Paul and I
The first Aardvark
In the foreground is Paul's 16 inch Presto 6N Disc Cutter
(Boy are we young!!)
Many Years Ago...
...in 1975 to be exact, I decided to attend an institution of "higher learning". Instead of taking the wise course to research suitable academic surroundings for someone of my questionable grade point average, I decided to buy into the hype about Oral Roberts University with the faint hope that a degree from a "christian" school would carry a measure of clout. While my aspirations were not entirely realized, I did meet a good number of interesting folks, some of whom went on to become minor celebrities in both worlds of secular and spiritual. By far the most valuable find was a tall skinny fellow (actually compared to me, most OAK TREES are skinny); who was sitting in my Math class tinkering with what appeared to be a lead screw crank from a Presto 6N disc cutter. "Where'd ya' find the Presto crank?" sez I, and he stares at me amazed that someone ELSE knows what it is, (16 inch turntables and cutters in good shape are normally part of mastering labs or museums). We struck up a fast conversation and shared disappointments about the ability of the institution to fulfill our academic career goals. Even though we physically appeared to be a living embodiment of Stan and Ollie, we had much in common regarding our respective outlooks, our taste in film and entertainment and our technical ideas about how matters of electronic transcription and recording (both video and audio) should be accomplished. To say the least, it differed greatly from the attempted curriculum. For whatever reason that only the fates know, a nice relationship blossomed. I was fortunate for many reasons not the least of which was Paul's proficiency with electronics. Among other woes, we could never seem to get school studio time to do radio projects or our own unique audio show titled "The Aardvark Hour". Paul was fed up enough to make a trip to Radio Shack and after about a week, had turned our dorm room into the studio pictured above. While I was a reporter on the school paper, it was unique enough (the ONLY such one in the dorm) to do a story on and got me front page with "by" line (hence, the taking of the photo). It wasn't long before the other kids heard about it and I would say that he and I probably spent more time helping them with their projects than completing our own. Paul was a whiz fixing broken stereos and record players. I was mostly on the writing and announcing end scratching out artwork here and there and as our reputation grew, there emerged an interesting twist of the fates. It seems that one day an expensive Ampex AG-440 had been somehow spirited away from the main production studio. Out of some 200 students majoring in Broadcast, the FIRST place they searched was our tiny dorm studio (assuming of course that we had sewn it into the lining of one of my suits).
At the time Paul had dreamed of
owning a Scully lathe system which seemed about as far away as
the pictures in the catalogs we would look at. I wasn't sure
where I would channel my energies but it was Paul who helped that decision along as
well. Nowadays, Paul has THREE Scullys plus a
"portable" Neumann, performing repairs for jukeboxes
and antique phonographs as well as Edison cylinder machines plus
tending the Denver Civil Service computer network. I have seen
more antique players, (35 & 16mm) film projectors, jukeboxes
and Edison recordings come through Paul's care than I will
probably ever see in Menlo Park. It is my considered opinion to
this day that since 1975, I have met no one better at this
craft than Paul Brekus. Lord knows I've tried to be somewhat
fruitful in my own endeavors but the plain fact of the matter is
that I wouldn't have been anywhere without him.
Nowadays, Paul has matriculated to the Role of Grandfather due to his eldest Daughter Laura's Family. Daughter Rachel Nicole and Son Zachary Benjamin are in Front. Husband Kevin McCarthy is at Laura's immediate Left.
The Aardvark Record Mastering Home Page
The Brekus Family Web Site