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This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.

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by Mark Bush © 2012
(From Radio Recall, October 2012)

What is MANC? No, it is not the singular of Manx. It stands for Mid Attantic Nostalgia Convention and is the brainchild of member Martin Grams. Jr.

The Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club held its August meeting in Hunt Valley synchronous with the MANe convention. No other club has ever been so honored. The meeting got the prime Saturday afternoon time slot of 1:30 to 2:45 P. M. President Maury Cagle was sidellned with Illness so, Vice-President Fred Berney welcomed everyone to the meeting then asked how many club members were there who had never before attended a club meeting. A few hands went up, and then Fred briefly outlined the club's history and purpose.

Jack French's "First Fifteen" episode was from The New National Guard Show, a series that brought star-quality personalities to the microphone to perform and try to convince listeners to join the Guard. This 1947 example featured Joe E Brown playing "Elmer Biggs."

Following Jack's polished presentation, we asked to have volunteers help with a sound effects presentation Jack wrote to use when he addresses groups. The script, "The Escape of Dr. Fang," is effects-laden with 39 sound effects in 36 lines of dialog. We had more than enough volunteers to fill the respective jobs. We broke down the sound effects into eight (8) stations of three or four effects each so no one had too much to do but everybody got a feel for the timing involved.

We even color-coded the effects to match colored cues on the script. Chuck and Joanle Langdon and Jeff and Mary Whipple had come to our house the previous Sunday and we showed them how to operate the sound effects so they, in tum, could educate the volunteers in the all too brief time before the performance. Marsha and I had tried to do the script ourselves just to get a feel for it. We certainly could not have performed the show without the valuable help of the Langdons and the Whipples. Members and non-members were pleased and instructed by the presentation.

After the performance, a few people wanted to have us do it again for the banquet. Jack explained that it required too much set-up and knock-down time and the night's program was already solidly booked. A young man from the hotel helped us move the sound devices from the car to the meeting room and back and fell in love with the thunder gag. He is now a convert. Jeff Whipple gave him a membership blank to complete.

Jeff also spoke to the attendees urging those not already members to join and presented them a copy of the club newsletter, "Radio Recall" with a membership blank attached. Jack's quiz was next on the program and was a version of his popular "easy/hard" test from our semi-annual luncheon meetings. The eighteen prizes were not "Ten silver dollars and a box of Mars candy bars" but the yummy "Payday" treat.

Fred Berney took to the mike again and thanked everybody for attending the meeting. Several people commented favorably on the content of the meeting and the individual segments such as the quiz or the sound effects. Everybody left happy and we counted our participation in MANC a coup for the club.