— By Ken Koch

imageFor better or worse, the other excellent posts in this blog [see here and here] have spurred me on to offer my own reflections…

I was heavily recruited to leave Edison and be part of the grand experiment that was getting underway at Booker T. Washington: “the best teachers”; “more special classes from which to choose”; “great facilities”; “your very own TV studio”; and “a show on Tulsa Cable”.

Mr. Crowell, though, made a more compelling case for me to stay at Edison. We cobbled together our own, albeit very crude, studio… black-and-white cameras, bang box switcher, and a 3/4 inch machine that we set up in the hallways for playback.

As a senior, I arranged to have two periods of Instructional Media (which was unheard of). Mr. Kirby was very unhappy that I wasn’t signing up for Calculus with Mr. Dobelbower… he was convinced I was making a huge, life mistake spending so much time in IM.

As it turned out, Mr. Crowell did me a huge favor… the experience I gained helped me get my first job in broadcasting (while still at Edison) and, 40 years later, most every turn in my career has had a connection back to those days on the third floor. Likewise, Benson let me write articles for the newspaper that got her called on the carpet (but earned me scholarships). Mrs. Landry let me be her teacher’s aide as she amazed students by unraveling the arcane world of Algebra, while taking time for sing-alongs of The Red River Valley and railing against racism as only a child of the South could.

My path was not the usual one (remember the bluegrass and country/western performances?), but it was one that received guidance and support that were pure Edison. I’m fairly certain that each of you had a similar experience. I look forward to hearing stories about your Eagle journey next weekend.