Friday, February 15, 2019

Remembering the Friends of Old-Time Radio Conventions

In the process of cleaning out filing cabinets I came across a large stack of program guides, given away to attendees of the annual Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention. Held annually in Newark, New Jersey in October for more than 40 years (if you count the first five years when the event was SAVE, before it was renamed FOTR), the event closed down a few years ago. Anyone who loved old time radio found themselves in good company -- not just fans who shared a common interest but also radio voice actors. Carlton E. Morse, Jerry Stiller, Bill Dana, Molly Bee, Noel Neil, Hildegarde, Raymond Edward Johnson, Ralph Bell and many others mingled the hallways and chatted with fans.

Lo and behold I come across a huge stack of what is almost every program guide since the event's inception, including promotional flyers sent out to the mailing list every year. If you were an attendee of FOTR, you will find some of these program guides bring back memories. For others, they are a fascinating time capsule for how fans of old time radio celebrated their childhood year after year with illustrious authors and historians offering slide show presentations, celebrity Q&A panels, and more.