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Dan Blocker for the American Cancer Society, no. 1

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | c. 1966

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  •  Hi folks, I'm Dan Blocker. 
  •  Back in the old days on the western frontier, this was a weapon. 
  •  It enabled many men to keep on living. 
  •  It was his defense against the many hostile forces he faced. 
  •  Now this sword is symbolic of a weapon that we're using today against an enemy that will destroy many of us. 
  •  The weapon is research. And the enemy is cancer. 
  •  Modern science is fighting this killer, and in many cases licking it. 
  •  But we need you in that fight. 
  •  Now, your neighbor is going to call on you as an American Cancer Society volunteer sometime this month. 
  •  Learn from her cancer's danger signals. 
  •  Learn the hope against cancer that research is bringing us. 
  •  And if you will, give. 
  •  Give to support more research being done right here in Texas hospitals. 
  •  Let's all lift this sword together and fight this thing until we lick it. 
  •  Join the cancer crusade, Won't you? 
  •  Analogy of cancer, research, weapons and enemies 
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Actor Dan Blocker, best known for his portrayal of Hoss Cartwright on the television program "Bonanza," encourages Texans to join him and the American Cancer Society in the crusade against cancer.
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 in 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.