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Bill Marcil Jr., Published April 27 2013

From the Publisher: Remembering good times of popcorn, PJs and Marv

The year is 1975. I’m in the fourth grade at Clara Barton Elementary School in Fargo. Steve Colliton was my best friend. He was that friend whom everyone loved. My parents thought he was the perfect child. He was the first kid to walk through the door and shake your parents’ hand. “Hello, Jane and Bill, how are you?” This kid was smooth.

I was always pretty shy so I loved to be around Steve. He seemed to have it all together, and he called my parents by their first names. He was cool. We hung out all school year and most of the summers together. His parents had a lake cottage at Little Pine outside Perham, Minn. Turtle hunting and water skiing – a great way to grow up. Rae, his mom would make the most perfect cucumber sandwiches. To this day she says I gave her great detail in how to make them. I’m not sure about that, but I remember she had the technique mastered.

But one of my greatest memories with Steve was during one of our many sleepovers. Usually it was a Friday night. We would get ready for bed, brush our teeth, wash our faces and get in to our pajamas. (Back then we wore actual pajamas.) We would get a bowl of popcorn ready to go, sit in front of the TV and wait for the 10 o’clock news on Channel 6. We would giggle with anticipation in hopes that Marv (Bossart) or Boyd (Christenson) would make a mistake in their delivery and start laughing. This was the moment of pure excitement.

We could usually tell right away if Marv would lose it, and if he did in the first 10 minutes, we could be assured that Dewey Bergquist, the weatherman with the crazy vegetables, would also do something crazy. For sure Boyd, the sportscaster, would also join in.

If I close my eyes, I can still hear the WDAY opening music. I can see the blue cast of the TV in the living room. The American Family Insurance jingle between the news and the weather.

Friday nights were never the same when Marv left the air. His humor permeated the newscast. It took over. He placed his stamp forever. His sidekicks came and went, but Marv stayed and never changed.

WDAY will forever be known as the place that Marv, Dewey and Boyd built. I still believe their legacy has set the tone for the future and WDAY’s continued dominance in the ratings.

I haven’t seen Steve Colliton for a long time. I miss those days, of popcorn, pajamas and Marv.


Marcil is publisher of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.