The year is 1998: Ed Miller, K8EHA, St Joe's class of 1960, and Engineering Manager
over at WEWS TV-5, and currently serving with "national" as
President of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Ed is wondering where future broadcast
engineers are going to come from. He remembers how the St Joe's Radio Club inspired many
of his classmates to go into broadcasting, and gets the idea of starting the SBE "youth membership"
Ed starts talking about this with SBE member Bob Leskovec, K8DTS, also St Joe's Class of 1960, who
is Sr Staff Physicist over at Case Western Reserve University and moderator of the Case
Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU.
Meanwhile, Bob (aka "RAL") has been working with Ken Kane, KG8DN, the Science Teacher at Gilmour Academy, who
had been steadily building an amateur radio club at that school. It turns out, Ken was a
student at St Edward High School back in 1957 when Sputnik was launched!
RAL, and another SBE member, Lab Manager for the CWRU Med School, Tracey Liston, (now W8TWL)
had been organizing hamfest
activities as fund raisers for W8EDU, the Case Amateur Radio Club (CARC) for several years.
RAL gets the idea of putting all these factors and people together and reserves several tables
for the Cleveland Hamfest.
Why not capitalize on the opportunity to also have a W8KTZ "re-union"? --and why limit it to that school?
Why not make it a general "school radio clubs" re-union and encourage anyone and everyone
who remembers the school radio clubs from years ago that might have kick-started their careers?
The event is publicized in various of the local ham club newsletters, and with the hamfest organizers.
They are joined by Ted Alexander, K8VPL, (now W8IXY) St Joe's Class of 1964, who is both a broadcast engineer,
and local "on-air" personality, and who just happens to also do announcing at the Cleveland Hamfest.
Mike Szabo, at that time, Asst. Chief Engineer at WKYC-TV3, and Chairman of SBE local Chapter #70, volunteers
to help Ed Miller with the SBE table. CWRU Biomedical Engineer, Stephen Trier KG8IH from CARC comes out to
help Tracey Liston at the W8EDU table.
Bob Kozar, K8NXF, St Joe's Class of 1962, and long time Staff Physicist and an Operations Manager from
NASA Plum Brook comes in for the
occasion, and Mike Stimac, N8EXI, long time moderator of the old
SJHRC is able to come up from Reynoldsburg, Ohio to join in!
Bob contacted over 30 hobby-electronics companies who each sent a pile of catalogs and a "door prize"
to give out. The W8EDU table conducts a free "raffle" to hand out the door prizes. Ted makes periodic
announcements over the P.A. to tell people about all the free goodies, and what all else is happening over at those
tables to get people to come over.
The line of four tables is a continuous overlap of the simultaneous activity, from Tracey Liston and Stephen Trier
selling surplus at the
W8EDU table on one end, to Mike Szabo handing out SBE literature at the other. In between, Bob Leskovec,
takes care of giving out the free catalogs at the second table. Ken Kane and Bob Leskovec show old scrap books
and answer questions about the school radio clubs. Ed Miller moves between the SBE table and school-radio-clubs
table, and demonstrates the model "Sputnik" he built back in 1958. Bob Kozar and Mike Stimac greet the
visitors and try to match up memories and facts from the "old days."
Mike Stimac was moderator of the St Joe's Radio club from its very beginning around 1951 and encouraged the students
to not only get their ham licenses, but commercial radio operator licenses as well. In 1961, he moved on to his "Africa Adventures".
What happened to Ed Miller's fellow classmates at that club, who all shared in
the enthusiasm in science and radio communications generated by the Sputnik experience,
is what he would have liked to see happen again by getting youth members to come and experience the
meetings and facilities tours associated with
their local SBE chapter meetings across the country.
As a result of Stimac's encouragement back then to get these licenses, Miller, Leskovec, Kozar, and others got jobs
at WCLV, Cleveland's Classical Music Station, which was just starting up in 1961. Ed Miller '60 went on to
John Carroll University and engineered the studios for CCER (Cleveland Catholic Educational Radio) which was
broadcast on a 57kHz subcarrier of WCLV. He also designed studios back at JCU for WUJC (now WJCU), and
the Kline TV center. He went on to a long career with WEWS-TV-5 as Engineering Manager, and was awarded an Emmy for
engineering the grand-opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! After "retiring" from WEWS, he had another career with
Pro Video Systems. Besides
serving as National President of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and starting the "youth" program, he sat on several committees.
He also manned the "game-day" frequency coordinator effort for the NFL in Cleveland, continued to recruit and train others to
operation, and served as area frequency coordinator for the area broadcast community in general.
Bob Leskovec '60 served as
Chief Engineer of WCLV 95.5FM for a number of years while getting a BS and MS
in Physics from JCU and moving on to a long career as Sr Staff Physicist, and Director of Electronic Services
at Case Western Reserve University,
including early-on tending to WRUW-FM, the University station. He had a second simultaneous consulting career
developing research instrumentation for other universities, and prototypes for the burgeoning
electronic-lighting industry, first with GE, then ADLT, Fiberstars, and EFOI. In the 90's he also co-founded what is now
GENVAC Aerospace, an Applied Physics R&D company, and after "retiring" from all the lighting work, currently holds the position
of Director of Instrumentation Development for GENVAC.
Bob Kozar '62 went on to work at WJW Radio and TV, got an MS in Physics from the
University of Dayton
and moved on to a long career as Program Director at NASA Plum Brook, and Lecturer and Administrator at the University of Toledo.
Two years behind him, Ted Alexander SJ'64 started out in broadcasting at WELW, and became
Chief Engineer. He moved on to become an on-air personality or Chief Engineer, and sometimes both, at various
northeast Ohio stations, including WIXY, WDOK. etc., and continued his studies at JCU. At one point in his career he
carried out a major rebuild of WRMR-AM-850 taking it to 50kW daytime.
Over the years he ended up working for just about every radio station in town,
as an engineer or consultant, often a "Chief", or as a "DJ", and as well has been
heard in commercials and voiceovers on every radio and TV station in Northeast Ohio. Right after he finally officially "retired",
he "got a call" in to do the programing for WQGR 93.7 FM, where in 2019 he's now on the air with his "collection of 10,000 oldies"!
And a year after that, Ted's Classmate, Tony Bacevice, WA8FYW '66, started at WCLV, then worked at TV-8, and
followed Leskovec to CWRU, took over care of WRUW, got a BS in Electrical Engineering, then an
MS in Biomedical Engineering, and
moved on to studying internal medicine in the CWRU Medical school. He had a long practice as an OB-GYN, and
finally moved to an executive position with University Hospitals.
These are only a few of the SJHRC member success stories.