Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Recently, I received an email (below) from Lee Delaney, Broadcast Operations Manager for Kentucky Educational Television. Lee works with Mini-Crab #225 and I'm pretty sure this is the highest serial numbered Mini-Crab we have registered with the Sarkell Society.
Thanks to Lee for sending these images of #225. Interestingly, I've seen the white Colortran decal shown above in other late model Mini-Crab Dollies.
We see Mini-Crab #225 having it's own dedicated parking spot at KET Studios.
There's no official final build number. It was once reported to me by the former president of Colortran, there were approximately 250 of these built! It's possible, #225 may be one of the last ones to have been assembled!
My name is Lee Delaney and I am the Broadcast Operations Manager at Kentucky Educational Television. After doing some research, I came across your site devoted to the Colortran Mini-Crab Dolly. KET has owned one of these for a number of years. According to the plate, we have #225. See attached pictures….. We honestly weren’t aware of the high honor this dolly holds in the industry and that there were only about 250 of these made.
A little about us: KET reaches 5.5 million people via broadcast and is the largest public broadcasting network in the country, spanning the entire commonwealth and reaching into seven surrounding states through 16 transmitters from our Network Center located in Lexington. Educational programs including the many incarnations of the GED series for use worldwide were produced here as well as many Arts and Public Affairs programs over the years.
How or when this dolly came into our possession isn’t clear, but it was used on numerous productions over the years. It hasn’t been used for quite a while, but we still have it complete with seat, sideboards, weights, bottles, and it is still fully operational.
Most notably it was run on the nationally distributed program “The Lonesome Pine Specials” in the late 80’s and 90’s. It was used as the back of house bump shot between songs with the audience. Frank Simkonis, Producer/Director of Videography, and I (as a Videographer, my first job at KET) were the last folks to operate it for this production. Recently, it has been dug out of its dark corner to be hopefully used again.
Anyway after reading some of the info about this ol’ gal on your site (http://colortrancrabdolly.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=24 ), I just wanted to share with you the location of another one. Attached are some quick pictures.
Broadcast Operations Manager
Kentucky Educational Television
This dolly has great pedigree as it was once owned by the man who brought us 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory', 'Roots' and TV's 'Welcome Back Kotter'. The previous owner was none-other than Oscar-winner, David L. Wolper.
No doubt, #157 is about the most complete Mini-Crab you can find. Steven was able to track down all the options offered by Colortran. In addition, Steven had a hydraulic company go through this dolly with a fine tooth comb and update the hydraulics. This dolly is up to specs and will give the new owners many years of trouble-free service.