Greetings, and thanks for visiting the Uncle Looney site. It is a work in progress and will be for some time. Our goal is to tell the story of Uncle Looney, Roanoke's first kiddie show host, who is fondly remembered by most of us between the ages of about 50 and 65 who grew up in Southwestern / Central Virginia and watched him on WSLS-TV 10. We also want to collect as many pictures, news clippings and other mementos of the show as possible and put them here for all to see.
Apparently, and unfortunately, WSLS-TV 10 doesn't have any old footage of the Uncle Looney show. We are told by several who were there that upon being sold to Roy H. Park in 1969, the new management wanted more office space and to create some, ordered them to throw much of their historical archive material away (those bastards). But we still plan on contacting the current owners to see if they have anything on file that they will share. We also hope that we will find that some of this historical stuff was—let's say—saved from destruction at the time by being—let's say—"added" to the personal collections of some of the former employees and/or other local broadcast historians. Cross your fingers.
And that's the factual stuff. We also want to have some fun with this and include a few examples of what we imagine to be Uncle Looney's influence on modern day society. One day we may even sit down and write our own fictitious biography of Uncle Looney ("Looney C. Toon was born on a rainy winter night in a cabin near the foot of Poor Mountain in 1899, the only son of Civil War veterans from South Western Virginia..."). As we said, it's all for fun.
In the meantime, WE NEED YOUR HELP! As with the other sites we've done, the content we can provide here will depend upon research, contributions, and people's memories. Most of the Channel 10 people who worked during the years of Uncle Looney have, unfortunately, passed away. But a few of them are still around including Lee Garrett and Mel Linkous and we're already working on getting together with them to see what they remember. We're also preparing to find and try to contact some of Tom's family members to see if they have anything that they're willing to share.
But for now, most of what we put here will be contributions from YOU. Please send us any memories you have of ANYTHING regarding Uncle Looney, his show, or any of his appearances. As we get them we will add them here. We're going to add ours, and hope you'll send us YOURS. And we thank you in advance for your help. The e-mail address for the site is below. Note that it is not "clickable"—you will need to type it into your mail program—this is so all of the web-crawling spam-bots can't trawl the web and send us spam (doing such would be an outright insult to Uncle Looney!). Anyway, please send us your memories and feedback, and thanks for stopping by...!
Pat Garrett & Steve Nelson
Special thanks to the following folks who have helped us with this site: Jeff Hughes, Mel Linkous, The Roanoke Public Library, The Roanoke Times & World News.