Thank you for reading your Times-Advocate. Every week I have a theme in mind then an event occurs and I change course.
Last week I was saddened to read an obituary about a man I first met in 1976. Harry Hodges was one of the leaders of the Escondido Amateur Radio Society an organization I asked to offer beginning to end communications for the Jaycees Christmas Parade. The first parade I worked in ‘74 had no communications except for two or three walkie-talkies. The next year I had a radio group provide communications that had an almost disastrous end so I contacted EARS.
Harry attended a committee meeting with Conrad Walenda (you have to ‘roll’ the r) and I believe Jo Ashley who may have been a teenager then. He was very enthusiastic about the opportunity to provide the service and encouraged the club to participate and they did with the same gusto as Harry. When I asked them to do the same service for the Grape Days Parade they accepted; feeling it would be a good practice exercise before December.
I hadn’t seen Harry the past few years when I visited the EARS’s ARRL exercise at Lake Dixon. EARS provides emergency communications for the city along with other activities. Their website is www.earsclub.org for more information and membership opportunities. RIP Harry Hodges and thank you.
Briefly, I want to talk about the old Escondido Daily Times-Advocate. Great source of local news and happenings as is the current edition albeit a weekly. They had some really good newspaper people working there and I could just walk into the building, where Classical Academy HS is today, and go to meet any staffer. After the paper was sold then came the front desk checkpoint where visitors were screened. Not the same.
I remember Eloise Perkins in the news room as a very seasoned newspaper person much as the current Editor-in-Chief David Ross. One day I walked to her desk to ask her for information about an obviously important issue at least to me. Her desk was cluttered, much as my desk usually is, and she paused, looked around then reached into a stack of files on the floor and pulled out a file with my information. I asked her how did she know which stack to look in, to wit she replied, “I’ve been at this a long time”.
An interesting columnist was Bob McDonald who wrote “The Prowler” reporting on people in town and what he overheard. “Overheard” is putting it mildly. One day at the Bon Ton where a group of 3 or 4 would have coffee every morning we were chatting and we could hear a conversation at another table and son-of-a-gun his next column included that conversation!
The coffee group usually included Hal Norwood, Bob, me and Jim Downing the owner although his daughter Dotsy actually ran the place.
After Bob left, Jeff Frank began writing a similar column about local folks. Really enjoyable reading. Notable staffers were George Cordry, sports editor, John Maffei, reporter, Bob Stonehocker, Logan Jenkins, Kent Davy, Dick High and a host of other knowledgeable people that made the old T-A such a jewel for Escondido.
Next week I will continue to amaze you with more memorabilia and whatever else may pop up.