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By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Sun Staff Writer | August 21, 1994
She's 30 years into retirement, and it's still happening.Nancy Claster goes about her life -- at the grocery store, the dry cleaner or even the track -- and finds herself cornered by some grown-up, someone who should have put away childish things. And here it is, 30 years later, and this guy remembers her face, a nicely aged version of the one that smiled from thousands of Baltimore television sets in the 1950s. Or maybe it's her voice that tips him off, the husky rasp her late husband, Bert, once said sounds as if she gargles with Sani-Flush.
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NEWS
July 17, 2013
For those of us who grew up in Baltimore in the 1950s and '60s, news of the passing of Larry Lewman, aka "Pete the Pirate," brought back fond memories of other locally produced TV shows such as "Romper Room," "The Collegian," "Dialing for Dollars" and "The Buddy Deane Show. " At a time when there were only three television channels to choose from, these shows were immensely popular and much beloved. They are a reminder of a more innocent age when life seemed simpler. Marc Raim, Baltimore
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NEWS
By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | April 26, 1997
For a generation of children, a high point of their day was sitting in front of the television to watch "Romper Room," hoping Miss Nancy would see them in her "magic mirror.""Romper bomper stomper boo, tell me, tell me, tell me do, magic mirror tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?" she carefully intoned in her gravely voice.Nancy Claster, who will forever remain Miss Nancy in the hearts and minds of her loyal fans as television's original "Romper Room" teacher, died yesterday morning of cancer at her Harper House condominium in Cross Keys.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2012
Ralph Warren Hills, a top production manager at a Baltimore television station who helped shape what thousands of people viewed over four decades, from children's programming to live sporting events, died from complications of Parkinson's disease Thursday at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson. He was 73. Hills, better known as Warren or "Hillsy" to his friends, was born and raised in Baltimore and worked in local television for most of his life before retiring 12 years ago from WBAL-TV. His father was a doctor and his mother a homemaker and civic activist.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen | April 14, 2007
Sally Bell knows a thing or two about children. In 1964, she succeeded her mother, Nancy Claster, who as "Miss Nancy" had been the original host of Romper Room, the WBAL-TV show that went on the air in Baltimore in 1953 and subsequently entertained generations of preschoolers. Bell, who left the show in 1980, worked until 2000 in a variety of positions with Claster Television Inc., the family-owned business that created Romper Room. Today, Bell, 64, who lives in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
NEWS
July 17, 2013
For those of us who grew up in Baltimore in the 1950s and '60s, news of the passing of Larry Lewman, aka "Pete the Pirate," brought back fond memories of other locally produced TV shows such as "Romper Room," "The Collegian," "Dialing for Dollars" and "The Buddy Deane Show. " At a time when there were only three television channels to choose from, these shows were immensely popular and much beloved. They are a reminder of a more innocent age when life seemed simpler. Marc Raim, Baltimore
NEWS
May 30, 2007
James S. McGarity, a former Baltimore radio and TV sales executive who helped bring the Romper Room show to numerous cities, died yesterday of prostate cancer complications at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Mount Washington resident was 81. Born in Baltimore and raised on Madeira Street, he left Patterson Park High School to enlist in the Navy during World War II. He landed on D-Day at Utah Beach after his ship was damaged transporting troops. He swam to shore and temporarily joined an infantry unit.
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss | April 29, 2001
DOWN - Cal Ripken At 40, Ripken (above, pointing) is a certain Hall of Famer, the Orioles' highest-paid active player ($6.3 million) and the club's most marketable figure. He is also officially now a part-time player. He may have signed his last deal on his terms, but he will play on the team's. DOWN - Brook Fordyce Charles Johnson's successor entered last night's game fighting a 1-for-27 slide and still looking for his first RBI. At least he's signed through 2003. UP - Bop Delino DeShields turned a down arrow upside-down by doubling his batting average in a week.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | April 29, 1997
MISS NANCY was the perfect dual role model for her time, which was a postwar America still imagining its children might grow up well-mannered, still imagining teachers as authority figures, and still mesmerized by the simplest actions observed on a new invention called television.She looked through her magic mirror and claimed she could see everyone sitting at home. Who knew otherwise? The medium was still young, and children were still innocent. Miss Nancy helped keep them that way, at least for a little while.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2012
Ralph Warren Hills, a top production manager at a Baltimore television station who helped shape what thousands of people viewed over four decades, from children's programming to live sporting events, died from complications of Parkinson's disease Thursday at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson. He was 73. Hills, better known as Warren or "Hillsy" to his friends, was born and raised in Baltimore and worked in local television for most of his life before retiring 12 years ago from WBAL-TV. His father was a doctor and his mother a homemaker and civic activist.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 13, 2011
Casper "Cas" Falkenhan, a World War II veteran and cinematographer who developed the magic mirror effect for "The Romper Room" TV series, died Aug. 29 of colon cancer at his son's Rosedale home. He was 86. The son of a stevedore and a homemaker, Mr. Falkenhan was born in Baltimore and raised in Canton. He left city public schools in the seventh grade to help support his family, said his son, Eric R. Falkenhan. "It was the Depression and he went to work in a printing shop," he said.
NEWS
May 30, 2007
James S. McGarity, a former Baltimore radio and TV sales executive who helped bring the Romper Room show to numerous cities, died yesterday of prostate cancer complications at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Mount Washington resident was 81. Born in Baltimore and raised on Madeira Street, he left Patterson Park High School to enlist in the Navy during World War II. He landed on D-Day at Utah Beach after his ship was damaged transporting troops. He swam to shore and temporarily joined an infantry unit.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen | April 14, 2007
Sally Bell knows a thing or two about children. In 1964, she succeeded her mother, Nancy Claster, who as "Miss Nancy" had been the original host of Romper Room, the WBAL-TV show that went on the air in Baltimore in 1953 and subsequently entertained generations of preschoolers. Bell, who left the show in 1980, worked until 2000 in a variety of positions with Claster Television Inc., the family-owned business that created Romper Room. Today, Bell, 64, who lives in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss | April 29, 2001
DOWN - Cal Ripken At 40, Ripken (above, pointing) is a certain Hall of Famer, the Orioles' highest-paid active player ($6.3 million) and the club's most marketable figure. He is also officially now a part-time player. He may have signed his last deal on his terms, but he will play on the team's. DOWN - Brook Fordyce Charles Johnson's successor entered last night's game fighting a 1-for-27 slide and still looking for his first RBI. At least he's signed through 2003. UP - Bop Delino DeShields turned a down arrow upside-down by doubling his batting average in a week.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | April 29, 1997
MISS NANCY was the perfect dual role model for her time, which was a postwar America still imagining its children might grow up well-mannered, still imagining teachers as authority figures, and still mesmerized by the simplest actions observed on a new invention called television.She looked through her magic mirror and claimed she could see everyone sitting at home. Who knew otherwise? The medium was still young, and children were still innocent. Miss Nancy helped keep them that way, at least for a little while.
NEWS
By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | April 26, 1997
For a generation of children, a high point of their day was sitting in front of the television to watch "Romper Room," hoping Miss Nancy would see them in her "magic mirror.""Romper bomper stomper boo, tell me, tell me, tell me do, magic mirror tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?" she carefully intoned in her gravely voice.Nancy Claster, who will forever remain Miss Nancy in the hearts and minds of her loyal fans as television's original "Romper Room" teacher, died yesterday morning of cancer at her Harper House condominium in Cross Keys.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 13, 2011
Casper "Cas" Falkenhan, a World War II veteran and cinematographer who developed the magic mirror effect for "The Romper Room" TV series, died Aug. 29 of colon cancer at his son's Rosedale home. He was 86. The son of a stevedore and a homemaker, Mr. Falkenhan was born in Baltimore and raised in Canton. He left city public schools in the seventh grade to help support his family, said his son, Eric R. Falkenhan. "It was the Depression and he went to work in a printing shop," he said.
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | April 26, 1997
All right, Miss Nancy, all is forgiven. It is hard, but we owe you that on this sad day. We mourn your passing. We thank you for the good times. And we forgive, even if we don't forget.With all due respect, that would be impossible.All those childhood hours watching "Romper Room." All that time sitting through the Do-Bees and the Don't-Bees and Mr. Music and the blessing of the milk-and-cookies and the rest of the shenanigans. For what? For the moment. The moment when you would pick up the Magic Mirror, do the "Romper stomper bomper boo" incantation and look straight through it right at me. And somehow never see me."
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