One of Wally's favorite places is the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad at Kempton, Pennsylvania. We call it the WK&S.

In 1962, Wally was on a committee made up of businessmen (mostly from Berks County) who were in the process of creating an old-time tourist railroad eaturing passenger trains pulled by steam locomotives.

The group succeeded in purchasing land, rails, and equipment - two steam locomorives and vintage passenger cars - to operate their trains between Kempton in Berks County and Wanamakers in Lehigh County.

(The complete detailed story of this process may be found in Wally's book "Does This Train Go Up Hawk Mountain?" published by Garrigues Publishing, available through most book stores, or at online sources that sell books, or online at the link to eBay provided elsewhere on this page.)

Wally has been a volunteer at the railroad most of the forty-plus years of operations, with the exception of some absences for personal business and/​or health reasons. Wally currently serves on the board of directors of the line, having previously been corporate secretary and president.

WK&S RAIL ROAD


RCN Cable Television


RCN Cable Television is the successor to the imaginative cable system developed in the Lehigh Valley in the 1960's by founder Bark Lee Yee.

This creative genius was an engineer who actually invented many of the devices used to run his company several decades ago. He and Twin County were responsible for many of the "firsts" in cable television in the area. Twin County was a forerunner in providing local television subscribers with broadcasts of locally created programs, plus sporting and news events and games.

The Lee heritage is evident today as RCN carries on the tradition of excellence in local broadcasting.

These days RCN is also a telephone company and an Internet service provider.

The RCN studio proudly brags about its association with Jolly Joe Timmer, who broadcasts a live polka television show from the RCN studios every Thursday evening from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Timmer lays claim to the "oldest continuously running cable television program in America." And he is probably right! Timmer's program is in the neighborhood of forty years old. The program has an enormous and loyal following

It is into this heritage that Wally Ely landed following his retirement from a bank marketing career more than twelve years ago.

Studio manager Rick Geho hired Wally as a segment producer. Wally was turned over to studio assistant Mike Trombetta to teach Wally the ropes. Wally has produced more than two hundred segments for local RCN magazine programs "Time Out Lehigh Valley" and "Connections." Wally also created a series of holiday specials with Morning Call reporter Bill White, featuring Christmas light decorations around the Lehigh Valley. He has produced several other "specials" for RCN.

RCN clearly is the dominant of the two cable television providors in the Lehigh Valley. The RCN-TV Studio produces interesting local programming, and outstanding sporting events.

Biography

For some reason, you have decided to read this section titled My Biography. So here it is:

Wally Ely, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, is well into his retirement years. Retirement - what's that?

Wally worked most of his adult life in bank marketing jobs - related to advertising, public relations, research, and business development.

Now,Wally has been in "retirement" since 1996,

Wally spends part of every day at his computer/​word processor writing something. Could be a book, maybe an opinion newspaper article, or a theme on an personal subject. Whatever. He says, "I try to write one story every day. If it is any good, I save it - if it is not, I hit the Delete button."

Examples of these daily writings are posted on this website. Just click on one to read any of Wally's stories.

Wally was a free-lance producer on the staff of the television studio at RCN-TV, a cable television/​internet/​phone company. Wally's segments on RCN magazine programs "Time Out Lehigh Valley" totaled almost two hundred..

Each December since the year 2000, Wally has cooperated with Morning Call columnist Bill White producing a Christmas Special based up White's annual Christmas lights tour. This is one of the most popular RCN studio shows each year. The show continues even though Wally retired from participating with Bill and Bill handles the audio alone at each site. The recorded content of the show is then edited by someone in the studio, and prepared for broadcast.


Wally turned his love of trains and railroads into an avocation by volunteering at the WK&S Railroad at Kempton (Berks County) Pennsylvania since it opened in 1963. Wally has been a volunteer ticket agent and train crew member at the tourist attraction. These activities have been reduced in recent years due to Wally's mobility and health problems. Wally continues to volunteer for the railroad by doing computer projects from home. He is a former member of the company board of directors, and is a past-president and former secretary of the railroad. If you haven't come across it already, you will discover that Wally wrote the history of this little railroad in his book "Does This Train Go Up Hawk Mountain?" (There is more about this railroad elsewhere on this site.) The book is available online at Amazon.com. The railroad website is www.kemptontrain.com.


Then there's the Lehigh Valley Timing Association. This hot rod club of Wally's youth was reinvented in this generation and flourishes thanks to a group of motivated 60 or 70-something retirees who created a memorial to their mentor of the 1950's Luther Gehringer (Dopey Duncan.) This tribute is part of a drag racing display at "America On Wheels," a museum at Lehigh Landing in downtown Allentown. Wally is currently the vice president of the LVTA. Gordon Barry is president, and Linda Hardner is secretary/​treasurer.

Wally's big writing break came when long-time friend and Dorney Park retired board chairman Bob Ott needed a writer to join him in creating a book about the history of his former amusement park. Wally took over the book-writing project, using Bob's archives for historical materials. Arcadia Publishing printed and distributed "Dorsey Park" in their Images Of America series. The book became a huge success and netted Bob and Wally more than eighty book-signing and public appearance opportunities. Bob Ott passed away at 88 years of age in 2007. Wally now is considered an unofficial historian of Dorney Park. He is invited to speak at events such as the annual grand opening day and other special park occasions.

Around the same time, Wally wrote the history of the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad at Kempton, Pennsylvania, in his book "Does This Train Go Up Hawk Mountain?" The book is on sale at the Rigelweg Gift Shop at the railroad, Amazon.com, and can be bought online or at bookstores everywhere.

Wally eventually caught the eBook writing bug and created five eBooks for the Amazon Kindle. All five books can be found at Amazon by searching the name "Wally Ely."

Wally also wrote another book for Arcadia Publishing. It is called "Images of Rail - Auto Train." It was published late in 2009 and is on sale nationally and online (Amazon.) Wally receives email from readers with comments on the book.

TO CONTACT WALLY:

residence:
1014 North 30th Street
Allentown, PA 18104

Phone: Home 610-437-0065 -- cell (610) 972-0830

Email: WallyEly1@​aol.com