Knick Of Time

Art Lake (from WJAR)

Art Lake, one of the originals at WJAR, NBC10 in Providence, died Sunday.  He was 85.

I didn’t know Art, but I came across this in his obit in the Providence Journal, and it blew me away.

The TV station WJAR arrived in July 1949, and the first newscasts were anchored by Lake and Russ Van Arsdale.

In those days, Lake told The Providence Journal in 2004, he and Van Arsdale had to drink Knickerbocker Beer, one of the station’s sponsors, throughout the show. They stopped because they were burping through the broadcast.

This reminded me of my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Edward Convery.  Mr. Convery was a proud Irishman who would stand at the head of the classroom at Memorial School in beautiful Framingham, Massachusetts, and tell Irish jokes.

One day, he professed his love of Knickerbocker beer to the class.  This seemed perfectly OK, because in our little minds we were the upperclassmen in the context of a grades 1-6 elementary school.

He had the class repeat after him:  “Nicka-bocka-beeah.  Nicka-bocka-beeah Nicka-bocka-beeah!” Go ahead, try it.  It’s catchy.  And when 25 sixth graders did it in unison, it was downright fun.

Of course, drinking Knickerbocker during a newscast and having a bunch of sixth graders say the name of a beer in unison would be completely unacceptable now.

But just for fun, repeat after me…


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in It's all about me, Living in the Past, Noticed, People, TV Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Knick Of Time

  1. Great story, Gerry. Art Lake will be missed. We used to watch him when we lived in RI. Real pro.

  2. Chip Gorra says:

    Art has that wonderful and un-reproducable Rhode-Island accent that exists in perhaps a 25 mile radius of Providence: He probably couldn’t have worked anywhere else in the country because of it, but he was a local treasure!

  3. It would probably be cause for termination in today’s climate. Didn’t know you grew up in Framingham, Gerry. I spent my high school years next door at St. Mark’s School in Southborough. When we wanted to get away from the dreary Gothic ambiance of the boarding school, we took the Gray Lines bus from White’s Corner on Rt 9 into Framingham where the real action was.

    On a year off from college I worked up on the (artificial) mountain for Bose testing and repairing speakers. I hated working on an assembly line but loved the product discounts. When work got out on Fridays, we’d all head over to Timothy’s Two to relieve the tedium. I’ll bet I ran into you at the pinball machines!

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