Art Szcykalski, My Friend, 1943-2010

I have worked at WPHL just under two years.  I came to the station for two reasons.  First; a station GM with a great vision and an even greater sales pitch and second; the chance to be a part of a station that I grew up with.  Channel 17 as it was commonly known in those days, meant something, in the Delaware Valley.  Not that it doesn’t now, but now it’s one of hundreds of channels.  In my youth, it was one of about a dozen, and if you were a kid, possibly one of your favorites.  Dr. Shock, Cartoons, Dancing on Air, the Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and great re-runs of great network shows.  I was very proud to become a part of that WPHL tradition.

Artie was one of the people I met at the station that was my link to those days and that tradition.  He made me prouder to work here.  His stories were phenomenal and his sense of humor was legendary.  He told me about painting and re-painting the floor in the Dancin’ on Air days, how cold it was in the studio and how the kids on the set could barely hear the music at times.  He told me that the DREADED DR. SHOCK, that the horror-kid I used to be feared, really enjoyed water-skiing!?!  (Water Skiing?  Really Doc? Not so macabre a hobby!) Artie told me lots of things.  And I laughed and smiled and enjoyed every conversation.

But in all those convos he never told me he was sick.

I was surprised and saddened when I heard the news yesterday.  Artie recently retired from the station but I looked forward to seeing him and exchanging more stories.  I am very sad I won’t get the chance.  For those of you that never had the pleasure, below are some of my memories of Art.

Here is Artie in a Better Philly Audition.  He’s in the clip for about 2 seconds, at about the 2:00 minute mark, but in that moment, his sense of humor is apparent.  That was just him.  So funny.

The picture below is Art placing a microphone on jazz singer Alyssa Graham.  The music was wonderful that day, but I had a hard time getting photos of Alyssa smiling.  Until she met Artie!  Then the smiles came, and I snapped a few.

Artie was a great, great, guy that I will miss.  So long my friend.

3 thoughts on “Art Szcykalski, My Friend, 1943-2010

  1. Awe.. I know. Tony-I would have to pry it out of him!! The last time I saw him, I gave him a big hug and asked him if he was feeling ok-he said his usual ‘ho-hum’.. and then he said ‘thanks for asking – I have been having some heart problems-but I’m old ya know?’…..

    I loved asking him about his family. He was so cute when he talked about his kids and his wife.

    What a great man. Even though he gave me s*it sometimes for not being a ‘tv person’ and not knowing what the heck I was doing! hahaha

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