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"Paying Your Dues" (was License Plates)

     That was excellent about 3WD (WWWD) in Schenectady (i.e.-"Pleasant
Valley Sunday").  Let me tell you about my first job in commercial radio.
After four years of college radio, my first "professional" job was at
The Brockton Enterprise's WBET/WCAV-FM in Brockton, Massachusetts in 
1982, a friendship that has continued to this very day.  At the time, I
begame the nighttime jock on WBET (M-F, 6-midnight).  In addition to my 
on-air duties, I had to babysit our automated FM sister station, WCAV/97.7
FM.  This station used a Harris System 90 automation system.  We called
it "SAM", (Semi-Automated Machine). I HATED SAM !!!  We used to do news
at the top of EVERY HOUR, ABC at :00, local at :06.  More times than NOT,
Sam would decide to throw-up and during my newscasts, the very bright
green "SAM alarm" would blink in the AM studio.  Well, you can imagine
how "well" my WBET newscasts would sound when you've got a "Sword of
Damacleus" over your head.  Right after the news had ended, I would got
into a jingle and a into a song.  On WBET, the average song was less
than 3 minutes.  I had to run into FM and try to re-boot the system and
get the music rolling again.  The worst night I recall was during a
newscast..the "SAM alarm" started blinking...but much faster than ever.
I got out of the newscast only to run to FM and found EVERY SINGLE TAPE
MACHINE (reel, carts) operating at the same time.  It was a nightmare.
Thank God, the engineer (Dick Jolls) was around in the evening and rushed
to the station.  We had to get another person in to live assist the
reels and liner carts.  A little 39 cent resistor had blown and made
SAM totally useless.
     Eventually, SAM was retired in 1983 and still sits, broken hearted
in one of WBET/WCAV's old studios.  I still do some engineering for
the station (where I got my feet wet), from time to time.  A great
bunch a folks.  During my stay at BET/CAV, you could swear you were at
WKRP in Cinncinnati.  It was that kind of family atmosphere where
everybody liked everybody.  I miss those days.

- -Pete-

Peter Q. George, N1GGP                  *  "Scanning the bands since 1967 !" 
33 Stetson St., Apt. 2                  *                  +
Whitman, Massachusetts  02382           *                  |
USA                                     *      73         +|+    de N1GGP
PGEORGE@wellesley.edu                   *                +\|/+
XERB@bigfoot.com                        *               + \|/ +
W221AG@hotmail.com (my FM translator)   *               + \|/ +