Al, Don and I Dine at 79

My old broadcasting days co-worker and friend Don Nahley called me recently to asked me to lunch.  The occasion was his birthday. 

 “It’s your birthday.  Well, in that case, I’m paying for it.”

“No.  I’m going to call Al and see if he wants to come, too.”

He did, and the three of us had lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  Don wouldn’t accept my nor Al’s offer to pick up the check.  “I’m not going you invite you to lunch and then let you pay for it.”

“Well, all right,” I said, “but we’ll do the same thing on my birthday. You and Al can come and I’ll pick up the check.”

Al Fleming, Dick McMichael, Don Nahley celebrating Dick's birthday at Fudruckers.

Al Fleming, Dick McMichael, and Don Nahley celebrating Dick's birthday at Fuddruckers. (Photo taken by busboy at Fuddruckers using Don's camera)

And that’s exactly what we did Friday.  Al said he was going to do the same for his next birthday, if he’s still alive next March.  All three of us are 79 years old.  Wonder if Don and Al wanted me to tell you that. Oh, well, too late now.

“I think we ought to put it in our wills that we will pick up the check for our next birthday in case one of us doesn’t live that long,”  he said.

Nobody ever said the three of us are normal and conventional, probably because we’re not.  That’s no fun.

One time when the three of us gathered for lunch at the Mediterranean Cafe (no longer in business), a lady, who was with a group of other ladies leaving the restaurant, stopped at our table and grabbed the check.  I tried to grab it back because it was my turn to pay. She wouldn’t hear of it.  She said, “It’s for all that you guys did for us over the years.” Now, that was special.  I have to confess that I was moved. 

All of us worked in at least two Columbus TV stations, and, at one time, all three of us worked for the same station, WRBL, at the same time.  Al worked at WTVM, WRBL, and WLTZ. (He still does commentaries on WLTZ’s Rise n’ Shine Show with Calvin Floyd.)  Don worked at WRBL for about 29 years, then worked for WXTX for a short period. I worked at WRBL, off and on, from 1953 to 1986, when I switched to WTVM, where I worked until retirement in 2000.

The three of us have personally experienced the evolution of television broadcasting in Columbus.  What’s the difference between then and now?  Stay tuned.

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6 Responses to “Al, Don and I Dine at 79”

  1. Deb Says:

    Beautiful pic of some good looking guys. Hope my husband and I look that good at your ages- or I just hope we live that long.

    Harkens back to a by gone era- You have brought us all a lot of entertainment. countless lives you have touched with your smiles and nods! Thank you!

  2. Rick Bartlett Says:

    I worked with Al very VERY briefly at WTVM. Al was a sharp guy set in his ways about broadcasting. It was interesting to watch him work and he received respect from the crew.

    Unfortunately, I only met Dick once or twice at WTVM, Dick is a man many at WTVM highly spoke of. Also, I only met Don on rare occasions and the same was said.

    While my time in broadcasting is a blink of the eye in Al’s, Dick’s and Don’s terms, I am blessed to have worked in an industry with such ethical and moral men.

    Thank you gentlemen for sparking my interest in broadcasting.

    Kind Regards,

    Rick Bartlett – currently shipwrecked in Cedar Rapids, iowa
    (Former Studio Cam at WTVM)
    (Former CHYRON at WRBL)
    (Former Master Control at WLTZ)

  3. Allen Simmons Says:

    I too have worked with these guy(2) of Them and also worked at all the stations in Columbus GA. 81-82 at WLTZ-38 MCO, WXTX from 86 to 02 or so ,when WXTX sold to raycom Media, ran camera at WRBL morning news for several months until an opening came up at WTVM.
    Mr.Nahley was the GM at WXTX went I was their, Mr. Fleming at WLTZ, when they had a news cast, as for Mr.McMichael,back in 65 or 66 WTVM did a story about the YMCA swimmers I was a tadpole swimmer, and he did a short story about the swimmers,
    My dad(John) also worked with these guy at sometime or another.
    a GREAT BUNCH of GUYS,Stay well

  4. Judy Smith Says:

    I would like to inform you of the death of my aunt,Martha (Ginger) Horne McManus.She passed away in Midland,Michigan,the home of her daughter.She was a member of the original Bob Barr band.

  5. dicksworld Says:

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt and my former band mate. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. Ron Bartlett Says:

    I was blessed to work with each and every one of these great broadcasters over the course of my broadcast career there in Columbus from 1970-1998. Each a true pro in his own right.

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