I grew up at WRKL

Joined: July 7th, 2010, 5:26 am

July 7th, 2010, 5:27 am #1

Both of my parents worked there at the beginning. They were Walter & Joan Johnson. My memories include playing in the swamp, being the "real" Child voice in many commercials, I even did a few stints on Hotline when the issue of the day had any sort of "children" twist. I remember Peter Brooks, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Warden and of course Al Spiro. I remember the Fire, my Dad did not shave the entire rebuilding time, wierd when you figure it was radio! As an engineer my Dad did a lot of remotes... I remember hauling loads of equipment to charity events and Sunrise Easter Services so that they could be broadcast live.
Walter passed away in 1989 (we miss him). Joan is 78 living with me in a small Arizona mountain community.
The years I spent at WRKL were formative and I learned so much. I have often played my commenrative LP.. The Impossible Dream. I also have always remembered some of those lessons learned from Al and so many of those pioneers.
Do whats right ...not popular.
Work hard for your dream.
Stand up for the rights you were given in this country (not sit and applaud!)
Fun to see this site.
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Bob Bittner
Bob Bittner

October 13th, 2010, 6:59 am #2

I was a teenager then, and writing stations for QSL cards. Noticed, at my northern NJ home that there was something on 910 that wasn't there before! Rode my bicycle up to Pamona to see the place. Wow! the trailer (actually two of them melded together). They must have done a great PR job because i saw those long bumper stickers for WRKL all over Rockland County. They were white and day-glo orange (NOT black and orange), with the county shape on the left and big bold WRKL letters at least half inch thick in the center and 910 on the right. At bottom, small letters saying "Rockland's Own Station". This was their first sticker they made. I may still have one of those stickers somewhere. I remember a Readers Digest article about the station after the fire... it said that according to ratings; of all people who listened to Rockland county radio (that's only 2 stations then), WRKL had 92% of the audience and WRRC-1300 had 8%. WRRC sounded real good (jingles were always better than WMCA's, and some of them rivaled WABC's!!) in 1967 as a top-40 station(survey year), but apparently young people preferred NYC top-40 stations. - This was a time when news and local talk, community affairs really paid off, on local radio.
--- Bob Bittner (owner of WJIB (1991- ) & WJTO (1997- )
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Andy Spiro
Andy Spiro

July 26th, 2017, 4:54 pm #3

Both of my parents worked there at the beginning. They were Walter & Joan Johnson. My memories include playing in the swamp, being the "real" Child voice in many commercials, I even did a few stints on Hotline when the issue of the day had any sort of "children" twist. I remember Peter Brooks, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Warden and of course Al Spiro. I remember the Fire, my Dad did not shave the entire rebuilding time, wierd when you figure it was radio! As an engineer my Dad did a lot of remotes... I remember hauling loads of equipment to charity events and Sunrise Easter Services so that they could be broadcast live.
Walter passed away in 1989 (we miss him). Joan is 78 living with me in a small Arizona mountain community.
The years I spent at WRKL were formative and I learned so much. I have often played my commenrative LP.. The Impossible Dream. I also have always remembered some of those lessons learned from Al and so many of those pioneers.
Do whats right ...not popular.
Work hard for your dream.
Stand up for the rights you were given in this country (not sit and applaud!)
Fun to see this site.
Hey Brenda, I remember everything and everyone you wrote about.
Seems so long ago now. Walter was one of the hardest working, and nicest guys at RKL,
I remember him well, your mom, and sisters too.
Time surely flies, I'd give anything to travel back to 1964-65 to see all those people
one more time. Hope life finds you happy and healthy. Hello to mom

Andy
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Andy Spiro
Andy Spiro

July 26th, 2017, 4:56 pm #4

Both of my parents worked there at the beginning. They were Walter & Joan Johnson. My memories include playing in the swamp, being the "real" Child voice in many commercials, I even did a few stints on Hotline when the issue of the day had any sort of "children" twist. I remember Peter Brooks, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Warden and of course Al Spiro. I remember the Fire, my Dad did not shave the entire rebuilding time, wierd when you figure it was radio! As an engineer my Dad did a lot of remotes... I remember hauling loads of equipment to charity events and Sunrise Easter Services so that they could be broadcast live.
Walter passed away in 1989 (we miss him). Joan is 78 living with me in a small Arizona mountain community.
The years I spent at WRKL were formative and I learned so much. I have often played my commenrative LP.. The Impossible Dream. I also have always remembered some of those lessons learned from Al and so many of those pioneers.
Do whats right ...not popular.
Work hard for your dream.
Stand up for the rights you were given in this country (not sit and applaud!)
Fun to see this site.
Hey Brenda! I remember everything and everyone you wrote about.
Seems so long ago now. Walter was one of the hardest working, and nicest guys at RKL,
I remember him well, your mom, and sisters too.
Time surely flies, I'd give anything to travel back to 1964-65 to see all those people
one more time. Hope life finds you happy and healthy. Hello to mom

Andy Spiro
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Andy Spiro
Andy Spiro

July 26th, 2017, 4:57 pm #5

Both of my parents worked there at the beginning. They were Walter & Joan Johnson. My memories include playing in the swamp, being the "real" Child voice in many commercials, I even did a few stints on Hotline when the issue of the day had any sort of "children" twist. I remember Peter Brooks, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Warden and of course Al Spiro. I remember the Fire, my Dad did not shave the entire rebuilding time, wierd when you figure it was radio! As an engineer my Dad did a lot of remotes... I remember hauling loads of equipment to charity events and Sunrise Easter Services so that they could be broadcast live.
Walter passed away in 1989 (we miss him). Joan is 78 living with me in a small Arizona mountain community.
The years I spent at WRKL were formative and I learned so much. I have often played my commenrative LP.. The Impossible Dream. I also have always remembered some of those lessons learned from Al and so many of those pioneers.
Do whats right ...not popular.
Work hard for your dream.
Stand up for the rights you were given in this country (not sit and applaud!)
Fun to see this site.
Hey Brenda! I remember everything and everyone you wrote about.
Seems so long ago now. Walter was one of the hardest working, and nicest guys at RKL,
I remember him well, your mom, and sisters too.
Time surely flies, I'd give anything to travel back to 1964-65 to see all those people
one more time. Hope life finds you happy and healthy. Hello to mom

Andy Spiro
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Deborah Johnson Hileman
Deborah Johnson Hileman

September 19th, 2017, 3:04 am #6

Both of my parents worked there at the beginning. They were Walter & Joan Johnson. My memories include playing in the swamp, being the "real" Child voice in many commercials, I even did a few stints on Hotline when the issue of the day had any sort of "children" twist. I remember Peter Brooks, Bob Fitzsimmons, Dick Warden and of course Al Spiro. I remember the Fire, my Dad did not shave the entire rebuilding time, wierd when you figure it was radio! As an engineer my Dad did a lot of remotes... I remember hauling loads of equipment to charity events and Sunrise Easter Services so that they could be broadcast live.
Walter passed away in 1989 (we miss him). Joan is 78 living with me in a small Arizona mountain community.
The years I spent at WRKL were formative and I learned so much. I have often played my commenrative LP.. The Impossible Dream. I also have always remembered some of those lessons learned from Al and so many of those pioneers.
Do whats right ...not popular.
Work hard for your dream.
Stand up for the rights you were given in this country (not sit and applaud!)
Fun to see this site.
Our Mother ... Joan Johnson
Passed away September 30, 2010 in Payson AZ.

My sisters and I spent a lot of time at the station when we were young children . Our parents, Walter & Joan Johnson were a big part of the beginning of WRKL.
We ( my sisters and I) played in the swamp behind the station...and in the junk/dump that was on the neighboring lot ...I remember the fire and the excitement when they broke ground on the new building. We had a room in the back of the new station where we spent our playtime after it was built .
Our dad covered events around the county from High School Football to the SoapBox derbys ... and Sunrise services on Easter morning ...when I went with him to football games I would scavenge things under the bleachers ...
a favorite event was the Horse shows / events at Burgess Meredith's place nearby .. he'd come out on his horse dressed as the Penguin...
I remember meeting so many people and experiencing amazing things ...

So many memories ..
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Deborah Johnson Hileman
Deborah Johnson Hileman

September 19th, 2017, 3:13 am #7

Hey Brenda, I remember everything and everyone you wrote about.
Seems so long ago now. Walter was one of the hardest working, and nicest guys at RKL,
I remember him well, your mom, and sisters too.
Time surely flies, I'd give anything to travel back to 1964-65 to see all those people
one more time. Hope life finds you happy and healthy. Hello to mom

Andy
Hello Andy
So many wonderful memories ... it was a simpler world back then and I'd love to go back ...
We spent a good deal of our time there ...
as I'm writing this the memories are pouring through my brain ... I can close my eyes and picture the people .. the fun ...

Digging clay in the swamp was one of our activities to entertain ourselves ... and I was so afraid to go past the first tower ...

Mom passed Sept 30, 2010

Thank you for sharing memories
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