My beloved dad worked as the Chief Cameraman for the Cross-Talk television show for about five years. Dad’s unique genius never ceased to amaze me.
My Dad’s Unique Genius
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My beloved father’s unique genius never ceased to amaze me. For five years, my dad worked as the Chief Cameraman for the television talk show, Cross-Talk. Dad filmed well over a hundred shows. He had this unique combination of inspiring genius and plain old common sense.
The real truth of the matter is that Dad was the essential Director of the show. The show was seen every Wednesday night at eight o’clock on the Cable Television Network of New Jersey, throughout the entire state of New Jersey.
While I was the host of the show, along with the incredibly talented Reverend Melvin Travis, Dad was the one who kept us on our toes. Dad was the one who kept us positive, no matter what happened.
We used to film at a local college in New Jersey. One time, one of the professors was talking to my dad. We were working on setting up a camera to be placed high atop the set, to get a wild, “bird’s eye view” effect. Dad put his rigging, engineering and scout knot tying knowledge to town. I remember that the professor was blown out of the water, with Dad’s ingenuity.
This particular professor asked Dad if he had worked in television before. My dad simply answered, in a very calm voice, “no, I worked as a long-distance truck driver all of my life.” I guarantee you that any preconceived ideas that this particular professor had about truck drivers, was tossed out the window at that very moment in time.
We had the famous “Uncle Floyd” on our show quite a bit. Dad and Uncle Floyd hit it off famously. For those of you not familiar with Uncle Floyd, he is a quick-witted comedian. Dad kept up with Uncle Floyd and gave the famous comedian a run for his money, kidding around with him. If you have never heard of Uncle Floyd, then obviously you are not from New Jersey.
We would often have big muckalucks from the state senate and state assembly on the show. Sometimes, during the taping of the TV show, we’d take a break. Dad would pull me aside and whisper to me, “Richie, you’re letting him off the hook, too easy. Give him a hard right punch. Ask him about the (fill in the circumstance). It’ll be good for ratings for you.”
I loved my dad with all my heart. We worked together as scout leaders of Boy Scout Troop 170. We worked together on the executive committee of the Beavertown (Lincoln Park) Historical Society. We shook New Jersey up for about five years with a hard-hitting, award winning, state-wide weekly television show.
My dad went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006. I still miss him so.