Dick Oliver Interviews Ken Kurson (and Judy!) for Good Day New York

Judy makes her television debut on Good Day New York!

Dick Oliver did a Man On The Street piece with me outside the Bowling Green Bull sculpture on Wall Street. That’s Jim Ryan handing the segment off to Dick. Oliver was already a semi-legend by the time this piece was recorded, having logged decades at the Daily News, as a reporter and editor, before going to tv and radio. He won the George Polk Award for a series of stories after a black Marine named Ronald Johnson was wrongly convicted of raping a local woman at the base on Okinawa. Oliver’s stories got Johnson exonerated and shined a light on lingering racism in the military.

I met Dick many times and always felt kinda self conscious that this legendary newspaper guy, who was the only editor Jimmy Breslin trusted at the News, had to ask me about my ideas on the stock market. And this time I had my stupid dog with me! But he was super nice about it.

This segment was from April 6, 2001. Five months later, right there, Dick Oliver was taping a different segment and became the very first reporter on the spot when the first plane struck the North Tower at 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001.

“We have no idea what happened, but we did hear what sounded like an aircraft and then a tremendous boom,” he said and his cameraman just showed smoke pouring out of the building as Dick talked about what he was seeing with Jim Ryan back in the studio. He started interviewing witnesses right away. It was stunning tv and an important historical document.

Are you aware that the bull sculpture was originally a piece of guerrilla art? It was sculpted by the artist Arturo Di Modica and installed after the 1987 stock market crash. Right before Christmas in 1989, he trucked it to the New York Stock Exchange and just left it there beneath their Christmas tree. The exchange called the cops and the NYPD impounded it in a lot that held like abandoned cars and stuff. But people liked it so much that the Dept of Parks actually reinstalled it in Bowling Green on Broadway, where it is now.

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