Bill McClendon

(Note: This is M.D. Smith telling of a story that Bill McClendon recalled during a visit to my office on 6-6-03)

My father, Mr. Smith, III, as we all called him, was prone to occasionally mix one of his favorite pastimes, talking on Ham Radio with another, a bit of Canadian Club. After an almost all night session, he would sometimes come up to the TV station after just an hour's sleep, but shaved, fresh white shirt and nice blue suit. However, he was also likely to issue orders to some staff members directly, without my knowledge (V.P. and General Manager). He even fired some people on occasions, but I would have to reassure them to wait until tomorrow to take it seriously, that I was sure he would reconsider (if he even remembered). Sometimes I could hardly tell that he was influenced by "leftovers" on days like that. The regular staff who didn't know him at all, certainly could not tell. But as Bill McClendon recalled, there was a sure sign.

When he begin talking to a person (Bill for instance) he'd begin with a bit of a "click" you make out of the side of your mouth and then say, "SPORT . . . . . . . " and whatever. Well, whatever else followed you had to learn to just disregard. As Bill recalled, he was relieved when he found out he was NOT in trouble after the word "(click) SPORT" was said, but Bill also said he lost a few raises that way, too.

I hope Bill will follow this with some other classic stories tucked away in his memories from the Radio and TV days and his many dealings with the "House."

© 2003 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 6-26-2003]