COLES COUNTY NEWS:

THE GATHERERS AND THE REPORTING

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83


 

LOUISE AND BOYS MEET WASHINGTON PERSONALITIES

 

SMALL TOWN RADIO ANNOUNCER   MAKES NATIONAL FRIENDS

       During the years of interviewing a variety of people, the university would sometimes help to draw people of national fame to Charleston. Tony Hulman once was in the area and was interviewed by Louise. He and his secretary, June Swango would become very good friends with the Coles County Reporter. Tony Hulman owned Hulman Foods and the Indy 500.

       Mr. Lipton (of tea fame) was once interviewed. He would send nice Christmas gifts to Louise. Chet Atkins of Nashville fame communicated with Louise. She used his "One-Mint Julip" as her theme song. Leon McCullough (steel guitar player for the original Texas Playboys) would develop a friendship and send records. The radio station got hundreds of records from producers. Often, after they were rejected for use by the station, Red and I would get some of them. Many were pretty good listening music.

"I'M GONNA BE A WHEEL SOME DAY"

AND "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"

       Louise’s mid-morning "Talk of the Town" program at WEIC would often play requests for listeners.    Gene Hackett, a Charleston fireman, often requested Fats Domino's "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Some Day".  Rock ‘n Roll was not popular with all listeners and advertisers.  Louise would sometimes get in hot water for playing Fats Domino records.  She would interview local celebrities, community groups and intermingle with music.  Retired Coles County judge, Ben Anderson, requested a song for his   grand-daughter.   He   wrote a nice personal note to thank her for the birthday tune and a previously heard Irish tune.

LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH

       One practical joke that was played on Louise while working was when at WEIC. She started laughing and had trouble stopping. The program that day had a lot of extra music.  At WEIC, a fellow worker placed a very realistic rubber spider on the end of the boom mike.  I wasn’t there, but I guess it caused excitement.  The microphone had an attached “cough button,” to allow the announcer to turn off the mike if having a problem coughing or perhaps an uncontrollable laugh.  The engineers working with her would put music on on-occasion.

LOUISE AND SONS TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON D.C.

       In 1961, our mom, me and my brother packed up in the new Rambler station wagon and took off for Washington D.C. The trip was beautiful.  Everything went fine, except when finally arriving into the city, mom got lost and ended up driving around a circle street a few times.  Somehow we found our way.

       While visiting Washington D.C., the Honorable George Shipley, U.S. Representative from Olney, greeted us and provided us with a car and a driver to show us some of the city. 

       Everything was fine, except the driver had a drinking problem and drove like a mad-man. Our mom told Mr. Shipley, and we decided to see the city on our own.

Louise’s old friend, and our former baby sitter, Nina Shaw, had been working in Washington for years in the Pentagon, hosted us. We resided at her apartment and Red and I drove her crazy. 

Nina was very nice and fun to be around.   We had a good time being with her.

While in Washington, Tilford Dudley, AFL-CIO officer, showed us his building and the huge meeting room where AFL-CIO President George Meany conducted their meetings. We   saw   the   White   House,   FBI   and   the Smithsonian.  I personally, was impressed with the brilliant whiteness of the Capitol Building.  The Taylors were always fans of Senator Estes Kefauver from Tennessee. Our mom took Red and I to his office to met him.  Louise attended a press conference with Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy's Press Secretary. We all saw President    Kennedy take  off  in   his presidential helicopter. I remember seeing the U.S. Flag at full mast indicating the President was present. 

Our trip would end, and our mom packed us up and drove us back to Charleston.  I think now, that she had to be smart to take us on that long multi-state trip.  We were happy to get home.

 


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