Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Cary J. Hahn, who is displayed on card number 185 from the Superstars of 2011 Collection. After working at KTVO Ottumwa, Cary became “The Iowa Traveler” feature reporter for Cedar Rapids, Iowa CBS affiliate KGAN-TV, Channel Two for 25 years from 1983 to 2008. Cary was a part of the original Twin Galaxies Scoreboard Competitions in 1982, offering his news coverage of the event. Cary has won awards from the Associated Press, United Press, Iowa Broadcast News Association, Northwest Broadcast News Association, the 2004 Stanley Foundation Global Connections Award, the Iowa Film Award for feature reporting and the Iowa Motion Picture Award for general reporting, and a National Archives Certificate of Appreciation from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum.
Do you remember your first video game?
I played pong…that’s how old I am (69). Back in the mid 70’s… they had Pong games in consoles…at different places. You’d put in a quarter and play. A few years ago, I found an original Pong home game in its original box at a garage sale and bought it. I progressed to Frogger and that’s about it.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
No, I never thought I’d be on a trading card of any kind. I guess I dreamed of being on a baseball card but never on a video game card and am humbled that Walter and company thought to have me in the series. Other than coming to Fairfield for the card celebration, where I signed a few cards, I’ve not gotten any media coverage etc. for being on the card. But, it gives me a smile that something we did on a whim three plus decades ago is remembered.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I first met Walter Day in 1979 when I was a reporter for KTVO-TV in Ottumwa. He had taught himself to play some rag time piano and held an event in Fairfield and invited me to come over and do a story which I did. He was a big fan of famous ragtime piano man Eubie Blake. That would be the first of a number of things Walt would be involved in that I would cover. He set up a business and sold newspapers discarded by libraries. “Buy a newspaper from the day you were born”. He also had a collection of high school yearbooks which featured famous people in their youth.
And then, he opened Twin Galaxies and I did stories on his various activities there. He went big creating a national video Olympics weekend inviting young players from around the country which was covered by Life magazine and “That’s Incredible” a big show on ABC Television at the time. I enjoyed Water’s enthusiasm and he invited me to be a “referee” for the event. I marched in the parade and gave the go signal to start the games. Walter was quite talented in getting state and national coverage.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
One word to describe Water Day: “indefatigable”…persisting tirelessly. Or: “Godzilla” of the video game world. It was his idea to compile and keep video game records and turned an idea into something tangible and he’s never stopped. I admire his tenacity.
Walt is an amazing person and I’ve enjoyed his friendship going on for some 38 years.
What have you been doing with your career over the years since 1983?
I have been in Cedar Rapids ever since. In 2009, I became news director for locally owned Classic KMRY radio in Cedar Rapids where I still am today after more than a half century in broadcasting.
In 2006 I was presented the Jack Shelley Award, the highest honor given by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for my lifetime achievement in broadcasting, of which I am most proud.
In 2006, I was presented with the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s highest honor, the Jack Shelley Award for career achievement.
Cary J. Hahn began his 52-year broadcasting career at Lindenwood College in his hometown of St. Charles, Missouri. He spent over 25 years as the CBS 2 Iowa Traveler from 1983 to 2008, before returning to his first love…radio… as News Director for 93.1 FM &1450 KMRY Radio in Cedar Rapids
Cary is a Past President of the IBNA (2004-2005), a 25-year co-host at KGAN TV for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, and more recently a co-host of the KWWL-TV Variety Children’s Charity Telethon. He also emcees Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies of the Cedar Rapids Metro Area Veteran’s Council
Cary and his wife, Jean, love to travel. He also loves cats, old movies, books, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, collects political campaign buttons, records and CD’s of all kinds, and for the past several years has served as the emcee of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Festival at Clarinda, Iowa each June
Contact Cary [email protected]
This is one of an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – check out more information at thewalterdaycollection.com.