A Rare Occasion

Rare historical artifact: Mike Durrett newspaper clipping from The Atlanta JournalThat's my very first big time article clipping. (#1 of 1, collect the whole series.)

The source: "The Atlanta Journal," Feb. 24, 1968. I was scarcely out of Huggies.

(Nevertheless, I was undefeated on the junior high wrestling team, leading the league in collected forfeits.)

(And collected Air Wicks.)

I've always taken pleasure in the fact that the paper's Dick Gray treated me as an adult. I'm sharing the piece, which appeared on the front page of the television section, since it ties into my previous post concerning Atlanta celebrity Freddie Miller and the atrocious state of our city's supposedly major market broadcasters during the '60s.

'A Rare Occasion'
Journal Television-Radio Editor

Every so often a letter drifts in here that I just hate to put in the TV Mail Bag. In fact, there are some that I hate to put anywhere except the trash can -- but that's not the kind I mean now.

I mean the kind that are so well done that it seems a shame to stick them back there with a bunch of other letters -- not that they aren't well done, too. But some letters just cry out for special treatment. You ever notice that? Sometimes I even hear them in my sleep.

Today I have a good one -- in which an Atlanta gentleman named Mike Durrett takes WAII-TV to task on several matters, including the station's corny, new newscasting style. Mr. Durrett writes well, with his tongue far out in his cheek. Here's what he says:

"I WOULD LIKE to say that I have found an excellent program for children on television. The show is Channel 11's wonderful INSTANT NEWS. If you don't pay any attention to the news, the show can be very entertaining. It is full of laughs and sight gags.

"The reporters look like they have been hard at work all day with their shirts unbuttoned, faces sweating, and cigarettes smoking, but in reality they were probably late to work from a poker game.

"One day a recorded news story was made to look like it was being phoned in at the last minute by using a phone that wasn't even connected (must be magic). The men use earphones to hear the latest "you heard it here first" news flashes; maybe some day they will put them on their ears.

"Another program that is truly one of the greatest thrills to appear on the horizon in many years is "Dialing for Dollars Movie." The fabulous Freddie Miller is the master of ceremonies of another great program, equal in quality to "Stars of Tomorrow" (the show that discovered Boppo and his Magic Plate).

"NOT ONE ounce of Freddie's talents has been spared to make this show a tremendous success. Many of the show's followers know him not as Freddie Miller, but as MR. FORTUNE, crusader of fun. Mr. Fortune's companion on this TV spectacular is a girl named Dolly, isn't that clever?

"Dolly's job is to walk over to the golden treasure chest (actually a spray-painted egg crate) and select a telephone number. The winner's number is handed to Mr. Fortune; the number is then dialed with his skilled and talented fingers.

"The phone is permitted to ring five times and if the contestant knows the answers to two specially selected questions (created by an ex-writer of Woody Woodpecker cartoons) he is awarded $111 and three green stamps from the store of his choice.

"I'm sorry my letter is so long, but it is a rare occasion when such fine outstanding programs like these come our way."

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