Saturday, September 23, 2017

Photo Finished

Warning: This post will not interest anyone outside of the 1970's St. Louis viewing area.

Are you still with me?  Okay. While perusing a tightly packed local estate sale, I observed an elderly gentleman walking through the house with a cane, casually watching the shoppers, but not really looking at anything.  I dismissed him as someone who was drug along to the sale unwillingly.  Having looked over the entire house and not finding anything of interest, I started to leave when I noticed some photos sitting on the table near the cashier.  They were pictures of the St. Louis Variety Club telethon. During the 70's and 80's, the Variety Club held an annual telethon and raised money for children with "physical and mental disabilities".  I recognized Monty Hall immediately. Based on the clothes, this is solid '70s.

The only other person I recognized was the gentleman playing the trumpet at the far left.

I finally realized it was local St. Louis weatherman Ollie Raymand.  Apparently, he began his career as a jazz trumpet player and brought the trumpet out on occasions such as this.

Another photo I found was the promotional still for Ollie which probably dates from the 1950's.  He was photographed by famed photographer(s) Maurice.

Among those photographs were several others including these.

As it turns out, Marion Ross is Ollie's wife.  Yes, "is". Did I mention this was a living estate sale?  As it turns out, the elderly gentleman I watched walking around the house was Ollie.  His wife Marion was waiting near the door. They were going out for lunch.

In a side note, Marion's photos were taken by Bruno of Hollywood. Bruno Bernard was a German photographer who fled Nazi Germany in 1937, finding a home and a career in Hollywood photographing stars and models where he developed the style that became known as pin-up photography. He was the first to photograph Marilyn Monroe professionally. You can get a feel for his work here.

There were a few more photos in the collection.  This one is of Connee Boswell, a popular jazz singer who inspired Ella Fitzgerald to become a singer.

Another photo by Bruno of Hollywood of actress Jane Morgan, best known for her role on  the radio and television show "Our Miss Brooks".

The final picture is of Leo Carillo, the Cisco Kid's own "Pancho".

I wondered why Ollie would let these photos go, mementos of his life, particularly those of his wife and himself.  Maybe they had multiples. Or maybe, in their 90's, they decided it was time to move on.


  1. It is a good thing you stumbled on to them no they can live on!!

  2. great stuff. monty hall? there's a name i haven't heard in a long, long time.

    btw, happy birthday (late!). i hear it was a grand affair.

  3. Thanks, FrankO. It was a good time! But you're not late. I'm not official until Thursday.

  4. Thanks, Lady M. Good to see you back!

  5. Thanks, Bob. That's why I post this stuff!

  6. After seeing this I thought to myself I wish I could meet Monty Hall.

    And then on Saturday the headlines have an obituary for Monty.

    RIP Mr. Hall!

  7. Unknown, I know what you mean. Weird coincidence that I found these so close to his death.

  8. Tom, I always enjoyed Let's Make a Deal as a child... Probably the costumes helped!

  9. @BJB: Me too. It was one of my go to shows when I was home sick from school or on Summer break. I just recently learned the costumes weren't part of the original premise. Audience members just started showing up in them in an effort to get Monte's attention.

  10. Dear Tom,

    I just stumbled on your blog by accident and could not be happier that I did. I am an author specializing in the history of game shows (yes, really) and I'm presently working on a biography of Monty Hall. I have ample photos of "Let's Make a Deal" but I have nothing from his work for Variety Club. With proper credit, obviously, may I use these images in my book?

    1. Absolutely. If you'd like me to email them to you, send me your email address. Otherwise, feel free to pull from the blog. Keep me in the loop on the book too! I love those old game shows.



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