Tuesday, February 27, 2024


Frankly, I'd have thought all of us would have passed into The Great Beyond by now.

But no!

Yet another gathering of former television journalists was convened but not in the Pie Place this time.

Taking pity on the oldest member of the gang (me) they came to Prescott Valley for lunch. 

The group this time was composed of, from left to right, former videographers Wally Athey and Steve Torbeck, former producers and news directors Al Macias and Yours Truly, and former reporter in both Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Ron Thompson, known in tv land as Ron Talley.

Ron's journey to Arizona from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina was the impetus for the gathering.

But he didn't come to Arizona just to visit me.

Ron is a native of a Chicago suburb but also a fervent alumnus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

And its sports teams.

He came to see a couple of basketball games featuring his beloved Wildcats.

He was pleased with the seats he secured.

Now to take you back . . way back . . into the distant past, let me start with our trip to Washington for the Sandra Day O'Connor confirmation hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Talley and I conferring on matters of state.

Then to Detroit, at the Republican National Convention in 1980.

Best buddies Talley and Athey, perhaps relieved that it was all over.

In 1984, we were found in San Francisco, at the Democratic National Convention.

As usual, I was on the phone (a landline!) while Talley waited to hear how much time he was going to get on the evening telecast.

A few weeks later, we had much roomier space in Dallas for another Republican National Convention.

Athey is editing videotape and Talley, this time, is on the phone.

Macias joined us at that convention and joyfully joined in on the "thank god it's over" celebration.

Now, somehow I don't have any photos of this Steve Torbeck on these many adventures.

But good old Baseball Steve was at that convention in San Francisco and was a photographer whom I've known for an even 50 years!

Here he is luring me to the edge of the Dread Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona, telling me "just take one more step back!"

And he made a trip to Puerto Vallarta in 1991 to share a couple of Boys' Nights Out with me when I lived in Mexico.

(Even though he had given up alcohol by that time.)

But getting back to our recent gathering, it was fun comparing notes on other old friends and sharing stories (once again) from the old days, most of which can not be repeated in decent company in these much more P.C. days.

But one story Mr. Talley told me I had never heard before.

I knew that when he came to work at Channel 12 there was already a Thompson on the news staff, the legendary anchorman Ray Thompson.

The powers that be didn't think they should have two by that name and so he became Ron Talley.

(He picked "Talley" from the name of a Chicago sportswriter.)

But before that, as they were all trying to come up with his "new name", it was noted that it was a rare rainy day in Phoenix and if he hadn't objected, he could have launched his television career as Ronny Rain!


  1. great pictures. would love to have been a fly not the wall.

  2. I think it's great you get to do this!

  3. Great photos and memories thanks for sharing and like the comment above, oh to have been a fly on the wall!

  4. I loved looking at those old photos; you've all aged well and are still vertical! Those reunions are fun-filled chats about shared memories; John loved his 50 year Air Force reunion in Arizona last year.

  5. I'm glad you are all still around to get together. It will be a sad day when you all meet up to say a goodbye to one that has moved on.

  6. That’s neat! 😊👍

  7. tc-Light/Breezes--great post. Love seeing your old gang, then and now. It's cool you still reunion. Seeing your old work pics brought back memories of my days in tv news. Those convention work spaces were hard to describe.

  8. You folks really got around to the big conventions.

  9. What interesting careers you all had. I can only imagine the stories...probably would have had to roll my pants up as I bet it got deep in there!

  10. Looks like great fun, I hope you keep meeting for many years. So many great memories.

  11. Old friends are the best - they know all the stories (well maybe that's not such a great thing).

  12. What fun it must be to meet up. Love seeing the old pics to go with the post.

  13. Great reunion. I get together with old buddies 2 or 3 times a year. It's hard to realize how fast time goes.

  14. It looks like a fun gathering and I am glad you are all still friends and still in touch.