Editor’s Note: This is the 469th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — Staff artist Shawkey Saba was a key figure in the early days of WSAZ-TV. He was responsible for all the station’s art and graphics and early on had his own 15-minute program, “Let’s Doodle.”
Born in 1928, he was a 1946 graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School in Charleston, attended Boston School of Art and majored in journalism at Morris Harvey College in Charleston, where he was art editor of the student newspaper and college yearbook. He also drew editorial and sports cartoons for the Charleston newspapers.
He was employed as an artist in the display department of The Diamond and Stone & Thomas department stores in Charleston. He was a candidate for the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California, but a cartoonist strike prevented his employment. Employed for 41 years at WSAZ, he retired in 1990.
As the first artist with WSAZ, he originated “Let’s Doodle,” a TV program instructing children on the basics of art and cartooning. He later appeared on various live studio programs, often entertaining studio audiences with musical illustrations.
Saba was a member of Huntington’s First Presbyterian Church, a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge No. 53 in Huntington and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Noble in the Beni Kedem Shrine Temple of Charleston and a long-time board member with the Huntington YMCA. In 2011 he was inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame.
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