Pat Shingleton: "A Salute to Raymond..."
The television viewer sees who is in front of the camera and on few occasions are those "behind the camera" recognized. When I returned to Baton Rouge in 1981 and launched a game show, "We Play Baton Rouge" it necessitated a host of folks to build a set, light a set, block the camera shots and finalize the production. The guy in charge of production for WBRZ was Raymond Drago. When the show moved from the station to Cortana Mall, Raymond was there to ensure that all was "in-the-ready." When Coach Jerry Stovall approached me to produce and syndicate his weekly program, "The Fifth Quarter," Raymond was with me every step-of-the-way to construct and install a set, inside Tiger Stadium with Mike Rhodes as the host. Back then the means of transmitting video via satellites was in its infancy. Raymond and I would coordinate the delivery of "The Fifth Quarter" on what were called two-inch "Quad" tapes, early Sunday morning, to Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Houston, Biloxi and Mobile. Upon Raymond's sugestion, when a bus couldn't get the tape to the destination, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department did, often setting up transfers with other deputies to Shreveport and Monroe. When I launched "Hot Line After Dark," Raymond was there too and for our telethons to assist Our Lady of the Lake. I wasn't alone, Raymond established a great working relationship with all departments within our family-owned-station. I will miss Raymond and those great lunches at the Cotton Club with the Costanza boys, knowing that the angels surrounded him and carried him to the Heavenly Kingdom.