Wednesday, June 29, 2016

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #324

HARRY WEST'S LOVE SONGS
Sunday afternoon there was a celebration of Harry West’s career at The Grotto. When I heard about the event from Beverly Johnston and Denise DeLuca, wild horses couldn’t drag me away from attending. As I told a reporter from The Times Leader, Harry was my boyhood idol. 
I became interested in radio and all things electronic broadcasting when I was just about 8. Harry was a mainstay in our house when I was growing up since my dad was a big fan of WARM News. The radio bug was reinforced when I found out a cousin of mine was indeed a radio personality in Pittsburgh. His name was Ed Price. Between Harry and Ed, I was hooked. 
At school we’d have disagreements who would be Harry. Let me explain. As young boys we used to emulate baseball players at recess. I was a second tier rooter for lesser known players. So my favorites were Gus Trandos and Smoky Burgess. No need to fight over being Mantle or Mays. But when it came to imitating Harry in the classroom between classes, well I had to stand my ground. 
My dear friend’s late father Joesph Dellarte Senior of Wyoming even gave me the nickname “Harry” because of my penchant for bringing Mr. West up all the time. I’d travel to remotes and just watch him. When he left WARM in 1969, I thought “good for him” but never got used to the array of replacements at WARM. 
Attending Career Academy of Broadcasting as well as college, I embarked on a radio career myself working at the fledgling WVIA FM. On July 16th, 1973 though, Harry West came back to WARMland. I noticed and was thrilled. After Harry ended his first show upon his return, Bill Kelly played the Carpenter’s “Yesterday Once More”. A few moths later Harry showed up at the WVIA TV studios to do the Auction. We talked. He asked for a tour of the WVIA FM Studio and it was a surreal experience for me. Harry would rattle off the names of the tape recorders, (they were the Revox brand) and commented on the new microphones we had. 
Harry was back in town but I had my own stuff to attend to like graduating college, getting married and embarking on a career in Public Relations. Harry and I interacted a lot in my capacity as a United Way staff member. I dare say we became professional friends. I’d sometimes step back and say, “Holy Shit, I’m on the Harry West show!" when he interviewed me for an event. Somewhere I knew my dad would be smiling. 
Harry was gracious enough to emcee many an event for my work back then and for that I will always be grateful.
After his WARM days we kept in touch but not as frequently as we should have. That was my fault. But Harry, whenever we reconnected never guilted me but busted me in a friendly manner. Like any person, I knew Harry wasn’t perfect. He also knew I wasn’t either. But that transcended the friendly bond we had. 
So on Sunday Harry was feted by friends and family. A family who by the way shared him with us. People talked about his career, his antics and his personality. I spoke about his generous support of non profit agencies. 
WARM was the  community oriented station anyway but Harry never refused a good cause. Plus he threw himself into every promotion with joyful abandon. Hell he even ate my chili!!! 
Much was made of Harry’s support for mentally disadvantaged and disabled citizens. A few people spoke of Harry’s post retirement Happy Hours which consisted of half a drink and an early exit. People talked about how he and WARM played a significant part in their lives. Whether It was speaking about Harry attending a 50th birthday party or a “hop”, the words and good wishes flowed. 
I heard Wendy Westcott Bognar, his daughter say that she and her brothers were always around music because of father’s career. That struck, excuse the pin here, a cord with me. Harry West played numerous love song in his public appearances and on the radio. 
Five decades of love songs. But every person who spoke on Sunday, ever attendee, every person who heard about the event at Grotto and stopped by, they all were giving Harry West the love songs back. The words were all different as well as the emotions………..but given the occasion and the man, they were all in tune. 
Harry West came into the area playing those love songs on the Mighty 590. He left town herring them again. 
And they were about him!

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #325

A FEW PHOTOS FROM HARRY'S EVENT 
I had the opportunity to tell a few stories about Harry.  
Harry with his WARM guys. Joey Shaver fellow legend and WARM Radio icon, Clark Kushke WARM Production Manager, your blog editor (WARM Sales) and Joe Middleton, WARM Utility Man, raconteur and historian. 
Two WARM era fans from the Mid Valley  made the trip to see Harry. Dale Schank, of Dunmore, and Jim Sovaiko, of Throop. 
Former Mayer of Nanticoke John Toole, a good friend of Harry's learns new facts about his friend from Joe Middleton. 
Our good friend Bev Johnston organized this event and also took all the photos you see here today.

Harry's cousins showed up too. They lived out of the area and had to strain to listen to him but were glad to share the memories and the joy From left to right are Lois Samilenko, of Sanatoga and Lois Davidson Samilenko.  
Wonder where the wry sense of humor comes from? It's in the genes. Harry's sister Pat told a few stories about Harry "ahem angelic" childhood. Her husband Don was omnipresent with his camera throughout the event.
IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT HARRY WEST AND ALL OF US HAD A BALL IN WARMLAND.
THANKS HARRY!!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #326

HARRY WEST CELEBRATED 

Former WARM Radio personality Harry West of WARM Radio fame was toasted as friends and families turned out to wish him a fond farewell. West who has lived in this area most of his career, (dubbed by the station personalities as WARMland) is moving back to Pittsburgh with his family. Harry makes up a majority of 590 Mighty Memories on this blog site and you can bet there will be more. 
We are in the process of collecting other photos from our Facebook friends that came out to say hale and farewell to Harry. That will come in future editions of WARM Mighty Memories. But for now, here are two photos of today's event. Harry was quite surprised at The Grotto. 


Accompanied by his daughter Wendy and son Jeff (as well as other family members) Harry was a bit surprised to see the party was for him. 


Harry quickly got himself acclimated to his old friends and had quite the conversation with old co workers Clark Kuschke (center) and Joey Shaver (right). 
Here is a link to a times Leader story written by the Times Leader's Melanie Mizenko. 
 http://timesleader.com/news/local/559491/popular-warmland-radio-personality-harry-west-celebrated

Thursday, June 23, 2016

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #327

CELEBRATING THE LEGEND HARRY WEST THIS SUNDAY JUNE 26th, 3PM AT GROTTO PIZZA, HARVEYS LAKE



Join us as we celebrate a Legend - Harry West of the Harry West Show, WARM Radio, the Mighty 590. The event takes place on the Patio at Grotto, Harvey's Lake, unless rain, then we will go inside. The menu includes Pizza with any topping and Soft Drinks for $10.00. 
No gifts please but we would love to have you bring any memorabilia you may have of Harry or WARM radio during its Hay Day. 
Please contact Denise DeLuca at 570-239-4896. Our good friend Beverly Johnston is organizing the event. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #328

TOMMY WOODS AND HARRY WEST RETURN TO THE AIRWAVES VIA WILK'S SUE HENRY THIS WEEKEND!!!!


Tommy Woods and Harry West on WILK's/Entercom's "Special Edition" with Sue Henry. (Photo: Sue Henry)

Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. But her big event this week is when she, the incredible Sue Henry interviews both Harry West and Tommy Woods. The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on WILK, and on KRZ, Froggy and Max 102 early Sunday morning.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #529

SUNDAY MAGAZINE WITH BRIAN HUGHES 
 Sunday Magazine host Brian Hughes (Photo: 590 Forever archives) 
This Week on Sunday Magazin To mark the 44th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes' arrival in Northeast Pa, we take a look back at WARM radio's coverage of Agnes, narrated by WARM News Director Jerry Heller, with interviews conducted by news reporter Dale Cleveland, featured on the CD produced by WARM entitled "River On A Rampage". Special thanks to Tony Skutnik. 
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and Sports Radio 590, WARM and 6:25am on Magic 93.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #330

WHEN HARRY AND TOMMY MET SUE

WARM Broadcast legends Tommy Woods and Harry West recently met up with WILK's Sue Henry for a little confab full of WARM memories. Both Tommy and Harry are two broadcast legends who along with Joey Shaver are fondly remembered from their WARM days of the 1960s. 
 Here is a photo of Tommy and Harry at the WRKC FM Studios. 


Here is WILK's Sue Henry and Harry West. 
This is a type of mini homecoming for Harry who in 1975 spoke to the staff of WRKC FM Radio. That appearance was arranged by then WRKC FM Assistant Manager, at that time a member of the Upper Echelon of Management at WRKC FM, Jim Gibson. 
(Photo: Sue Henry's Face book page) 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #331

WARM AND COMPETITOR DEBATE ON BROADCAST RIGHTS FOR OPENING OF STADIUM 

This occurred days before the opening of Scranton's Memorial Stadium in 1950. WARM and WQAN (now WEJL) were battling to have exclusive rights to broadcast the opening and the West Scranton/Scranton Tech football game. Here are three articles from that issue that ultimately ended up in favor of the WARM’ competitor WQAN. It turns out the 6 Democrats on the School Board outvoted the three members of the GOP to award the rights to the “Democratic” newspaper’s radio outlet.Here are the articles: 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #332

WARM GETS POWER APPROVAL 

On March 2nd, 1950 WARM Radio was approved to go to a full 5,000 watts of power. That became the fabled 5 towers of power.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #333

590 FOREVER CONTRIBUTOR JOE KLAPATCH RETIRES FROM 911 

 Our good friend and WARM Alumni Joe Klapatch retired from 911 this past week/. Klapatch is responsible for almost all of the newspaper articles you see from the very early days of WARM Radio. We wish him the very best. Here's what he posted on Face book.
I remember from my media classes at King's College, especially a newswriting class that was taught by the great WARM newsman, Jerry Heller, that at the end of a news story, a reporter would generally type -30-, which signaled the end of the story. 
Tonight, or this morning, I will write " 20+" as that signals my retirement from working at 911, for 20+ years. I cannot write -30- as the story is not done, just another chapter. In the past 20+ years, I have had the privilege of working with a number of great people...as I mentioned tonite, I worked with dispatcher #1, the late Jane Ayres through #172. There were good times and not so good. There have been a number of those telecommunicators who are no longer with us that I had the opportunity to work with. Paul McGowan, Linda Smith, Bob Brower and Jane, just to name a few. 
After I left work tonight, I headed to the scene of the final call I worked, three teens that got lost in the woods. I would not hang up until the rescuers from Greenwood, Taylor and Duryea, reached them. It wasn't only me, as usual, it was a team effort at work, but I spent the time at the end making sure they were located. Shortly after I arrived, the rescuers drove into the staging area with the teens, who were visibly scared but had smiles on their faces. What a way to wrap up 20 plus years. 
As far as dispatching, that chapter is closed, except for continuing to work with a great bunch of people with Pennsylvania APCO, which is an organization for dispatchers. The statewide chapter is part of an organization that represents dispatchers worldwide. Besides working with them for years, I have been honored with being named Line Supervisor of the Year by them several years ago and last year, I was awarded a life membership award. I have the honor of being only one of about a dozen people statewide to have had this honor bestowed on them, and until tonight, was the only one or one of the few, who were not retired. 
I start a new path soon as I will be able to help people in another way. I was notified yesterday that I will be working in the research department of the Albright Library, specializing in local history. It's a path which I am eagerly awaiting to go down. I will also continue to try to document the histories of all of the fire companies in Lackawanna County. This is probably more that I have posted on here in this single post, than I have if you combined all of my posts since joining facebook. Don't worry, it will not become a habit.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #334

WARM AND ELECTION DAY 

During this contentious and competitive election campaign of 2016, WARM Radio is primarily a Sports station. But prior to that change over WARM was involved in many an election. Here is an ad going back to the late 1940s campaign in NEPA. WARM true to form was covering the results on Election Night.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #335

WARM’S BOBBY DAY REMEMBERS GORDIE HOWE 

Former WARM utility man Bobby Day has had the opportunity to meet many sports celebreties in his post WARM days. Day met Hockey great Gordie Howe when Day in his capacity as the Public Address announcer for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. Here is what Day wrote on his Face book page. R.I.P. Mr. Hockey. Had the pleasure of meeting Gordie Howe several times over the years at Penguins games when his son Mark was scouting for the the Red Wings. A true gentleman, pleasant and very interesting.
 L-R: Gordie Howe, Me, Mark Howe. Rest In Peace Gordie! Condolences to Mark and the Howe Family.