Wednesday, May 09, 2012

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