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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Engineer Bill plays 'Red Light, Green Light'




Return to the days of the "Get Well Bell" with a clip of the late William "Engineer Bill" Stulla. Pour yourself a glass of milk and be careful not to spill! And be sure to close the refrigerator door, engineers. "On the green light, you go. On the red light, you stop. For no engineer will ever run on a red light."

Below, a story about a 1976 reunion of Sheriff John Rovick, Engineer Bill Stulla, Jimmy "Webster Webfoot" Weldon, Skipper Frank Herman, Vance Colvig and Walker Edmiston. 
Engineer Bill, Sheriff John, Webster Webfoot reunion Engineer Bill, Sheriff John, Webster Webfoot reunion

 
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Comments (17)

I have fond memories of being on the Engineer Bill show in 1955, and I'd like to say that Engineer Bill really taught me a life lesson. My family and I met Engineer Bill in the lobby of KHJ TV studios with our completed red caboose model. My dad had put the model together, and Engineer Bill seemed to be quite impressed by the fact that the 1/8-inch springs were put together in the couplers.

My brother Ricky and I were eager to participate in the "Red Light, Green Light" game, and had practiced the week before at our kitchen table with Bosco-flavored milk. When it came time to play the game with Engineer Bill on live TV, I chugged down the entire glass of milk during the first "green light". Ricky and Engineer Bill played the rest of the game, which took about a minute. When they were done, Engineer Bill looked at me and exclaimed "you're quite a gulper!". I was humiliated, but the life lesson learned is that I no longer gulp my chocolate milk or any other beverage. By the way, the little boy in the 1950's is now a member of AARP.

I was on Engineer Bill's show too, in 1959. My mom had dressed me up just like him, and it was on my fourth birthday. Wish I could find a clip of that show, huh. Thanks for the great memories, Engineer Bill.

wow, 1976 and the Times' obsession with Bruce Springsteen is already underway.

From what I remember and what I've seen (Sheriff John and Engineer Bill were still on the air) Los Angeles did not have much of a golden age in local television. Perhaps it was because it was early on concentrating on pumping our works for the networks and early syndication, there was little left in budget or soaring imagination for strictly local production. There were a few exceptions, like 'Ralph Story's L.A.', but they were rare.

As a native Angeleno, I remember Engineer Bill and his show. In fact, my sister, Carol, was one of the kids on his show. She was unique in the she is totally blind, but that didn't stop her from playing "Red Light, Green Light."

In my collection of records, I have an Engineer Bill "magic record". This was a triple-spiral record and have three different starting points for the stylus. This created three possible Red Light, Green Light games, so you when you put the needle down, you never knew when they would call Red Light or Green Light. Pretty cool "random" technology for the 1960s!

I was on his show in 1956.
Not many of us left.I've never
seen a Magic record. sounds neat would love to have one.

Does anymore remember if it was the Engineer Bill show that asked participants whether they were a "Sammy Strongarm" or a "Freddy Phooey" -- based on whether or not they ate their vegetables?

The last time I saw Engineer Bill was at Union Station downtown. How appropriate. He was doing a personel apperance for the new Amtrak line to Lancaster.
The time before that was in 1985 when we did a special called, Weekday Heroes, featuring Engineer Bill, Sheriff John and, my dad, Chucko the Clown.
Over my life I saw Bill many times. He is one of the truely uneffected that would rather talk farm talk than hollywood stuff anyday.
Not only " I think I can" but think of the thousands he taught they could.
God Bless,
Chucko Jr.

I still have a red light green light glass. Sorry he is gone but happy he had such a long life.

I was also on the show as a kid. Although I don't remember much about it except that I did not want to drink the milk as the studio lights had made the milk very warm as it sat there. I remember I got on the show due to my grandfather being an executive for Kenner Toys, which must have been a sponsor for the show, so he must have pulled some strings to get me on. I also would really like to know if there is some way to get copys of those shows and if one could specify which guest (by name) that particular episode could be located?

"Engineer" Bill lived a long and fruitful life. Definately part of my growing up in the 50's and 60's I remember seeing him in person at Griffith Park. His passing is just another piece of the innocence of Los Angeles past that has gone. Our memories will not be erased.

I brought my baby daughter 2 yrs old, to go thru the "Castle of Dreams" in 1956. Bill Stulla had a singer on there named Dick Stewart. He was so good., such a good show to be in.

Ida Keane Utah

I was on Engineer Bill when I was about kindergarden age. My father was in San Leandro on business. My wish was that he would come home. I was too young to know where he reallyl was but I think the people in the show thought he was in Korea or something military related because it was during that time. They all put extra money in and gave extra wishes for me.

Rennie Schafer Dudek

I was invited onto the show because my mother built a snowplow car and sent it to him. I didn't live in LA. We were living in Ventura or Oxnard at the time. That was a long time ago. Being that young and fascinated with the studio I remember gawking at the monitors most of the time. I was probably one of the worst guests he ever had on the show. That was my first time on TV. Kinda funny, my grandad worked for RCA and they had closed circuit color TV in the factory. In fact actually color was first. It cost too much to produce so they came up with black and white to reduce production costs and make it available to the public. My how times have changed.

I remember seeing this in the early 60s. I also watched Sheriff John, Hobo Kelly, Winchell-Mahoney Time, Baby Daphne, Wonderama, Dusty's Treehouse, but those came a little later, beginning in the middle 60s to early 70s. It was a great time for kid's programming. Remember Sheriff John singing, "Light another candle on my birthday cake"?

does anyone have an original engineer bill glass for red light green light i do

WHEN I LIVED IN SANTA MONICA , BACK IN 1959 I WOULD WATCH THE ENGINEER BILL AFTER SCHOOL I MUST OF BEEN 8 YRS OLD THEN. MY PARENTS OWNED A SMALL DAY SCHOOL BACK THEN ON MONTANA AVE ,THIS SHOW WAS ON THE MENU AROUND 630 .pm . THANK ENGINEER BILL FOR THE MEMORIES . MICHAEL SOBEL 3RD GRADE IN 1959 RAMSEY MILITARY SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA CALIF.


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