Historical Vignette About Sherman Mason, At One Time A Local Citizen.
Article Taken From, “The Gazette News, March 23, 1989 Edition.
LOCAL MAN MISSES THE GLAMOUR OF HOLLYWOOD: Sherman Mason returned to Bunker Hill, his home town to retire where it was more economically feasible. But he may not stay, “I don’t like the weather”, he said, “and I miss Hollywood.”
Mason attended school locally and then took drama classes at Washington University and Bethany College in Kansas with an eye toward getting into show business. Although associated with show business all his life his career took a little different turn than expected when he accepted a position as news director for WSMI in Litchfield, where stayed for three years. Following that he worked in similar capacity at “WEW” in St Louis before becoming associated director for the Charlotte Peters TV show in St.Louis.
In 1965 he received an offer from a California news studio, which he accepted. While there he became interested in interviewing movie stars and was successful in doing shows with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas, Dean Martin, the Gabor sisters, Red Skelton, Bob Hope and many more. He has a collection of photos taken of him with celebrities. At one point he decided to return to Bunker Hill and go back to work for the railroad, where he had worked while building his career in radio. He needed to build up his retirement pension.
If there is one thing Mason loves more than show business it is railroads. “I’ve ridden on every kind of train there is to ride,” he said. Hs still takes a train trip at least every six weeks or so. While in Hollywood, he became acquainted with Michael Gross, of Family Ties, who shared his love of railroads. “We took two trips together,” said Mason.
Along with working for the railroad as a brakeman, he bought and operated the local theater, but sold it after he was laid off by the railroad and does occasional free lance work for them. “My (ABC) card has gotten me in to a lot of places… I’ve seen Harry Truman and also lunched the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan. He married several times while in California and has one daughter, Ann, who lives there with her husband, a radio announcer, and their two children.
Mason came back to Bunker Hill last August, rented an apartment, and took three part time jobs. He worked as a relief manager for two Alton area theaters and as a disc jockey on a Saturday night show on “WBGZ,” in Alton. He intended to stay. But he is not to sure, “I miss the life style of Hollywood, the glitter and the glamour, and also miss the mountains and the weather.