New Central High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota - 1913

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Central High School

New Central High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota - 1913

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Arnold Weisman Walker

He was born with the "burning gut" of an entertainer and he lived his entire professional life in some aspect of "the bizzness". Arnold Weisman began his stage career as a bearded rabbi in a Sunday school play when he was ten. At Central High he was a modestly successful scholar and performed in the choir, The Student Prince, A Waltz Dream, A Ballad for Americans and in numerous solo appearances. After a couple of years in the family food store, he headed to New York City and became ARNOLD WALKER believing firmly that the twelve digit name would fit better on a Broadway marquee.

Although his name never did reach the bright Broadway lights, he received great experience and training as a singer-actor appearing in professional choruses, churches and, best of all, as a leading baritone in the American Savoyards Light Opera Company for several seasons performing Gilbert and Sullivan repertory in New York City and in other East coast cities.

Returning to Minneapolis after several years to complete his college education, Walker supported himself singing in local night clubs and got the job of Chief Announcer of the University of Minnesota radio station, KUOM, in 1955. He eventually moved into hosting, directing and producing educational television programs for the University and later became an associate professor and the director of television productions in the Department of Media Resources. He retired in 1990 after 35 wonderful years at the "U".

Concurrently he participated in many other "show bizz activities": singing recitals with his concert- artist wife, Helen Rice; directing six major stage productions for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; hosting dozens of Minneapolis Symphony Young Peoples Concerts; modeling clothes and hosting a talent series on WCCO-TV with Dave Moore; serving as house MC and singer in night clubs; providing songs for many happy marriages and confirmations in local churches and synagogues; and serving as popular MC for hundreds of band and orchestra concerts at the famous Lake Harriet band shell for twenty five years.

After retiring from the University he began studying the cello and played for a number of years with the Northeast Community Orchestra. These days he and Helen delight in watching their children and grand children continue the family tradition of performing and supporting the arts.

Contributed by John Leak, CHS 1943