Wednesday, May 09, 2012

How fast can you read?
More reminiscences from Mark Robbins:

I used to visit my father at work ever few years. I was fascinated with the technical aspect and less so with the Show Business part.
I remember going to Grand Central late at night with my mother. She really hated to walk on the glass walkways high above the main floor. When we got to CBS she asked a man "Where is Telecine" He asked "Who's that". We explained it's a what not a who. We found it. It's amazing that anyone could walk into CBS unchallenged. Different times. We sat in the studio and watch the 11 o'clock news with Douglas Edwards and Jean Parr filling in for Robert Trout and Carol Reed. Jean Parr liked my red hair. It's hard to believe that people like Douglas Edwards and Robert Trout did the local news. Today it's all gossip and giggles. On another trip to GCT I watch my father put on headphones and operate the Tel-op machine live on-air. They had famous people already made up on tel-ops with their picture and birth/death dates just in case.

I remember the CBS cafeteria and sitting next to an obnoxious talent agent (With a loud suit and horn rim glasses of course) promoting his blonde client's telents. "She can sing, She can dance). On another trip we watch them put voice tags at the end of a 30 second "Sun International Pictures" commercial. Before the movie opened that had commercials made up for "opening soon" "opens Wednesday" "last day" "held over by popular demand" So phoney.

One last memory, In 1968 during Apollo 8 I saw the studio set that Cronkite used. We were admiring Walter's chair and desk when a man say "excuse me" and took some papers from the desk. My father whispered, "That was Arthur C. Clarke". So close to fame!

In the 80's I was finally able to repay my father, in part. I had a service call at C.N.N. to work on the I.F.B. system. Took dad to the studios. He wasn't overly impressed with their relatively small operation.
BTW......My first Shortwave Receiver came from Carl Paulson - W2ULL. Matty Camillo - W2WB gave me the Novice test. Both were CBS veterans.

If I remember any more I'll send it along.
Mark Robbins
Reminiscences from Nat Robbins son:
My father worked in Rockleigh on the EVR project also. He preferred Manhattan to bucolic Rockleigh. I remember a "flash" photo lab on the 56th street side by the loading dock/garage. Film crews would bring in raw 16 mm b/w film and have it quickly developed and sent to Telecine. There was a film chain was set up to run negative film (electronically reveresed it) for air if there wasn't time to print the film. Long before E.N.G.!

He told me that he and his brother built a shortwave receiver when they were kids and each had an earpiece in bed listen to foreign broadcast stations. The radio sat on a table between the two beds. My grandmother used to get angry when he would spill battery acid on the carpet while dragging in batteries to power the family radio. No A/C powered home radios yet.

I put a CB radio in his car when that was a fad in the late 70's. "His handle" was "Grandpa" - actual callsign was KAZW2734. Never got his ham ticket though.

I'll try to dredge up more memories.

Mark Robbins
A new book about Walter Cronkite is now available from your favorite bookseller:

Douglas Brinkley presents the definitive, revealing biography of an American legend: renowned news anchor Walter Cronkite. An acclaimed author and historian, Brinkley has drawn upon recently disclosed letters, diaries, and other artifacts at the recently opened Cronkite Archive to bring detail and depth to this deeply personal portrait. He also interviewed nearly two hundred of Cronkite's closest friends and colleagues, including Andy Rooney, Leslie Stahl, Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Les Moonves, Christiane Amanpour, Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Ted Turner, Jimmy Buffett, and Morley Safer, using their voices to instill dignity and humanity in this study of one of America's most beloved and trusted public figures.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hi Mark Robbins,

Sorry to hear about that Steve. You may care to have this photo of your dad taken in the maintenance shop at the CBS Broadcast Center in the 1960's. I worked with Nat for many years.

Best regards,

Harold Deppe

This is Mark Robbins (W2MR). My dad (Nat Robbins) worked for CBS at GCT
and the Broadcast Center from 1951-1985.

This message is about Steve Mendelsohn (W2ML) who worked at CBS in the
70's and 80's. I received this from Pete Adley (W2HP) about Steve's

He is in Hospice at home. Very weak and needs help sitting up. We were
over to visit. So sad! He is the communications man for NY Jets. Friday
Rex Ryan and 4 other Jets came to see him at his home.

Skin and bone. maybe less than 100 lbs. I call and talk regularly. Years
ago we were good friends. I gravitated away as Steve, like me, is strong
willed, but when I heard 1 1/2 years ago about his cancer, we met and hugged.
Very emotional for me and him. His wife Heidi and Kathy are good friends

He maybe has 4 to 6 weeks at best.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I am Neal Curtis’s oldest daughter, Nancy. I just spent the last 5 days upstate with dad who is living close to my younger sister (dad’s youngest child) Kathy in Penfield, NY a suburb of Rochester, NY. He’s doing okay with a few needed adjustments. He just had cataract surgery (pic attached) on his left eye and all went well. We have lots of fun sitting around talking about the old days when he was at CBS on 57th St. and I worked on 44th St. We’d meet for lunch at the Carnegie Tavern once a month. What fun we had!
Every once in a while when I visit we will call Cliff Rice in Florida and it’s so much fun for me seeing dad smile when they talk about the good old days. If anyone attends the next Retired CBS Engineers luncheon that worked or knows my dad please let them know he is alive and kicking at:
Atria of Penfield
2006 Five Mile Line Rd
Penfield, NY 14526
WWII and CBS were a large part of his happy life! He still speaks highly of both!
And thank you for this wonderful newsletter. I’m sure it entails lots of work but brings much joy.
Nancy Curtis Galyon

From Jay Chichon

Hi Harry Charles....of course I remember you!
I am not sure of the name of Ed Murrow's make-up artist.
Does Francis ring a bell?
Speaking about Ed Murrow....By chance I did audio on the first "See It Now broadcast" (a historic event).
Its first episode, on November 18, 1951, opened with the first live simultaneous coast-to-coast TV transmission from both the East Coast (the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor) and the West Coast (the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and San Francisco Bay), as reporters on both sides of the North American continent gave live reports to Murrow, who was sitting in the control room on CBS' Studio 41 with director Don Hewitt.

Best regards to all.....Jay Chichon
This is directly from a friend or relative of George Gray, whose wife has just crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
"Carol died at 4 or 4:30 this a.m. Services will be at Hellman's on State St. in Spring Valley at 1 pm. Burial will be in the Pyth cemetery nearby.
George will be sitting shiva at their home on Crystal Street. in Spring Valley.
If you use the NY Thruway, exit 14, you would go approximately 2-3 miles to Route 45 (past the new Walgreens) and turn right.Go approximately 3-4 miles to Eckerson Rd., then make a right and then a left onto State Street. I am not good with mileage but it is close enough to guide you.
You can also use the Palisades Pkwy to the New Hempstead exit, make a left and another left to Rt. 45 - I don't use the Palisades Parkway very often ."
Holly and I offer our deepest condolences to George and his family, as well as those of all our retirees.