Goodbye, Friends of Old Time Radio - But Hello, Friends I've Made

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jay Hickerson, Valerie Thompson, Arthur Anderson
Sigh. As I Tweeted earlier this evening, the Friends of Old Time Radio event has come to an end. Well, there's a sort of post-convention panel Sunday morning - but the official end comes Saturday night, and that's when this is. Everyone is trying to be upbeat, savoring the fun and treasuring the friends we've seen only once a year - but there were many of us who were too teary to join in when Organizer Jay Hickerson began the finale by playing and singing his own version of "Thanks for the Memories" and then invited us all to join him in "I'll Be Seeing You in All the Old Familiar Places" and "We'll Meet Again." The evening was filled, not only with food at the dinner and two re-creations, but also tribute after tribute to Jay and Karen Hickerson, who have brought us all so much pleasure. Among the tributes was a scrapbook of FOTR memories presented by radio personality Arthur Anderson (the voice of the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, among countless roles) and daughter Valerie Thompson. There was a cake. There were tears. There was laughter. When shall we meet again?


Serendipitous FOTR Dinner

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"The Widow" cast prepares for the "broadcast"
Elaine Hyman
Corinne Orr
Corinne Orr
You just don't know when you're at a convention what's going to happen when. And tonight's Friends of Old Time Radio convention dinner - followed by "Old Time Radio" performances - provided special enjoyment. Sitting at our table was actress Corinne Orr, who not only appeared on such shows as Theater Five and CBS Radio Mystery Theater, but also was a voice artist on Speed Racer and voiced Snuggle the Bear. She was incredibly delightful to chat with - and she was so fantastically nice that she put up with my floundering about by my inability to locate a pen so she could give me an autograph. (I know, I know - my manners should have improved by now, but I have come to terms with the knowledge that I will occasionally disrupt the lives of people I admire. Sigh.) In any case, the wonderful evening was capped by a reperformance of a Theater Five story, "The Widow," with Orr and Elaine Hyman recreating their roles from that long-ago show.


Friends of Old Time Radio Day One

Charlie Summers' musical shirt
Jay Hickerson
Here I am in the Garden City: Newark, New Jersey! Why would I be hanging out here on a delightful October day? It's the Friends of Old Time Radio annual convention, bringing together experts, hobbyists, on-air celebrities, behind-the-scenes production people, and generations of folks who simply know and love and appreciate Old Time Radio. And the kicker is that this is the last installment of this decades-long tradition. Jay Hickerson has been coordinating what would otherwise have been chaos for 36 years, and there have been countless hugs between long-time friends in a huge celebration of the triumphant conclusion to this event. There will be many re-creations of delights of the past and laughs and unforgettable moments. (For example: Wish you had your own theme song to accompany you wherever you go? Old-Time Radio Digest moderator Charlie Summers has such a theme song - and a shirt that plays it.) Wish you were here!


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