Tuesday, June 26, 2018

RIP Dan Ingram


(Part of this came from a post I wrote in 2015 on the 50th anniversary of the Great Northeast Blackout of November 9, 1965, which I repeat for a sad reason.)

On the evening of November 9, 1965, I was 12 years old and in 8th grade.  I was walking home from a girl friend's house. I had spent the afternoon with her, pounding my "great American novel" out on her typewriter.  It was getting dark.

About 5:20 pm I entered my apartment building to find the lights dimming, flickering, and coming back on again.

What I did not know was that a chain reaction power failure had started several minutes before, up in Canada.  Like a wave, city after city went dark.  Now, in New York City, it was our turn.  By the time the chain reaction ended, some 30 million people were in the dark, dependent on a full moon for their light.

An elevator was waiting in the lobby of my apartment building; I made a split second decision not to take it and took the stairs to my fourth floor apartment instead.

A couple of minutes after entering it, my apartment went dark.  We were more fortunate than many - growing up Jewish, we had candles - plenty of them, in the house.  I had a battery powered radio and, listening to it, I gradually realized it wasn't just our neighborhood.

I listened to WABC radio - a disc jockey by the name of Dan Ingram was in the studio at the time the blackout struck at about 5:25 pm.  This is an internet article on the blackout.

800,000 people were stuck on the subways- my father was one of them.I was alone with my mother.  But it was not a party for me.

By the time our electricity was restored (around 6am the next morning), my life had changed forever. For me, it was one of the darkest nights of my life.

During the blackout, my mother, who had not been in the best of health, died.  It is something incredibly hard for me to write about.  The echoes of that night still resonate in me, and always will.

But, time does heal. And one thing that helped to sustain me during the blackout, listening on that tinny radio as candles flickered, was the voice of Dan Ingram.

This is an eight minute clip of Dan Ingram - the first five or so minutes of broadcasting that night, as the power started to fail, and then, the next day, November 10, 1965, as the blackout ended.

Dan Ingram, a piece of my childhood, died Sunday at the age of 83.


My spouse and I both loved his voice, and his irreverent attitude.  He would tinker with the music.  For instance, when he played Cara Mia by Jay and the Americans, he would play a certain part, somehow lengthening it for several minutes.  He would call his show  the “Ingram flingram”and greet his listeners with a "kemosabe!"

He stayed with WABC until it went to all talk in 1982, and ended up with WCBS-FM.  He retired in 2003.

RIP Dan.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, Alana, I cannot imagine what you must have gone through. I am so terribly sorry for you. No child should have to suffer so much at that age.

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  2. The line up, as I recall, was Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram and Cousin Bruce Morrow.

    “Roll your bod. Roll your bod.” The Dan Ingram guide to an even tan ...

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  3. What a powerful post. I'm so sorry for your losses. It never gets easier saying goodbye to the people we love and the people who have touched our lives in profound ways.

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  4. Oh, my goodness! What a horrifying night! It's wonderful that you can look back on it through the lens of years and know you've continued to move forward. I've never heard of Dan Ingram. But you can bet I'll not forget him now!

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  5. Amazing that a voice can take you back to a place and time. I'm sorry for the way you lost your mother, that had to be horrendous.

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  6. It is so difficult to wrap our heads around the people who served as anchors and hitching posts leaving us. They link our mileposts.

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  7. What a tragic night. I can't even imagine.

    I'm not a big radio listener but I've been seeing so many good stories, I'm going to have to listen to what you said.

    Sounds like a good life lived well.

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  8. Loved Dan Ingram! Listened to WABC all the time growing up in CT. Thanks for the great memories.

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  9. I'm so sorry. That must have been awful for you. And another sad passing. It seems like so many names are passing away now.

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