Mike allowed me into the live studio (after the boss went home, of course) and patiently took the time to answer my millions of questions about the operation of the station. He made the board run with incredible precision, juggling two "live" turntables, lots of cart tapes with commercials, harps, ID's, did a wonderful job with rip 'n read news hot off the RPI teletypes, and managed to keep up with the phones as well! I was fascinated that one person could multitask like that; and of course, Mike smoked cigarettes much of the time, and listeners never knew, but coughed mightily in mid-sentence but due to precise mic switching the public never heard that, and he instantly recovered his excellent voice. Mike left the station during a fairly friendly dispute with The Boss (Bob Chandler) with whom Mike was a close friend; and he suggested to Bob that they could remain good friends, OR he could continue on at the station, but not both. Mike left, and it was he who delivered the eulogies to Connie B. Gay as well as Bob Chandler at their funerals.
I had lost touch with Mike, but eventually heard from him via email (of course) from Iceland, where he did remote (very remote!) work as a freelancer. The business dried up, however, and he did come back to the USA mainland and network employment. I have a few Mike Handley stories and will sift them out from my email. All good wishes to his family and friends who will miss him - Bill Halvorsen
Bill notes: I've long wondered what became of the NAB open reel tapes of Matinee At One and the maintenance tapes (used from midnight Sunday to 6am Monday when engineer Delbert Keeling was doing work on the transmitter and board)... and in going through emails from Mike Handley I found this excerpt that sadly tells us that they're just plain gone:
A friend of mine did an extensive
search for the MATINÉE AT ONE tapes a couple years ago. I finally talked
with a woman at Greater
Media who said she finally stuck them in a barn (humidity and all) and they have
since disappeared or been cleaned out. (Mike Handley)