Archive for March, 2010

My sweetheart’s back

March 31, 2010

Gisela McClellan

My sweetheart has returned from a two-week trip.   She was in France….in Brittany.   This picture of  Gisela is from our visit last year to St. Simons Island.  Gisela tells me that she spent only about 10-minutes on the beach in Brittany.  It was cold and windy.  But beach- time was not why she was there.   This beautiful woman traveled across the ocean to be with other recorder players.  They were at a workshop to hone their skills in playing the flute-like instrument.  It’s such a joy to have her back home.  Sometime soon, we’ll be returning together to the beach at St. Simons.

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Adolph Rupp and me

March 30, 2010

Adolph Rupp

 Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp already was a legendary basketball coach when I came to WSB-Television.  I had done play-by-play on radio.   It seems that I was the only WSB staff announcer with any sports experience, so production manager Mark Toalson named me Sports Director.  It wasn’t really that big a deal.    I filmed local sports.. did an occasional piece for NBC and had a nightly segment of about 2 minutes in the channel 2 11 o’clock news.  It was because of my face time on WSB that I almost socialized with the legendary “Baron of the Bluegrass”.  That’s right…almost.    The Kentucky Wildcats had come to Atlanta where Rupp’s team had whipped Georgia Tech.   I had filmed the highlights…brought the film back to WSB..processed it…and aired it.   When I came back upstairs from the studio, there was a call waiting for me.  It was from Coach Rupp’s representative.   He said that the Coach saw me on television and wanted me to join them for a drink and celebration at a downtown Atlanta hotel.  I didn’t drink alcohol..still don’t….and my journalistic ethics told me not to socialize with someone I would be covering.  (Sound old fashioned?)   I thanked the caller, but didn’t go.      I covered Coach Rupp and his basketball teams again, but never was asked again to come celebrate.

Mr. and Mrs. Liberty

March 29, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Liberty were among the characters at one of my weekend races.   They are at the Run For Children 5K in Canton, Georgia…about 40 miles northwest of Atlanta.  The money raised is to benefit the needy children of Cherokee county.  The mister seemed about a head taller than the missus until I realized his eyes are between the head and his chest.

Jake Witkiewicz

Young Jake Witkiewicz eyes are filled with wonderment.   He traveled the race in a jogging buggy pushed by his mom, Rachel Witkiewicz.

The early leaders in the 3.1 mile run were Dennis Kelly and Bill Moore.  It was a tough mostly uphill first half, but we got it back on the return…almost all downhill.

Kaherine Barnes Bill Moore

The female and male winners are both teachers.   Katherine Barnes teaches the first grade in Cherokee county.    The 61-year-old Moore is a retired English teacher from Resaca, Georgia.  FOR A MORE COMPLETE STORY, PLEASE CLICK ON Don McClellan’s photo shows ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE BLOG.

Ray Moore update

March 28, 2010

I saw my long-time friend Ray Moore Saturday between races.  You may recall that the former WSB-TV News Director had an infection in his right leg that developed after a fall. You can see the bandage just above the sock line.   The swelling has gone down considerably.  But it’s been a bothersome recovery with a nurse coming several times a week to help Ray and his wife Sara deal with the in-home treatment and therapy.

Ray Moore

You can see by Ray’s irrepressible smile that his spirits are on the rise.     God willing, he’ll be celebrating his 88th birthday July 29th.

The talent scout shows

March 27, 2010

Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts was the big name on the national talent scout landscape in the 1950s.   But there were many local imitations.  One of those in Atlanta was Freddie Miller’s Talent Scouts on channel 11.   While shopping today, I met a lady who was a winner as a 9-year-old in the early 50s.  Here is Portia Robertson (nee Spain) with a demonstration of the dance that won her the title.Portia and her husband, Charlie, still go dancing regularly.  He’s always been nimble on his feet too.  Charlie was one of those guys with spikes who once climbed utility poles for the telephone company.

Shot..paralyzed..but still active.

March 26, 2010

J.J. Biello is a former Atlanta police officer wounded and paralyzed during a robbery.   It happened twenty-three years ago.   Biello overcame his adversities and pain to become a Cherokee county commissioner.   Here’s a look back at a story reported on WSB-TV in 1997.WLJA Radio’s Byron Dobbs tells me that Biello still is active…no longer a commissioner but is serving on Cherokee county’s advisory board for the recreation department.

Honeymoon vs. Contempt of Court

March 25, 2010

Most of the stories I’ve covered during my almost half-a-century at WSB-TV are not world-shaking events.   Some hardly shake it at all.   But there are tales that have a “that could have happened to me” quality.   The following is one such event from 1997.I’m going to believe that the Neffs are living happily ever after.

The flooding of 97

March 24, 2010

The rainy season we’re experiencing now reminds me that the weather is a roller coaster.   We have droughts.   We have moisture saturated ground where the water keeps coming up… though the rain has stopped falling.  This story from 1997 reminds me again that life and the weather are like pendulums. Don Farmer is the anchor.This roller-coaster weather is not new for many of us old timers.   We know that for every tough uphill, there’ll be an easy downhill.. so many of us have learned just to go with the flow.

A “kicker” from the past

March 23, 2010

In the earlier days broadcast news, we often ended our newscasts with what we called a “kicker”.    Sometimes, there would be a “kicker” at the end of each “hard” news segment.   I felt…and still do…that  a “kicker” gives the viewer a chance to smile..not to be constantly hammered with the bad news.   Here’s a “kicker” from 1997.My recollection is that Sparky made his way out of the pool hall, and returned to Fire Station #1 where he is living happily ever after in his new dog house.

Just runnin’ in the rain

March 22, 2010

Remember the lyrics Johnny Ray sang, “…just  walkin’  in the rain..gettin’ soakin’ wet…trouble in my heart…just tryin to forget….” No trouble in my heart, but I was in a poncho Sunday runnin’ in the rain near Cleveland, Georgia.    It’s about a 90 minute drive northeast of Atlanta.     Marshall Anderson founded the Crow Calling 5K in memory of his friend, Rob Butcher, who died from cancer.  The race raises money for the American Cancer Society.  About the late Rob Butcher, Anderson tells us…Anderson demonstrates a crow caller.

9-year-old Kayla Vanidver-Cancer survivor

9-year-old Kayla Vanidver is one of several cancer survivors running in the 5K.   Kayla’s leukemia has been in remission for about 3 years.