There are moments in my life I remember vividly. It was 1967, a weeknight, a school night. I was already in the kitchen when the phone rang.
“May I speak to Geoff Fox, please?”
It was a woman. A grown-up. Grown-ups didn’t call me at 16½.
“This is he,” I answered.
The woman on the other end was Ethel Burns. She was a TV producer in 1967, but she began as an English teacher. “This is he,” scored points and she told me so. I felt really proud.
Fifty years later I still remember her compliment.
Ethel Burns produced “Dial M for Music,” a WCBS Public Affairs Presentation. It was produced in cooperation with the New York City Board of Education and hosted by a Catholic priest, Father Norman J. O’Connor. It was a showcase for traditional jazz performers.
What did this have to do with the Board of Education? I have no idea, but for every taping a bunch of hand picked public school students were the permanent audience.
We were deemed trustworthy enough for a day of temptation. If you can imagine, on taping days we high school kids were left to wander the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street by ourselves.
Tonight for no reason I went on YouTube to see if Dial M still exists. I found an episode with Gene Krupa I’m pretty sure I attended. And though there are no front shots of the audience, I believe the circled guy is me.