Tag Archives: Taconic High School

Where Will You Be in Five Years

50th ReunionIn August 2015, the high school classes of PHS, THS and SJHS held their 45th class reunion. The weather was spectacular and members of all three high schools traveled back to The Berkshires to laugh, reminisce and enjoy good times together. We parted knowing that our next reunion, would be the milestone golden reunion.

I’m sure if anyone had done a poll asking alumni where they would be in five years, they would have responded with something like, I hope to be alive and back home in Pittsfield for the 50th. No one would have answered, stuck at home, avoiding a novel coronavirus, wondering if we’d run out of toilet paper, watching our nation’s cities with protests, reminiscent of the 1960s, seeing unemployment inching its way towards that of The Great Depression and wondering if our retirement savings wouldn’t vanish with another economic collapse. No, none of us were thinking those things.

50 Years Later

Here we are, 50 years later, Sunday June 7th 2020 is the same day of the week it was when we all graduated in 1970, except this time nothing will be like it was 50 years ago. In 1970, the high temperature of the day was 73 degrees, visibility was over 24 miles, winds were blowing at a gentle 5 to 6 miles per hour and the sun was shining brightly.

The 70s

1970 was the year the U.S. Military invaded Cambodia and Laos, George Wallace led a major backlash against racial integration, the Environmental Protection Agency was created under Republican President Richard M. Nixon, an explosion aboard Apollo 13 forced the space craft to make an emergency return to Earth, the first Earth Day to stop pollution was celebrated, Bobby Orr scores an Over Time Win leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 sweep of the Stanley Cup over the St. Louis Blues, Casey Kasem debuted “American Top 40” on the radio, you could buy a gallon of gas for 36 cents and life expectancy was 70.8.

We’re Getting Older

That last statistic, life expectancy, weighs heavy on the Class of 1970 for most of us are turning 68 this year and due to COVID19, our 50th Class Reunion in October has been cancelled. The class leaders are hoping it can be held in either the summer or fall of 2021, but for now, everything is up-in-the-air.

50 Years Earlier

All of this is quite a change from June of 1970 when the number one song playing on radios everywhere was “Everything Is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens. 50 years later, things simply don’t appear all that beautiful at the moment.

Speaking of radio, I would begin my radio career in the 10th grade of high school when Dick Taylor WBECthrough a new Junior Achievement program, I would take my first steps into a commercial radio station. I would pass my FCC broadcast license exam six months later, landing a position as a commercial broadcaster.

53 years later, I still am broadcasting on the radio, from my home in Virginia over 105.9 WMEX-FM in New Hampshire and streaming over the internet on TuneIn radio.

I started this media mentorship blog six years ago, writing and publishing articles about broadcasting every Sunday morning.

2020 Graduates

The Class of 2020 finds their graduations being held online, or as a drive-up, like getting a takeout order from a fast food restaurant. The most positive spin on these aborted high school graduations being a lawn sign that read, “They closed the world for us. Congratulations Class of 2020.”

The Clock is Ticking

The Class of 1970 has waited 600 months, 2,609 weeks, 18,265 days, 438,360 hours to celebrate its Golden Reunion, but who’s counting.

Sadly, we have been counting the classmates we’ve lost over these 50 years, 111 for all three high schools, from a three high school graduating class of 891, including the first graduating class for Taconic High School.

We’re Baby Boomers. A generation that was so big that Pittsfield needed three high schools to accommodate us.

We may have been separate back then and even competitive, but today we are one.

Stay Safe Everyone and we’ll see you in 2021.

 

 

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Celebrating A Reunion

PHS 45th Reunion InviteIt was 45 years ago that I graduated from high school.  It’s really hard to believe that much time has passed, but this weekend I’m back in my hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts – in the “Heart of the Berkshires” – celebrating that teenage milestone.

This invitation has been on my refrigerator for months.  The anticipation has been building steadily and now it’s almost over.

Friday night we all went to the wonderfully restored Colonial Theater to see Mary Poppins.  Saturday night was our big reunion dinner/dance.  This morning we will meet one more time for Sunday brunch before we depart, all hoping we’ll be able to make it to the 50th reunion in 2020.

2020 is the year that commercial RADIO will become 100 years old.DT WBEC (1970s)  I was fortunate to start in radio back in 1967 while just starting high school.  I earned my 3rd class Radio Telephone FCC Operators License in February 1968 allowing me to professionally start working in radio shortly thereafter.  Radio would help me pay for my college education; bachelors and masters degrees.

My first radio station was WBEC – AM1420 in Pittsfield.

I had visions of being a big time disc jockey working at one of the major market 50,000-watt clear channel signal radio stations like WBZ in Boston or WLS in Chicago or WABC in New York.

But that never happened.  Instead I would move into radio sales and very quickly into radio station management.  It is in this senior management position that I would spend over thirty years of my radio life.

WSM(15)But never give up on your dreams.  Because when I began teaching at Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, I invited radio & TV professionals into my capstone class.  One of those professionals, the operations manager & program director of Nashville’s legendary 650AM – WSM invited me to be a guest disc jockey on this 50,000-watt clear channel signal radio station.

Those high school dreams really can come true!

For four hours on Sunday, July 13, 2014 I was in the air chair doing “The Dick Taylor Show” on this iconic radio institution.

This weekend we all remembered the good times, like the price of a gallon of gas (35-cents) or the price of a 1st class postage stamp (6-cents).  But 1970 was also the year that the Beatles broke up and four students were slain by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio.

The movies featured: M*A*S*H, Patton, Love Story and Airport.PHS 40th Reunion Picture

The record of the year was “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the 5th Dimension.  The song of the year was “Games People Play” by Joe South and the album of the year was the self-titled album by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Five years ago, we all stepped out of the dinner/dance hall for a group photo.  We looked FABULOUS!

We’re Baby Boomers.  A generation that was so big that the city had to handle our class size over three high schools – Pittsfield High, Taconic High and St. Joseph’s High.

We may have been separate back then and even competitive, but today we celebrate as one big high school class.

We’re the high school Class of 1970.

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Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales