overheard - what our readers have to say

A clarification about Harpur Radio Workshop

Your note about the Radio Workshop is not quite correct. Harpur’s radio station first went on the air around 1962, with an AM transmitter (built by me) that could only be heard in the dorms, with the call letters WRAF. Later on, it received the more meaningful WHRW, and ultimately the FM transmitter and antenna that gave it a wider audience.

More useless trivia: The WRAF call letters came about because we were required to submit a list of 20 choices to the FCC so they could eliminate ones that were already in use. The guy who made the list started it with things like WHAR, WHPR, etc., but by the time he got to 10 he got tired of thinking of sensible ones (WHRW didn’t occur to him), and so he more or less picked them at random. All of his top ten were rejected! WRAF, number 11 on the list, came from Rafuse Hall, one of the men’s dorms.

The FM equipment was donated by the chief engineer of a local radio station, Charlie Hallinan. I worked for him for several years when I was a student, and this job (plus a Regent’s Scholarship) pretty much paid for my education at Harpur. Try that today!