About the Reunion

The WGBH Reunion is scheduled to take place on:

Saturday, April 8, 2000

1:00 to 4:00 pm

At the WGBH studio building, 125 Western Ave., Boston MA 02134.

The event will celebrate alumni who were with us in the formative years of 1955 -1980. (Of course, we won’t be surprised, or distressed, if a few ‘latterday’ people find their way into the party.

WGBH has set aside Studios A and B, and the scene dock (soon to be dedicated to Greg Harney). There will be a short “Thank You” from President Henry Becton, refreshments in the form of wine, beer and snacks, many monitors showing videos, and someone from Archives to check the vaults for recorded material from the past. And that is not to mention faces and friends you may not have seen in a third of a century.

We’ll ask participants to bring duplicates of any memorabilia they might wish to have housed in the WGBH archives, and to please send photos and/or any information you might have to help us build a more complete Alumni list.

There will very likely be many parties taking place around the actual reunion event, and our hope is that this might become a semi annual occasion with a newsletter or web site.

From Emily Lovering: “ the April 8th weekend fun and conviviality and good will and relaxation… So…. please pass this on to your WGBH Alumni friends. Help make sure everyone hears about the reunion. Check the Web site for lost souls and help us find them.”

Highlights

  • Attendees will be greeted with brief formal remarks at the outset of the party.
  • There will be a guestbook sign-in computer to collect attendee information (This data will be reserved for distribution to alums only! Those who choose not to divulge phone numbers, email addresses, etc. can opt to retain that privacy.)
  • The lobby and hallways will be adorned with decorative motifs, music, and displays of memorabilia.
  • A 25-year WGBH history will be supplied to attendees as a hand-out.
  • Brooks Leffler is working on making reunion T-shirts available.
  • Food, bars, buffets will be in abundance throughout.
  • Arrangements are being made for documentation by: a roving video camera, and a still photographer (for event records in general, and for individual and group photos on request).

Schedule

Friday, April 7

“Operation Zebra” — The WGBH Alumni Drinking Association will meet at the “oh so familiar” Zebra Lounge (now called the Crossroads) on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Beacon St., for libations and stories. We can begin around 8:00 – 9:30 pm and proceed ad infinitum (or ad nauseum, as the case may be). Hearty souls who want to extend beyond the Crossroads closing time can retire to the Sports Lounge on Harvard Ave. for more cheer and stories.

Saturday, April 8

9:00 am – 12 noon

A welcoming breakfast (tea, coffee, juice and snacks) in the Cahners Conference room at WGBH, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134.

And: An informal history and memories session led by Michael Ambrosino, Fred Barzyk, Gordy Mehlman, Bennie Krol and others. There will be several videos shown (still to be chosen). One of special note is a film made in 1957 about WGBH and its early productions (we can thank Mike Ambrosino for finding this one).

12 noon – 1:00 pm

A tour of the facility as a lead-up to the party.

1:30 pm
  • Official welcome from Henry Becton & David Ives
  • A review of the day’s agenda from Fred Barzyk
  • 3:00 pm Remarks from special guests: Henry Morgenthau III, Paul Noble, Don Hallock
  • Special thanks to and remarks from Michael Ambrosino

4:00 pm Dedication of Greg Harney Scene Dock & champagne toast

4:30pm – to whenever — Atrium/Café/Rabb Room/Gerstein Theatre

  • Coffee/tea & fabulous desserts
  • Further devilish fun – come and see what kinds!

Locations and ongoing activities

125 Western Avenue Lobby

  • Registration

Scene Dock

  • History gallery, vintage TVs playing clips
  • Info desk

Studio B

  • A varied menu of highlight reels of ‘GBH projects
  • Photo op in front of “84 Massachusetts Avenue” studio building

Studio A

  • Buffet luncheon & appetizers; wine & beer
  • Mix & mingle with old friends
  • Sign up for taped interviews
  • Roving professional photographer
  • Polaroid photo souvenirs
  • Informal taping by roving mini DV camera
  • Update our Archives database info on you or your projects; add your memories or anecdotes to the database; donate old memorabilia
  • Demo new ‘GBH interactive projects & websites

Travel and Accommodations

Parking

Since it’s Saturday, there will be plenty of spaces on the street, plus we are making sure that the gates to the 125 Western Avenue parking lot will open as visitors enter.

Hotels

Here’s information from Barbara Levitov.

“Several people have asked about hotel group rates for the upcoming Reunion. Here are the WGBH corporate rates, and some others that I have researched. For the corporate rated hotel, just tell the person on the phone that you are a WGBH staff person coming in for the reunion and that WGBH said this rate is available to you.

  • Howard Johnson’s, Memorial Drive. Basic Rate: $235 per night. Phone: 617-492-7777 (Within walking distance of WGBH)
  • Marriott, 2 Cambridge Center, Kendall Square, Cambridge. Phone: 494-6600. Basic Rate: “Can’t beat Friday” weekend rate $139 per night; must stay over Friday, quoted today (2/29), limited availability.
  • The Charles Hotel, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Corporate Rate: $203.00. Phone: 617-864-1200.
  • Doubletree Suite Hotel, Soldiers Field Road, Boston (touches Cambridge). Corporate Rate: $179.00. Phone: 617-783-0090. (A short walking distance to the station, close to Storrow Drive and Mass Pike exit.)
  • Sheraton Commander, in Harvard Square. Corporate Rate: $179.00. Phone: 617-547-4800.
  • Days Inn, 1234 Soldiers Field Road, Boston. 617-254-1234. This motel near WGBH is under reNOVAtion, but will have rooms available during this time. Their rate is $129 a nite, two people. If you are a member of AAA there is an additional 10% discount.
  • Boston Park Plaza. $179.
  • Omni Parker House. $152.
  • Hilton Back Bay. $179.

Special Reception

“Like many fond parents, I have in my heart a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.”

— Charles Dickens, 1869

The WGBH Leadership Circle and Mystery and Drama Program Partners cordially invite you to an exclusive reception and to preview highlights of ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre’s

David Copperfield
Saturday, April 8
6:30­8pm
Amphitheater at the World Trade Center, Boston

With special guests from London, director Simon Curtis, actor Daniel Radcliffe and from WGBH ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre executive producer Rebecca Eaton

For reservations and directions, call the Leadership Circle MemberLine at 617-300-3505. Please reply Wednesday, April 5 and say you’re WGBH Alumni; Space is limited.

Charles Dickens’s beloved novel based on his own difficult journey from boy to man comes to ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre in an all-star production of David Copperfield, directed by Simon Curtis.

Leading the cast are Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa) as the ever-optimistic Mr. Micawber, Academy Award-winner Maggie Smith (A Room With a View, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) as David’s upstanding Aunt Betsey, and Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters, Richard III) as the sadistic schoolmaster Mr. Creakle.

Ten year-old Daniel Radcliffe plays the imperturbable young David, with Ciaran McMenamin as the hero in manhood.

ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre has been presented on PBS by WGBH for nearly thirty years. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Pulitzer prize-winning writer Russell Baker is series host. The series is fully funded by ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

David Copperfield will air on ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre
Sunday and Monday, April 16 and 17 on GBH 2

©2000 WGBH Educational Foundation.

Operation Zebra

Dan Beach: Next time you and your group get together, how about giving thought to activities other than Saturday from 1to5. A lot of people will want to fly in, and whether there’s some thing Sunday or Friday, too, will have an effect on our flights and air fares. (I’m planning on coming in Thursday, I think, to reap the benefits and savour the moments).

Fred Barzyk: Here is an idea. For the 50’s and early 60’s crowd the Zebra Lounge (now called the Crossroads) on Mass and Beacon was the bar of choice. Lets set a reunion drink on Friday night for those who are in town from 7:30 until whatever. I assume people will stay longer than 5:00. It’s just that the bar shuts down. However, large contingencies could travel to the Sports Lounge on Harvard Ave. for more cheer and stories. Can we list this on the Web site?”

Don Hallock: “Dear Fred, God! the Zebra! Of course! Figure it out, send me the info, and I will put it on the info page. Any other “scheduling” information will be included gladly too.

Fred: OK. Lets do it. Reunion drinks at the old Zebra Lounge now called the Crossroads and the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon Street. The WGBH Alumni Drinking Association will meet at 7:30 PM for libations and stories. Rat Alley, Roy K’s (hamburger clubs) 50-cent beers, where I met my wife of 38 years. All invited who wish to wallow happily in the past! (I’ll call the Crossroads and let them know what might happen this night.) I wonder how many will show up? Egads.)

Keeping a list …

The following important request is excerpted from a December, 1999 email by Emily Lovering.

Best greetings to all and much thanks to those who have responded to entreaties for a list-assist. Some of you receiving this note may be mystified, but we’re writing to everyone who might help in the compiling a list of WGBHers from the ’50s, ’60s,’70s, early ’80s. Those who’ve scoured rolodexes and memories can ignore the following but do accept the good New Year greeting.

To others who have been asked for ancient names and addresses, a tender, gentle little reminder, full of soothing murmurs and grateful gratitudes, for your prompt attention to matters of the Alumni Master List which awaits any input you can send us.

Peg MacDonald bravely awaits the onslaught of names or corrections or deletions or zip codes or phone numbers, or simply hints as to where we can track down a wandering alum who hasn’t been heard from in an age. The list thus far remains spotty.

Can you help sooner rather than later? We’re trying to include every possible body (upright) who might possibly enjoy the Alumni Gala on April 8th, 2000. Please could you email any of us, or simply mail in sheets out of the lists we sent, with scribbled additions which we’ll decipher, include, and track down any wisps of news…i.e. “I think Joe Jones might be living in a suburb of Bombay…” or “I know for a fact that Joe Jones was devoured by tigers over twenty years ago.” All news helpful. Thanks for whatever you can provide in the near future so invitations can be launched in January. Or just phone Peg, Fred or Emily directly and leave a message with additional info. If anyone currently list-less would like one, let me know and I’ll ship one out with the current smattering of 800 or so names.

That having been said, we wish you a wonderfully happy, safe and jolly New Year, wherever you are, and hope you will think a tiny good thought for WGBH which labors on and does indeed draw on all the good stuff you provided in those early days.

From Don: If you know of other WGBH alumni who may be unaware of this web site, please alert them to it so that they may join us in exchanging information and histories, and in reviving and documenting some of our collective past.

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