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Austin Home Show - Chinch Bugs

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1960s

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  •  Thompson uses an empty coffee can as a tool to detect chinch bugs 
  •  Foliage infested by red spider mites and powdery mildew 
 
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  • About the video
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
  • Herley C. Thompson Herley C. Thompson
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In this interview from the Austin Home Show, local horticulturalist Herley C. Thompson demonstrates how to detect and respond to an infestation of chinch bugs and other yard pests.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
 
A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
 
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
 
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.
Herley C. Thompson was employed through a joint program between the City of Austin, Travis county and the Agricultural Extension Department of Texas A&M in the unique position of Associate County Horticulturist in 1964. Holding B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ornamental Horticulture, Thompson was Travis county’s expert on all things gardening, holding weekly horticultural classes at the Zilker Garden Theater, contributing articles to the Lifestyle pages in the Austin Statesman, and as seen here, guest starring on the local television program, The Austin Home Show. He later became host of his own program, Lawn and Garden.