Cal LaMartiniere, TSgt, USAF (1966-1968) - 3
To Paul: Thanks for the note. Much of the credit for the massive change in programming goes to Commander Wentz. The survey we'd just completed showed conclusively that what we were doing was not being well received by the troops. Some of the comments were very explicit. Based on that, the Commander gave us our marching orders.... Do a complete face-lift. Memory may fail me but I believe it was Clem who named the Express...either that, or he resurrected the show from the old Brinks Hotel days. In any case, I was the one who assigned you to it because I could keep your civilian self out of sight. You did not wear that uniform very well! Besides, if anybody ever needed a haircut more than I did, it was you! :-) And you were a pretty awesome talent, let's not forget that.
By-the-by, we got a hell of a lot of flack for not airing some of the AFRTS-LA programming but Commander Wentz got pretty sneaky and we fed it down the network during the cutaway times when they were doing local programming up country. Hee hee! I suggested that we air it on the single sideband inter-station hookup but he balked at that. So did John Scales.
Pat did the DB and Ken did the...what was it, Ken? Mid morning or afternoon? I do know Clem and I decided to put Ken on when we were having lunch at the Circle Sportif... a membership to which I'd conned with my old AFRTS-W press pass! We knew Ken could be trusted to do the show and not go off half cocked like the rest of the nuts over there that needed pretty close monitoring, sometimes! The "Young Sound" format required a good deal of dexterity with tape, turntable and cart. Ken could do that with his eyes closed.
In conclusion, doing a good job is very easy if one has the caliber of folks who were assigned to AFVN Radio! And we had some great engineering guys back there...let's not forget them! Anybody remember the tall skinny kid who finally took the FM RF out of the system? He should have been given a medal for that.