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More again about airborne radio traffic reports?

Hello all, Sorry I'm a bit tardy on this reply.... Many years ago, 18 
to be precise, I started in the silly business of traffic reporting 
here in Boston. I flew 8 years with Kevin O'Keefe and knew well Joe 
Green. All our ships were hangared at Bevery Airport.

Kevin did start traffic reporting on WHDH and, at least as he told 
me, Bruse Talford was pilot/reporter before him. I have no knowlede 
of anyone doing traffic before that.... BUT, and here's a big radio 
BUT, Kevin O'Keefe was not his real name. It was a radio name. Kevin 
worked at the old WMEX and I believe worked at EZE as well. He used a 
few different names (as did we all.... I was also Eliot Andrews on 
WROR, WBOS , and a few others while I was Eli "Wicked High" on WBCN 
and later the new WBOS).

Kevin's real name, for the record (and I hope he's not reading this 
from his retirement and will come and get me), is Arthur MacTague. 
Nice Scot looking for the Irish Boston image. To the bext of my 
knowledge, Joe Green did use his real name.... and it melded well 
with "Joe Green's Traffic Machine".

In the early days, reporting was done from fixed wing aircraft. 
Boston airport was much smaller (now Logan) and there were alternate 
airports in, amongst other places, Revere! FIxed wing aircraft was 
allowed in downtown Boston for traffic and Kevin told stories of 
having an AM antenna strung out between the cabin and the rear 
stabilizer to try and pull in the signal. He would take a que for a 
report and come around the buildings in downtown Boston, and lose the 
signal... finishing the report without knowing if he was even on the 

Joe Green started flying copters first, then Kevin ... and I believe 
that was before he moved to 'EEI. He was the original reporter 
calling it the SkyWay Patrol. Kevin didn't even have a pilot's 
license in the beginning. Joe had earned his in the military. And 
when it came to flying around in dicey weather, we all did a few iffy 
flights, (I have a non-commercial licence, so I didn't fly traffic 
solo). Kevin and I sqeeeked back to Beverly a few times in the fog, 
and dropped in to Southie on one or two occaisions to strip the ice 
of the rotor blades.... but it was Joe Green who would fly in 
anything. I have no idea how he did it, I mean we all knew where all 
the wores and cranes were (the Big Dig is a killer to keeping track 
of those things). But Joe would go up when the seagulls were walking. 
He'd take off, and dissappear in about 2 seconds. Then you'd see him 
hovering along the highway, waiting for the fog to move a few inches. 
On a number of occaisions, he'd just drop into a parking lot, or the 
field by the Lee Pool at Storrow Drive, and at least once I reacll, 
the sand pit on Rt 1 by Granada Highland, and wait. If it was late in 
the day, and it wasn't getting better, he'd call 'BZ who'd send out a 
police cruiser to watch the ship all night and he'd get a ride back 
in the morning to fly back to Bevery and start over.

Just a few memories..... sorry it's long.

>:A couple of months ago, Marty asked about airborne traffic reports--
>: >        Does anyone know when WHDH started them? My first recollection is
>:in the
>: >early '60s with Kevin O'Keefe and the "Skyway Patrol." I think they used
>: >helicopter. I don't know if he was their original traffic reporter.
>:then I wrote--
>: >This comes from an article in the Boston Globe of  23 Sept. 1981:
>: >"Kevin O'Keefe of WEEI is the veteran traffic monitor in Boston. A former
>:                   >radio disc jockey and television newscaster, O'Keefe
>:started in the WHDH
>:                   >traffic helicopter in 1963, taking over from Bruce
>:Talford, who originated the
>:                   >job for WHDH in 1961. O'Keefe shifted to WEEI in 1974,
>:when it became
>:                   >an all- news station..."
>:BUT--- I just found a news clipping that was quite interesting to me.  From
>:Variety, 25 June 1958 (!)  It says, "John Burns of WEZE now doing airborne
>:traffic reports from a plane."  Does this ring any bells with anyone?  It
>:certainly places airborne traffic reporting before Bruce Talford did it in
>:1961-- in every article I had read till I found the Variety clipping, Bruce
>:was usually the person credited with being the first to do traffic from the
>:sky... I had no idea WEZE was doing anything like that in 1958...

- -Eli