Friday, November 5, 2010

A Recent Presentation

I recently made a presentation about early television, to the “Pines Lake Seniors” group, located in northern New Jersey.

I had a wonderful time speaking with the group’s members (who welcomed me, I must say, with great kindness and hospitality).

There was, for me, a lovely surprise at the meeting. One of the event’s attendees, Muriel Wood, worked for several years on Your Hit Parade, beginning in 1951. (This was the same year my mother joined the program’s cast, although Ms. Wood and my mother, evidently, did not know one another.)

Ms. Wood worked for BBD&O, the Hit Parade’s advertising agency; she was secretary to the show’s producers, Dan Lounsbery and Ted Fetter, who also worked for the agency. (After Fetter left the program, in 1953, she continued to work for Lounsbery.) Bill Wood—whom she met at BBD&O, and whom she married later in the decade—also was closely involved with Your Hit Parade, working on the production of the show’s Lucky Strike commercials. Mr. Wood passed away in 1997.

It was a delight meeting her. She brought along a few Hit Parade-related mementos, thinking I might like to see them (which was indeed the case)—photographs, for example, of singers Russell Arms and June Valli. There was also a picture of Muriel and Bill Wood, taken at their 1956 wedding in New Jersey. The picture included the Hit Parade's Dorothy Collins, who sang at the wedding.

My thanks, again, to the Pines Lake members who attended the event—and my appreciation, too, to George Kick, one of the group’s officers, who extended, to me, the invitation to speak.