Harold Hallikainen

Written by Harold Hallikainen:
Posted on September 27th, 2009 at 1:03 pm
Go Back to Remembrances

I don’t know what to write. Everyone above has done a great job. Though it feels like I knew Frank forever, I probably met him in 1969 at KCPR, then 2.5 watts using the GE Phasitron transmitter and the Sparta 5 channel board. As Cathy mentions above, probably a year later, I was one of Frank’s room mates at 605 Sandercock. They later renumbered the street and it became 467 Sandercock (I think), corner of King and Sandercock. We were your typical college guys. I set up my ham station with Teletype in the dining room. Another room mate built giant speaker enclosures and put them in the living room so we could listen to Firesign Theater records. The garage had everything in it but a car. When the garage overflowed, we had a garage sale. The first buyer was Heilman Salvage. They offered to buy everything. We asked them to come back at the end of the day. They did buy everything that was left.

Later, we became room mates in the house at the corner of Beebee and South streets. Maybe a year ago Len and I had a nice long visit with Frank in the backyard of that house while Frank was supposed to be mowing the lawn. One memorable feature of that house was the wood stove that I think Frank installed. It would glow red hot and peel the paint off the walls.

Frank built a large garage (or barn or warehouse) in the backyard of the Beebee street house. We managed to fill it with stuff. One day, it was overflowing. So, we had a garage sale. We advertised stuff in the paper. One item was “microwave.” For some reason, buyers thought we had a microwave oven. We instead had a rack full of microwave transmitters and receivers suitable for a telephone company. In the afternoon, sales were going slow, so we went down to KZOZ (then next to Tiki Tom’s Things at the corner of Marsh and Higuera and an H&F client) to record a radio spot for our garage sale. Frank did the spot. There were sounds of bulldozers in the background with Frank saying “The boss says we’ve got to move them out…”. It aired several times that afternoon on KZOZ. Anyone have a copy of that spot?

As others mentioned, Frank was one of the founders of H&F. We did radio station servicing starting in September 1974. We later moved to manufacturing of stuff for radio and TV stations. It was a great group of diverse resources. If we needed to get something done, someone in the group could do it. As Gerry mentioned, Frank was instrumental in our NAB exhibit. Besides helping get it built he often came up with the way to get it to the show (generally in Las Vegas, but we also exhibited in Dallas and Atlanta). We were always in a panic to get stuff ready and to the show. One year, Frank provided his red truck (I think it was originally red, it was more of a rust color by this time) to transport our stuff to Las Vegas. The truck was in the Beebee street driveway, loaded with our exhibit, but it had a flat tire and the driver side window had just fallen in to the door. But, we got to the show!

Frank’s contacts in the lighting industry (Jim Chernoff and Teatronics, above) led to H&F getting its third home by renting space in the Teatronics building on Suburban Road. H&F then moved in to its own space on Suburban. Frank’s electrician skills came through in wiring the building. This introduction to Teatronics people proved valuable later. In 1995, the assets of H&F were sold to Dove Systems, owned by Gary Dove, one of the founders of Teatronics.

Each of the founders of H&F eventually had to get a real job to pay the rent (I finally did in 1995). Frank went to KSBY. He had the expertise required to keep the mechanical monsters of television running. Back then, they’d say “Film at 11″ and really mean “film”. They had these video tape cartridge machines with two inch tape. With all their pneumatics, they sounded like a diesel truck. I think that was a favourite sound for Frank. He kept them going.

A month or two ago, Len, Pam, Frank, and I had lunch at Big Sky. Frank was interested in everything I could think of to talk about. He was enthusiastic about everything (maybe not unions). He was a joy to be around. I will miss that joy.

Finally, Pam, thank you for taking such good care of Frank.