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CFN Memories 1956-1957

By Channing Grigsby

 

 

During virtually my entire time at CFN, tech matters were handled by an NCO, from Air Force, I think. I don't remember his name, but he was a career military electronics guy who kept everything alive. There was also another guy, a sergeant I vaguely remember -- kind of NCO in charge of the station. Smoked, wore a small mustache. I remember him as more military than production, and as administrative, but he may have been professional Army AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, the voice of Information, Education and Entertainment). (some things just get grooved in your head). I'm sure there were others -- I don't remember much about directors (you'd think I'd remember who directed the news shows, but I don't). We had an artist whose name was, I think, Jim Giampaoli. I would cut pictures out of week old Time magazines and paste them on black cardboard for cut-away still images during a news story. Jim was responsible for clean images and he drew as number of pieces that were used for slides. We kept an artist easel up in the studio, and one camera was usually dedicated to the images there and the other was on the newscaster or sportscaster.

At six o'clock PM, we did a show called Panorama that consisted of, as I recall, a fifteen minute newscast, a 10 minute sportscast by Gerry Sturges, and a movie review/promo/base theaters segment done by a woman whose name I remember as Pauline. She was blond, 40ish maybe, chic, show-bizy flashy and she liked movies. I have always remembered her names as Pauline Kael, but I am fairly certain she was not the famous movie critic of that name. Toward the end of my time at the station, a group of new people came on, many of them into acting or show business. A young guy named Michael Volkmann was a talented actor and very intense -- sometimes hard to get along with. Al Lohman was part of that group. So was a serious and intense young actor named Richard Learman, who I later heard had gone to Canada to get into theater and TV production there.

 

There was another fellow who worked in the office with Ron Harper whose name I do not remember, but I think he was also Navy. And, of course, Major John P. Morrissey, as CO, and Jim Pattison, civilian advisor.

 

There are probably others -- I apologize to anyone who I have forgotten, but I am awed when I think all this was 42 years ago.

 

Personal recollections: It was great duty. Very much like a job. I had made E-5, which allowed some privileges, was married. As Army, I was stationed at Fort Amador, but I lived at Fort Kobbe (across the canal) and worked at Fort Clayton. Hardly anyone kept track of me and that was marvelous. It was so good, I seriously considered re-upping to stay in AFRTS, but the military has its liabilities and I really wanted an education. So I went to college instead and have no regrets.

 

 

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