‘Captain Cy’ led loyal crew of kids
Host of KREM show for little baby boomers dies at 79
By Rebecca Nappi
David Cyrus Page – aka Captain Cy – gained fame among baby boomer children in Spokane in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His after-school program on KREM’s “Captain Cy” show was must-see TV for children who grew up on black-and-white television sets.
Page died a week ago at age 79 and was buried in Taylorsville, Utah, near Salt Lake City, on Monday.
Kirke Rockwood, 84, who worked for KREM from 1957 to 1988 – including a stint as “Anchor Andy” on the “Captain Cy” show – reminisced about Page Tuesday and about the show KREM produced live every afternoon, Monday through Friday.
The show began with Popeye cartoons, followed by Captain Cy interviewing local kids.
“He was lots of fun,” Rockwood said. “He was on KREM radio as a disc jockey, too.”
Page starred on Spokane daytime TV in an era when there were only three Spokane stations, but each station competed feverishly for the attention of area children. The stars of the shows became celebrities. Captain Cy joined the ranks of Cliff Carl, star of “Bar 6 Roundup,” Jack Bainter of “Wallaby and Jack” and Miss Florence of “Romper Room.” Rockwood also gained a fair amount of fame in the “Boge Bunny” show.
In a 2000 Spokesman-Review column, Kathleen Corkery Spencer reminisced about being on the show: “From a makeshift set that vaguely resembled a small boat, the Captain hosted a crew of local kids. Each kid who came on the show had to say a few words to the Captain. Nothing major. Stuff like your name, your age, whether or not you liked dogs. All a kid had to do was step up to the Captain’s microphone, look into the camera and charm Spokane. Simple.”
A decade ago, Page shared with Slice columnist Paul Turner his favorite recollection from the show: “He recalled asking a 5-year-old boy where he got his red hair. ‘It came with the head,’ the kid answered.”
When Tom McArthur was researching the KSPS documentary “Remembering Spokane,” Page told McArthur that his years on Spokane TV were the “best years of his life.”
Though he seemed older, especially to the children on his show, Page was just in his early 30s when he played Captain Cy, Rockwood said. He spent most of his years after his Spokane TV career in Utah where he was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served as seminary teacher, Sunday school teacher and bishop.
He genuinely liked children, Rockwood remembered, and he leaves behind five children, 18 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren – and thousands of memories for Spokane children.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009