Give a Better Bash? They Said It Couldn't Be Done ...
BUT WE WENT AHEAD AND DID IT!!
by Brooke Andrews
You know, it is truly mind boggling how each year the Survivors Reunion just gets better and better and even better. For those scoffers who don't believe this consistent improvement is possible, I just say: you have to experience it for yourself Ask anyone at last year's party and, after they comment on the 'mystery guest' all the guys noticed, they'll tell you it was a blast. Answers to Who was she? can be submitted in a plain brown envelope. Confidentiality not ensured.
Over the past few years this column has presented 'gossip', mainly mentioning the friends I personally knew from the old days. Last April, however, I made a point of meeting new people, making new friends and getting other names for the column. While some of the folks listed here are treasured friends from years gone by, others are newer acquaintances. To all of you get ready. Fun is in the air and I look forward to April 12th!
The April '95 gala, put together most professionally by our crack party planners, began with our welcoming committee at the door made up of Dee Courtwright, Maurie Helle, Karen DeWall, Donna Draper, Gina Canter, Jackie Pettycrew, Hal Davis, and Frank Sprague as well as Larry Schnebley, Kevin O'Shaughnessy and John Scher. The decibel level increased noticeably with Earl Baldwin on the roving (and very noisy) mike, spelled later by Don Andrews (former KOOL-FM News Director, Award Winning KOY Anchor/Reporter and currently with KTAR) and me, Brooke Andrews. Others who took over were Wally Grant, Marilyn Van Wagner and Carole Kann. Those revelers already inside welcomed Frank Asbury, formerly of KOY, KTAR and KNIX. Intent on their conversation were Bill Lester and Vic Figarelli (TV Guide). Equally engrossed were Channel 12's Pep Cooney, Karl Eller and George Wallace. Which reminds me, it was great to see Ray Smucker who managed Channel 12 when I first started working there in 1967.
Twenty years ago Matt Ganis was on KOOL-FM and more recently at KFNN. Remember Guy King from KTAR, KMEO and KOOL? He is still spinning platters but now he spins them for private parties. Let's hope he brings his wife Susan this year. From the olden days (Arthur was not king! Days not quite that olden, please) at KOY, I had a terrific visit with Sheila Blank until I wandered away and she began speaking with Jack Jacobson, formerly of Channel 3.
It was exciting to meet Jerry Kosowsky, who had been with KRIZ and KPHO, but is now a producer with several Bill Cosby specials to his credit. Jerry enjoys working with Coz who, he says, is 'a great guy who really knows his stuff.'Marsha Posner (Williams), No surprise to us. once in continuity with Channel 5, is now a producer with several award-winning programs to her credit. They include some of my favorites, Soap, Night Court and Golden Girls. Marsha has also written a book (I have no use for, thank heaven!) entitled How to Get Even with Your X. Bet it's a big seller! Don Jerome, formerly seen on KOOL-TV is President of KTWC in Phoenix. It was a treat to meet him.
Our fund-raising efforts for Bosom Buddies went very well, thanks to a crack sales team that included Larry Popkin, Lisa McFadden and Joan Frazier not to mention the fact that the raffle items, organized by Jim Frazier ensured that every purchase was a winner! Great idea! Thanks to that great idea I was able to sell all remaining prizes at the end of the evening to a benefactor who prefers to remain anonymous - but you know who you are and thank you. Jim prevailed upon his friend Donn Dugan to join the fun. Donn, who worked PR, marketing and advertising with Jack Beverage and Judy Mack is a poet and song writer of renown, penning such classics as the top vocal of 1967, Dear One.
It was thrilling to have my hand kissed by Phil Strausberg, whom I fondly remember as the kind (to me) entertainment critic for the R & G. Phil is now concentrating on PR and publicity projects. Fran & Bob Zimmerman were deep in conversation with Bob Van Voorhes. Grace Etchen, a friend from my theatre days, surprised me with the news that she worked in traffic for KPHO back in the start-up days of 1948. As a professional actress, Grace travels frequently to Los Angeles for talent work. It was also nice to see Aquanetta, who had been most kind to me in my youth.
Paul Dean the former R & G editor, was there with his wife Penny (Pfaelzer) whom many will remember from advertising. I also had the opportunity to meet Wayne Spade, account supervisor for Valley Bank back in the Jennings & Thompson era. I just had to give a big hello to Bing Brown who left SRP for a position with the City of Phoenix. A hug went to Jo Moyer and another to Dick Moore, who had been with KOY and Phoenix Magazine. He now entertains by playing piano at the Moon Valley Country Club. Armond Rotunda, who lent his expertise to Southwest Forest Industries and Dell Webb Industries, is still active in the stock market and 'dabbles' in land. Gosh! I'd get muddy dabbling in land.
SCOOP: An exclusive from Patricia Myers, Arizona Republic entertainment writer. According to Patricia, Dick DiAngelis left the party without his glasses and ended up in the Ladies Room. Boy! Did he have a good time or what??!! Perhaps he thought it said Laddies.
Picture one end of the room, filled with the excitement that only talk of a new radio station can generate. In that location were Ray Cox, Frank Pollack and Johnny McKinney heavily embroiled in plans for the new KCCF, AM 1100. This 50,000 watt station will feature vintage music with Jim Spero in the morning, McKinney during afternoon drive time and Pollack taking a weekend shift. Joe Groves is also on tap but since he missed the party his name doesn't get bold type. Perhaps in next year's column.
I had fun with Emmett Lancaster and his wife, Ruth, who sat with another very dear friend of mine, Carol Nichols (Turoff) and her husband Larry. Others I have to mention are Ron Conner of Channel 12, Sherri Chessen and Sue Ellen & Gary Edens as well as Phil Allen, Ben Garcia, Mary Simunich, Elmo Sears, Bill McNamara, Sandy Gibbons and Phoebe & Ray Thompson. To all of you whose names are not included, I apologize. Please be sure to visit with me this year, with a bit of news, so you can be included in The Further Adventures of Brooke Andrews -A Survivors Reunion Junkie.
Once again, thanks to my fellow committee members for a superlative job in organizing the best bash of the year. You guys keep getting better and better at this. Now, I know you can't top the 1995 reunion or can you? Guess we won't know until April 12th (which is very soon) and the column in next year's Survivors Times.