• opener
    A million details had to be dealt with to pull these telecasts together. Merchants had to be persuaded to donate items or services for sale. Volunteers had to be found to pick up donated merchandise, and on "A Day" to "man" the phone banks, handle paperwork, post bids and move items into and out of the studio.
  • proproom1
    Early in the week the merchandise began to roll in, filling up the prop/scenery room and the loading area outside.
  • proproom2
    Almost everything you could imagine was donated, and gift certificates for everything else. Things that were not donated: iPhones, Smart TVs, laptop computers, SUVs, MRIs and sushi.
  • proproom3
    Awaiting the deluge.
  • jp1
    Even the Jefferson Productions studio was packed.
  • jp2
    Everything had to be catalogued and tagged. Who was the person that determined what and when an item was moved into the studio? How was all that handled?
  • jp2a
    There was a constant flow of people and products.
  • proproom4
    The "on-deck" area outside the studio door. Don't block the way, something will be coming out.
  • studio1
    Just inside that studio door there was a mob of clerks keeping up with inventory, bids and winners.
  • studio3
    Two of the studio's three RCA TK-42 cameras. Only slightly smaller than a Winnebago, they ran so hot their hoods had to be raised for ventilation. That's Doug McDaniel on the center camera. To his right is John Reichard, floor managing.
  • studio4
    There was a phone bank on the north wall of the studio, seating a gaggle of pretty girls in styrofoam derbies.
  • studio5
    A reverse angle of the phone bank.
  • studio6
    The tall bare-headed man at right is Jay Torrence, the head man for buildings and grounds.
  • studio8
    There were a number of presenters from WBTV's staff; others—like this man—were from the community.
  • studio9
    And look, there's Ty Boyd, in his spiffiest 1972 leisure jacket. Legend has it, to this day he still wears it to weddings and funerals.
  • studio10
    According to her name tag, she's Pat Hutchins. Did she work at WBTV?
  • studio11
    This presenter's peddling an assortment of wall paint.
  • studio12
    Lots of milling around. "Am I up next? Where do I stand?"
  • studio13
    There were the occasional two-person pitches: "Jack, why don't you describe this item? What does it sell for?"
  • cafe1
    Break time for some, down in the Pine Terrace cafeteria. Is that Bertha Alexander in the background?
  • cafe2
    A wider view of the Pine Terrace. Could that be Bob Storck finishing his drink before racing back up to the projection room? Why, I believe it is. Historical note: The old wall paper has been removed, making way for the Jim Scancarelli-designed display of vintage station photo blowups that would remain there for the next 30 years.
  • studio14
    And the beat goes on. Products moving in and out.
  • studio15
    That's Dick Taylor, ad-libbing away. He was good at that, and, with his wonderful personality and sense of humor, at many other things.
  • studio16
    Eliciting high bids was the name of the game. The higher, the more for Boys Town.
  • studio17
    That's lovely Esther Chapman at left, and beside her a Barbara Wilson Conrad look-alike (who we can't identify). "It couldn't be me," Barbara says, "because I lived in New York City at the time."
  • studio18
    Keep rollin', rollin', rollin', though my feet are swollen...
  • studio19
    If you were an item's highest bidder, you were expected to drive to the studio and pick it up.
  • studio20
    Let us sell you this French Impressionist creation, dating from the late 19th century. It was painted last winter by a little old lady in Gastonia.
  • studio21
    There's the exit to the lobby. So far no one has escaped.
  • studio22
    Here's Loonis McGlohon extolling the virtues of a lighting fixture.
  • studioi23
    This young cameraman, whose name we don't recall, would be old and gray and retired by now. Wonder where he is.
  • studio24
    Good friends and colleagues Dick Taylor and Doug Mayes.
  • studio24a
    Whatever Dick and Doug were saying, you can be sure it was entertaining
  • studio25
    In a far corner is the winner board. The high bidders are posted and announced.
  • studio26
    Action behind the presentation counter.
  • studio26a
    Awaiting their assignments.
  • studio26b
    Clara Lowery about to make a presentation.
  • studio27
    In the next decade Clara would become a cast member on Channel 3's kids favorite, Whistle Stop.
  • studio30
    On a scaffold in the corner, above the milling multitude sits Doug McDaniel operating camera 3. And in he lower right, with only his eyes, forehead and curley locks in view, is future mystery writer Mark de Castrique. Who could have foretold?
  • studio31
    The perfect gift for some "long-legged guitar pickin' man."
  • studio32
    Could that be "Uncle Jim" Patterson way in the back? Let's zoom in and see.
  • studio33
    It is! It's Jim, alright. Jim Patterson was WBTV's first announcer (in 1949) and the go-to guy for anything a producer might need.
  • studio34
    Dick Taylor at the winner board. Looks like someone won a new Opel, for only $1500.
  • studio35
    And the day lingers on...and on...and on.
  • studio37
    Is it ever going to end? Yes. It did.
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