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