October 17, 2021

Dare Quill

The Real Estate Maniacs

New Orleans broadcast legends co-star in one particular last present | Life-style

6 min read

NEW ORLEANS — Bob and Jan Carr grew to become domestic names in 1960s New Orleans by co-hosting a great number of radio and Tv broadcasts.

Now in their 90s, they’re web hosting a several far more.

Right after settling into Christwood Retirement Community in Covington 3 several years ago, Bob and Jan released an hour-extensive weekly demonstrate known as “Home at Christwood.” Broadcast through the Christwood campus and archived on the internet, it features breezy interviews with inhabitants and staffers framed by the cheery, again-and-forth banter that is the Carrs’ calling card.

Again in the ’60s, they called their well known WDSU morning show “Second Cup.” By that conventional, what cup are they on now?

Bob laughed: “The very last cup.”

Raising four little ones on Bourbon Street, entertaining and informing successive generations of New Orleanians, traveling the globe — they’ve lived a complete existence.

In its final chapter, they are continue to undertaking what they enjoy to do, alongside one another.

At 93, Bob Carr’s intellect, memory and wit are still sharp, even as he battles cancer. At 90, Jan Carr is as excellent humored as ever, even just after a current coronary heart scare sent her to the clinic.

Right before posing for images at Christwood 1 afternoon, Jan took inventory of her partner. “Fix your hair,” she instructed.

She first laid eyes on him in 1950, when Bob was riding on a ladder atop a fire 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 techniques. 6 months later on, they eloped. Seventy several years down the street, they even now joke about how naysayers “said it wouldn’t last.”

Right after college or university, they settled into a sublet apartment on 20th Street in New York, attempting to make it in show business. But they acquired no additional than the summer time Jan put in training with the Rockettes and Bob’s appearances in adverts for Zippo and Coca-Cola.

A loved ones mate of Jan’s grandparents who owned a radio station in Wheeling, West Virginia, obtained a license to start a Television set station. He presented Jan and Bob on-air work opportunities. They pretty much built their chat present, “Calling All Carr’s,” from scratch, serving to assemble the cameras and assemble the set. It co-starred a puppy named Jillopy.

From Wheeling, they graduated to Huntington, West Virginia. Bob stepped away from Television for two many years to market stained glass. Ready for a adjust of scenery, they prepared a go to Los Angeles. A good friend doing the job at WWL 870 AM in New Orleans requested if they had work lined up in California. They did not.

He promised them operate at WWL. “We never ever believed we’d want to come to Louisiana,” Bob explained.

They arrived in 1960. At the time, WWL broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel’s 3rd ground. In the mornings, Bob was the on-air sidekick to Sid Noel, aka Morgus the Spectacular. He and Jan presided above their personal exhibits, interviewing diners at the Roosevelt’s restaurant and celebrities booked at the hotel’s well-known Blue Home.

Promotion expert Peter Mayer forged the pair in a commercial for Luzianne espresso and tea. In it, they released them selves individually: “This is Bob.” “And this is Jan.”

That became 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 display from trumpeter Al Hirt’s Bourbon Avenue club, with Ronnie Kole on piano. They later on joined the forged of WDSU’s “Midday” clearly show.

In the early 1970s, just after an ownership alter at WDSU, the couple embarked on a various program. Bob went to perform for the Global Residence, the forerunner of the New Orleans Environment Trade Heart. For 20 decades, he led delegations of regional business leaders on sojourns to India, China, Russia and other much-flung locales.

Jan went alongside as luggage wrangler, keeping observe of a hundred or additional suitcases for two-dozen vacationers. “All that time that we did those journeys, I never ever lost a suitcase,” she claimed.

At age 50, Bob flirted with the concept of becoming an Episcopalian priest. “Somehow I acquired the faith and veered off to the side,” he claimed. “But there was a ton a lot more to it than finding God. You’ve received to offer your residence, relocate. It ran out of steam. And I appreciated my work at the Globe Trade Center.”

They by no means gave up the broadcasting bug. Till Hurricane Katrina, they however hosted a Saturday morning radio present for WGSO. The storm harmed the station’s studio in Metairie. When it moved to Slidell under new homeowners, Bob and Jan decided to get in touch with it a occupation.

“That was our final hurrah,” Bob reported.

More than the decades, the Carrs occupied a succession of wonderful New Orleans homes, starting up with 1 on Bourbon Avenue. In his 2010 memoir “Raising Our Young ones on Bourbon: A French Quarter Adore Affair,” Bob recalled the joys, laughs, enjoy and issues of parenting 4 youthful little ones in the city’s decadent coronary heart.

He wrote the book inspite of never ever acquiring read through a person in its entirety. “My dyslexia kicks in and I skip to the very last chapter,” he stated. “I can compose, but I can’t study.”

They afterwards moved to Prytania Avenue in the Back garden District Bob put in an underwater tunnel from the very hot tub to the pool.

In 1991, they restored a grand a few-tale mansion on Esplanade Avenue that had been chopped into apartments. When they could no longer navigate the stairs, they moved to a just one-story unit with a terrace at 1750 St. Charles Avenue.

In 2018, they made a decision that Christwood provided the correct mix of independence and assistance for their twilight many years. They were being shocked to discover how many fellow inhabitants acknowledged them.

“I really don’t know why people nevertheless keep in mind us,” Bob said. “It was the ’60s and ’70s when we ended up at our top, and that was a prolonged time back.”

Early final year, they were requested to history a birthday greeting for a pal of a close friend. They revived their “Bob and Jan” act, pretending they have been back on the roof of the Royal Orleans.

They understood how a lot they missed carrying out a clearly show alongside one another. They experimented with hosting a podcast, but it did not catch on. “Podcasts are not our era,” Bob stated.

What labored was what has constantly labored for them: getting themselves, bantering back again and forth, using an curiosity in the stories in their community.

“We turned it in on ourselves,” Bob mentioned. “We speak to the individuals who stay here, mainly because everybody’s got a story.

“There’s a great deal of persons here that have been a lot of spots. You really do not sit at supper with anyone and say, ‘Oh, I was in India,’ and they go, ‘What? You were in India?’ In its place, you get, ‘I was not in India, but I was in Saudi Arabia’ or a little something. That can make it fruitful to communicate to men and women and find out wherever they ended up and what they were being carrying out. There is a large amount of fertile material close to listed here, even in the course of COVID.”

Utilizing his Iphone, he shoots “Home at Christwood” all around the campus. An IT staffer, Paul Krobert, will help edit and add the show. “It’s all on this trusty telephone,” Bob explained. “It’s my lifeblood.”

At the commence of the coronavirus pandemic, Bob volunteered to supply newspapers, which had been dropped off at Christwood’s entrance, to fellow residents. He was also diagnosed with prostate most cancers, immediately after presently obtaining survived cancer and a stroke a lot more than a 10 years back.

The radiation treatment options are hard, so he finally gave up his paper route. He’s also lower back again on “Home at Christwood,” no lengthier taping a new demonstrate each and every week.

Scheduling interviews, carrying out study, getting lively in front of the digital camera — it’s no modest hard work. Why does he however do it?

“Cause he likes to perform,” Jan mentioned.

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