Phyllis from Augusta, Maine, contacted us in May 2008 and asked: "Does anyone remember Joel A. Spivak who followed Salty Brine in the mornings on the radio?"
Using the awesome power of the Internet, we were able to track down Mr. Spivak and piece together his resume. From what we can gather, he worked at WPRO-AM around 1962-'64. Previous to that, in 1958, he was at KILT in Houston. After his stint in Providence he moved on to KLAC-AM in Los Angeles (c1968), WCAU-AM in Philadelphia (1970-'87), and WWRC-AM in Washington, D.C. (1987-'95). Some of these stations had sister television stations and he worked for them as an anchor or commentator. Since 1995, says Mr. Spivak, "I've done press relations for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a national anti-tobacco advocacy group headquartered in D.C."
"I have a lot of wonderful memories of my time in Providence," Mr. Spivak writes. "WPRO has a very active alumni group and, over the years, I have heard from several of the people I worked with on radio and TV while I was there. I am stunned that anybody up there remembers me, and I must say I'm flattered."
Whatever else Spivak got up to on the air during his tenure in Providence, it may have been something as simple as a cookie that imprinted his show on the memories of listeners. According to Phyllis:
One of the regular features on Joel Spivak's morning radio program was a contest in which he would pose a riddle and ask people to call in with the answers. The riddles were logic problems. He promised to give a cookie to anyone who got the riddle right. One day my mother called in with the correct answer. When she told us that evening that she had won a cookie, we wondered how the station would get her her cookie. Was it a REAL cookie she'd won? Would it be mailed? Would it arrive in crumbs? A few days later, she got an envelope from WPRO with a "lump" inside. When she opened it, she discovered a Fig Newton wrapped in aluminum foil. I thought it was very clever to send a Fig Newton, because the filling would keep the cookie from breaking up into bits. The cookie was edible, and she enjoyed eating her cookie.
Update, March 4, 2011: Mr. Spivak passed away at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 75.