The minutes of the January 8th meeting and the 2014 Treasurer's Report have been posted in the MEMBERS ONLY pages. Click on the MEMBERS ONLY tab on the above menu, enter your user name and password, then go to the appropriate page.
If you have forgotten your user name or password, or if you do not have them, please contact us at HFDbadge102@aol.com.
Radio Station WDEE 473 Denslow Hill Road Thursday, January 21, 1965
Hamden's Third Major Fire in Two Months Silenced a Local Radio Station __________
The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" was No. 1 on the charts, but the folks at WDEE weren't feeling it.
The 1960s was the golden age of Top-40 radio. The target audience of many AM radio stations all over the U.S. were the early baby boomers who were in high school. FM radio, still the mainstay of classical and so-called "elevator music," would not become the predominant medium of rock music until the 1970s.
Every Top-40 radio station had its fair share of "Ron Radio" DJs, who talked a mile a minute and who could do a perfectly timed "talk up" over the musical intro of any song, finishing their spiels the very instant Elvis, Aretha, or the Beach Boys started singing.
If you're over 60, you probably remember local DJs like Bill Beamish, Ed Flynn, Bob Terry, Tracy and, of course, T.J. Martin, along with the many others who spun those immortal recordings of our youth that we now can download to our iPhones.
In 1965, most Hamden kids were listening to at least one of three local Top-40 radio stations: WPOP (1410 KHz) in Hartford, WAVZ (1300 KHz) in New Haven, and WDEE (1220 KHz), located in a converted ranch house on Denslow Hill Road right here in Hamden.
Unlike WPOP and WAVZ, Hamden's radio station WDEE was a "daytimer," with a relatively low power output and an FCC license that restricted its airtime to daylight hours only. This restriction meant that WDEE's broadcasting hours varied with the length of the day. In summer, you could listen until almost 9. In winter, they were off the air by dinnertime, a possible factor in the destruction of WDEE.
On Wednesday, January 20, 1965 in Washington, D.C., Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated for a full term as President. At Columbia Records in Hollywood, the Byrds recorded the Bob Dylan classic "Mr. Tambourine Man." By late afternoon in Hamden, WDEE had signed off the air. Everyone at the station had gone home by 7. Sometime between then and early Thursday morning, things began to heat up. Whatever caused the fire - the cause was never determined - it got a good head start before flames were discovered by neighbors in the wee hours of the following morning. (continued below)
CLICK on any of the images below to enlarge for reading.
CLICK to see what kids were listening to on WDEE, and elsewhere, in 1965.
WDEE was back on the air within days of the fire, with temporary studios and offices located in a building in the northeastern corner of 60 Connolly Parkway. Radio station WELI, a local competitor, even donated records of its own to help WDEE get back on its feet. A new WDEE studio was built on the site of the old one, only to suffer a similar fate in the late 1970s (more on that fire at a later date).
WDEE's FM station (101.3 MHz) was later sold to Kopps-Monahan Communications and became WKCI. WKCI continued to play easy listening music until 1979, when it switched formats with its new sister AM station, WAVZ, and became a rock station.
In the years following the fire at WDEE, the radio station changed call letters several times as ownership changed. In the late 1960s it became WCDQ, then WOMN, then WSCR. Finally, in the 1990s, the radio station was purchased by Quinnipiac University. Radio station WQUN (1220 KHz) is now located on Whitney Avenue, just north of Station 5 in Mount Carmel.
Originally Posted 1/4/11
1st Selectman Herbert Hume
January 16, 1956
24 Norris Street
Hamden First Selectman Herbert Hume turned in the alarm by pulling Box 125 at Norris and Whitney. Quick-thinking owner saved his brand new 1955 auto from flames (maybe it was a Chevy).
Mr. Hume served as a Hamden fire commissioner from 1941 until he was elected First Selectman in November 1955. His brother, Dep. Chief Daniel Hume, was Hamden's first fulltime fire training officer, from 1956 until he retired in 1974.
Norris and Whitney (CLICK here)
The First Selectman was Hamden's chief executive until the Mayor-Council form of town government was adopted January 1, 1966. Mr. Hume served until the last day of 1957, when First Selectman John DeNicola, Sr. took office. DeNicola would served three terms as First Selectman and one term as Hamden's first mayor.
New Haven Register article and original news photos courtesy of Sid Trower's family and D/C Gary Merwede
1967 - Station 3 (Putnam Avenue) - Firefighter Joe Yoga at the watch desk
Website thanks to Lillian Yoga for sending in this 1967 photo of her husband Joe, when he was assigned to old Station 3 on Platoon 2. Note Joe's department issued necktie ("Is that a clip-on?" - yup). Firefighters were required to wear their neckties when sitting watch to present a good appearance when greeting station visitors. Other watch duties, besides answering the phone and greeting visitors, included acknowledging alarms on the "house phone" and making entries in the station log book, such as changes in road conditions or equipment status and station visits by chief officers.
Joe Yoga was very active in the HFRA up until his passing last May.
37 Years Ago
This New Haven Register photo from Sid Trower's scrapbook shows Platoon 2 firefighters at Station 3 shoveling the expansive ramp on a snowy evening in January 1978. This photo could have been taken the start of a substantial snowfall that began on January 19th or 20th, which was dwarfed less than three weeks later by the infamous "Blizzard of '78."