Local

Sep 18, 2013 1:32 PM by Paul Hanke

Now and then: KVOA-TV 60th Anniversary

TUCSON - KVOA and The Old Pueblo has seen some major changes in the past 60 years.

Fewer than 50,000 people lived in the Tucson metro in 1953 when KVOA first hit the air.

In 2013, the city now holds more than 1,000,000 people.


Long-time Tucsonan, Raul Martinez says he's watched the town and the station go through a major transformation.

67-year-old Raul Martinez has been watching KVOA-TV since he was just seven years old.

But back then he couldn't watch KVOA at home, because like many other families in Tucson, the Ramirez family didn't own a TV.

"I used to go to my neighbors to watch television and then it was black and white," said Ramirez.

As a 7-year-old, Raul would ride his bike for several miles to make it to school.

"I'd cross the freeway, now the freeway at that time was not elevated. There was basically two lanes going each direction and there wasn't much traffic. So, I felt pretty safe crossing on my bicycle," said Ramirez.

The Ramirez family owned and operated several grocery stores in town.

Raul grew up in this house on 22nd and Fifth ave.

That area was considered to be on the outside skirts of town.

KVOA's news director in 1953, Frank Barreca, remembers exactly how small the Old Pueblo was when this station started broadcasting.

Barreca said, "the eastern boundary was Tucson Blvd. Speedway was dirt from Country Club, on the south boundary of town was 22nd, the North boundary was Grant"

Now, Tucson is surrounded by smaller communities like Oro Valley, Marana, and Sauharita.

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