Pat Shingleton: "An Anniversary"
After exiting St. Joseph. Missouri in March of 1977 I spent a few days with my parents in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania enroute to Louisiana. Reymer-Gersin Associates was a television talent agency that forwarded my resume' and "tape" to numerous locations. The opportunities were narrowed to the "Quad-Cities" area near Chicago and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I flew out of a snowstorm in Kansas City on a Saturday morning and arrived in Baton Rouge, for the first interview, under super blue skies, a temperature of 68 degrees and perfect Spring weather. After the negotiation process, I accepted a position at WAFB under the supervision of Tommy Gibbens and Carellton Cremeens. On the Saturday that I interviewed, Paul Gates and Chuck "Chuckles" Perrodin were the first employees I met, followed by Grey Hammett. Everything I owned was stuffed into my '76 Camaro as I traveled from Pittsburgh and an overnight in Chattanooga, Tennessee, experiencing some rough weather. The remaining leg of the journey brought me to Baton Rouge on March 31st with thundershowers. On April 4th, 39 years ago, I entered Channel 9 hitting "the air" on April 11th. After becoming acclimated to the community and the workplace I was asked by Tommy Baynum to be the"talent" for furniture spots. On Monday mornings I would visit WBRZ Channel 2 taping 15 spots that aired around the state. Each taping was followed by lunch with John Pellerin, Baynum and Bob Headley with occasional visits to News Director John Spain's office. My on-air weather presentation must have been working and in the words of John, "You're either going somewhere else or here with us..." John was correct and I did both, WIIC-WPXI in Pittsburgh and WBRZ in Baton Rouge.