Saturday, February 26, 2005
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Tomorrow, 10:00am PST Funeral
Here goes, see you in a couple of days:
My father was unique, complex and his memory will never be erased from my mind. I love, adore and admire him.
In many ways, he was my role model.
It’s only become apparent to me in the past two weeks, after talking to many who knew my dad, that he didn’t talk much of his rather remarkable life.
Many did not know my dad had a 40-year career in radio and television and was a talented and gifted photographer, actor, vocalist, producer, and director.
In his career my dad worked with and interviewed people such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gore Vidal, Timothy Leary, Frank Zappa, Alfred Hitchcock and rock and roll groups like the Monkee's and even the Beatles.
Dad even pioneered the satellite architecture that was responsible for the Live Aid Concert in 1985...
And later was also instrumental in Farm Aid I and II, and the live broadcast of Comic Relief.
While lots of kids have the opportunity to occasionally go to work with their dad, not many dads worked at a television studio filled with celebrities.
My dad never missed an opportunity to take me out of school and take me to work with him when someone particularly famous was going to be in the studio.
When I was in 6th grade the Beatles had come to Boston on a world tour and dad took me along when he went to their hotel room to get an interview.
Now remember, this is at a time when just a photograph of “A Beatle” would make young girls scream and grown women faint.
Just to touch or meet someone who met a Beatle, was almost more than a young fans heart could take.
I remember everything about that day from exactly what I wore to what I ate for breakfast and from the moment my dad pinned a Press Pass on me, people began to scream and grab at us.
Dad was pulling me through this huge, overwhelming crowd, never letting go of my hand for a second, least I be swallowed up in a vast sea of screaming fans.
Every once in a while he would look back at me, smile this big grin and wink.
I could tell from the look on his face…..
…what was exciting to my Dad was not meeting the Beatles…
…what was exciting to him was taking ME to meet the Beatles.
Another thing I’ll bet many of you don’t know is my dad LOVED Science Fiction. One of my favorite memories as a young child is my dad letting me stay up very late on Friday nights to watch Creature Features with him. I will never watch a movie with Martians, aliens or haunted houses in it without thinking of Friday nights up late with my dad and a big bowl of popcorn.
When we lived in Boston my dad built a sailboat in the garage and on a little lake in Holliston, Massachusetts, taught me to sail. Well, actually he first taught me how to swim as our initial adventure ended up in a capsized boat and a rescue, but later in life I shared that love of sailing and the love of water with my kids as we sailed to just about every island in the Caribbean.
My dad was not only a gifted performer, earning the lead role in just about every community theater play and musical he ever tried out for, he was also the greatest audience a performer could ever want. He wasn’t an “easy audience” but if you were “good” he let you know it.
The very first time I performed stand-up comedy was at Igby’s, in West Los Angeles.
I was so nervous before I went on that night but it wasn’t the performance or the standing room only crowd I was so nervous about.
What I was really nervous about was, “Will I be able to make my dad laugh?”
Although I knew beforehand he would be in the audience I had no idea of where he was sitting until I told my first joke.
Not only did I instantly know where my Dad was sitting from his distinctive laugh, I knew I was a success. I couldn’t fail.
His laugh was leading the crowd and when he laughed, everyone laughed.
He was the greatest audience a comedian could ever want.
I’ve thought a lot these past two weeks about what I’ll miss the most about him and the list is far too long to recite..
The thought that I’ll never again hear my dad say “Honey, I’m proud of you” is almost unbearable.
But for now, the memories must endure.
Most of us, perhaps all of us, have our own heroes, champions, our own personal hall of fame. I do, and at the top of my list is my dad.
My hero wasn’t perfect.
He was not a saint.
He wasn’t there to pick me up every time I fell
He didn’t soothe me every time I hurt and he was sometimes missing when my life was falling apart.
But, the time came when we realized we were not the past and I knew in my heart how much he really cared.
Good-bye for now. I miss you more than I can put into words.
You will be remembered and loved, always and forever.
Take care Dad,
God Bless you
We’ll be in touch soon.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
His international experience in television programming, production and broadcasting included; Executive Producer for WBZ Radio and Television (Westinghouse Broadcasting Co.) in Boston, Program Director of WLS (ABC) Television in Chicago and eventually as Executive Producer and Program Director of KGO Television in San Francisco. He also, in the late 60's and early 70's, worked as Assistant to the President for W. Clement Stone who created a motivational educational system based on, "P.M.A. - Positive Mental Attitude." W. Clement Stone had been a guest on a morning talk show my Dad produced and liked my Dad so much he offered him a job!
Jim knew and worked with an eclectic list of notables that included Phil Donahue, Gore Vidal, W. Clement Stone, John F. Kennedy, Alfred Hitchcock, Phyllis Diller, Frank Zappa, Gregory Peck, Richard Nixon, and even the Beatles.
One of his finest achievements and something he was most proud of was his work as satellite architect of the international Live Aid Concert in 1985. He also did Farm Aid I and II, Comic Relief and other specials. In the last few years of his life he worked creating and designing internet web sites.
I found this on the internet, written by a college friend of my father's talking about their early radio days on campus at Ohio University. On page one, near the bottom, there is a picture of my Dad but more importantly (At least to me! LOL) at the top of page two (see the link below) there is my favorite publicity photo of my Dad. My Dad was movie star handsome - really, please take a look at the top of page two to see how "dreamy" he was - no wonder my mother fell in love with him!! The paragraph below (My Dad's middle name is Dockray - yes, seriously) so he was known as "Doc" in college. You can read a little more about him on page two at the following link:
"Theta Chi's kitchen steward was James "Doc" T**erson, of Dayton, who hosted a music show on WOUB called "Prescription: Music." Often, when I awoke in the morning, I'd find breakfast on my dresser, coffee and juice and Danish. Doc would cross the backyard from his kitchen and leave the food in my room, a casual act of magnanimity that still touches me. Doc, tall and movie star handsome, possessed a degree of maturity that I lacked, and in many ways he helped me to temper some of my post-adolescent abrasiveness that so frequently alienated my peers. I was best man at Doc's wedding in Charleston, West Virginia, where he was working at WKAZ, sister station to WSAZ in Huntington, where I was working. He was later hired as the producer of a well-known television talk show, Bob Kennedy's "Contact," which was aired by Westinghouse out of WBZ in Boston, and, years later toward the end of his broadcast career, was program director of KGO in San Francisco." (con't)
In addition to his communications career my father could sing - beautifully - and was an actor. Regardless of what he was doing for a living or what job he held at the time, the reality was, he was a born performer. As you can imagine from the photo on the link he was always cast as the suave, debonair leading man. No doubt about it, he was the Cary Grant of community theater!
A few years ago my Dad made a couple of CD's recording many of the songs he sung in musical theater. I will always treasure that I can hear his distinctive voice. I believe at one time in college and early in his career my Dad was even known as "The Voice." He had that "Radio Voice," in the truest sense of radio, on-air fashion.
Of course right now the silence of that voice is deafening.
Jim is survived by his wife Kim and son Brent, his children from a previous marriage, Jaime and James T**erson and Terri S**clair, his mother Jane Smith T**erson of Dayton, OH, his sister Leslie Perkins of Boulder, CO., six grandchildren, his sister-in-law Joyce of Mt. Juliet, TN., a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law, aunts, an uncle, nieces, nephews and many cousins. He was predeceased by his father James and his brother.
A memorial service will be held at St. Monica's church in Santa Monica, California on February 23rd at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers it was Jim's request that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.