Submitted by Name: Patty Porter From: Washington State now, previously from Calif. E-mail: email@example.com
Comments: My name is Patty Porter, William B. Ogden was my uncle, as Tally and Thora were my aunts. Some would remember me as Patty Ann, which my aunts and uncle preferred to call me. This wonderful site was found by my son Jeff Porter, and what a treasure it is. I have enjoyed reading all the comments, as my Uncle Bill was very special to me. I started working at R.O.E.S while in High School in the 60's. I continued after graduation and got married and moved to Huntington Beach with my husband when they opened up the school down there. My husband Alan was the first janitor for the dorms and classrooms, while he attended college. We both worked there until 1967, when we made a move to Reseda. Some may remember my mother, Pat Stevenson, Tally and Thora's older sister who is now 100 and lives with us. My mom did the memo-graphing in the back office on a as needed basis.
Uncle Bill was like a second father to me, as was Tally (Attalia) and Thora (Torree) second mom's. Uncle Bill taught me to ice skate and bowl. Most of you may remember all the bowling teams he was on.
After retirement Tally convinced Uncle Bill to take 1 cruise, and after that they both loved it so much they managed to take 22 cruises in all. We always remained a close family and saw them often, as did my children.
I accomplished my 3rd class license while working in the office. I always wondered who came up with the color scheme of purple and yellow. As a young lady I sure did not think those colors went well together. I was often the person at the doorway taking the coffee count while Uncle Bill said...."Coffee's get them high". Of course there was always someone who forgot to raise their hand and had to come to the kitchen to ask for a cup. Thora and Tally always accommodated them with a smile.
Uncle Bill did pass away January 24th 1998, and Tally March 5, 2006, I was there holding her hand as she passed. I believe it was 1987 that Thora passed, I'm sure I can find that date. Thora's son Jim McDonald is still living in the Huntington Beach area, I am sure many of you remember him. I will pass this site on to him.
My life is filled with wonderful stories from these great people who impacted my life to this day. Thanks to those who appreciated him so much, he would be honored.
Admin reply: Hi Patty, Thank you for your posting. I will be getting in touch with you by email.
Comments: I am Bill Ogdens Great Nephew. I was stunned to see an entire page dedicated to his radio school and got kind of emotional seeing all the lives that he affected. I don't know what made me look up his name on the internet today but I am glad that I did. Bill and Tally are deceased but his family lives on. I believe that he passed in 1998 but I will get more family to confirm when I share this page with them. Actually Tally's sister Patricia Stevenson is the only extended sibling of that era still around at 100 years old! My mother, Patricia Porter is Bill, Tally and Thora's niece. I have very fond memories of Bill, Tally and Thora. We always loved visiting their house in Huntington Beach California. I knew a different 'Uncle' Bill then everyone else as I was just a kid in high school when he passed. In retirement Bill did a lot of woodworking and gardening. I remember staying up late with him watching Johnny Carson when we stayed at his house, always visiting at Christmas time and always having wonderful meals at their house. They were always a pleasure to be around and I wish that they all could still be here. I would love to hear more stories about the Ogden's during their time at the radio school if you have more stories. Again, I will pass this page along to my sisters, mother and family to read and share their own thoughts. My mother is great with dates and can confirm more details about their lives. Thank you again. I look forward to reading all of the comments.
Admin reply: Hi Jeff...Thank you for getting in touch and your comments. We are looking forward to receiving addition information on Bill, Tally etc. I will contact you directly by email. Regards, Bob, Webmaster of MRM.
Comments: Hi. I'm from the Class of Apr-Jun, 1967. For what it's worth; I was Bill's personal masseuse in that I gave him neck massages with his electrical massager on a daily basis. Was I a 'Kiss-up'? Hell, yes. I was barely 18 at the time and this was my first trip on my own away from home. Does anybody else remember the planes taking off and heading right for the Dorms? My career as a DJ lasted about 5-6 years, but, I will always treasure the time I spent at Bill's. And remember: "Coffee's, get 'em High".
Comments: My friend Rick Bailey and I lived in tiny Lompoc, California, and during our junior year in high school we heard that the local station, KNEZ, needed a weekend guy. Rick convinced me to go with him to try out for the job. Neither one of us had ever worked in radio, but the PD (radio name Scott Donahue, but real name Don Barrett) said one of us could have the job but we needed a third-class radiotelephone license with broadcast endorsement. Rick and I sent for the book, then went to LA to take the test. Rick failed, but I passed, so I got the job. I worked there for a while and it became obvious that you needed one of two things to work on radio: talent or a first phone. I wasn't too blessed with the former so I decided to go for the latter. Scott (I mean Don) told me about Bill Ogden's school, so I wrote to my grandmother and begged for the couple thousand dollars for the tuition. And I convinced Rick to go as well. So in the summer of 1966, between our junior and senior years in high school, we headed off to Huntingqton Beach. This was the first class in the new location and things were a little rough. For one thing there was no hot water for the first couple of weeks. We all got used to cold showers, and a few people didn't shower at all, meaning our 18 hour days locked in the room together got a little gamey. All day we'd learn electronic theory and at night we'd study math. Did I also mention that the class just before us learned when they went to the FCC to take their test that the test had been changed for the first time in years? Most of them flunked, so they extended into our class. We were in the unfortunate position of having to actually learn the material instead of being given most of the answers. Our experience and diligently writing down questions after we left the testing room made the following classes a little more successful. But let's get back to our class. Class was held Monday thrrough Saturday from 9 in the morning until 2 in the morning We usually were given a huge test on Saturday night and given the choice of either working all night to finish the test and getting Sunday off or coming back on Sunday all day. I usually came in on the Sunday. After six weeks a large group of us went into LA to take the test, gold pencils in hand. Bill had taught us that as you went through the questions, if you weren't absolutely sure of the answer, put a little mark next to it and go to the next one. When you had been through once, you would go back and count the ones you left blank. That told you what kind of chance you had of passing. When the results were in I had passed, but my friend Rick had failed! He ended up having to spend two more weeks but I went home happy and with the expectation of getting that large blue paper in the mail, thanks to Bill. I worked in small markets like Santa Maria and Oxnard for a few years, then joined the Air Force and worked in Armed Forces Radio in Spain. Upon returning to the states I stayed with it for a few years but then upon getting married and having kids I came to the realization that you can't eat glamour. So I changed careers and never returned. Still miss it though. For those of you who are fellow alumni I'll remind you of one of the memory games that Bill used to get us to remember some of the hard things. Like the Power in the Sidebands formula, or the resistor color coding. They were little chants and probably quite unacceptable in today's politically correct world. But I still remember them!
Comments: What great memories in this guestbook! Have now worked in TV for 42 years. Family moved to Seattle in 1971 and none of the TV stations would hire you without a first phone. Enrolled in ROES that summer, and what a ride it was from the damn rooster that would wake you up at 2:30 am to the excitement of taking the exam on Spring street in downtown L.A. Bill was tough, but a true friend once you got to know him. I remember his throat lozenge before each cigarette, and the first week he told me I didn't have brains God gave a tennis ball. He was always one step ahead of the FCC pulling each student aside after the exam, asking in detail if there was a new question we didn't know. After studying each night 'til midnight we would walk next door to the donut shop for fresh donuts and coffee. We would look forward to Tally and Thora walking in the classroom and Bill would shout: "Coffees Get Em High"! Have been in contact with Tom Irwin. Great Guy!
Comments: Many people have said it and I will agree and repeat. Attending Bill Ogden's school in Huntington Beach, Ca. changed my life. Andy McQuade and I flew down together to get our First Class FCC license. Andy got out in six weeks or so, but me, being a young know it all who really didn't took a bit longer. I was one of those who had trouble grasping the Math. Bill Ogden sent me home right before Christmas and said to return once the other class was going. I returned in the middle of the new year's class and was met by Bill on a Friday night. He shoved a bunch of study guides in my hands and said you're being tested in the morning.I stayed up all night and he had written a special test for me and I aced it. Bill Ogden knew I could do it, but I didn't. I kinda coasted from there and was a bit worried about the 2nd Class Test. I passed it and really cruised on the first section. When I went to the testing facility in downtown LA, I thought it was the easiest test I'd ever taken. My testmate and I were laughing so hard during the taking of it, they threatened to throw us out and fail us. We stopped the snickering long enough to finish and laughed our way out the door knowing we had passed. This was all thanks to Mr. Bill Ogden. He really did care about his students.
Comments: I attended Ogden Radio School in 1965 and worked for a number of years for KTVB in Boise. Idaho . It is great to hear from former students ,wish we could go back to those days . Later I did some writing and wrote BURIED In The HEARTLAND . John De Blieck
Comments: Thanks to ROES I was able to Broadcast from KBLU YUMA, KTKT TUCSON, KAIR TUCSON, KLIF DALLAS, KNUS DALLAS, WYSL BUFFALO, WPHD BUFFALO, WGRQ BUFFALO. GREAT SCHOOL, THEY SHOULD HAVE MORE LIKE IT.
Comments: I attended the William B. Ogden School of Radio Operational Engineering in 1968.
One problem was learning too much. When we took the test, we would have to sit and pretend to concentrate for anther 15 or 20 minutes. We didn't want it to appear that we had cheated, we had finished so quickly. :D
Added: March 26, 2012
Submitted by Name: Steve Randall From: Seattle, WA
Comments: In 1970 there were several avenues to obtaining a FCC First Class Radio Telephone License. You could go to college or a university and study electronic engineering for years. Maybe, even after all that, fail the test, for reasons I will explain later, or you could enroll in one of the many ‘ticket mills’ or technical schools.
These were the main players in 1970: 1. Don Martin Hollyweird, CA 2. Elkins many locations 3. Bates Technical College, Tacoma WA. 4. The Bill Wade School of Radio & Television in Hollyweird and San Diego, CA
But if you absolutely HAD to get that First ticket there was the William B. Ogden Radio Operational Engineering School in Huntington Beach, Ca. THIS was THE place. The FCC First Class Radio Telephone (First Phone) examination was a very difficult test and required many hours of study to pass. Ogden’s was established in 1946 in Burbank, offering a standard course of study lasting over a period of several months. However, at the request of broadcasters, and to meet the high demand for first class licensed operators, owner Bill Ogden converted his standard to a concentrated course (cram course) of 6-8 weeks, 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week.
Ogden’s provided a dormitory where all of us slept. The whole idea of Ogden’s was serious with one and one goal only, to pass the FCC First Class, because there were many like me that had a job waiting for us IF we got that damn license. What helped me and most of the class adjust to the regimental atmosphere of Ogden’s was that a good deal of us were veterans and were comfortable in bunk beds and a dormitory type setting. These were accommodations a monk would find challenging.
At Ogden’s there was no BS’ing, no horsing around, no radios playing the hits, no TVs, no pool tables, no books or magazines. Nothing but study, lectures and tests, tests and more tests. Ogden cared zip about disc jockeys or the few from Bell Telephone or Southern Pacific Railroad who were there primarily for the FCC second needed for microwave maintenance or some such thing but the majority of the students were wannabe disc jockeys.
Bill Ogden was an ex-prison guard at Alcatraz discharged for cruelty. OK, a little humor there – but for those who went to the school they would understand my humor on the subject of Mr. William B. Ogden. Here is one example of Bill’s teaching method.
The typical day was 12 hours, seven days a week, 6-8 weeks. After all this theory and testing some of us were so tired we dozed off in the middle of his teaching of vacuum tubes, transistors, amplifiers, receivers, direct current, electricity, magnetism, rectifiers, power supply, mathematics, rules and FCC regulations — and on and on. If Bill saw a student nodding off he would whip out a blackboard eraser and fire that sucker right at him. The intended missile did the trick and suddenly Mr. Sleepy Head was instantly awake and ready to resume the torture ..ahh lecture. I can honestly say I never dozed in class.
Ogden started the class by explaining how a superheterodyne receiver works…HUH? WHAT? “What is this?” I know how a radio works. You turn it on it plays. You turn it off, it stops playing. Now, give me my First Class license and let me out of here!
The tests came in three parts. There was the Third ticket which most of us had, then the * * * of all the tests in my opinion, the second class test – and the finally the first class test. Many questions on the test strained the brain and made no sense what so ever. I can’t give an accurate example of one of those questions after all these years but here is an illustration: If 2+ 2 =4 then what is 4-2? FCC answer…3. If you want to pass the test then you better mark 3 as your answer. Knowing these roadblock questions ahead of time helped get you the ticket and a much better chance of a job than the slob who had no clue as to what was to befall him. Books and college classes didn’t teach the “FCC WAY” of taking the test. The class size generally ran 35-50 per class and most all were as serious about passing the test as I was.
Bruce Chandler (K-EARTH 101) and I have remained friends all these years despite him talking me into leaving KDON Salinas/Monterey for KMEN San Bernardino another story for another time. Bruce was a smart dude and graduated a little over a week earlier than I. But that was alright, I wasn’t going to take the FCC 1st test until every fiber of my being was prepared because I had to get that confounded license. My preordained future in radio was riding on it and worse, if I didn’t pass the test my wife would have killed me for being gone so long, (nearly two months).
But after all this pain and anguish, ole Bill really did care about all of us passing the First test and we all deep…DEEP down loved him despite all he put us through. When I went to take the FCC second class and the FCC First class tests, at the federal building in Los Angeles, in a room full of test takers from other schools, I was the first one finished. I laughed to myself how easy it was because of William B Ogden.
Earning that license put you in a very select group. When you met another jock who had a First – no matter his talent, and to most of us the others jock you worked with always sucked, you did have some respect for them nevertheless. As Jason Remington, a Bates Technical College graduate, my good friend and brother loon said to me recently, “… those that passed the exam and got the 1st Class ticket —DESERVED IT. That was a * * * load of information, study and book learning. I was walking on a cloud for days after I got my 1st.” I can’t say it any better than that.
So if you are reading this and you got yourself that 1st ticket then step up to the plate and share the story.
Steve Randall February 2012
(Courtesy of Sea-Tac Radio.com
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