Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Newark's BRAZUCAS' origins


Brazucas, U.S.A.

I had never ever imagined when I first thought about going to live in the U.S.A. that I would live in an American city where I could go down Main Street and meet fellows who spoke my own language. Not even in my own country I had the chance to meet so many faces I was used to as in Newark, N.J. Actually, I should be more precise and say the 'main street' I referred to is none other than Ferry Street in the Ironbound, Newark, N.J. in the early 1970s. 

The Ironbound section of Newark, N.J. had been chosen by Portuguese migrants  who had abandoned the Massachusetts industrial area around Boston whose shoemaking industry was in decline circa 1910.  


Coisa que eu nunca esperava quando planejei ir p’ros U.S.A. é que eu viveria numa cidade norte-americana onde você, andando pelas ruas, encontraria fulano, sicrano e beltrano que já era seu conhecido, além de conterrâneo. Nem no próprio Brasil, pelo menos na cidade de São Paulo, a gente tem essa experiência.  Isso só acontece em cidade do interior. Newark, de-repente, era uma cidade do interior, onde você desce a Ferry Street e diz ‘Oi’, ‘Tudo bem?’ e coisas afins.

A brasileirada gostava de conversar sobre como chegaram aos Estados Unidos. Naquele tempo ainda não havia casos de gente atravessando a fronteira mexicana à nado, dentro de porta-malas de carros ou caminhando pelo deserto do Arizona, como nos dias de hoje.  Aquele tempo era mais civilizado que agora.  A maioria dos brazucas tinha chegado aos EUA de avião e gostava de citar nomes de companhias aéreas, que naquele tempo eram principalmente a Braniff e Aerolineas Peruanas.  Essa última era famosa por ser a mais barata e fuleira.  Diziam que algumas família traziam até galinhas. Obviamente isso era só força de expressão, para caracterizar a ‘carrier’ como ‘pau-de-arara’ aéreo.

A maioria dos brasileiros era composta de mineiros, isso não há duvidas.  De-repente a gente começava a distinguir nomes de várias cidades mineiras, como Governador Valadares, com seu contingente esmagador, Belo Horizonte, sua capital, e inúmeras outras cidades que ‘popped up in conversations’. 

Surpreendente também foi a constatação do número de paraenses que viviam por lá. Conheci vários paraenses e sempre fiquei encafifado, querendo saber a razão disso. Foi preciso o aparecimento da Internet para eu, finalmente, inferir a razão dos paraenses terem sido os primeiros brasileiros a imigrarem para essa região.


Origem dos portugueses de Newark, NJ.


A presença de portugueses em Newark vem das décadas de 1910 e 1920, quando houve uma debandada deles de Massachusetts e outros estados de New England (Nova Inglaterra), cuja indústria de calçados  estava em declínio. Os sapateiros lusos mudaram-se em bandos para a região de Newark, N.J. para trabalhar numa industria diversificada em expansão.


Origem dos brasileiros de Newark, NJ.


O português Daniel Albino Rodrigues e sua mulher Elvira, chegaram em Newark em 1925. Eles vinham de Belém, do Pará, onde trabalharam na indústria da borracha, que entrara em decadência. Desembarcaram nas docas do Brooklyn-NY, que era onde a borracha brasileira era descarregada, e logo em seguida vieram se juntar aos portugueses oriundos de Massachusets, que haviam se estabelecido em Newark. 

Ora, não precisa de muita inteligência para inferir que os Rodrigues eram conhecidos de vários paraenses que fizeram o mesmo caminho que o casal.  Portanto aí está a explicação do porque os paraenses serem os primeiros brasileiros a povoar a comunidade dos ‘futuros brazucas’ de Newark.  

Albino & Elvira construíram uma casa para si na 91 McWhorter Street, em 1946, e viveram lá até seus falecimentos na década de 80. 



os nomes de Daniel Albino e Elvira Rodrigues se transformaram em nome de praça em Newark, N.J. 

leia mais sobre o assunto: http://newarkhistory.com/mcwhorterst.html



avião da PanAm sobrevoa a cidade de Belém-PA circa 1952. Belém era escala obrigatória de todos aviões provenientes de Rio, São Paulo, Buenos Aires ou Montevideo dirigindo-se aos Estados Unidos. 

Manhattan calling 


Desde o início de meu plano de ir morar nos EEUU, eu pensava que meu destino final seria a ilha de Manhattan, que é New York realmente.  Mas o destino, pelas mãos de dona Lícia, me jogou algumas poucas milhas à oeste de tal paraíso.  Voltei a Manhattan já no dia seguinte da minha chegada. Não podia perder um minuto. Logo de manhã desci a Wilson Avenue até a Ferry até lá em baixo e peguei o ônibus, que saía de debaixo das linhas férreas da Pennsylvania Station de Newark. O preço do ônibus era 2 dólares e alguns centavos;  eu não sabia que existia o trem PATH, que saía pela metade do preço.  Mas ir para Manhattan de ônibus era muito gostoso, pois corria-se por estradas aéreas, e a paisagem era da mais interessante, pois, sendo outono, as cores das árvores eram de avermelhadas a amareladas, até chegar a um marrom forte e daí a inexistência de folhas.  Sempre um espetáculo aos olhos a mudança de côres das árvores no Outono.

Depois da New Jersey Turnpike o ônibus entra no Lincoln Tunnel, atravessando o rio Hudson por debaixo, para já subir pela rampa até o 4º andar do Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Desce-se do ônibus e toma-se várias escadas rolantes para descer até a Eighth Avenue com 41st Street, anda-se um pouquinho à esquerda e já entra-se no burburinho da 42nd Street.  Tudo isso era uma festa para os meus quatro sentidos.  Na 42nd  anda-se um quarteirão até a 7ª e Broadway, e você já está em Times Square.  Isso era festa para minha alma. Dobrando-se à direita vai-se em direção ao Empire State Building, na 34th Street.  Dobrando-se à esquerda v. vai dar no Rockfeller Center, 46th Street e Central Park.  Como diz a musica:  ‘the neon lights are always bright on Broadway’.  Neon lights por todos os lugares.  As luzinhas piscando nas marquizes dos cines da 42nd.

Me lembro que certa tarde amena e ensolarada que fui até o Central Park. Sentei-me por lá para apreciar a paisagem, e havia um rapaz norte-americano por perto, vestido num casaco de exército alemão, ouvindo um aparelho de som.  Eu comentei alguma coisa sobre os Rolling Stones, já que estava tocando ‘Brown sugar’.  O rapaz, que talvez não quisesse conversa, foi irônico e comentou algo que os Stones eram os melhores do mundo. Logo em seguida tocou ‘Wild horses’, linda balada que eu ainda não conhecia.  Notei que havia uma relutância da parte dele em admitir que eu, sendo um ‘estrangeiro ignorante’, pudesse gostar do ‘supra-sumo’ do rock-branco.  Quando passou um helicóptero baixo, ele o apontou e perguntou se existia helicópteros no meu país de origem, com deliberada intenção de me rebaixar. Depois desso ficou claro que o desdém inicial dele havia se transformado em quase agressão, algo que eu experimentaria inúmeras vezes em minha estada por lá.  Esse foi meu primeiro contacto com o preconceito e a intolerância racial, social e cultural dos norte-americanos brancos.  Foi meu ‘batismo’ na terra do Tio Sam, onde Igualdade é uma palavra que só existe escrita na Constituição ou livros de filosofia, pois Igualdade não existe na realidade.

Mesmo assim eu não esmoreci.  Andando pela Eighth Avenue eu passei por uma loja de disco e comprei o LP ‘Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’, de Simon & Garfunkel, pois eu achava a capa bem bonita. Toda vêz que ia a Manhattan eu comprava um LP.  Um luxo que eu não podia fazer no Brasil. 

Nessas primeiras semanas eu fui assistir ao documentário ‘Gimme shelter’, dos Rolling Stones, onde o Mick Jagger cantava justamente ‘Wild horses’, uma musica muito linda, realmente.  Foi num daqueles cinemas da 3ª ou 1ª Avenida, que são mais ‘chics’.



Na segunda-feira, dia 4 de Outubro 1971, eu conheci os outros três moradores do quarto contíguo ao nosso.  

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

1968 - 1969 - 1970 & 1971 US News


This blog is about my experience being an immigrant in the USA who arrived in New York in 2nd October 1971, with almost no English at all. 

As I have gone back in time to tell about my personal experiences circa 1971, I have realized I had to go back even further back in time to understand what the scene was around then.

So I decided to start with the dreadful Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, then cover the Chicago 8 trial and Nixon. 



Chicago - Anti-war protesters confront federal troops in Grant Park during the Democratic National Convention, 1968.



1970. Activists Jerry Rubin (left), Abbie Hoffman (center), and Rennie Davis speak with the press during a recess in their trial. The three are facing charges for conspiring to start the riots that tore through Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention." 



25 January 1971


The Baltimore Four - 27 October 1967
The Milwaukee 14 against the Milwaukee Draft Boards - 24 September 1968
The Catonsville Nine - 8 November 1968
The Chicago 15
The Boston Eight
The Camden 28 Group
The Buffalo Five
The Harrisburg Seven - 1970


5 July 1971




Daniel Ellsberg as a marine in 1954. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Newark, N.J. 2013

These photos of Newark, N.J. were taken by the photographer from The New York Times in the summer of 2013. It's good to see those Passaic River waters with a vessel actually crossing the river. I don't think I ever saw such a thing when I lived there in the 1970s. This rivers half-freezes during the winter. Gee!

Newark skyline seen from the Passaic River - Summer 2013.
homeless people under Jackson Street Bridge that links Newark to Harrison.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

1970s gadgets

I remember those radios with that funny shape. I bought one and gave to my sister Sandra when I came back from the States. Actually, I was only paying her back because when I went to the USA she had lent me her little transistor FM radio. I remember leaving the Sandra's tiny battery radio on while I was in bed trying to sleep. I had been told recently that our mind could keep learning a language if listening to the radio while asleep. Of course it is a dumb ideia. I guess when you 'turn off' to sleep you really turn off point blank.

Anyway I had so many funny ideas then. I thought I would be 'better' if I slept in a very hard mattress and that's what I did.

I was a little taken aback when I realized I did not understand English the way I thought I would. I started becoming desperate when I realized I could not follow the plot of a movie I was watching in those 42nd Street cinemas. I used to go to them cinemas on 42nd almost every week-end and watch whatever was on. I remember watching Woody Allen films. Even if I didn't get the plot I used to like them, especially Diane Keaton and I remember 'Bananas' so well.

So I had a good relationship with the transistor FM-radio I took to the USA with me. Actually, I remember listening to Paul McCartney's 'Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey' looking at the mirror in the toiled of a house I lived in Newark, N.J. That must have been the 1st week I was there. It was such a marvelous experience living in a foreign country and be about to experience seeing snow for the 1st time in one's life. When one is 22 years old already.

I used to have one of these Panasonic funny radios. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUkykfCMUQ - listen to a Chrysler's 1971 radio ad that was very popular then.





I used to shop at Korvettes on 34th Street and bought some of their brand-name cassette tapes.





26 July 1970 - this is probably the first cassette-recorder released in Brazil. I only bought my first radio-cassette-recorder in October 1972...

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Attica's 1971 Prisoners' Rebellion

Inmates of Attica State prison raise their hands in clenched fist salutes Sept. 10, 1971, as they voice their demands during a negotiation session with New York's prison boss, Commissioner Russell Oswald. The Commissioner subsequently agreed to some of the 21 demands listed by prisoners.
Inmate negotiating committee with Commissioner Russell G.Oswald in D-yard, Thursday, September 9, 1971. Sitting (elbow on table, wristwatch) is Richard Clark. Half-rising is Carl El Jones. Standing (behind Jones) Herbert Blyden, Frank 'Big Black' Smith, Roger Champen, L.D. Barkley, and an unknown inmate who has broken into the negotiation.
Attica, N.Y. 9 September 1971 - Black Panther Party leader Bobby Seale, left, is flanked by state police as he enters riot-torn Attica State Correction Facility 9/11. Seale entered the maximum security prison to talk to inmates just before it was learned that a guard died as a result of injuries suffered during the 9/9 takeover.
Tom Wicker (centre) took part in the negotiations and wrote a famous book about the Attica massacre called 'Time to die'. 

read all about it:
http://jerzygirl45.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/attica-prison-riots-today-in-1971/


George Jackson, murdered at San Quentin on August 1971, was inspiration for the Attica inmates to start the Uprising...

George Jackson
I woke up this mornin’ there were tears in my bed
they killed a man I really loved, shot him through the head.
Lord, Lord, they cut George Jackson down
Lord, Lord, they laid him in the ground
Sent him off to prison for a seventy-dollar robbery
they closed the door behind him and they threw away the key.
Lord, Lord, they cut George Jackson down
Lord, Lord, they laid him in the ground
He wouldn’t take shit from no one, he wouldn’t bow down or kneel
authorities, they hated him because he was just too real.
Lord, Lord, they cut George Jackson down
Lord, Lord, they laid him in the ground
The prison guards, they watched him and they cursed him from above
but they were frightened of his power, they were scared of his love.
Lord, Lord, so they cut George Jackson down
Lord, Lord, they laid him in the ground.
Sometimes I think this whole world is one big prison yard
some of us are prisoners, some of us are guards.
Lord, Lord, they cut George Jackson down
Lord, Lord, they laid him in the ground
written & performed by Bob Dylan 
Copyright © 1971 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 1999 by Ram’s Horn Music
It is eerie and uncanny that such tragedies as George Jackson's death and the bloody Attica uprising have happened within 21 August and 13 September 1971. It is exactly when I was in the midst of preparing my big trip to the United States. I wouldn't have had the means to know about George Jackson's death because I didn't follow the Black Panther's activities but I remember quite well reading about the Attica uprising in a Brazilian newspaper while I was preparing myself to fly to the USA in another 2 weeks.

It is strange when I come to think about my being identified with the political Left without ever being in a political party. It must have been the result of my being religious at a young age and then going on to 'graduate' in the fight for justice and peace. 

I was concious Brazil was a bloody dictatorship even though most of Brazilians who lived in the US was apolitical. They were actually very ignorant of most things. The Brazilian junta had a censorship programme that would ban any foreign film or song that would not conform with their view of the world. So, as soon as I got to New York I wanted to see movies that had been banned by the 'pigs': Ken Russell's 'The Devils' with Vanessa Redgrave was one of such flicks that I went to see. Stanley Kubrick's 'A clockwork orange' was another. John Lennon's single 'A working class hero' had been banned too. 

Anyway, when I went to the USA in October 1971, I already had a sense of justice and I knew exactly what side of the political fence I belonged. I was glad to realize that folk-singer Joan Baez had a smash-hit with 'The night they drove Old Dixie down' playing on the New York radio stations and on juke boxes in the Ironbound, the Newark Portuguese-Hispanic ghetto. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a Brazilian bumpkin put a dime in box slot to listen to a Joan Baez song!

George Harrison had organized two big concerts in New York's Madison Square Garden to raise money to help in the terrible famine in Bangladesh due to a war of independence. Bob Dylan had been the highlight of such a concert that took place on August 1st, 1971. In November 1971, Columbia Records releases Bob Dylan's 45 rpm single 'George Jackson' about the tragic event of 21 August. I bought the single because I was a Dylan fan, but didn't know much about George Jackson himself. 


Concert for Bangladesh - Sunday, 1st of August 1971

Newark, N.J. in October 1971

I could say I arrived in the USA when things were really humming. Little did I know that my future best American friend was in midst of the hell that was happening in the Attica facilities in those September days. 

I had a cultural shock when I first arrived in the USA on 2nd October 1971. I soon realized I did not understand English as I imaged I would. Suddenly, English was like Greek or Russian to me. I had trouble ordering simple foods like 'hot-dog'. Street vendors would not understand what I said. Maybe I didn't open the vowels enough. Maybe I didn't speak loud enough. 

I couldn't follow the news anymore because I didn't understand what I heard on the radio. I used to tune my transistor radio on New York's WINS 1010 - all the news, all the time - but I hardly knew what subject-matter they were talking about. I could sort out words like 'Vietnam' or 'President Nixon'. 'Police Corruption' was, perhaps, the first words I understood coming from the radio. There must have been some 'police corruption inquiry' going on in New York in the fall of 1971. 

Maybe if I had a TV set it would have been easier to grasp the meaning but no one I knew then had a TV set in their room. Most of us lived in rented rooms, not on proper households. I had to rely on Brazilian newspapers and magazines to know what was happening in the USA. Isn't it dreadful? I eagerly waited for Thursdays for Brazilian newspapers to arrived at 'Tia' on 112 Ferry Street in the Ironbound. I usually bought daily 'Folha de S.Paulo' and 'O Pasquim' a satirical & political weekly printed in Rio de Janeiro. 

I knew the Black Panther Party existed but living in the Portuguese-Hispanic ghetto in Newark I was as far from them as from the moon. Brazilian fellows were afraid of American Blacks. They were usually from the country-side in Brazil with very little formal education and believed any crap they heard from other non-educated hicks. Some of them were so ridiculous as to believe in stories of Black men robbing poor Brazilians and even cutting off their fingers because their rings wouldn't get off their fingers. I remember a fellow warning me never to go further than Broad Street, Newark's main drag because Blacks lived on the other side and they were mean. Maybe those ignorant Brazilians heard such nonsense from immigrants who lived in Newark during the 1967 riots and those stories were exaggerated from one teller to the next.  

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in the US in the Fall of 1971 was Blackmen's colourful clothes. The first week I arrived I bought myself a marvelous yellow hat but soon I noticed that Brazilians frowned at it so I stopped wearing it. 

Eventually I met some Black men at the record factory I worked but talking to them was next to impossible due to the language barrier. 


Attica Prison Uprising as seen by 'Jornal da Tarde' a Brazilian newspaper 


Jornal da Tarde, 14 September 1971. 

Jornal da Tarde, 16 September 1971. 


16 September 1971 - Barely 15 days before I boarded a Varig DC-10 plane towards John Kennedy Airport in New York, the Attica Uprising came to a bloody outcome... 

Little did I know I would meet one of the (former) Attica inmates that took part in the Uprising when I went to work at the Catskills in New York State in the spring and summer 1976. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

1971 New York radio

As I was saying in the previous page when I commented abou radio gadgets, I started listening New York City radio stations since the very first day I arrived in the USA in 2 October 1971. Looking back it feels like I had been given the key to the city's radio even before I had arrived there. I turned the radio on the first night and listened to whatever was being broadcast.

I think the first sound I noticed and was made conscious of was the mandolins playing at the end of Rod Stewart's 'Maggie Mae'. That sound would soar into the air and make itself the king! Slowly I realized it was the end of a song... a long song that told the story of a young man that was going back to school because it was late-September... exactly the time of year we were on.

From 'Maggie Mae' I started picking songs I liked very often. I remember Jonathan Edward's 'Sunshine' which had a really pleasant jangling guitar sound with a singer's good voice. Lee Michael's 'Do you know what I mean?' was a very powerful song! It had rhythm and a mean organ that counterpointed Lee's clear voice. Gee, in the US one had a magnificent radio that churned hits after hits.

'Superstar' with the Carpenters was the most beautiful song possible. I had never heard of Karen Carpenter or that they were brothers. 'Superstar' was heavenly and it was #2, kept from #1 only by the strength of 'Maggie Mae'. North-american radio was a fairy-land for me. I liked everything I heard even if I didn't understand the lyrics. The sound was good. Even the commercials were amazing. I fell in love with a Chrysler's Plymouth ad that I first I thought it was a regular song. Then I realized it was shorter than a 'common' song and soon I picked up the lyrics: Chrysler Plymouth coming through!!! To be in the United States was so good. Such a dream come true!

I lived in the Portuguese-Puerto Rican ghetto in Newark, N.J. and I soon realized that WABC was the most popular radio stations among Brazilians. But as I also had a FM radio I noticed that FM-stations were more 'stylish' than AM stations. I kept going back and forth. I even remember tuning to a New Jersey AM station: WWDJ of Hackensack, N.J. It was similar, on the same lines as WABC but its signal was weak.

The FM stations I remember I listened through 1971, 1972 and 1973 were: WCBS, WPLJ, WNEW, WOR-FM. I could listen to album-tracks of The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and other bands I already knew from living in Brazil.

In the USA I was introduced to Chicago, Carpenters, Rod Stewart, Elton John and many others. I remember the 1st time I listened the name Elton John being pronounced. I thought at first that it was Tom Jones, the Welsh singer, but then I learned better. I was really impressed by the vocal beauty of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and became an instant fan... then in 1972, Neil Young individually became my idol. Talking about music idol I already had one in the shape of 'American pie's Don McLean... but Neil Young was more dramatic and exuberant.

Chicago Transit Authority was a band that impressed me a lot too. I saw them as the next step after Blood, Sweat & Tears much more in the line The Beatles had opened. Their 2nd album was so amazingly good... the one which starts with 'Wake up sunshine', goes through 'Make me smile' and ends with 'Colour my world' and a rock rhapsodic fantasy. Such an amazing album side. They played the whole side on WNEW.

Melanie's 'Brand new key' couldn't be a better song to end 1971. 'American pie' would play constantly in jukebox. It was divided in two parts... but in the FM stations it played the whole 8 minutes and 23 seconds. Think that Sly in the Family's 'A family affair' had been #1 in the country for 2 weeks and the amazing Isaac Hayes had been #1 too with his 'Shaft' theme (John Shaft).... what glorious period it was 1971's Autumn.




Dan Ingram, argueably New York's most popular radio DJ in the late 1960s and early 1970s at his post at WABC Radio in the autumn of 1971.



Frank Kingston Smith was at WABC from 1971 to 1974. He worked weekends and was the primary fill in DJ over those years. He had a long radio career at many great stations like WFIL/Philadelphia and WRKO/Boston (as "Bobby Mitchell").







Over the years people have forgotten the important place that news held at Musicradio WABC.

While it's true that music programming was the primary emphasis, no radio station could keep its license without "serving the public good".

Unlike today's music stations, WABC had a real news department that had a job to do... and did it well. Ironically, the news department at Musicradio WABC in 1975 was better staffed than its counterpart is today at "News-Talk Radio" WABC!


Rear: Paul Ehrlich (News Director-tending to teletype machine), Bob Capers, Bob Hardt
Foreground - a secretary, John Meagher, Gus Engelman.

This advertisement appeared in "Broadcasting Magazine" on 27 October 1975


This is Musicradio


Yes, the newsroom at America's most listened to radio station WABC we don't think we got to be Number One by doing just a few things right, so we weren't too surprised by the results of this year's New York State AP Broadcasters News Competition where New York stations - including the all-news ones - were judged in six categories.

WABC's afternoon drive newscast with Bob Hardt was named Best Regularly Scheduled Local News Program. Hardt's report has earned this accolade six of the last seven years. Nobody's ever done that before.

Newsman John Meagher received the AP Award for General Excelence of Individual Reporting. Meagher won that one for his investigation of boon-doggling in resort area land sales.

And WABC's Public Affair program, 'Perspective New York', earned Honourable Mention in the Documentary Category.
Not bad for musicradio.
WABC MUSICRADIO 77
an ABC owned AM radio station



Les Marshak at WABC in 1969; then he moved to WPIX (Pix 102).



Stan Brooks, a familiar voice on 1010 WINS, dies at 86

By Paul Vitello for The New York Times.

23 December 2013

Stan Brooks, a reporter whose long tenure and prolific output on New York’s first all-news radio station, 1010 WINS, made him one of the most recognized and consistent voices on the radio for more than 40 years, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 86, and had worked until a month before his death, delivering his last report from City Hall on Nov. 20. The cause was lung cancer, his son Bennett said.

Mr. Brooks joined WINS, 1010 on the AM dial, as news director in 1962, when it was still one of the dominant pop music stations in the country, with a lineup of popular disc jockeys including Murray Kaufman, known as Murray the K.



When Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the station’s owners, decided to make WINS an all-news operation soon after Mr. Brooks’s arrival, he helped assemble the staff and lay the groundwork for one of the first all-news radio stations in the country — and the first in the city.
The switch took place on 19 April 1965. The blackout on 9 November 1965, which plunged most of the Northeast into darkness, put Mr. Brooks’s news team on the aural map.

By tapping into a transmission line based in New Jersey, WINS was one of the few radio outlets that managed to stay on the air. From a 19th-floor studio in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Brooks and his reporters broadcast news and information throughout the night.

“Reporters had to go down 19 flights to get the story and then walk up 19 flights to go on the air,” all by candlelight, he told an interviewer.

After several years as an executive and then a national correspondent for the Westinghouse Broadcasting radio station system, Mr. Brooks became a local reporter at WINS in 1970. His voice has been on the city’s airwaves almost every day since.

In understated dispatches between 30 seconds and one minute long, he reported on plane crashes, race riots, municipal near-bankruptcies, the tall ships, the Son of Sam, the Attica prison uprising and every mayoral administration from John V. Lindsay to Michael R. Bloomberg. He conducted interviews under a light rain of ash and debris on Sept. 11, 2001. Before ducking under his desk, he delivered a live report from the scene after a gunman killed Councilman James Davis at City Hall in 2003.

He liked the precision of short-form journalism. “When you’ve got 35 seconds, you’ve got to tell people what they need right away,” he said in an interview last year. “You want to get to the spine of the story.”

In a 2005 interview, Mr. Brooks said he was often asked when he was retiring. “I don’t want to live in Florida,” he said. “I like living in New York, and as long as I’m living in New York I want to be active, and I think the most active and the most fun thing I could do is this.”

Stanley Bertram Brooks was born in the Bronx in 24 January 1927, to Herman and Mildred Brooks. His father worked for a paper company, selling paper to printers. He attended City College for two years, before serving in the Army. He later transferred to, and graduated from, Syracuse University. After working for newspapers in Westchester County, he became a reporter and editor at Newsday on Long Island, where he worked for 10 years before moving to WINS.

Besides his son Bennett, he is survived by two other sons, George and Rick; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, the former Lynn Schwarz, died in May.





On August 22, 1972, John Wojtowicz, along with Salvatore Naturale and Robert Westenberg, attempted to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan bank on the corner of East 3rd Street and Avenue P in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Wojtowicz and Naturale held 7 bank employees hostages for 14 hours. Wojtowicz, a former bank teller, had some knowledge of bank operations. However, he apparently based his plan on scenes from the movie The Godfather, which he had seen earlier that day. The robbers became media celebrities. Wojtowicz was arrested and Naturale was killed by the FBY during the final moments of the incident. Wojtowicz answered the phone and gave Stan Brooks an interview. The robbery was turned into the Oscar winning film Dog day afternoon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUkykfCMUQ - listen to a 1971 radio ad by Chrysler.