WHUS ALUMNI MEMORIES OF THE '60s & '70s
Too Much Power!
From Craig McCarter (4/3/02):
Sometime in the early 60s, WHUS engineers ran a dipole antenna on the roof of the Student Union building with a transmitter in the elevator shaft over the 'Commons' dining hall. I came aboard too late to witness that debacle, but the stories were legend by '63. Rockin' Russ was doing a show in the AM studio when the FCC showed up to see why WHUS-AM was suddenly serving the area just west of Boston where their field office was located. Most of the staff and engineering crew were in the FM studio watching Russ through the glass, while the FCC guys with their backs to Russ read us the riot act. This went on for .... probably an eternity .... when Russ gets an idea only equaled to this day by Robin Williams ..... and in exaggerated mime, goes over to the bulletin board where all the blue FCC licenses were posted, and starts to cancel each one with a stamp and stamp pad. Needless to say, our guys snapped under the tension and lost it....and how we managed to stay on the air...and they out of jail....is a mystery to this day.
From Peter Sutheim (11/16/02):
I designed and built the prototype of an AM carrier-current transmitter in 1960 that was used to make WHUS more available in the dorms. At that time, FM (WHUS was a 10-watt "educational" licensee) wasn't very popular and FM radios weren't common. Someone before me had devised a way of receiving the FM signal in each of the dorms and retransmitting it on various AM-band frequencies, one for each dorm, but the scheme didn't work very well mainly because the FM radios tended to drift off-tune. I designed a more powerful and reliable AM transmitter and persuaded the station to run phone lines to send the station's audio directly from the studios to each of the dorms, leaving the FM for those off-campus listeners who owned FM radios. I was told later that 13 (I think) of those units were built after I left the University. I think I still have a (terribly wordy) article I wrote for the UConn Engineering Department magazine, "Connecticut Engineer," describing the design.
Jeff Tellis may remember an experiment done late in 1961 (I think) that allowed WHUS's signal to be received via AM as far away as Manchester (although weakly), until the FCC put a stop to that a couple of weeks later. Long wire antenna on top of the Commons building.
From Jeff Tellis (11/21/02):
Peter was certainly right about AM vs. FM at the time. Very few had FM radios so most of the listeners were on AM. While Peter may have built the first prototype AM carrier current transmitter fed by phone lines instead of the previously used (and drift prone) Regency FM radios, I also remember Gene Roure building a large number of transmitters mounted on huge wooden boards, complete with precisely right-angled wiring. They were mostly hidden away in locked basement storage closets and it wouldn't surprise me at all if some were still there, long forgotten and maybe even still plugged-in! Even well after the phone lines replaced the Regency FM radios as the audio source, many still called the units "converters" because they were seen as "converting" FM into AM. Ah, the warm glow of glass vacuum tubes...
I think it was one of Gene's units that was used in the "experimental" long wire on the Student Union roof broadcasts. The idea was to see if we could replace 13 separate carrier-current transmitters (and all of the associated maintenance of same), with a single unit that could cover the campus. I remember calling the phone company and asking that an audio line be installed from our studios to the top of the elevator shaft on the Commons building and the puzzled look on the installer's face when he showed up to do it. The FCC eventually discovered the signal well beyond where it should have been and told us to shut it down. (Legend has it that Russ Ginns was there when the FCC visited us and mock cancelled everyone's operator license posted on the wall while the Commission rep was chewing us out in the next room.)
From Tom Scanlan (9/15/07)
I was at WHUS in 1958, and from June '60-Sept '62. Was staff engineer and in 1961 was PD. Majored in EE, and did early research on frequency change and power increase, with new, higher tower where the present one is located. Closest call came when we strung a long wire antenna atop the then-new addition to the Student Union, took one of the carrier current AM transmitters and increased its power to 50 watts, and broadcast at 670 KHz!! Engineer from FCC field office in Boston paid us a visit and shut us down...he never threatened by phone first! Man, was I lucky!
Served my time with the greatest people ever!! Tony Riggs, Dave Millson, Leighton Gage, Cliff Milliken, Bill Grimes, Pete Sutheim, Norm Zareski, Phil Barbetta, Winston Heimer, just to name a VERY few....
The STOP Marathon and Gourmet Dining
From Win Heimer (3/2/02):
I don't have all the details, but in early Nov. '61 the station broadcast from a "clandestine location" (one of the closed circuit repeaters located in the basement of the "jungle") helping protest I believe something to do with student activity fees. STOP stood for "Students to Oppose Paternalism" and it's on-going, oft-repeated theme (a la the Gong Gong Song of the CCC marathon) was "Hit the Road, Jack" (recorded by Ray Charles)-- aimed at Jack Dunlop, the UConn official bearing the brunt of the protest......
Off-campus, Ali John's greasy spoon (named "Lou's" in honor of his wife) immortalized STOP with its STOP sandwich-- a concoction of Swiss cheese, Tomato, Onion and Pastrami, if I correctly recall...
From Jeff Tellis (3/2/02):
Win got the STOP details right. Bill Grimes was the WHUS station manager at the time and got us really involved with STOP. (Bill and Regina "Reggie" Rinaldi met at WHUS and married. Last contact I had with them was a long time ago. They may have been in the Nashua, New Hampshire area.) Anyway, since we couldn't stay in the Student Union past 10pm closing time, we setup a primitive "studio" in some kid's room in one of the fraternities on North Campus. We used a telephone wire normally used to feed one of our carrier-current AM transmitters and reversed it so we fed audio from the makeshift studio back to the Student Union, where it fed our 10-watt FM transmitter as well as the rest of the on-campus AM carrier-current system. It allowed us to stay on the air "live" all night. I remember doing a morning shift with only one turntable. "Baby" - the remote unit - didn't have any cueing on it. So, Gene Roure set up an external switch so you could "cue" the next record in your headphones while you were talking. Not too bad with an album's first cut, but a lot tougher to visually count to and then cue up one of the inner cuts while you were still talking.
I don't remember the specifics of the STOP issue other than the University was trying to impose "in loco parentis" rules governing students, and naturally, student were upset.
As for "Lou's" - Ally John passed away a few years ago. Somebody told me about it and I took a day off from work and drove up for the funeral. I saw Lou and his kids. Lou's was a unique hangout, not just during the STOP activities, but throughout the school year. It was where all the guys went after going out on a Friday or Saturday and would completely jam up after women's curfew took effect. I put on many a pound over there, at the counter, or in the luxurious "Peanuts" dining room, eating pastrami grinders, Jimbos, Grakows, cheeseburger grinders (each containing 3 cheeseburgers!), and many other greasy creations. Ally was often called the honorary Mayor of Eagleville.
Strange Noises in the Night From An ET
From Jeff Tellis (10/22/02):
In a recent e-mail message, Mike Sperling asked, "Anybody remember the ET that was put on the football stadium speakers in the winter in the middle of the night…" Well… yes and no. First off, let me say that I wasn’t there personally, but heard about it from some of those who were. If we could find Tom Scanlan, he could probably help separate truth from legend. Tony Riggs might also know about at least some of this. Others shall remain nameless. The details may have become embellished in the telling and re-telling, but here’s how I remember it being told to me:
It was somewhere in the early or middle sixties, and Tony Riggs was working part-time at WTIC in Hartford. He had access to their "Scully Lathe", which was a device that could literally "cut" a record called an "ET" – for electrical transcription. (It was well before ET, the extra-terrestrial). Tony was persuaded by the apparent perpetrators of this scheme to custom-cut a record containing nothing but various sound effects. Meanwhile, Tom Scanlan was doing maintenance work on our carrier-current AM transmitters. Because most of these were buried in out-of-the-way basement closets which had no separate keys, he seemed to have master keys that opened virtually everything on campus. Including the press box at Memorial Stadium, where, of course, we had our broadcast facilities for UConn football. The stadium was itself in just about the middle of the campus, and its public address system speakers faced directly toward the campus, particularly West Campus, which was right across the street.
Anyway, as legend has it, the custom-cut record containing the sound effects found its way into the hands of someone who was able to unlock the press box (at about 2 or 3 a.m.) and turn on the public address system at full loudness. I heard the rest of the story from those who were in on the plot, but walking clear on the other side of the campus as observers in the middle of the night. They waited in eager anticipation of what they knew was coming. First, they heard a loud "rubbing" sound and finally realized it was someone’s finger pulling across the PA system’s turntable needle to see if it was on and "warmed-up". Then, a giant "thud!" echoed across the campus as the needle was dropped onto the record. Immediately, the person who had actually gotten into the press box was well on his way elsewhere, after, of course, locking the press box door behind him. A giant rotating scraping noise followed. This was determined to be the needle grinding through the first blank grooves of the record as it spun. The way I heard the story, the record opened (loudly) with the sound of a World War II airplane dog fight. "Eeeeeoww…ratatatatat (machine gun fire)." By then, some lights in the dorms began to come on. This was followed by a steam train. Whistle, hissing, puffing, chugga-chugga, etc. More and more dorm lights were coming on, and the "observers" on the other side of the campus were already rolling in convulsive laughter. The steam train was followed by various other sound effects, finally ending in an extended oompah musical number from a merry-go-round’s steam calliope. After that, the needle became "locked" in the blank grooves at the end of the record, endlessly repeating that rotating scraping sound.
Campus Security rushed to the scene, but it apparently took them quite a while to find a set of press box keys so they could get in and turn off the PA system. By then, the whole campus was awake. One of those involved later suggested that they write anonymously to Campus Security and ask for their record back. But, I don’t think they did.
From Mike Sperling (10/22/02):
The next day, Tom Scanlan was called in to the Athletic Director's office where he was 'grilled' about his possible participation. With a straight face, Tom claimed absolutely no knowledge of the incident. As he left the AD's office, the AD called to him and remarked with a twinkle in his voice, "Very good practical joke..... Whoever did it."
From Tony Riggs (10/23/02):
You have correctly identified me as one of the "perps" in the Stadium Speaker episode. You thereby bring back some pleasant memories of past hell-raising at UCONN, mostly with Trumbull House members of WHUS. I will not name any of the other participants in this escapade, though after over 40 years they probably wouldn't mind. We were all in this on a pretty much equal basis, from conception to planning to launching.
Jeff got the story right with the exception of a few minor details -- if my memory serves after all this time. And he tells the story far better than I could. The incident happened in late spring, not winter. I remember this because we wanted to spring something in connection with the annual Military Day (hence the battle sound effects), when the ROTC guys spent an afternoon strutting their stuff at Memorial Stadium. We were not equipped to put anything on the sound system during the ceremony (though we considered it), so we cooked up the idea of blasting something in the middle of the night before. Anyway, I know it was spring because with most dorm windows open for relief from the heat, we knew we would achieve maximum disturbance.
I did indeed cut a disk on WTIC equipment, borrowing sound from their extensive sound effects library. We were concerned about making a clean get-a-way, so I recorded about 60 seconds of silence before the sound began. Two of us went up into the stadium sound room (thanks to Scanlon's adept conning of a key to same) and in short order had things ready to roll (literally). We debated over what level we should set the system to, wanting it to be heard, but not distorted. We set it to just over half volume, placed the needle in the groove, and then turned everything on. There was very little sound from the system during that interval until the end of the recorded silence (contrary to those other reports). Then the noise erupted just as we were exiting the building leaving us to think we had cut it too close. I wish I still had a tape of those sounds. As I recall, it started with a few blasts from a diesel train horn, followed by a clanging bell, followed by the train loudly leaving the station. Then we had a few minutes of battle noises (possibly fighter plane dog-fights), which crossfaded into a bagpipe and drum serenade, ending (I think) with the steam calliope. Had I been skilled enough, I would have recorded something at the end where the groove repeats, a clink or something, but I was glad to simply make the disk correctly in the first place.
It took Security at least 45 minutes to get up to the sound system and turn it off. When they did, they did it with the loud scraping of needle-across-grooves that you describe. They took so long that we considered returning to the scene of the crime and playing it again, but we lost our nerve. I can still see Mrs. "K" (Kellogg), house lady of Trumbull House, looking at me levelly the next morning and saying, "Tony, you were involved in that, weren't you." She knew us pretty well.
The Day Everyone Will Remember Forever
Students and University administators gather outside the Student Union on Friday, November 22, 1963, as devastating news came from Dallas, Texas, that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.
Winston Heimer, Class of 1965 recalled what happened that Friday in November 1963: "I had just left the WHUS studio for a 1 o'clock class when the bulletin cleared the wire. We put a monitor in the window and the broadcast was heard by people standing on the Student Union terrace". "It was a dark weekend," Heimer said.
Russ Ginns also recalled that moment in history: "I was walking on the lawn between the Library and Physics buildings and heard the news in some fashion. I went to the Student Union and saw that scene out the window. I believe that Jeff Tellis was at the station at the time the news story came in on the UPI teletype, as I recall him remarking that the teletype gave out a 5 bells signal, which represented the highest importance of news urgency. The Daily Campus came out with a rare Saturday issue and classes were cancelled on Monday. I think that WHUS-FM was off the air all weekend, and WHUS-AM broadcast an around the clock constant feed of CBS News".
From Peter Phillips: I have fond memories of WHUS and UCONN. Probably the most significant, of course was the Kennedy Assination. As News Director at the time, I was pretty busy and think I didn't leave the studio for a couple of days. The University let us stay in the Student Union all night. I still have all the UPI teletype copy from that event. I do remember the Big W just finishing his show as the bulletins came in.
PROFILES AND MEMORIES OF WHUS PEOPLE OF THE '50s, '60s, & '70s
From Jeff Tellis, 2/12/02
Yes, I recognize all of the names you sent. As for knowing what's going on with the people you've named... here's what I know or don't know about each:
Dave Desmond - last I knew was a social worker in the San Antonio, Texas area. He originally came from Deep River, CT.
Johnny Lund - (real name: John Eklund) - haven't heard from nor about him since UConn. He originally came from Ohio, as I recall.
Norm Voog - I had Thanksgiving dinner at his house in Ridgefield, CT this past November. He is an attorney in Ridgefield, and was divorced from Mary Lou McGuire a number of years ago. (She was also from WHUS and sometimes used the name Karla Saunders on the air). He has 2 grown sons.
Gary Girard - last I knew was a regional field rep in New England for the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters). If he does own a station in Southwestern CT, I'd be curious to know the call letters and/or location.
Carol Petito - married John Babina (also of WHUS) and had one son. Carole and John helped establish WMNR, a local community station in Monroe, CT where they live. Carole had been in pharmacy, but now mostly does fund raising work for WMNR.
Georgia Nikola - living on the West Coast as I recall. Was/is married. Russ Ginns from WHUS has been in touch with her. He's in San Diego, working as a civilian for the Navy, last I knew.
Pete Phillips - I haven't heard a word from/about him since UConn.
Winston Heimer - last I knew was doing PR work for the CT Dept of Health. Lives in West Hartford, I think. Married with a grown son.
Gene Roure - taught for a number of years at the private Pomfret School in CT. Now is a tech consultant in industry. Married with a grown daughter.
As for me, yes, I was with the ABC Radio Network for a few years, including the infamous strike in which I was on the air doing overnights for Charlie Greer on WABC... the envy of every radio nut kid at the time. I then became General Manager of WPKN at the University of Bridgeport and built it up from 10 watts to 10,000 watts during my stay there. And, then I moved to upstate New York and was President and Executive Director of IBS for about 10 years. I'm still on the IBS Board of Directors, do their newsletter layouts and work at the annual IBS Convention. (This year, it's March 8-9-10, 2002 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC).
Full time, I'm with Avon Products in New York as Lead Technical Analyst, doing tech support for Macintosh computers. Still a big radio fan - went to a Museum of Broadcasting presentation a few months ago featuring Dan Ingram, now of WCBS-FM, but formerly of WABC.
I've been after John Murphy - the professional General Manager of WHUS for a number of years - to get a WHUS alumni event together. It's almost happened a few times, but didn't actually come off. John is also on the IBS Board and I'll see him again in a few weeks. Why not write him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest an alumni event again.
Gotta go catch a train. But, great to hear from you and I'd like to know what you've been up to since Storrs.
From Win Heimer (The Big W), 2/27/02
I've bookmarked your URL. It's a great site!
To update you: After UConn graduation I went to NYU grad school, majored in Radio-TV production. Did a masters thesis project that was a science-fiction radio drama which I wrote, produced and directed. Great fun. I got student actors from the Stella Adler School to donate their talent and we did live sound effects as they had been done in the heyday of radio. The equipment we used to produce the show was "War of the Worlds" vintage!
Met my wife, Carol, at NYU as she was getting her MA in Psych Nursing. She was a great sound effects technician for my project as she stomped on straw brooms, shattered window panes, etc...
Two years in the Army followed. Was stationed at US Army HQ, Europe, Heidelberg in the office of the chief of public affairs. Norm Voog and Mary Lou stopped by to see us as they traveled thru Europe. I helped oversee American Forces Network Radio programming which originated in Frankfurt. Our son, Karl, was born at a US Army hospital in Heidelberg in 1968. Back home in '69-- one year as a newsman at WOWW Radio, Naugatuck, convinced me it was time to get out of the business...
Daughter Eileen born in 1970 at Waterbury Hospital. We moved to Manchester from Naugatuck and then to South Windsor and West Hartford.
Worked as a public information officer for almost 30 years (!) with the state-- mostly with the Dept. of Health. Took early retirement in 1997.
Am currently doing media relations full-time for The Governor's Prevention Partnership, a private non-profit Hartford-based organization that aims to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and violence among youth.
We've seen Jeff a couple of times over the past decades, most recently about five years ago as he stopped by on his way back to NY. He used to kid us that our son Karl's middle name - Jeffrey - was due to Jeff.
Would be great to have a live in-person get-together. I know Jeff had been working on a reunion a couple of years back that fell thru. I had even notified a couple of WHUSers I know who live near me in West Hartford and had worked at the station in the '50s and'60s and would have been interested in attending.
Two more random thoughts then I'll sign off:
1.) Who was the blind fellow that did the classical show? I believe he followed right after me late afternoons. (His name was Bob Murphy)
2.) Al Robbins, I believe, lives in Vernon and is involved - I believe - in solar-energy equipment sales...
Enough rambling. Great Site. Keep it up!
From Georgia Nikola Mahoney, 4/3/02
Love the website! Loved getting an email from Carol again! I sent the website on to Russ Ginns yesterday & your request for his email address today. I'm sure he'll email you & he'll get such a big kick out of the website. He has old tapes & he remembers EVERYTHING! I see Russ & Bev a couple of times a year. He's doing well after licking cancer!
From Russ Ginns, 4/4/02
Jeff Tellis, Tom Lillis, Manny Makiaris, and I started at WHUS in 1960. Tellis got into it first and the rest of us then got going with it. Lillis and I (with help from Jeff and Manny in Middlesex Hall writing the night before) did the Percy and Ed On Campus recording about the campus "paternalism" "riots". It's odd to me that we appear, from the schedule I've sent, to be on air until 3:30AM. My recollection is that we had to exit the Student Union at 1AM Fri and 12AM Sat night and that's why I was asked to record some Ancient Archives tapes for playing on the Crown tape playback units that took 3-hour tapes. That process began using 1.5-Hour tapes on the Magnacord in the studio. I did one of those and two of the 6-hour variety. Jeff gave me the "worn out" tapes in '65 or so when they were to be tossed out and I still have many hours of these, but not all. I plan to get a Mac with SuperDrive and record them on DVD so I don't have to be forced to do MP3 files on 'em that few people can play. The Crown decks (or were they Presto, as one leader tape from a show I recorded in '64 says?) weren't recorders, so to record a 6 hour Ancient Archives show I put the large reels on a rack mounted deck in Studio "A" that wasn't a recorder either and placed the Wollensak recorder on it's head on top of the rack as the half-track recorder. Someone would start both decks and I'd start "broadcasting" a 3-hour show. Then we flipped the tapes over for the other side. It was the only way to record on those huge reels!!
I still have all my vinyl and now a bunch of oldies CDs including the Times Square Records series, so I'm still Rockin'.
Did Jeff contribute to his bio? Perhaps he forgot those Sunday stints (and some evening work too) at WILI in Willimantic. He would have to come in and sign on and work all day, I came in with him a few times for company and may have read the sign on. They used to have a contest around mid-afternoon and I recall him having Dick Seals from Middlesex Hall call in with the answer so he and the rest of us could collect and share the big prize - a half gallon of ice cream from a Willimantic advertiser. The contest consisted of playing records and the first letter of the title of the songs would spell a word. One time Dave Scanlon (1962 "Special Events Director" and later Chief Engineer?) was doing this stint and played a series so that the winning word was "SLOBS". He had quite a sense of humor.
From John Eklund, 1/12/03
From Tony Riggs, 4/5/02
I am pleased and flattered that someone from WHUS was able to track me down. I have browsed the web page, and what a flood of memories those clippings evoked. I remember that old Gates board that looked like such a complete mystery when I first saw it during my healing class (fall '58). Some of the names I recognize: Jeff Tellis was in my healing class. His talent was boundless. I am glad to see him on the mailing list. Dave Millson ('62?), Don Miller, my roommate for a semester. He was a fine folk singer who worked weekends in New Haven. I think he tried news reading on a lark. Judi Shapiro. I think I may have "control-oped" for her on occasion. Pat Fontane, now teaching Sociology in the Midwest somewhere. Tom Lillis ('63?). Norm Zareski. I "control oped" for him a couple of times in my healing year. And Carol Petito was a mainstay during my last couple of years on campus. I remember her as a tireless worker for WHUS.
As you can see by my e-mail address, I am at the Voice of America. I started in 1983 as a staff announcer, and am just about to end my career (next year) as a news anchor. When I left UCONN in 1964, I was working part time at WTIC as a classical music announcer. In '65, Leighton Gage ('63, former chief engineer of HUS) and I went to Europe, ostensibly for the summer, but we ended up staying two years. I made ends meet by working in a U-S Army laundry, pressing pants, and as a construction engineer in Antwerp and Heidelberg. I managed to improve my school-boy French, and to learn a bit of German. Back home, I got my First 'Phone, and did a stint at WTOR in Torrington (now WSNG).
In 1968, I married Garland Talmage, an American whom I met in Munich, and we spent our honeymoon, on a shoestring budget in Europe. When we returned home early in 1969, I needed to settle down to a responsible life (for a change) and went job hunting. Nixon had just moved into the White House, and no one was hiring until they knew what he was going to do. . .so I fell back on broadcasting, and have been at it since. I worked at all-news WAVA for a year before moving to public radio, WETA-FM. I was there 13 years before I moved to VOA.
I never did graduate from UCONN, sad to say. I guess I spent too much time in radio stations when I should have been in libraries.
Ultimately, I did get my degree from the University of Maryland, '74, as a part time student. (It is no way to go, believe me.)
There have been a lot of changes in broadcasting since those fun years at WHUS. Call me old fashioned, but I'll take the good old days. Even here at the Voice, they are encouraging us to inject personality into our news work. Friendly news. Humph!
From Norm Zareski, 6/27/02
Some names from my days at WHUS include Al Fink, Marv Weinburg, Greg Tuchay, Elaine Bilsky, Pete Sutheim (whom I think I heard once on an LA classical radio station), Warner Klapprodt, Bob Weisman, Tom Scanlon, Rich Gailunas, Dick Rice.
Got my BSEE in 1961 from UConn and immediately headed away from winter and have been in the high tech business in Southern California (read LA) for 90% of the last 40 + years. Got an MSEE from UCLA, learned to fly, and got badly bitten by the travel bug. While trying to earn a living in the volatile aerospace and then the computer business, my UConn mainsqueeze - (Susan Klasson Zareski - AEPhi/Nursing '63) - and I started traveling and I have been to about 60 countries so far. Retired at end of 1998 from selling computers and have tried to reinvent myself as a travel writer/photographer/digital artist and have a modest amount of success so far. I live in the LA suburb known as the Palos Verdes Peninsula -about 12 miles south of LAX- and would welcome hearing from any and all past friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
Best regards and much luck with this WHUS Alumni project.
From Pat Fontane, 5/1/02
(The Website is) an interesting roll-back in time . . .
Names not included on the list: Leighton Gage, Tony Riggs, Pete Sutheim, Tony Welch, Tom Scanlon, Dick Bouchard, Pat(rick) Fontane [that's me]. I graduated in 1963.
Interesting memories about Verv. I thought I should try the product since I was "pitching it" on the evening sports program. I did. Got exaggerated muscle spasms in classes that day. The product has long since been taken off the market.
I went into higher education . . . getting a Ph.D. in sociology (1971). Knocked around a few years. Spent another 10 in aging services as an administrator. Came back to teaching college in 1987. Been doing research on senior (older) athletes and other fun stuff since then. Been married twice (still) and have three kids.
I don't care much for UConn these days. But good to tweak my history button with your contact.
From Peter Phillips, 3/21/02
Peter Phillips here, once and long ago News Director at WHUS. Checked out your website and it stirred a lot of memories!
Obviously you picked up a blurb about me from the DMI website, but I thought I'd give you a bit more detail.
After UCONN, I went to UCLA for my Masters in Theatre/Design. I toured with the late Carrol O'Connor (Archie Bunker)as Road Stage Manager for his play,"The Ladies of Hanover Tower." Then I taught at a small NJ college for four years. From there I went to Group "W" Westinghouse Broadcasting and worked on a variety of shows as a designer, assistant director, and associate producer. Shows like TW3 (That was the Week That Was), David Frost, and Earth Lab. During this period I got married and left television for the corporate world, first as a designer for a ski resort company, and then to the Gillette Company where I rose through the ranks. From Gillette, I went to Digital Equipment Corp. until the company died. (Perhaps some of us helped them die!)
Finally, I went off on my own as a consultant in Branding and Brand Identity.I also teach seminars for DMI in Design Management and write Brand case studies for the Harvard Business School.
I got divorced about ten years ago. I have two children. Benjamin, my oldest, is Technical Director and Assistant Production Manager of the Boston Ballet. My daughter is a student at Ohio Wesleyan, studying Primatology. ( I call her my monkey lady!)
Good luck with the site. I'll check it periodically. Maybe we (1960's types) should do a reunion before we are all too old.
PS I have some old audio tapes of the "Award Winning Phillips-Parker Evening Report" show I did with Ned Parker. Ned did the sports.
From Dave Millson, 3/5/03
I went through heeling and on to Announcer/Control Operator, News Director and Senior Advisor, a mythical post created to keep me among the company of the anointed -- station managers and such like glitterati -- since I refused to be separated from my mistress, the Theatre Department. She demanded obeisance of me virtually night and day; it's a wonder that this poor boy could squeeze in time for the CCC Marathons; oddball, pre-curfew "UFO sightings" in South Campus; the STOP movement (a saga that should be fully fleshed in reminiscence at the '03 Reunion); creating Husky Heath Kits for the then-new modular carrier-current transmitters; and the usual announcing, control op and Tom Scanlan-baiting activities at the studios.
Flash forward to 2003: I now operate under the assumed name of CopyRIGHT Word Merchants: some full-service bank advertising, technical education magazine articles, CAD/CAM/CNC trade pub stories... and the occasional freelance work local to New Haven, Vermont. Since business consists of wherever I can log on with DSL, my long-suffering spouse, Alyce, and I spurned the allure of later-life in Waterbury for the snowy fields and healthful waft of Holstein manure in Vermont's "banana belt," the Champlain Valley. When asked why a move to the wilds, quoth I, "Bright blue sky above and room to go and come: I loved my fellow man the best when he was scattered some." Amen.
From Dave Delage, 6/19/02
I was a Studio engineer at WDRC Hartford, in the control room when the Great NorthEast Blackout hit, a scary time. Moved to Chief Engineer, WGSM AM-FM Huntington, NY and then (big mistake) to Chief Engineer, WGHQ AM-FM, Kingston, NY. Finally, got married (1st time), spent a year down the street from Jeff Tellis (ABC) as a studio/tape/maintenance engineer at WCBS, NewsRadio 88, New York. Worked with Osgood, Summerall and Bradley when they (and I) were young. Jeff as a replacement for Charlie Greer was better than Charlie, that's why they settled the strike! I have as many crazy CBS stories as WHUS stories. Never did graduate, radio was too much fun except for NY which was union.
Left radio (1970) and worked in the medical-hearing testing market in Maryland, then Michigan, then Minnesota eventually running the Special Instrument Division of Maico Hearing Instruments. Then worked in medical electrodes for LecTec and electronic test for Analogic (Anal-logic), Wayne Kerr and Vicor all north of Boston. 1984 went out on my own with a succession of ventures in electronic test and hearing aid programming/testing. Following the second divorce in 1996, the remainder is called Supertimer a neat business that makes timers/tracks for the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Hey, it's a iving and fun. (If you have grandkids that want to win, call me.)
Met and married my third and final wife five years ago, she's CEO of a psych hospital here in Colorado Springs. It's easy when you have the right woman.
From Wayne Norman, 7/14/02
I did jock work (including a Broadway show on FM) at WHUS '66-70 and held several exec positions including CCO (Chief Control Op). Wayne Bennett (last seen working for Rite Aid) cleared me. I still have my WHUS membership card with his signature on the back clearing me--just like on your site.
WILI has had many former WHUS'ers come thru its doors. Some are still there-like the guy who hired me in 1970, Dave Evan. You may have overlapped one year with him. I think he was WHUS Station Manager around 1968--his last year. He married Donna Evan, who was also with WHUS, but not on-air. Dave is now GM at WILI, while Donna is Sales Mgr. Among the other WHUS'ers who have come thru WILI, Steve Kotchko was news director in early 70-s until he left to join the newly starting CT Radio Network (or CPIN--CT Public Info Network as it began), John Tuite (still at WHUS, but he has done news at WILI for over ten years now), Larry Davis, Tom Lyons (a/k/a/ Pete Scagnelli--who's now a PRIEST). Denise (Rustmann) Bellamy did WHUS in late 70s and worked at WILI from 1979-2000, first as a jock, then in sales. Les Morrell did jock/sales for WILI from about 1972-1980.
A few other names from my era include News Director Robert Fried (I still see him occasionally-usually at UC games)... Gene Ciran, aka Jay Brooks, aka Ira Cohen, aka Jay McCormack, who was last heard on WELI, New Haven.....Harry Van Dyck (now a CPA in LA)....and Gordon Buist, who was chief engineer. Kotchko, Buist, Van Dyck, Evans and I are planning a get together in Mansfield in August. I'm still very close with Bob Porter, who did UC BKB on WHUS in late 60s with Dave Silverman. Dizzy Lynda Arnold was an office gal. And I recall Donna MacDonnell too. Al Miner was another chief engineer I recall. Other names on your site I recognized: Jeff Tellis, Win Heimer (who was a guest on my WILI show a year ago), and Tom Dinnella. I remember Jeff Tellis getting us in with ABC Radio. We became an ABC affiliate while I was there.
Wonder where all those closed-circuit AM transmitters are now? Thanks for the memories.
From LesMorrell, 11/11/02:
I attended UConn from 1967-71 as an undergrad, 1972 as grad student in the School of Communications. I grew up in NY and was hooked on Alan Freed, Murray the "K", Cousin Brucie, etc. When I came to UConn, I stumbled into the Student Union Building on a Friday Night, and saw "Sexy Rex Faithful" (Mike Johnson) on the air through the double doors leading into Master Control. He came out of the studio and told me that I too could do this! The rest is history.
As a freshman, I did various off-air jobs until getting my own shows in 1968: "Stage & Screen", "The Blues Show", and "Classical". In 1968, I took over the Ancient Archives Show which moved to Saturday night from 9pm -2AM. This was preceded by the Steven "K" Show (Steve Kotchko) from 5-9PM. I held various positions on the WHUS Board, eventually becoming Station Manager in 1971. I was re-elected as Station Manager in 1972, becoming the only grad student to hold that position.
After leaving UConn in 1972, Dave Evan offered me an on-air position at WILI working nights. We played "AM progressive rock" at night, but on Friday nights from 6-12, I hosted the Ancient Archives Oldies Show for 8 years continuing the tradition started at UConn. I left WILI in 1980, and joined WNLC/WTYD in Sales, eventually becoming Sales Manager. In 1988, I joined WLIS, Old Saybrook as General Manager. In 1989, I joined the new Channel 26 TV in New London in Sales. In 1990, I bought a Subway franchise in Waterford, eventually owning three Subway stores. Currently, I am still a Subway owner, and I also work for Subway Corporate as a Trainer.
Some of my best memories and accomplishments at WHUS:
In 1972, we raised a record setting amount for the Marathon, due primarily to the "Hudock on the Hammock" promotion. Where Bill Hudock rocked on this hammock in the Student Union for 72 hours while people pledged money on his behalf. Also in 1972, with Mark Roy as News Director, we provided the best Election Night Coverage in the history of the station with accolades coming in from listeners and VIP's all over the state. This was my proudest day as Station Manager.
In 1971, I led an over-the-air pledge drive to get funds to stay on the air over the summer for the first time. We also broadcast live the UConn Baseball team's games from the College World Series in Nebraska that year. Along with Kevin Buckeley and Gordon Buist and me doing color, we broadcast all home and away UConn Hockey games that year. (Some on tape delay due to UConn Basketball taking precedent some nights).
I was also the front man trying to convince President Babbidge and Gulley Hall to get the station to raise power to 3000 watts while a small window of opportunity existed. (Thanks again to Ralph Windquist and Al Miner). I was also there for the student strikes and take-over of the radio station during the 'Kent State" days.
My most memorable moment? Barry Berman was hosting a talk show with Kevin Buckley engineering. Barry asked the ASG President what his fondest memory of UConn was. His response: "The first time I got laid". Unfortunately, Kevin forget to run the seven scond delay tape. The next day, Dean of Students John Manning called me on the carpet for that one. I said don't worry, no one important was listening. Said Manning: "I guess you don't consider President Babbidge important"? How was I to know that President Babbidge, as ex WYBC man at Yale, was fond of listening to WHUS!
Here are some names of other WHUS people from the late 60s and early 70s: Jackie Lederman, Joe Tomey, Joe Tiernan, Barry Berman (CRN), Kevin Buckley, Jim Bishop, and Toby Tolikan.
From Mike Dalton, 8/6/02
I just got my UConn Traditions magazine and saw your write-up in the Alumni News. So, I went to your WHUS Alumni web site & enjoyed surfing the site. When I scanned the Photo Gallery, I was shocked to see MY picture. The "Whuster" is ME!!!!!! However, I don’t remember being called the Whuster or being a "faithful man-servant". Of course, that may have been in my "first" stint at WHUS, my freshman year, before I flunked out.
I went to UConn from 62-67 (the 5-year plan!!!). My Jr. year, I was Traffic Manager, and my Sr. year, I replaced Norm Hodge as Station Manager!!! In addition to my superior management skills, my on-air talents included a twice weekly radio show under the name Dick Sundi (God knows where that came from???) and my theme song was from the Lone Ranger (the William Tell Overture). Unfortunately, my crappy memory doesn’t allow me to recall many of the folks at WHUS, even when I see their names and faces!!! I vaguely recall Norm Hodge and can’t remember Tom Hindle and they both lived at Sherman House too!!!! One of the people I do remember was my Music Director (who somehow isn’t listed in the 1966 announcement of officers); his name was Dave Evan & he went to work at WILI later, then I don’t know. I most remember him when I sort through my 45 collection (which I play on my Seeburg 200 Juke Box) and see all the "promotional only" stamps on the labels. Dave would sort through the new 45 arrivals and when we got multiple copies, there’d be one for WHUS, one for Dave, and one for Mike!!!! I also recall the fun times during CCC and the "Gong Gong" song; God, how we hated that song, esp in the wee hours went few listeners called in. I remember the CMFCL as something Craig McCarter invented or refined. I remember it as a large reel tape deck that reversed and played more music on the reverse track, then reversed again at the beginning for 8 hours worth of music. The funny part about that was that if you went to bed at midnight listening to the 1st hour of the tape, then woke up at 8 am, you’d hear the SAME music as when you went to bed!!!!
I graduated in 1967 and married my long time UConn girlfriend, the lovely Irene Borys. Having been an ROTC cadet, I went into the Army, and was stationed in a "hardship tour" in Key West, FL protecting America from invasion by Fidel Castro!! I was very fortunate to be the only officer there who did not rotate to Viet Nam. We had both of our girls in the Army, Christine in El Paso, TX in 1968 during Air Defense Basic School, and DeeDee (real name Andrea) in 1970 in Key West. After the Army, we moved to the Washington, DC area (MD for 7 years and VA for the last 25) where I worked for the Federal Government for 31 years til my retirement in 1999. We now spend our time enjoying our 18-month-old grandson, Tommy. I enjoy playing golf a lot, and Irene & I love the beach at Ocean City, MD where we have a condo. Well, that’s the scoop on me. I enjoy your web site and hope to see it grow.
From Bob Fried, 2/3/03
I was a WHUS staffer from Feb. 1966- May 1968 and, for much of that time, I was the News Director. I initially heard about your web site from the Alumni newsletter.
As to details regarding my days at WHUS, it was an exciting period for many reasons. It was during this period that we were able to start boosting our FM power (it also meant discarding "90.5" and moving to "91.7") - we also received our new, updated equipment which, with the help of our engineers, improved our lives at the station. We also received news feeds from various networks; at one time we had a connection from CBS; I believe ABC might be the other one -- we considered it quite a coup at that time. It was during this time that we also added a telephone line using our call letters; 429-WHUS. It was as a result of my being News Director that I was asked to deliver daily television news to the UConn branches in 1967-68 as part of the first televised network between Storrs and its branches.
Following graduation in 1968, I went to UConn Law School and have been practicing law ever since with offices in Hartford and Middletown.
BTW, I applaud what you have done with the web site; it was a very enjoyable trip down memory lane and provided me information about other timelines in the history of WHUS.
From Norm Hodge, 8/6/02
Just saw the site in the Alum magazine and had to drop an email to you. I was the first "Advertising" salesman in fall/spring of 1962. I had decided that I needed to get involved with a campus organization and spoke to Carol Petito about it; next thing I knew I was selling ads. The next year I became the Business Manager and then followed Carol as Station Manager for 65 and 66. Mike Dalton took over after me as GM. I tell everyone that WKRP was reality TV…tame compared to WHUS.
Craig McCarter made WHUS into an incredible technical marvel for its time as I recall. I remember working on the new studios and Craig worked out a way to go to simulcast AM/FM with the push of a single button so we could split for AM commercials and then rejoin for simulcast; this was really cool for technically challenged guys like me.
I remember that I had murderous battles with the student senate over funding in 65 and 66. Our arch enemy was a guy that I seem to remember was named Rick Aronovitz. He fought us for every scrap of funding which was considerable. One of the highly technical line items in the engineering budget was for 4ea. "DJ-AS Pacifiers" right near some filters, chokes and resistors. We had to fold when challenged and agree to only 2 of them as approved. Thanks Ricky, I can now admit that I left one "S" of the description; they were chairs to pacify the DJ’s who were complaining about the lousy seating (and we only really needed 2)!!
I left UCONN for the USAF in 66. Lived in Hollywood CA as a supply officer and was transferred to the Azores, Portugal in Jan. of 1968. Our Administrative director, Joan (Ginger) Brereton and I got married in March of 68 and still are. I went to work for Norton Company in 1970 in sales and marketing, was Director of Marketing research when I left for Data General in 1982. I had a number of positions at DG until 1993 when I started my own Procurement Consulting firm Sherwood Management Group.
WHUS was great experience; I’ll go through all the yellow dusty stuff and see what dirt I can dig up.
From Dave Schancupp, 7/30/02
I came across the web site after reading the blurb in the recent UConn Alumni magazine. I was a member of WHUS from 1957-61. I still remember being in the studio when the news of Sputnik came over the wire in October, '57. In 1959, I became Special Events & Sports Director, and did play-by-play for UConn Football and Basketball for two years. My "color" commentator was Ken Gold and we traveled as far north as Buffalo and Orono, Maine, and down to Philadelphia and MSG for basketball. During 1960-61, I produced a Sunday night "Opera House" program, broadcasting complete operas (from my own collection) with commentary. Ken and I are still close and see each other frequently.
After graduation, I attended law school at Columbia, and then saw active duty as a JAG with the Air Force. In 1968, I returned to New Haven to practice law, and have been here ever since. In 1989, I retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Lt. Col. I'd love to hear from any alumni who remember me.
From Ken Gold, 8/2/02
Dave Schancupp told me about your website..which is great! I was Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Campus student newspaper. As such, I had a weekly radio program on WHUS called, "The Editor Speaks". I also broadcast color on the WHUS UConn football and basketball games, as sidekick to deep-voiced Dave Schancupp who did the play-by-play. I remember driving to Yankee Conference schools over weekends in Dave's little Renault, to broadcast games (circa 60-61). Always did my weekly WHUS Daily CampusEditor's show live…that is until I actually arranged to have a soul sold on the air (there was a guy roaming around campus, with actual contracts to sign for students who were willing to sell their soul). After doing the transaction live on my show, several of the campus churches complained. From then on, WHUS insisted I tape the weekly show, "just in case". After that, my programs were never as good.
After UConn I did my Army service as a Military Policeman at Fort Gordon, Ga. Then, I earned an MS at Boston Univ., and became a civilian for the Air Force putting out their base newspaper at Hanscom Field in Concord, MA. At that point, my career turned towards computers. Was PR Mgr at Digital Equipment Corp, in Maynard Mass, when I met my now wife of 33 years, Joann. Digital offered the first small computer, the PDP-8. When it came off the line, I photographed it, wrote news releases and sent them around the world. My next stop was to write and direct motion pictures and employee TV programs for IBM.
Closer to current time, I spent 21 years in NJ, in charge of the Lipton Company's communications. Was up to my ears in tea and soup, doing annual reports, newsletters, speeches, etc. One day, they put up a notice saying anyone over 50 could have a generous early retirement package. Grabbed it. Since I'd been making speeches for corporations, I decided to become a college professor, which I did for five years. Unfortunately, got a bad case of vertigo which caused me to resign my professorship. I started my own business, doing PR for companies. My website is http://www.kenthedragonslayer.com/ Take a look. I'm the last dragonslayer in NJ. Now, retirement is in my future. I'll continue to do PR for Rotary International…spent about 25 years as PR Chairman for Rotary Clubs in Northern, NJ.
Really look forward to hearing from UConn alumni (especially from the Daily Campus and WHUS).
From Bill Palmer
As a freshman in 1966 I was awed to learn that I could get on the radio. I spent many of my high school nights up all night listening to the likes of New York talk radio (they didn't call it that then) personality Long John Nebel and I imagined that the best possible job anyone might ever get would be to talk all night long.
When it came to learning the control board as well as anything else technical, I was hopeless, and the technical guys regarded me as an unintentional saboteur of their work. They had a point. When, in my second semester, I was assigned a morning slot, it was a miracle that the station actually went on the air.
In my freshman year, I suggested to Dave Evan that I interview speakers who came to campus. Dave, for reasons of his own, let me run with this idea, and I was lucky enough to interview Homer Babbidge--who became a friend--as well as people like Norman Thomas (who told me I would die young in a nuclear holocaust), Barry Goldwater, (I laughed at him when he told me conservatives would run America someday), Abba Eban, James Farmer and many others. It was pretty heady stuff for a 17 year old freshman.
Later in my WHUS career I recall doing live coverage of the 1968 elections with Steve Kotchko (Steven Kaye, I believe, in those days) and served on occasion as WHUS' advertising director, a position which I recall paid very well for the minimal amount of work I did. In 1969 I was stalked by a UConn female student who decided that based upon my voice tone, that we needed to be together.
As anti war and racial protest mounted at UConn in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970, I found myself deeply involved and did not hesitate to use my position on air to express my beliefs. I am not sure this made me the most popular guy on the staff. In 1970 I gave an address at graduation on behalf of the student strike against the war in Vietnam, and when a reporter (I wish I could recall who it was) from WHUS wanted to interview me after the speech, I thought the irony was delicious. Of course, I gave him an exclusive interview.
After graduation and in the years beyond, I never pursued my radio interest except as an avid listener. The experiences I had at WHUS were formative, fun and influenced me more than I realized, all in positive ways. The folks I remember are, in no particular order: Tom Dinnella, Al Miner, Dave Evans, Steve Kotchko, Linda Arnold, Craig McCarter, Norm Hodge, and Bob Fried.
From Tom Scanlan, 9/15/07
I was at WHUS in 1958, and from June '60-Sept '62. Was staff engineer and in 1961 was PD. I left UConn and WHUS in 1962. Entered USAF, stayed 11 active, ran AFRTS stations in Turkey and Germany; we did first live satellite feed to troops overseas when we broadcast live CBS coverage of Apollo 11 mission, receiving feed from Eurovision, via Telstar.
As a civilian I ran a CBS and three ABC TV stations, ended up owning and operating four ABC stations in Northern Michigan, 1988-2004. Sold it all, retired, enjoying life...seeing country in our Airstream trailer. Two grown and married kids, both with Starz Encore in Denver.