A lively autobiography by the host of television’s longest-running variety program.
For many years Carl Pellonpaa has been an icon in both America and Finland as the host of the 50-year-old “Finland Calling” television program. But there are other facets of Carl’s life that his fans will find fascinating. Born at the onset of the Great Depression in Ishpeming, a hard-scrabble iron-mining town in Upper Michigan, Carl shared close quarters in a drafty old house with his parents and three siblings.
As a youngster, sports were his passion. He became an accomplished ski jumper, and his fastball was so extraordinary that in his teens he attracted the attention of the major league Boston Braves.
Fresh out of high school, 17-year-old Carl got a job as a radio announcer, often struggling with words he had never seen or heard before. Before and after his military stint in Korea in the early ‘50's, he labored underground in local iron mines. In 1961 he landed a job in television. Like radio, early television was live, and on-air mistakes weren’t acceptable. But blunders happened and over the years Carl experienced them all, some embarrassing, some hilarious. In March, 1962, Carl and Eugene Sinervo, the TV station’s marketing director, were tasked to come up with a Finnish language variety program for television. The two decided to call the program “Finland Calling.” The rest is history.
This book is the story of Carl Pellonpaa’s life. Oh, but it should be mentioned: he’s not through with it yet.
About The co-Author
Jerry Harju was born in Ishpeming, Michigan in 1933. He received a degree in engineering from the University of Michigan in 1957 and completed his formal education with a MS from the University of Southern California in 1985. After 30 years as a manager in the aerospace industry in Southern California, Jerry began humor writing as a second career. He now lives in Marquette, Michigan.