Chattanooga retired broadcaster and Chattanoogan.com writer Earl Freudenberg told members of the Kiwanis Club of Ooltewah-Collegedale of some of the events during his nearly 55 years on the radio as a reporter and talk show host.
Mr. Freudenberg related a few of the news stories to the Kiwanis Club. They included the 1964 kidnapping of Dr.
Robert Demos from his Riverview home. After a police pursuit to Rome, Ga., his kidnapper surrendered.
He talked about the 1967 Peerless Woolen Mills fire in Rossville, when Fire and Police Commissioner James “Bookie” Turner sent the fire department across state lines. The fire left several thousand without a job. Commissioner Turner told the reporter, “I made the decision because 40 percent of the Peerless employees lived in Tennessee.” Commissioner Turner said, “That’s a lot of food on family tables.” Mr. Freudenberg said he reported the story on national CBS radio.
The speaker told of the day the Hamilton National Bank in Chattanooga collapsed in 1976. He said he broke the story on WDOD, 25 minutes before the FDIC made the announcement.
The broadcaster said in the mid 70’s, he met President Gerald Ford when he addressed the Chattanooga Engineers Club at the Choo Choo and he traveled to the First Baptist Church of Calhoun, Ga. when Governor Jimmy Carter was running for President. Freudenberg said, "Reporters could not ask the Georgia Democrat any political questions but report on Mr. Carter’s Sunday School Lesson." As Mr. Freudenberg remembered, “The lesson was on kindness.”
Mr. Freudenberg covered five members of Congress from the 3rd Congressional District including Bill Brock, Lamar Baker, Marilyn Lloyd, Zach Wamp and Chuck Fleischmann. In 1973, when Mr. Brock was Senator he called the Army Soldier at the American Forces Network in Frankfurt W. Germany. Senators Brock and Sam Nunn were on their way to NATO.
The Chattanooga native remembered Presidential candidate and Senator Barry Goldwater’s visit to the Scenic City and touring Combustion Engineering.
Members of the E. Hamilton High School Key Club were special guests at the club meeting. Ralph “Rimmy” Miller, Jr. , high school classmate of the broadcaster, was also in attendance.
Mr. Freudenberg was introduced by East Hamilton County insurance executive and program chairman Don Self. Club secretary Jacquelyn Brown presided over the meeting.
Also in attendance were Chattanooga Funeral Home Vice President Stephen Pike and CFH directors - club members Bill Owens and Dean Gentry.