During the Republican Convention in Kansas
City I was assigned to the Today Show.
My job was to mike up the celebrities that appeared on the show.
One of our first guest was William Buckley the noted conservative
writer. I approached him and explained that I was going to mike
him for the broadcast. He gave a slight grin and said OK, as I miked
him I talked about his column. I told him that I read it when ever
it was available but that I had to have a dictionary with me when
I read it. He kind of chuckled and said "But you are improving
your vocabulary aren't you"? I had to agree.
Another guest was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. I went up
to him and explained that I was there to mike him up for the telecast.
He replied in his thick German accent with a Yah. When I finished
with the miking he asked," Whether I was going to screw one
of those things (an ear piece) in his ear". I assured him that
I was not, he replied thanks and seamed pleased that he was not
to get a earpiece.
At the Johnson Space Center in Texas during the splashdown of the
Apollo 14 TV coverage I was with the Foreign Broadcast Service.
TV Broadcasters shared air time as it was available. It was Rai's
(Radio Audizioni Italiane) turn on the satellite, their well known
news presenter Orlando appeared on camera. On cue he started his
delivery in his right hand he held a microphone as he spoke his
left arm began to gesticulate as he read the news. Shortly the earpiece
fell out of his ear grabbing it in his left hand and holding it
to his ear. At this juncture his legs began to replace the arm gestures,
which resulted in him doing a jig. When the people in the TV van
saw this, they exploded in gales of laughter.
Apollo Eight from Kennedy Space Center -it was my job as chief
in charge of Foreign Broadcast Service to install and connect forty
four nations to the space center. Many long hours were spent in
the radio racks at the cape doing circuit connections. All went
well as we approached launch day. Speaking to London. Berlin, Paris,
Rome, Tel Aviv and many other capitals around the world was no problem
as I was always able to speak to a person that understood English.
However Madrid, Spain was a different problem, getting on the mike
I began calling Madrid in English, the answer came back in Spanish.
I asked if there was someone there that could speak English. The
answer came back in Spanish at this point Kevin from the Radio Telefis
Eireann approached me and asked if I was having trouble conversing
with Madrid I said yes and he said may I help you. I said I sure
could use the help as I did not understand Spanish. Now Kevin sprang
into action taking the mike he began to speak in Spanish, it was
fascinating to hear Spanish done with an Irish Brogue. When contact
was established I inquired of Kevin how he was so well versed in
Spanish, he explained that many Irish on Holiday spent their time
in Casa Del Sole in Spain and became very conversant in the language.
Another great moment in TV Broadcasting.