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Seventies Flashbacks
Written May 6, 2009


Only a few snippets of video tape survive from my years as the program director at TV-3 in Washington, Pennsylvania.  That was the local cable channel where I worked from 1974 to 1980.

However, sometimes in those days I took still photographs of the TV screen.  I recently rediscovered some of those slightly fuzzy 35-millimeter slides.

For example, here are Sil Passalacqua and Carol Phillips introducing Heart Fund Alumni Wrestling, a charity event at Trinity High School.  Virtually all of our telecasts were in black and white.

As I was a young man in my late twenties, it’s not surprising that many of the images that I saved were of pretty girls.  Now I’ve colorized four of them:   two stills of Becky Kudaroski, the head majorette at Washington High School, and two more of her successor as head majorette (whose name I’ve forgotten).

I’ve combined into a single frame the two pictures of the successor, whom we videotaped about 1977 as she was goofing around before band practice.

Becky and other Wash High band representatives came to our studio in 1975 to publicize the group’s upcoming trip to the Orange Bowl parade.

And here I am at the high school, probably in the spring of 1976, interviewing Becky in her majorette uniform.  Excuse me, in her head majorette uniform.

I still remember looking into the blue eyes of this graceful young lady.  I also remember her name.  So last week I Googled her name.  I discovered that like me, she went off to college and studied science.  She’s now Dr. Rebecca Kudaroski Hanckel, a professor who chairs the Department of Physical Sciences at Charleston Southern University.  Congratulations, Becky!

Meanwhile, during the Seventies I also took screen shots of broadcast TV programs featuring a relatively obscure actress by the name of  Deirdre Lenihan.  I first noticed this redhead when she was in a sitcom called Needles and Pins.  From then on, if I saw her name on a cast list in TV Guide, I made it a point to watch.  Sometimes I saved pictures.

Above:  The Waltons.

Right:  Streets of San Francisco.

Below:  Emergency!

In 2002, I posted on this website the photo that had first caught my eye, Deirdre’s 1973 TV Guide cover picture.  The magazine reported she was about my age, an only child like me.  Her father was “a hard-drinking, old-time Irish radical and newspaperman, who was forever running off to join the IRA in Ireland.”  At college in Maryland, Miss Lenihan played a number of Shakespearean roles.  After she became a professional actress, she made guest appearances in various TV series throughout the Seventies.

As far as I knew, her final role, oddly enough, was in a story about Americans supplying guns to the IRA.  On St. Patrick’s Day 1980, in an episode of the newspaper drama Lou Grant, Deirdre played one of the Peace People from Belfast.  After that, she dropped out of sight.

When I first posted her picture in 2002, I searched the Internet to try to find out where she had gone, but I found no trace.  I’m not enough of an obsessed fan to make any inquiries beyond that.

However, in the last seven years much additional information has become available online.  On a whim, I Googled her again recently, and this time my search was more successful!

I found out that Deirdre is married to actor James Sloyan (auto commercials, several Star Trek series).  They have two children, one of whom is an actress like her mother.  They live in Pacific Palisades, California.  If Google Street View has not led me astray, they live in this house.

Deirdre supported Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign.  Now she has gone back to college, where she’s writing poetry.  Here’s a current picture alongside one from the 1973 article.

And I can even watch that episode of Lou Grant again!  The peace ladies appear about 32:45 into the story.

Sooner or later, all the knowledge in the world will be on the Web.



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