harry Peterson:


This just received from Gayle ODonnell, Tony Landry's daughter:

Good morning Harry...

It was very nice to hear from you asking about my Dad Tony Landry. He is doing very well and you'll probably be hearing from him. I believe he is writing you as I type. He still enjoys writing and getting return mail.

He does not like the winters here in NY, never did. We will be going to Florida at the end of March, and we will be bringing him to Pt ST Lucie to visit another daughter. We will travel on to Sanibel where we will stay for a couple of weeks. Dad decided a few years ago he does not like the beaches on Sanibel. He says they are dirty......Personally I think he needs glasses. On our way home, we'll pick him up and stop by the house in North Carolina.

Bill finally got an antenna up for him, but something is still lacking. Dad can receive voices just fine but the transmit part is not good. The weather did not cooperate, which is why it took so long to try and get Dad back on the air. He's chomping at the bit to once again talk to his friends.

Harry, I know Dad's thrilled you took the time to write and soon you'll see that despite being a bit more slow and cautious when walking, he's got his same spark...most of the time.....and an even more spirited approach to helping others maintain their health. He's got a great appetite and cannot refuse those deserts......

Take care .....AMS7632@cs.com....that's me. 845 878-7959 is the home phone.
Thanks again....
Gayle & Bill O'Donnell

Monday, March 01, 2004


Dave –

I didn’t know if you guys had updated both my e-mail address and Carol’s e-mail address as we broke down and bought the RoadRunner from the cable company (although TV is via DirecTV).

Mine is Lyn@LynHeiges.com and Carol’s is HeigesCarol@tampabay.rr.com (She is ex-CBS/NY and DC Carol Pritchard from CTN-Eng Construction and CTN-Ops. Can’t believe we have been married over 38 years! They said it wouldn’t last and she said she would never marry a Technician! We’ll she only let me be one for 3 married years before moving in to management!)
I currently don’t have the WA3RRK on anything except the ARRL site WA3RRK@arrl.net which feeds over to the Lyn@LynHeiges.com site.
Great job on the website and really appreciate all your time and trouble!!
We’re both glad to be “retired” from the “new CBS” and Carol works for a temp agency to keep her off the streets and I am selling real estate to keep my mind active. Those guys on 20 meters are a great group and I have to look into doing more on the other bands with the retirees as I improve my antenna farm!

Warmest regards from sunny Florida, Dave!

Lyn Heiges

Lyn and Carol Heiges
2940 Alton Drive
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2704
727-367-2135

M. Lynwood Heiges, Jr.
REALTOR®, e-PRO, GRI
Wave Realty
2660 5th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Web Site http://LynHeiges.com
e-mail: Lyn@LynHeiges.com
727-422-7548 Voice
727-360-3619 Fax

Oh by the way….If you or some you know could use my services, please do not hesitate to refer them to me! THANKS! Lyn