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Chet Huntley

Shy Guy from Hollywood High

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1946 — Gower Gulch — Chet Huntley
Gower Gulch

(Previous Page)

Chet Huntley — My Favorite Customer

If you've been around long enough to remember a time before TV, you may recall a radio newscaster named Chet Huntley. Or perhaps you remember Chet Huntley as being co-anchor with David Brinkley on the NBC Evening Television News.

Well, I remember Mr. Huntley from the days when I used to deliver him a daily newspaper. His office was in the CBS Radio Studios on Sunset Blvd., which were across from my newspaper stand on the corner of Gower St., which was up the street from Columbia Studios.

CBS KNX - Columbia Square, Sunset & Gower, Hollywood
CBS-Columbia Square as seen diagonally from my newspaper-stand on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Gower St. in Hollywood

Anyway, Mr. Huntley was my favorite customer. Why? Well, the L.A. Herald-Express sold for a nickel in those days — but every day Mr. Huntley would give me a dime — and tell me to keep the change. Nobody else did that (not even Orson Welles).

Buffalo Nickel     Liberty Dime

Something I remember quite vividly about Mr. Huntley's office was a large, noisy machine that was constantly clattering away in an adjacent room. The door would usually be closed because of the apparatus's noise.

The machine appeared to be an oversized typewriter, activated by signals coming in over some special phone lines.

Amazing 'Teletype' Machine Teletype Machine

I'd frequently find Mr. Huntley standing at the machine, scanning the reams of text it continually spewed out. When he'd spot something interesting, he'd tear off the paper and scribble notes on it. These scraps would eventually end up next to his typewriter, from whence he'd type that day's news broadcasts.

(The above photo is obviously not of Mr. Huntley — it's one I found online, and shows exactly what I used to see him doing.)

Looking back on it now, I can see that the teletype was the early forerunner of the fax machine, as well as of the computer/modem/printer combinations we've all come to know and love. I remember standing there in awe, watching the machine spit out volumes of raw data, as it came in from all parts of the world — way more than could be squeezed into any 30 minute radio broadcast.

I was fascinated by the apparent ease and finality with which Mr. Huntley would choose the items he would edit for that day's broadcasts. "Isn't modern technology wonderful?" I remember thinking.

Apparently the teletype machine did all right by the man who invented it, too. Mr. Crumm (I don't remember his first name) was now rather elderly and lived in a spacious home in Beverly Hills. This I learned when my mother got a temporary job there, as his companion/caretaker.

She described him as being a nice old gentleman who had become very wealthy by having invented something called a "teletype machine." She wasn't exactly sure what it was, but I felt very wise and worldly seeing one in action every day.

And I can't help but wonder now if my early fascination with Mr. Huntley's teletype thing isn't what eventually got me hooked on today's endlessly amazing world of computers. Or — maybe I just like to keep up with the news.

Anyway, I sure could use more customers like Chet Huntley.

Continued on Next Page

Don Edrington's Home Page     Shy Guy from Hollywood High     Brief Bio   All Stories

Prologue   Ch.1 Alameda - Los Angeles 1939-40   Ch.2 Echo Park 1943   Ch.3 Virgil Jr Hi 1944   Ch.4 Le Conte Jr Hi 1945-46
Ch.5 Gower Gulch 1946   Ch.6 Hollywood Hi 1946-47   Ch.7 Drop Out 1948   Ch 8 Norma Jean Salina 1948   Ch 9 Fort Ord 1949
Ch.10 Fort Belvoir 1950   Ch.11 Korea 1951   Ch.12 Back to Civilian Life 1952   Ch.13 Cornet Stores 1953   Ch.14 Puerto Rico 1955
Ch 15 Signs by George 1956   Ch 16 Mexico 1958   Ch.17 Fullerton 1960   Ch.18 Fallbrook 1973   Ch.19 Assorted Strange Cyber Stories
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