How I got the broadcasting bug

Kevin Vahey
Mon Jul 25 13:28:05 EDT 2011

All this talk of radio stations of the past had me thinking about how
I got interested in broadcasting when I was young.

I first got the 'bug' in 1962 when my family had a cottage in West
Yarmouth for a week and being a curious 12 year old I walked a few
blocks one Saturday to the studios of WOCB.

The person working was quite friendly and showed me the basics ( I had
never seen a VU meter before ) and the seed was planted.

A few weeks later I visited a Boston station - WBOS which at the time
was in a hotel near Kenmore (Somerset?). There a very nice man, Norm
Ruby answered every question I had. Norm by the way had a wonderful
voice for radio.

>From there the field trips Saturday a year or so
later I wandered into the WEEI studios on Tremont St and Jim Westover
gave me the cooks tour. the old WEEI studios were certainly a
throwback to radio's golden age. The engineers on duty explained to me
the CBS NET ALERT system which took up an entire rack in the master
control area.

A few weeks later I went up the stairs at 70 Brookline Ave and Arnie
gave me the tour of WMEX. He could not have been nicer and I was
mesmerized watching him do combo complete with the horns and bells.

By the time I was 14 I had graduated to television studios. Other kids
collected baseball cards, I collected ID slides ( which I still have
almost 50 years later). On a trip to Canada I visited CBC in Montreal,
Toronto and Ottawa and also CFCF-TV in Montreal. Bus trips to WJAR-TV
in Providence and WMUR-TV in Manachester also happened that year (
little did i know I would be working at channel 9 just 4 years later)
and when my parents visited Maine I added WCSH-TV and WGAN-TV.

In 1965 I really went overboard. The airlines had the stand-by youth
fare and you could take the shuttle to NY for only $24. In one crazy
day I managed to walk into both master control at CBS on 57th St AND
ABC on 66th St. Nobody said a word to me ( most likely they thought I
was some big shots kid ) That night my Dad knew something was up when
I kept saying what network commercial was coming up next - he knew I
didn't get that log in Boston.

My glass slide ID collection I dug out today - it includes
CBLT (channel 6)

I am sure others on this list have similar stories.

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list