This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
Click here to return to the index of selected articles.
HARMON, LACKMANN OBITUARIES
(From Radio Recall, April 2010)
RON LACKMANN, OTR AUTHOR, DIES IN NEW YORK AT AGE 75
OTR author, Ron Lackmann, died of heart failure on Feb 24th in Stone Ridge, NY; he was 75 years old. He has been cremated and there was no funeral service, although relatives are planning a memorial service later this spring.
He was the author of 34 books including Remember Radio, The Soap Opera Almanac, Remember Television and over 20 books for Weekly Reader. Ron had appeared as actor, director, and/or narrator in more than fifty radio plays produced by AFRS. For many years, he taught drama and speech at Central High School in Valley Stream, NY. His Encyclopedia of American Radio (originally titled Same Time, Same Station) won the Pat Browne Award for Best Reference Book by the Popular Culture Association.
Arrangements are being made for his remains to be interred at Pine Lawn Cemetery on Long Island, NY which contains his family plot. Ron had three surviving family members: two nephews and a niece. Cards of sympathy can reach them through Barbara Gelman, 4098 U.S. Hiway 209, Stone Ridge, NY 12484.
FAMED OTR AUTHOR, JIM HARMON DIES IN LOS ANGELES, AGE 76
James Hudson Harmon, age 76, known to the world of OTR and Science Fiction as Jim Harmon, died of heart failure in Los Angeles on February 16, 2010. He had been in ill health for months and was awaiting a heart operation scheduled for March 8th. One of his last public appearances was the Friends of Old-Time Radio convention in Newark.
Harmon was born April 21, 1933 in Mount Carmel, IL and childhood diseases prevented an active life style so he grew up with comic books and listening to juvenile adventures on radio. A friend of the family was Marcus Brace Beemer, long since retired as the voice of The Lone Ranger.
While still a teen-ager, he had began writing science fiction short stories, eventually publishing over 40 of them in Galaxy, Spaceway, Venture Science Fiction, etc. Harmon also wrote western adventure stories for the pulps (Double -Action Western, etc.) and crime stories for mystery magazines (Smashing Detective.) He also wrote about comic book heroes and contributed to the classic anthology, All in Color for a Dime (Ace Books, 1970.)
But old-time radio would always be his favorite interest and he used his home in California to search his heroes in the Golden Age of Radio. He interviewed Carlton E. Morse and obtained some of the ILAM scripts. Harmon located and developed a friendship with Joe “Curley” Bradley, radio’s Tom Mix and re-created some of those shows. He interviewed many other radio stars including Jack Lester who played Sky King.
In 1967, Harmon published a book that would be the impetus for our hobby, The Great Radio Heroes. It was first published in hard back by Doubleday and later in paperback by Ace Books. It struck a chord in thousands who recalled those wonderful radio programs. He followed this book with several others, including: The Great Radio Comedians (1970) , Jim Harmon’s Nostalgia Catalogue, (1973), Radio Mystery and Adventure (1992) and Radio & TV Premiums (1997.)
Most recently, Harmon edited (and also contributed short stories to) volumes two and three of It’s That Time Again, Bear Manor Media’s great anthologies of new stories about OTR characters.
He lived in Burbank, CA with his wife, Barbara, and was an active member of SPERDVAC for many years, even serving on their board of directors. He is survived by Barbara, and her daughter , Dawn Kovner.
Jim was cremated and his ashes buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA. Barbara had tried to get a burial site close to that of Tom Mix (Jim's idol since childhood) but Mix is buried in the old section of Forest Lawn, which is now closed to additional burials. So Jim's ashes were put to rest in a grave site in the new section. Jerry Williams of SPERDVAC created a special urn for Jim's remains.
In lieu of flowers, she requested that donations be made in Jim's name to SPERDVAC, P.O. Box 669, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-0669. Your cards of support will reach Barbara Harmon at the residence she and Jim shared for many years: 634 S. Orchard Drive, Burbank, CA 91506-2905.