WTIC Alumni Site

      In Memory of and Designed by Bill Clede


Don Burkhart remembers:

 I worked in the photo lab from 1964 'til 1980, a total of 16 years.  I do not want that part of my life to go unaccounted for, it would be a large gap, even at my age (lol).  I was the first full time lab technician.  Up to that point the photographers had to come in and process there own film for the news broadcast. Another part of the job was as still photographer, creating slides for station breaks and some ads.  Also shot most of the photos included in the blue book.  I desperately wanted to be a news photographer.  My break came in the late 60's, during the riots in Springfield, Ma..  All Photo personnel had gone home for the evening and I was getting ready to close up shop around 10:30 pm . Got a call from the news room about the riots erupting in Springfield, and told to head up that way.  With Bell & Howell and spot light in hand, I headed north to be met by the Springfield P.D. and taken into the riot area.  I did not know at the time that under that circumstance you shoot available light and force the film during processing.  Big time photographer that I wasn't, I jumped out of the cruiser lights blaring and camera rolling (lights, camera, action, and boy was there plenty of action).  I was a prime target for those that wanted to cause harm.  Garbage cans, bottles and trash came at me from every direction, including the roof tops.  I had to hit the deck a couple of times. In retrospect I am sure that I made a bad matter worse. In fact the cop that brought me in gave me a good chewing out, when I got back into the unmarked car.  But I got the film and that was what I was sent up to do.  Shortly thereafter I was  added to the staff of news photographers.  Trail by fire you might say.  I am sure that a lot  of the guys had a laugh at my expense about my stupidity.
When I left TIC in 1980,  I came to Florida (Tampa Bay) and went to work in Real Estate (the proverbial stand by). I actually did very well, but never liked the flux in pay (feast or famine).  Then bought a beach bar, that lasted another couple years. It was a lot of fun and a lot of headaches and besides I hardly drink.  I took a job with the public utility and then the Post office, from which I finally retired.  I have moved to north Florida and live on a 20 acre wood lot in a 3000 acre forest. My closest neighbor is a mile away and it took me 3 months to get a phone line out here, but I love every minute  of it.  If there is anything that is more rewarding than my stint at TIC, it is my retirement years here at Black Bear Farm, where I am living my dream.


Main  History   Reports   Events   Museum   Personalities   Technicians   Support  Listener Memories  Lost Alumni  Audio/Video