NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bob and Jan Carr became family names in 1960s New Orleans by co-hosting a great number of radio and Tv set broadcasts.
Now in their 90s, they’re hosting a few far more.
Soon after settling into Christwood Retirement Community in Covington three decades ago, Bob and Jan launched an hour-extensive weekly present named “Home at Christwood.” Broadcast all over the Christwood campus and archived on the internet, it capabilities breezy interviews with people and staffers framed by the cheery, again-and-forth banter that is the Carrs’ calling card.
Again in the ’60s, they referred to as their common WDSU morning demonstrate “Second Cup.” By that common, what cup are they on now?
Bob laughed: “The past cup.”
Increasing 4 little ones on Bourbon Avenue, entertaining and informing successive generations of New Orleanians, touring the globe — they’ve lived a full lifetime.
In its remaining chapter, they are nonetheless executing what they enjoy to do, with each other.
At 93, Bob Carr’s head, memory and wit are continue to sharp, even as he battles most cancers. At 90, Jan Carr is as good humored as at any time, even just after a recent coronary heart scare despatched her to the healthcare facility.
Just before posing for shots at Christwood a single afternoon, Jan took stock of her partner. “Fix your hair,” she instructed.
She 1st laid eyes on him in 1950, when Bob was riding on a ladder atop a hearth truck crisscrossing the campus of Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They’d each and every enrolled at Carnegie Tech — now Carnegie Mellon College — with theatrical aspirations.
Bob before long wooed Jan with his dancing capabilities. 6 months afterwards, they eloped. Seventy a long time down the road, they nonetheless joke about how naysayers “said it would not final.”
Immediately after school, they settled into a sublet condominium on 20th Street in New York, striving to make it in exhibit small business. But they got no additional than the summer months Jan invested education with the Rockettes and Bob’s appearances in adverts for Zippo and Coca-Cola.
A loved ones close friend of Jan’s grandparents who owned a radio station in Wheeling, West Virginia, bought a license to start a Television station. He available Jan and Bob on-air careers. They basically constructed their talk clearly show, “Calling All Carr’s,” from scratch, helping assemble the cameras and construct the established. It co-starred a dog named Jillopy.
From Wheeling, they graduated to Huntington, West Virginia. Bob stepped absent from Tv for two a long time to offer stained glass. Completely ready for a improve of surroundings, they planned a transfer to Los Angeles. A buddy functioning at WWL 870 AM in New Orleans asked if they experienced careers lined up in California. They did not.
He promised them operate at WWL. “We hardly ever imagined we’d want to come to Louisiana,” Bob mentioned.
They arrived in 1960. At the time, WWL broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel’s third flooring. In the mornings, Bob was the on-air sidekick to Sid Noel, aka Morgus the Wonderful. He and Jan presided over their have demonstrates, interviewing diners at the Roosevelt’s restaurant and superstars booked at the hotel’s popular Blue Area.
Promotion guru Peter Mayer cast the couple in a business for Luzianne coffee and tea. In it, they introduced on their own independently: “This is Bob.” “And this is Jan.”
That grew to become their catchphrase. At WDSU, they hosted “Second Cup” from a poolside perch on the Royal Orleans Hotel’s roof. Jan did a trend-themed radio present from trumpeter Al Hirt’s Bourbon Avenue club, with Ronnie Kole on piano. They afterwards joined the cast of WDSU’s “Midday” present.
They liked to meet up with individuals, loved appealing conversation, thrived on keeping viewers and listeners engaged. And they ended up ubiquitous in the New Orleans sector. Victor Schiro, the city’s mayor for most of the 1960s, supposedly complained, “I’m the mayor, and Bob and Jan are far more popular than I am.”
Their lives and occupations have been non-stop. “We did so damn quite a few matters, I have sort of neglected,” Bob reported, even as he recalled information of interviews and interactions from decades ago.
“He remembers a great deal,” Jan said. “We were so lucky to have so quite a few professions.”
In the early 1970s, soon after an ownership modify at WDSU, the couple embarked on a diverse class. Bob went to operate for the International Household, the forerunner of the New Orleans World Trade Centre. For 20 many years, he led delegations of nearby small business leaders on sojourns to India, China, Russia and other significantly-flung locales.
Jan went together as baggage wrangler, holding track of a hundred or a lot more suitcases for two-dozen tourists. “All that time that we did people journeys, I by no means misplaced a suitcase,” she claimed.
At age 50, Bob flirted with the concept of turning into an Episcopalian priest. “Somehow I bought the religion and veered off to the side,” he mentioned. “But there was a large amount additional to it than finding God. You have obtained to market your dwelling, relocate. It ran out of steam. And I preferred my position at the Earth Trade Center.”
They under no circumstances gave up the broadcasting bug. Till Hurricane Katrina, they continue to hosted a Saturday early morning radio show for WGSO. The storm destroyed the station’s studio in Metairie. When it moved to Slidell less than new entrepreneurs, Bob and Jan determined to connect with it a occupation.
“That was our previous hurrah,” Bob stated.
Or so he thought.
About the decades, Carrs occupied a succession of wonderful New Orleans residences, starting with 1 on Bourbon Street. In his 2010 memoir “Raising Our Youngsters on Bourbon: A French Quarter Love Affair,” Bob recalled the joys, laughs, appreciate and difficulties of parenting four youthful young ones in the city’s decadent heart.
He wrote the e book in spite of never possessing browse one particular in its entirety. “My dyslexia kicks in and I skip to the previous chapter,” he mentioned. “I can produce, but I cannot read.”
They later on moved to Prytania Street in the Backyard District Bob put in an underwater tunnel from the very hot tub to the pool.
In 1991, they restored a grand 3-tale mansion on Esplanade Avenue that had been chopped into residences. When they could no more time navigate the stairs, they moved to a a single-tale unit with a terrace at 1750 St. Charles Avenue.
In 2018, they made a decision that Christwood offered the correct blend of independence and assistance for their twilight yrs. They were shocked to discover how quite a few fellow citizens regarded them.
“I really do not know why persons nonetheless keep in mind us,” Bob stated. “It was the ’60s and ’70s when we have been at our height, and that was a very long time in the past.”
Early previous 12 months, they have been requested to report a birthday greeting for a buddy of a pal. They revived their “Bob and Jan” act, pretending they ended up again on the roof of the Royal Orleans.
They recognized how significantly they skipped performing a show collectively. They attempted internet hosting a podcast, but it did not catch on. “Podcasts aren’t our technology,” Bob mentioned.
What worked was what has normally worked for them: getting themselves, bantering back and forth, taking an fascination in the tales in their community.
“We turned it in on ourselves,” Bob reported. “We chat to the people today who are living here, because everybody’s bought a story.
“There’s a ton of people listed here that have been a good deal of sites. You really do not sit at supper with any individual and say, ‘Oh, I was in India,’ and they go, ‘What? You were being in India?’ In its place, you get, ‘I was not in India, but I was in Saudi Arabia’ or a thing. That helps make it fruitful to speak to people today and find out exactly where they were being and what they were being executing. There’s a ton of fertile material about in this article, even during COVID.”
Making use of his Iphone, he shoots “Home at Christwood” all over the campus. An IT staffer, Paul Krobert, will help edit and upload the clearly show. “It’s all on this trusty cellular phone,” Bob said. “It’s my lifeblood.”
At the start off of the coronavirus pandemic, Bob volunteered to produce newspapers, which were being dropped off at Christwood’s entrance, to fellow residents. He was also diagnosed with prostate cancer, after presently getting survived cancer and a stroke extra than a 10 years ago.
The radiation remedies are tough, so he sooner or later gave up his paper route. He’s also lower again on “Home at Christwood,” no extended taping a new clearly show each individual week.
Scheduling interviews, undertaking analysis, staying lively in front of the digital camera — it’s no smaller hard work. Why does he nevertheless do it?
“Cause he likes to get the job done,” Jan stated.
Bob agreed: “If I really do not get up in the morning and do anything like this, I sense like I’m heading to die.
“If I’m not with folks or accomplishing some thing, I just go to bed. I hate to say the show is like remedy, but staying in this organization, folks produce your electricity.”
Jan stays involved “because I like to work with him. I’d pass up it if I did not. And I’d be jealous of whoever did the show with him.”
“I advised her that one working day it may possibly turn into the ‘Bob and Jane Show’ or the ‘Bob and Barbara Clearly show.’”
Jan did not mince words: “I wouldn’t like that at all.”
But isn’t she exhausted of functioning with him soon after all these years?
“Oh, no, since he does all the perform.”
How long will they continue to keep heading?
Jan turned to Bob: “As extended as we can, never you feel?”
“As extended as I can prop you up.”
“As extensive as you can prop me up. Which is suitable.”
They laughed, even now joyful as lifelong co-stars.