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Local TV notes: Tarnation (who says that anymore?)

Belo8's Troy Dungan and old-time cowboy sidekick Gabby Hayes

Belo8 isn't quite on the cutting edge with its newest feature on infomercial-infused Good Morning Texas.

It's called "Where in Tarnation is Troy Dungan?" The semi-retired weatherman drops a daily clue and then will reveal his locale on Friday. Wednesday's hint: He's in the bluebird capital of Texas, otherwise known as a very easy place to find if you google "bluebird capital of Texas."

What's up with "tarnation," though? You've got to be pretty grizzled to still be using that word. Roy Rogers' talkative old comic sidekick, Gabby Hayes, was at home on the range with it. But how many people know who he is anymore? Drop that name on anyone under 30 and they'll look at you as though you're Eddie Cantor.

There are many more outmoded words and expressions for Belo8 to choose from if it wants to go after the Horace/Gertrude demographic.

How about "Land sakes alive, what's Dale gonna palaver about tonight?"

Or "Dagnabbit, you dasn't miss Pete's forecast tonight."

Or maybe, "Jumpin' Jehosophat, wait'll ya feast yer eyes on Gloria's getup tonight."

Just trying to help.


Wednesday night's American Masters presentation, Orozco: Man of Fire, is a co-production of Berkeley, CA-based Paradigm Productions and KERA-TV (Channel 13) of Dallas.

The one-hour documentary (8 p.m. on Ch. 13), recounts the artistry of painter Jose Clemente Orozco, who died in 1949 after spearheading the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston narrates, with Orozco voiced by actor Damian Alcazar.


One-of-a-kind TV reporter Jack Brown died earlier this month at the age of 73. His television career began at KXAS-TV (Channel 5) in 1958 and continued from 1980 to 1998 at KDFW-TV (Channel 4). He retired on Oct. 1 of that year after becoming known primarily for his longrunning series of "Jack Brown's Texas" reports.

"I've been doing this for 40 years, and that's 10 years too long in this business," Brown told the Dallas Business Journal in a 1998 story. "I don't think a person was meant to have 40 years of deadlines. That does something to you."

Brown's farewell story for Ch. 4 closed with him walking toward an Exit sign while Willie Nelson's "The Party's Over" played taps.

Longtime friend and TV colleague Jorge Villarreal said in an email that Brown met his surviving wife, Marilyn, while doing a story on a supposed haunted house near the Fort Worth Zoo. Brown, a short-talker on the telephone, uncharacteristically spent 90 minutes pre-interviewing Marilyn, who previously had lived at the house.

"The next day she started telling us where to put the lights and what to ask her and what should be in the background," Villarreal recalls. "When we got to the car, Jack shook his head and said emphatically, 'How would you like to be married to that?' But the long phone calls continued and they were married about a year later. She had bewitched him."

Brown and Villarreal rode the TV range from Alpine to Orange, from Barton Springs to Hamilton Pool, etc. etc.

"It was work -- sometimes real hard work," Villarreal says. "But it was always a great time being with Jack."