KZTV near Wilson Tower

Upper Broadway & Leopard (almost under Wilson Tower) in 1960s was KSIX Radio (1230 AM) studios and the KZTV-Channel 10 news room. The General Manager's office were located in the basement of the Show Room Building on Upper Broadway, south of Leopard towards Cathedral. Sadly the ShowRoom Building was demolished in 1978. Ground floor was originally the Show Room of Finer Furniture, became the warehouse outlet of Browning Brothers in the 1960s, and was boarded up for Hurricane Celia in August 1970 and left shuttered. A stone's throw from Cathedral was The Showroom Building. There was a little parking lot between Wilson Tower & this Show Room building. To the Cathedral side was paid parking, you put coins in big box with whatever number parking space you had. Behind that was a huge maybe 7-8 story parking garage with a Esso gas station on bottom.

In the Cathedral enclosed area you had two playgrounds, a skinny one on side of classrooms, and larger one near the Esso, had monkey bars, swings, merry go round, how the hell did we survive saw some wicked bodies flying off that at high speed, fun, lets do it again! You could  look out of the classrooms and see the parking garage, the flat parking area, and this side of Show Room building, sometimes daydream be outside, or watch lightning flash near looming Wilson Tower which the 600 Building not visible from class rooms.

Anyways, before I get all sidetracked again as commonly do and mind wanders off aimlessly the people in Wilson Tower, Show Room building, 600 building and Driscoll Hotel made me a LOT of $dinero$ for Cathedral selling Worlds Finest Chocolates. Not ONE kid from school would go to those buildings except me, most of the kids concentrated in their own hoods (I did this too with Lew Williams Chevrolet) but I could turn whole floors into diabetics selling boxes of those yummy WF Choco bars.

Many of you have probably passed in the 69s/early 70s past that building a million times and not known what if anything, it was. My late dad, mom, brother Tommy NEVER went in it, it was my little secret.

To the right of it (towards Leopard) on bottom of Wilson Tower facing downtown was a wonderful grille. You could go in there and all the suits drinking coffee, having bacon, eggs, toast, reading crumpled up newspaper from Caller Times which was only 2 blocks away down the hill. I could not afford anything in here, not that it was expensive, was cheap whole breakfast about $1 it was just as a poor kid from slum a mile away, $1 was a LOT of money for me. Like Woolworth & way out Everhart place Atlantic Thrift, (ok, Hasty tasty too!) I did wander up to the bar counter a few times and order toast from waitress ha ha, big spender 10 cents, 2 toasts, but would load about 8 pounds of jelly on them. And those little creamer 1/2 & 1/2 things if no one looking would open and chug them also. Sometimes I would leave nickel, sometimes dime for hard working waitress. Had enough sugar in me to swim across bay to Ingleside now.

I met some of the old school people here like Walter Furley & Gene Looper who did the news. What a nice pair of guys, and years later would be my customers around corner at Charboy's, which faced 600 building near Sandwich Shop. One night while watching news (BC=Before Celia, we still had electricity and even telephone phone umber MO-6-321 if you wish to call it) but watching Gene Looper tell you the news, before weather, they would give away in a raffle (to lure viewers) something, in this case it was a Vince Lombardi NFL football game. Somewhere I had filled out something as a kid and won, they called my name and said to come by studio to pick it up. I picked it up next day, and they were all laughing as they knew me as the Worlds Finest Kid ha ha. I was big man on Cathedral campus whole week kids coming up to me saying 'I heard your name called in Channel 10!!' and I would snugly smirk and said,  yes I won a game. What I didn't tell them was I never did play the game, you have to take 4 years at college to figure it out, it is NOT a electric football game where chimps can play, this is serious stuff, nothing inside a kid could understand. So I sold it for $5.

Back inside the Show Room building they had a futuristic news set. In...the...BASEMENT. Panels with Corpus Christi skyline behind the anchors. Off to the side was a odd 'weather setup' I had seen, the whole thing was hand painted by a mister Perales, depends on who was working that night did weather it seems. But there on the wall was a barometer, temperature, and humidity 3 gauge setup someone probably walked down hill to buy at Woolworth. The weather map had little magnets showing  cold fronts, H for 'High' & L for Lows, could move them around, that was cool to a kid. Magnets are forever cool to kids. But all those things hand painted, probably only Corpus Christi station to do that.

At night...when Gene Looper was probably sitting at home having a good, 20 year old glass of Scotch, & Walter shutting down the studio as it seemed he stayed later, & Art Mack the Sports Guy seemed to just do sports and get the hell out of there, well late at night, KZTV would shut down for the night at midnight. And if....I was still awake, momma, Tommy all asleep, I would get to see the end of day programming. You got The Lord's Prayer then National Anthem, then the indian dude with static in background.

Good night, sweet dreams, no seriously, get your butt in bed and go to sleep now, KZTV done for the day, see you in 6 hours.

Photo #1. The Show room Building colorful front in about 1967. The tiny parking lot behind it, Wilson Tower looms in background, the Cathedral to the right not shown. photo #2 Art Mack sitting & Walter Furley on the set. Photo #3 The Corpus Christi skyline background, looks great and clean but I just don't remember so many buildings being chalky white. Photo #4 The Vince Lombardi game I won in the KZTV raffle. I STILL would not know how to play it. Photo #5, you damned well better be fast to out run the 7th-8th graders who ALSO were selling Worlds Finest Chocolates for Cathedral.....Photo #6 the Indian "end of programming" thing KZTV would put up. Seriously it is now slightly past midnight go to bed!

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