If you lived in Seneca Falls in the early 1960s and maybe were out walking the dog on a nice summer evening near Spring Street, you might have heard something like this:
“Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the Spectrum. Tonight the Sixers are hosting the Boston Celtics … ”
A radio broadcast of a Philadelphia 76ers game? Well, a good first guess, maybe, but more than likely it was a young Harold Weber imitating one of his boyhood idols, fabled Philly sportscaster the late Andy Musser. And he would be using a ketchup bottle — “P&C brand because my family couldn’t afford Heinz” — as a microphone.
“I would actually call games on the porch, and my brothers would say, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with him? Why is he out there talking to himself?’ ” Weber says with a laugh. “My brothers didn’t want to associate with me. They thought I was out of my mind.”
Philadelphia station WCAU came in loud and clear on the Webers’ radio, and Harold said when he heard Musser’s voice he became enamored with it.
“I so admired this guy’s play-by-play voice,” Weber says. “I just enjoyed listening to him, and I would make little notes about some of his terminology, never thinking I would use them.”
One year, when the Sixers visited Syracuse for an exhibition game, Weber went to the War Memorial and managed to meet up with his idol.
“I said, ‘You know, I’ve followed you for a very long time,’ and he was so nice,” Weber recalled. “He said to me, ‘Just hang in there. Do the best you can, and if you ever get an opportunity to do this, don’t take criticism the wrong way. If it is constructive, listen to it. If people think they can do a better job than you, smile at them and say, ‘You can put the headset on and try it.’ ”
Weber laughed again at the memory. He laughs a lot these days looking back as a 50-year career behind the microphone — primarily talking about sports and broadcasting local high school football and basketball games — winds down.
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