Ken McClure worked with Charles Kuralt at Charlotte radio station WAYS. Kuralt was only a senior in high school, and McClure was in his late '20s, but the two maintained an enduring friendship.
When Kuralt went off to Chapel Hill as a student at UNC, he wrote to McClure using a shorthand language that Kuralt and McClure called "cable-ese."
They picked up the idea from a book, Kansas City Milkman, about a couple of reporters who filed their stories by cable telegram.
Kuralt sent a "cable-ese" letter to McClure in May 1954 to announce his rise to editorship of the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel: "Swelling hed evn biggr than usual."
In another cable-ese letter to McClure, who by then had moved on to a radio station in El Paso, Texas, Kuralt wrote that a CBS News job looked like a sure bet after graduation. "They nice people," Kuralt wrote in the arcane language. "Remember my name three trips Washington urge me keep in touch stop face it colon eye still impressionable kid stop."
In an October 15 letter to McClure, Kuralt wrote about the "glorious upchange in leaves red yellow brown . . . " and he added how happy he was that girlfriend Sory Guthery was coming to Chapel Hill for the weekend to walk in the leaves. "Fall in love all over again."
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