"I'll empty ash trays," I said to Dave Anderson in Guest Relations during my interview for a summer job as an NBC Guidette. My Dad was conducting the orchestra across the street at Radio City Music Hall. His trumpet player's girlfriend was the assistant to the head of NBC Guest Relations - Peter Tintle. The words "You're hired!" were music to my ears.
June, 1965 - after one year of college in Ohio as a drama/speech major - there I was in my slightly shabby but very glamorous navy blue uniform, hem length and heel height just perfect, ready to give my first tour of the studios. "Hullabaloo" had premiered in 8H earlier that year, Johnny Carson was three years into his thirty-year reign, and a 1965 survey showed Chet and David were more popular than the Beatles! The studio tour went for $1.25; I was making $40.00 a week (cigarettes were 25 cents in the commissary machine). You got to see a lot for your ticket: after an explanation of how the "Emmy" got its name, you were shown studios with "live action". Tonight Show guests roamed the hallways and occasionally Johnny, Ed or Skitch would appear to the delight of the group. The sound effects booth was my favorite, but seeing yourself on TV was a close second.
Dad came over on a break between shows and inquired of the rather stern tour supervisor, "How's my baby doing?" Once she realized that I was the "baby", she greeted him warmly. He was so proud! It was an exhilarating first day. I had blisters on both heels, but a big smile on my face - I was an NBC Guidette! That summer went very quickly. I worked the late shift a lot and would take drunken sailors on tour at 9PM. But, on that shift I got to hang out in the Tonight Show make-up room and met many stars. I also met many good friends. It was a grand summer!
As the calendar pages flipped, I worked my way up in Guest Relations as cashier and eventually supervisor, while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and getting my degree at NYU. I was "plucked out of the chorus line" in 1969 by Gloria Clyne to work as a "Gal Friday" in the Newsroom with Mac Johnson at the helm; we had typewriters, rotary phones and a pneumatic tube to send messages up to the telex room.
My year and a half on the Newsdesk was unforgettable, followed by nine years in Nightly News production (including a Fan Club in Iowa!), a decade as a Desk/Satellite Operations Manager and News Specials Projects Director and currently in Telecommunications as a Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU - forty years have flown by.
I often think back to that first day in June of 1965 when the world was a simpler place!
Women in Space
Audrey Allison, Dir., Frequency Management Services, Boeing Shared Services Group
Anita Antenucci, Managing Dir. Houlihan Lokey's Aerospace-Defense-Government
Dr. Wanda M. Austin Pres. & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation
Julie Bannerman, Gen.Counsel, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Sharri Berg, Senior V.P., News Operations, Fox News
Leslie Blaker, DataPath, Inc.
Yvonne Brill, Consultant, Satellite Tech. & Space Propulsion Systems
Michelle Bryan, Senior V.P., Human Resources, Intelsat
Dr. Angie Bukley, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering
Catherine Chang, General Counsel & Asst. Company Secretary, AsiaSat
Sabrina Cubbon, Gen. Manager, Marketing, AsiaSat
Yvette Dominguez, Manager, Payload Design Engineering Section, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Chris Ehrenbard, Dir., Broadcast Distribution, CBS
Mary Ann Elliot, Chairman of the Board, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc.
Celeste Ford, Founder & CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.
Mary Frost, former CEO, GlobeCast America
Eilene Galloway, NASA Pioneer
Carmen González-Sanfeliu, V.P., Latin America & Caribbean, Intelsat
Dawn Harms, V.P., Marketing & Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Ellen Hoff, Pres., W.L. Pritchard & Co., L.C.
Polly Rash Hollis, Satellite Industry Professional
Britt Horncastle, Satellite Consultant
Susan Irwin, Pres., Irwin Communications, Inc.
Barbara Jaffe, Senior V.P., Advanced Technology and Operations, HBO
Christine King, Deputy V.P., Technical Services & Engineering, Lockheed Martin
Betsy Kulick, Newsletter Editor & Corporate Secretary, Mobile Satellite Users Association
Penelope Longbottom, Founder & Pres., Longbottom Communications
Joanne Maguire, Exec. V.P., Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
Andrea Maléter, Technical Dir., Futron Corporation
Joan T. Mancuso, Founder & Executive, Broadband International LLC
Dolores Martos, V.P., Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, Vice Commander, Space & Missile Systems Center, L.A. Air Force Base
Eileen McGowan, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Intelsat
Olwen Morgan, Development Engineer
Bridget Neville, V.P. & Gen. Manager, Satellite Engineering & Operations, Sirius XM Radio
Christine Paape, V.P., Space Explorers, Inc.
Rhonda Parson, Manager, Occasional-Use Sales & Traffic Division, EchoStar Satellite Services
Maj. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Deputy Dir., National Reconnaissance Office
Jane Petro, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director
Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart, D.Eng., Pres., Thaicom PLC
Mary Quagliotti, Retired Major General, Army
Radhika Ramachandran, Ph.D., Counsellor (SPACE) & Technical Liaison Officer
Veena Rawat, Pres., Communications Research Centre, Canada
Joslyn Read, V.P., Regulatory Affairs, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Walda Roseman, Founder & CEO, CompassRose International, Inc.
Farah Suhanah Ahmad Sarji, General Counsel, MEASAT
Jacqueline Schenkel, Founder, Schenkel & Associates, LLC
Kay Sears, Pres., Intelsat General
Gwynne Shotwell, Pres., SpaceX
Marcia Smith, Pres., Space Technology Policy Group, LLC
Pascale Sourisse, Gen. Manager, Land & Joint Systems Division, Thales
Andy Steinem, CEO, Dahl-Morrow International
Nicole P. Stott, Astronaut, NASA
Bambi Taskarelli, Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU
Leslie Taylor, Strategic Planning Division Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Synette Tom, Marketing Dir., Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Marjorie Rhodes Townsend, Satellite Communications Consultant
Diane Tryneski, Senior V.P., Broadcast & Studio Operations, HBO
Diane VanBeber, V.P., Investor Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Intelsat
Barbara Warren, Systems Analyst, International Telecommunication Union
Zhang Yan, Gen. Manager, CITICSat and Chief Rep., Asiasat