Rodger Beimer called me yesterday to let me know that the old KOAT television station building at 1377 University NE had been torn down. I met Rodger there on my first day of work as a new photographer back in 1968 or so. I had been offered the position (my dream job) by Dick Knipfing when he was news director. I went on to become a reporter and anchorman. Rodger did too and we have remained friends ever since. This photo shows former APD policeman Mark Bralley in front of the station.
The News Room consisted of about 800 square feet or so. It had 8 desks all crammed together. Off in one small closet were the UPI and AP teletypes and faxphoto machines. They constantly clattered and sizzled. On one wall was the two film editing stations. On another wall was the equipment bays and shelves. Also on a small table was the two way Motorola radio. Then about a dozen phones and typewriters with paper, carbon paper, white out and paperclips everywhere. And also about 25 stuffed to overflowing ashtrays. I mean everyone smoked, except Rodger.
As Rodger and I were talking we wondered if the hazardous waste people had to come in before demolition. You had to be there to appreciate the chemical soup we worked in. The smoke was constant. Add in the film cement for editing, residue film development chemicals, film cleaner, battery acid from the old light packs, food that fell behind desks and stayed there for a decade, body odor from poor ventilation, and the smell and dust from the cosmetic makeup we piled on before going on camera, and you had an environment that might have equaled Love Canal. We loved being there every second.
Mark Bralley sent this picture of me filming a lull in the 1972 riots in the UNM area. I am behind the 'hippie' with the flowers.
Bralley said, "
It is always surprising to see things like the old KOAT station disappear. I will miss going by there and thinking of some of the best friends and times I ever had in my life.