Donald Lee Ravey - 22 July 1929 - 22 August 2014
Me, Through the Century
PAGE ONE
pre-1950
PAGE TWO
1951-2000
PAGE THREE
2001-2009
PAGE FOUR
2010-

Mom Dad Mom and Dad around 1920 or so.
 
Mom was quite glamorous and played bit parts in several silent movies.
 
Dad was a handsome young sailor.
Daddy Lee and Don, 1929 Coronado, 1929 Coronado, 1930 On the left, my Dad holding me in Coronado, 1929. My very first photograph!
 
Then, mother and me near our house in Coronado, 1929.
 
Right, mother and me near the Coronado Ferry landing, 1930. At the right can be seen the tracks for the Northern terminus turnaround of the single-track (except for a by-pass, halfway from the Ferry landing to Hotel Del Coronado) trolley system.
Don in 1934 This was probably about 1934. Yes, I grew up during the Great Depression, but we were lucky because Dad was in the U.S. Navy in those days and had a regular income. Not all were so lucky.
The hallmark ears were prominent, even then!
1918 I found a copy of the WW I draft registration card for my uncle, Fletcher Emile Anthony "Emil" Ravey, through Ancestry.com. Note the date of his registration, June, 1918. I never knew my uncle Emil, but Dad often talked about him. Emil was living in Arkansas and my grandmother, long since widowed, was living in San Diego, later in Los Angeles, but this was mistakenly shown as "Santiago, Cal." Click to see full size image.
Roy Walford and me My late cousin, Roy Lee Walford, with me on his shoulders and our Aunt Ethel and her husband, about 1937, at the Walford's home in San Diego. Roy went on to become a doctor and researcher on the aging process. He authored several books on diet and maximum life extension, and was an acknowledged expert in the field of gerontology.
Roy was also the physician team member in the sealed Biosphere II experiment in Arizona in the early 1990's (and which is still continuing to produce research results).

You may want to learn more about Roy here.

During World War II, Roy's father, my uncle "Wally", was the Commanding Officer of the Naval Supply Depot at Point Loma.

Don in 1938 Mom, Dad, Me and Toots My grandparents and me in San Diego, 1938. These were my mother's parents and my Dad had a house built at the rear of our property so that they could be independent, but near to the help they needed at the end of their lives. They had already celebrated their golden wedding anniversary a few years before this photo was taken.
 
On the right, in the same spot, Dad, Mom, me and my Toy Fox Terrier, Toots. 1943. Behind that hedge is my grandparents' house.
Don in 1944 Me again Mother and me in 1944. We took the war seriously in those days, and were genuinely worried about attacks on San Diego from the Pacific Ocean. Those were the days of air raid drills, blackout curtains, block wardens, rationed items (gasoline, sugar, rubber, silk, meat), and barrage balloons! Dad had retired from the Navy after 20 years, but when World War II broke out, he was called back to active duty. Fortunately for us, he was assigned as an instructor at the Machinist Mate's school at the Naval Training Center, right in San Diego. Both these pictures were taken in front of our house at 4461 Hamilton Street.

SDHS Don in1945 Don in 1946 At San Diego High School, I was in the Jr. ROTC. I think this would have been about 1945.

While in high school, several of us used to leave very early in the morning a couple of days a week so we could go to the KGB radio studio in the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, where Bailey Warren had the morning shift, hosting the "Dawn O' Day" disk jockey show. We would "help" with the show, run errands, etc., before walking the mile or so back to start our morning classes. Thus began my interest in radio broadcasting, and spurred me on to obtain my amateur radio ("HAM") license as W6DBZ in 1947.

I also worked part-time in the afternoons as a pedestrian delivery boy for the San Diego Camera Repair shop, upstairs near 4th and Broadway, and later as bell hop and PBX switchboard operator at the Churchill Hotel, not far from San Diego High School, where my Aunt Bea worked as a desk clerk.

Don in 1950 After high school, I entered San Diego State College (now, University). I continued my interest in radio, then television, and became involved in the College Radio Guild and designed the layout for the first television training studio in the California State College system, which was built to my specifications after I graduated.

In my senior year, having obtained a First Class Commercial Radiotelephone FCC license, I auditioned for an announcing job at KFMB, but instead was offered a part-time job as a projectionist and transmitter engineer with KFMB-TV, Channel 8, the very first television station in San Diego, which had just begun operation about 6 months earlier. The Chief Engineer was Thornton W. Chew and my boss was the Transmitter Chief Engineer, Charlie Able (later the Chief Engineer). I worked with senior transmitter engineer Bob Horwitz. We all had nicknames; mine was "Spider", assigned to me by Bob. I joined KFMB-TV in September 1949 at a salary of $65.00 per week. In those days of black-and-white television, before there were physical video networks or video tape, we were limited to live cameras and the 16mm film chain, which accounted for the majority of program material. But we had a "network" affiliation with Los Angeles station KTLA on Mount Lee in Hollywood, about 90 miles North of our transmitter on Mount Soledad in La Jolla. We were able to pick up a pretty good signal from KTLA and feed it to modified commercial television receiver chassis (yes, all tubes!) and strip off the video and audio signals from their carrier and re-broadcast it, which we did for several programs, including Beanie.

About 1947, we moved to 4556 West Talmadge Drive, then just a year or so later, moved again to 4674 Van Dyke Avenue, just a couple of blocks away.

In late 1947 I enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, at the encouragement of my cousin-in-law, Marvin Swank, a Lieutenant Commander, USNR. I attended weekly reservist meetings at the Naval Training Center and went on summer reserve cruises on destroyer escorts. I qualified for Electronics Technician 3rd class just before I was called to active duty in March 1951.

When I graduated from San Diego State College with a BS in Physics in June 1950. I went to work full-time for KFMB-TV, until I was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy in April 1951.

In late 1950 I began cross training in the KFMB-TV studio in the basement of the San Diego Hotel as a studio cameraman. I worked with producer Hal Cotten, who wrote the lyrics to "You Can't Be True, Dear" and on-air personalities Jack Briggs (3rd husband of dancer Ginger Rogers) and Carol Salentyne.

PAGE ONE
pre-1950
PAGE TWO
1951-2000
PAGE THREE
2001-2009
PAGE FOUR
2010-