My Checkered Past

Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm
By: Doug Lund
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It’s always fun to read people’s comments whenever I post old Keloland TV photos on my blog or Facebook page. Most seem to enjoy those little jaunts down memory lane. I have lots of pictures and plenty of stories to go with them so expect a few more in the weeks and months ahead; including today.     With Halloween just around the corner, I got to thinking about all the spooky assignments I’ve covered in connection with the holiday; from Jack-O-Lantern collections pumpkin carving contests, bizarre trick or treat masks, cemetery ghost tours and, of course, the annual Jaycee haunted house. This is a photo of me surrounded by the haunted house residents in 1978.

 checked jacket spooks

I didn’t realize it at the time but a favorite sport jacket of mine that I wore a lot on the air during the early part of my broadcasting career would go on to become a much sought-after and treasured Halloween costume for generations to come.

checked jacket at work 

I don’t remember exactly when or where I purchased my checkered beauty but I liked the fit and, since I couldn’t afford a vast wardrobe, it found it’s way on the air at least once a week.  The directors hated it because the tight-checked pattern played tricks with the cameras resulting in a swirling kaleidoscope effect on TV. The general manager never told me straight out that my jacket was hypnotizing our viewers and to stop wearing it but before long he announced that the company was going to buy some jackets for the anchors to wear on air.  So, off we went to be fitted and later to have our wives sew on a circular patch for the pocket that had Keloland News embroidered on it ala Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore show.

I believe we each received two jackets; one Kelly Green, the other sort of a light maroon color. The experiment didn’t last long, however, because none of us could remember what color to wear on what night. Besides, Jim Burt had a closet full of his trademark plaid/tartan jackets he wanted to keep wearing and these were just too plain.   It was the end, though, for my checkered sport coat which wound up in MY closet next to the red tuxedo jacket and a half dozen leisure suits.  At least I THOUGHT that was its final resting place but when our desert daughter, Christy, was still living at home, she asked her mom to help find something different to wear for a Halloween party. Without a lot of hesitation, Linda thought of that old jacket of mine and this was the result.

 checked jacket christy

A few years later, it came out of the closet again when Linda needed to dress up at work for Halloween. I don’t understand how she could ever think my sweet old jacket completed the hobo look she was going for but…..

 checked jacket Linda alone

Linda’s outfit proved to be so popular with her colleagues that one of them..Patsy.. asked to borrow the jacket for HER Halloween party.

 checked jacket Patsy Fahendorf

“I think it’s still in the bottom of a barrel downstairs,” Linda said the other day when I asked about my much maligned jacket. But while in the process of looking, she remembered she had loaned it out a long time ago to somebody else for a costume but it never came back. Who ever borrowed it might have figured the thing wasn’t too valuable..OR, did they realize it WAS and put it on Ebay.

 checkered on ebay

Can’t be sure it’s mine, of course, but the size is right and, if you look closely there appears to be an old hobo make-up smudge on the lapel. Wonder if I can get it here in time for Halloween Monday night.

Honey, can I borrow 40 bucks?


  1. Michael says:

    Speaking of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, did you find any similarities between KELO and the personalities on the fictional Minneapolis station WJM?

  2. Doug Lund says:

    MIchael.. I always thought Leo Hartig’s style was similar to the Ted Baxter character. But while Baxter was bumbling, Leo was brilliant. We had a few women producers but none of them mirrored Mary. I can’t think of any other comparisons to Lou Grant or Murray Slaughter but there were a few female co-workers with certain appetites not unlike Sue Ann Nivens..none that I experienced personally, you understand.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hey Doug, I believe that is Dale Schornack holding the telephone, to the left of you at the type writer …

  4. Doug Lund says:

    Actually, Jeff, I believe that’s Fred Ertz. After leaving Keloland, Dale Schornack..went on to a very successful career in broadcasting. He’s still in the business as a media consultant living in Texas.

  5. Darwin Wollmann says:

    Love old pics of just about anything….keep em comming.

  6. Lois Hemminsen Aronovitz says:

    I remember that jacket!!

  7. Michael says:

    I encountered Jim Burt a couple of times at local sports events. What a great guy. Those sports jackets of his, though. They looked like test patterns!

  8. Tom says:

    Great memories of Jim Burt doing the sports and appearing to really be ENJOYING doing the liquid grain commercials live!

    Your fine featured jacket actually jumps right off the page in the blog too!

    I also dazzled folks with a nearly identical jacket….but it went missing years ago and no one seems to know
    anything about how that could have possibly happened?????

  9. Suzan says:

    I remember that jacket! I also remember one that was sort of mauve (no other color could describe it well enough) with little palm trees on the lapels. I remember Patty and I doing clothing commercials with you too. I’m sure you were the height of fashion for the 70’s. Lots of plaid. Fun to see the old pictures. Sure takes me down memory lane.

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