From Ron Russell-Tutty — 10/21/2000
I will never forget that late summer afternoon in 1959 when I entered the crew “lounge” and was stunned to see that Bob Schwartz and I were the first two interns in our class to be given directing assignments. Mine was for that very night! Louis Lyons and the News was a breeze, but one of my cameramen (Don Hallock!) was not about to let this TV-virgin get off that easily his first time at bat.
The guest on Background, the following program, was the voluptuous, very young and very well-endowed Haya Harareet, a new Israeli starlet, who was playing opposite Charleton Heston in Ben Hur. During Louis’ introduction, Don gave me the MS of the lovely lady that I had asked for. Momentarily, I looked at Louis’ monitor waiting for the the right moment to take her first shot.
Just as I was about to call it, I looked up and saw a ECU (and I mean Extreme) of her cleavage. I almost wet myself, but Don instantly righted the shot. He played a few more games with me that night, but I knew I was safe.
My favorite memories of that year were working with Fred Barzyk and Don on the Performance programs. I could read a score, so I lucked out as T.D. on that series and later on Bernstein’s opera Trouble in Tahiti. I have never seen anything that could match Don’s incredibly lyrical camerawork since those days.
I just recently stumbled on news of the reunion while surfing the net. Were any of my 1959-60 “scholars” there? I would love to touch base with Patty Wilber, Sue Dunham, Al Potter, Jack Gill, Howie Rice, Harry Lebow, Dick Churchville, Bob Black, Sam Dress, Bob Schwartz, et.al.
Are there any plans for a Directory of WGBH alumni? That would be fabulous!