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Ken Mezger

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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins


Ken was a board-op in 1972-73.



Ken writes:

I worked for WPGC in 1972-1973. I took most of the photos in that time period. Most of the winners you saw on those newspaper ads were taken by me. When I left WPGC, I went to WINX in Rockville and then "got out" of radio.

My main duties were, running the control board (2-6 AM) for Bryan Lawrence when he was at the Black Ulysses, then I did whatever needed doing from 6- 10AM. Harv Moore was a good friend (met him when I was 12) and we always stayed friends.

One time in 72-73 there was a reported fire in the building and General Manager, Bob Howard ordered everyone out of the structure until things were safe. The transmitter engineer threw on an emergency tape that Harv Moore had me put together months earlier, in case they were ever needed. About 1/2 hour later we were allowed back in and Jim Collins continued his program.

After that I made some more emergency stand-by tapes but I talked on them! About 5 years later I was driving down the road, long after I left WPGC, and heard my tapes playing and could not believe it! Probably nobody else did either. I'm sure they corrected the situation when they had some time!

On Wayne Hetrick:

During 1963 & 1964, WPGC did live remotes from the Hampshire-Langley Shopping Center in Langley Park. They did the 10AM - 2 PM Bob Raleigh (Rolle Ferreria) show the 1st two weeks in June-July-August. The 1st year, they used their trailer (looked like a 15 foot house trailer) which had a small control board, two turntables, spotmaster tape playback machines and a mic, along with a mic pot control for Bob, who usually walked up and down the sidewalk and into the stores.

He just had a mic and had to be near a radio to monitor the show. Harv Moore ran the controls in the trailer. It was so much fun watching them work. Harv was so friendly and I was always a go-fer when they needed something. I lived near New Hampshire Avenue at the Beltway and showed up everyday.

The 2nd year, 1964, they operated the controls at the studio and each day a table and sign had to be set up in front of the Kress store, along with a single pot mic mixer (with a big VU meter on the front) and a pot control. The Chief Engineer, Wayne Hetrich, allowed me and another boy named Bob Medve to set up the table, sign, mixer, mic and cord each day. Wayne promised to pay us (something) at the end of the summer.

Each day we showed up and set up everything and took it back down at 2PM. At 13 years old, we felt very important! Wayne sometimes left to go back to the transmitter for repairs and trusted us to put everything away. It was all stored in the basement of the Kress store. It was really a lot of fun! To make a long story short, we were never paid. So in September, I began calling him and he eventually sent us each a large box full of records, WPGC writing pens and several WPGC sweatshirts. It wasn't money but I didn't care ... I would do it all again for free!

On Bob Howard:

One day, Bob Howard showed up unexpectedly to do the show. While a record was playing, the person running the control board at the station would get his instructions and "cue word" from the announcer
on the air. At one point I heard Bob saying something like, "OK if you keep missing my cues I'll come back there and clean house today". His on-air name was, "The Mystery Voice." When I saw this spectacle, I just started laughing
and couldn't stop for a long time, but I wouldn't let him see me laughing.

On Bryan Lawrence:

I remember the 19 minute Blackie's commercial he did when I went to use the bathroom and locked myself out of the studio (Parkway Bldg), ran to the phone booth to let him know (he thought I was joking) and I had to nab a Bladensburg cop who was driving by at 3:30 in the morning -- and talk him into jumping down the window well and break the window out with his nightstick! They had just installed a spring in the station door that closed by itself ... and I forgot my keys.

On Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller):

Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) was filling in for Harv Moore a few weeks later and locked himself out and as his record was ending in AM drive, he jumped up into the ceiling (drop ceiling) and pushed himself over and fell down into the lobby and broke many fingers! Then he called Dino Del Gallo at home (lived close) and begged him to "bring a vacuum cleaner quickly" to the station. Then they robbed some drop ceiling tiles from other parts of the building and replaced the broken ones. When Dino told me about this I couldn't stop laughing ... every time I saw Bill Miller with splints on most of his fingers!


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