Memories, always worth another look.
Garry Armstrong, my charming husband, wanted to be in the movies. His original aim was stardom on the silver screen. Somewhere along the line, he and I and a whole bunch of people we all knew, found our way to the studios of WVHC, the radio station of Hofstra College, now Hofstra University. It was just 10 watts when Garry and I met in the studios. I was 17, Garry was 22. He was a little older than most of the undergrads because at 17, he’d enlisted in the Marines and by the time he got out, a few years had passed.
He was the Program Director. I was dating the Station Manager, who was, coincidentally, Garry’s best friend, which is where our personal history gets pretty complicated. I was also the Chief Announcer. I knew that I wanted print, not electronic media, but the radio station was a great place for those of us who had never found a place where we fit in.
We were all oddballs, variously talented, and pretty much all of us went on to have careers in media and the arts. We turned out a couple of authors, quite a few audio engineers, a variety of talk show hosts, DJs, TV and radio producers, several news directors, a bunch of commercial writers (in which group I fall), a college professor (maybe two, I’m not sure) … and Garry, the only one of us who became a successful TV reporter. Garry’s career spanned 45 years, 31 of them at Channel 7 in Boston.
Surprisingly little footage of Garry’s on the air career has survived and until today, we had nothing at all from his years at ABC Network. Today, a friend of Garry’s found this footage from 1969, the last year Garry was at ABC before he made the jump to television and working in front of the camera. It’s a promotional piece for ABC News and it features a lot of faces and voices from the past … and one young up and coming fellow, Garry Armstrong.
Let us return to those days of yesteryear, when television cameras used film and there was a war in Vietnam. It was 1969, the year my son was born, the year of Woodstock, the end of an era, the beginning of everything else.
This is how it was, back then. Tape recorders that used tape. I used to know how to edit tape. I bet if you gave me an editing block, tape and a razor blade, I could still do it.
Look at the state-of-the-art equipment circa 1969. The equipment may be antiquated by today’s standards, but the standards by which the news was gathered and reported were incomparably superior to what passes for news reportage today.