Friday, July 21, 2006

Here's to some of the heralded "maintenance men" of the Ice Age , that being the Techs of ERD, Dr. Goldmark's famous, really world famous, C B S L A B S from 1945 thru the 50's, when we invented Color TV, the LP record, Reading for the Blind, teaching surgery with the CBS Surgical color system and more, with some lost to memory.
Some members of this very special group were Bob Castrignano, Al Goldberg, Harvey Schwarz, Bert Littlfield, Howard Porter, Chet Shelp, Byron Paul (now the movie Director), John Devlin, John Lentz, Chuck Bodien, Adrian Ettlinger, (I must include him even though he was a member of the esteemed General Engineering Department, really, a great buddy to the Operations Group.) There were many more but I'm running out of "memory".
Then there were the unsung heros of my two color groups, the first one in 1950 at the 23rd floor of 485 and the Peace house at 109th Street and the second group during the mid 50's at Studio 72.
Here we could boast of Hugo Ripp, Apollo Taleporos, George Zavales and Joe Geiger.
When you mention Geiger, you just have to mention his alter egos, Ben Ackerman, John Leay, Frank Florio, Hal Warner, Stanley Greene, Artie Tinn (Artie had the friendliest, smiling face sitting on top of the best personality one could ever imagine --- I could never get angry with Artie, one of my favorite guys, in spite of the fact that they were all my favorites and very special.)
Included, as well, was my great Gumbah, Lou Tedesco, probably the best T.D. I ever knew, and later a really gifted Director. I should make the point now, because I am running dry on names, that most, nearly all, of the Technical people who comprised my groups could OPERATE as well as MAINTAIN their gear. Really, they were very, very special people.
And that's an enormous statement because they worked with me in Color Operations (the beginning) , The Perry Como Show, on the first four of The Masters Golf, the very beginning of Video Tape at Grand Central starting in 1957 and operational in 1958, five of my 31 years In Packaging and Producing "The Miss America Pageant", many Special Sports Remotes for Bob Wilson (who has his very own Special Category in Early TV 'cause there was only one of him, never to be repeated!), on 6 months of color test surgical operations at The Pennsylvania University Hospital in Philadelphia ---- there's lots more but I'll hold off for some future date when I see the same e-mails on screen for what seems like weeks.
I must say, in ending, that my happiest 15 years of working in Television were the ones spent at CBS, from January 5, 1945 till the first week in 1960, when I returned to CBS Laboratories, heading up Military & Industrial Research Sales. But, as you might suspect, I was spoiled, having come from CBS TV Operations, and 18 months later I decided to form my own Production Company In New York & Connecticut.
There were many exciting projects and events that filled my next 35 years but as good as they were, CBS crosses the finish line first.
R E G A R D S,
John Koushouris