The Scholars Did It All (1957)

From Vic Washkevich

Doing a mental replay of our group’s year at the Dream Factory from ’57 to ’58, I was reminded again of the station’s truly humble beginnings.

WGBH was born directly over a luncheonette in what once was must have been a roller skating rink, and baptized by the water sprinkled on God knows how many gardening shows that somehow managed to convey cogent information before there was a Martha Stewart.

Each of us “scholars” scurried from back-to-back live shows from Louie Lyons to the Star Spangled Banner.

We built sets, taught typing to the music of the Blue Tango, jerked slides to exactly the right mark on the screen for Lew Barlow’s art shows, used the back of a station wagon as the control room for the Boston Arts Festival, videoed George Shearing playing jazz and dozed as talking heads prevailed once again.

We raced from directing to stage managing to the boom mike without missing a beat and, most importantly, each of us gave 100% of our energy, ability and cooperation to the task at hand every day for one glorious year.

No one complained. How could we? We were in love with every moment spent there. A lot of the success of WGBH goes to the “scholars,” those eager, young bodies and minds who made every day a wonderful spiritual adventure.

So, I present three of them here in the exact time frame of the class of ’58’s year at WGBH. Left to right, there’s Don Mallinson, Stew White, and Bill Heitz at Lynn Beach during the summer of ’57. They roomed together directly over the Zebra Lounge. Ah, have they got stories to tell.

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