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Clyde Beal/For The Herald-Dispatch Dave Bond's early experiences learning radio and TV repair served him well in his extensive television career. Bond collects old radios and is an active member of the Radio and Technology Museum in Harveytown.

Before graduating from high school, Dave Bond was working as a radio and TV repairman at a local electronic shop. After graduation he followed this career through Huntington's West Virginia Building to the shadows of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From there, the road returned home passing through Marshall before heading to Ashland and eventually retirement in Virginia.

Born at home during the winter of 1936, Bond was the fifth of six children born to Byron and Ella Bond while living in Huntington at 1705 Monroe Ave.

"I still remember the Army uniform I received for Christmas at age 5," Bond said. "Two years later Santa brought me a metal airplane. At the time everyone was donating to the scrap drive helping support the war effort, just anything that could be melted down to make tanks or jeeps for the Army. I felt I had to do my part, so I donated my airplane."

Bond walked to Jefferson Grade School where he faced the American flag each morning and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I was on the school safety patrol during 5th and 6th grade," Bond said. "At the end of the school year all safety patrol members went to Camden Park. I always rode the Whip because you could find money left in the seats from pants pockets."

Bond continued carrying his marshmallow jelly sandwiches to West Junior High School where he met Coach Greenly.

"Coach Greenly was an exceptionally fair man," Bond said. "When he caught boys fighting or doing mischievous acts, he made them spank each other with a leather strap. I took part in the school's lunchtime boxing matches in the gym. They charged 2 cents admission, which made me a professional boxer - at least I thought so until Ray Hagley knocked me across the ring. He became a Golden Gloves Champ and eventually a doctor."

Bond's high school days were active times for him. He switched from boxing and track to pole vaulting. As a member of the stage crew he learned about lighting and projector operation. He also went through a few part-time jobs.

"I worked after school at Bischoff Drugs making 35 cents an hour," Bond said. "One of my jobs was chipping ice by hand for fountain drinks. I also made deliveries on my Cushman Scooter. I left for another job at Hosey Drugs making a nickel less on the hour, but the fountain drinks were free."

Before Bond graduated there would be a few more events in his life that would all affect his future. He would volunteer his free time at the old Abbott Theater on 14th Street West working with the stage crew. He would leave the free drinks at Hosey's for the experience of learning TV and radio repair. Finally, he would met his future wife before graduating from Huntington High School in 1953.

"The same year I graduated I went to work for WSAZ as part of the production floor crew," Bond said. "At the time they were located on the 13th floor of the West Virginia Building. During the next 10 years I performed duties as studio camera operator, night shift air director, projectionist, film department manager, and I also prepared film to be used for commercials. Those were the days of Saturday Night Jamboree."

During his tenure at WSAZ, Bond married Mary Eloise Gue, the girl he met in high school. The fact that they married isn't newsworthy, but the circumstances surrounding this marriage could have made the cover page for tabloid news.

"We married without the knowledge or consent of our parents," Bond said. "We were married for two months when Eloise's mother thought her daughter was spending a lot of time with me. So she finally told her mother, who took the news better than expected. My mom's reaction wasn't as good-natured - she threw a coffee cup at me. After everyone was assured that Eloise wasn't pregnant, things returned to normal, and we moved into an apartment."

In 1964 Bond was hired by KOAT Television in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was director of commercial production. No sooner did he begin feeling comfortable with his work when he was offered a position with KNME-TV at the University of New Mexico Educational Station. With better pay and hours, he changed jobs again.

"In 1968 I interviewed for a position with WMUL-TV at Marshall University and was hired," Bond said. "For 14 years I managed and assigned studio crews and the On Air Operation Staff. I even produced and directed some local programs. I also filmed MU basketball and football games working with coaches Jack Lengyel, Bob Daniels and Stu Aberdeen."

Bond left WMUL in 1982 to become station manager at Channel 61 in Ashland, a job he held for two years.

"After I left Kentucky I took a position in Virginia at the suggestion of family members living there," Bond said. "Because of my managerial experience in the field of television production I was fortunate enough to spend my final working years with the federal government in a position to train others with program presentations, directing and technical support. Sixteen years later I retired for the last time and returned to the Tri-State with Eloise."

The children have grown now. There are grandchildren as well that bring a new level of excitement into the Bond household. Eloise retired early from retail sales due to health problems, and Dave's interest in electronics continues today.

"I have collected old radios for years," Bond said. "My father was an early amateur radio operator which may have sparked my interest. I have been a member of the Radio and Technology Museum in Harveytown for several years. If you haven't visited this museum you should check our website to see what you've been missing."

Bond was also instrumental with the monumental task of moving locomotive 1308 to its present position of prominence. It's right on your way when you visit the Radio Museum.

Clyde Beal seeks out interesting stories from folks around the Tri-State. Email


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