Lax, Andrew <ALax@...>

I want to join others in thanking Ross and Les, et al, in getting this listserve "on the air". Like a lot of the others here, I had the privilege of being a part-time announcer under the tutelage of Arch Harrison. When I was fifteen, in 1970, my dad, Ed Lax, had been pestering me to get a part-time job. I approached Arch about a job filing records, sweeping floors, whatever. I was stunned and thrilled when he asked me if I wanted to learn to be an announcer. My first official job was as the "color" announcer (glorified scorekeeper) for Orange Hornets basketball games with John Craig. From 1970 to 1974, I generally worked the Saturday night (6:00pm to sign-off at about 10:30pm or so) shift, which became a "rock and roll" evening, a format which Arch was never overly thrilled about but which he tolerated with good humor. I sometimes alternated that night, Sundays and various weeknights (whatever was needed) with Jerry Hooper, Les Myers and others. I had the luck to be at the board on the night when the FM signal was first turned on. After I left for college, I came back on breaks to work some shifts and do some reporting work for Phil Audibert, while I also worked at the college station, WCWM in Williamsburg. But, within a few years, I drifted away from radio. I eventually ended up in law school at Wake Forest and I have practiced as a trial litigator in Charlotte for almost twenty years now. My only current tie to broadcasting is my role on the board of directors for WTVI, Charlotte's PBS station. When I was first approached about joining the board, one of the questions I was asked was: what can a local television station mean to a community? My response began with, "Well, let me tell you about a small radio station in Orange, Virginia ...." I have not spent much time in Orange for many years now, so I cannot say I know much about how the station operates, or even its current format. But for those of you who came after (as Ross called it) the "Arch Harrison era", you should know that WJMA in those days was truly special, the true center of the community's consciousness. I hope some of that remains. Would love to hear from anybody -- thanks again for stirring up some great memories!

Andy Lax

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