I’ll Be Home For Xmas 5

Here is a list of some of Greenwich’s famous residents and former residents.  Some are even illustrious:

  • Glenn Close (actress)
  • George C. Scott (actor)
  • Ron Howard (actor/director)
  • Victor Borge (actor/entertainer)
  • Diana Ross (singer)
  • Tommy Dorsey (musician)
  • Regis Philbin (TV host)
  • Brian Murdock (I just felt like doing this, forgive me)
  • Dorothy Hamill (Gold-medal winning ice-skater)
  • Bobby Bonilla (baseball player)
  • Tom Seaver (Hall of Fame pitcher)
  • Ivan Lendl (Tennis champion)
  • Steve Young (Quarterback)
  • Half of the Mets roster
  • Truman Capote (writer)
  • George Bush (41st president)
  • George W. Bush (43rd president)
  • many more…

Then there is Fred Thrower, former president of the local NY channel WPIX and generous-souled creator of one of most beloved Christmas traditions in the area, and later America itself.  It was a television program called “The Yule Log” and it consisted of the following: an 18-second filmed segment of a burning log in a Christmas adorned fireplace which was looped over and over for three hours while famous Christmas carols and songs were played.  You just can’t get any more basic.  Or cheesy.  Thrower’s idea was to allow a little warmth to enter the homes of millions of New Yorkers who live in apartments devoid of these ameneties.  That meant airing a program without the support of advertising and making it long enough so that employees could spend a little more time with their families.  In other words, it was a gift by the station to its viewers.  And there is nothing sappy about that.

         This show was endearing to a genreation of Americans that when it disappeared in the late 1980s, it was as if a piece of the holiday had been completely removed forever.  After a 1-man campaign to bring the log back, and a fortuitous finding of the original tape in a warehouse by an employee of WPIX, the show was returned and syndicated and is now more popular than ever.

       Fred lived in Greenwich for many years and died in Greenwich hospital back in 1999.  To this day, most people from Greenwich don’t know that.   Silent night

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