C. Carey Cloud

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C. Carey Cloud - CBS Gets His Man

It took two years, but CBS newman finally gets his man

It took CBS-television-newsman Charles Kuralt two years, but he finally tracked down the Cracker Jack man.

"I was stalling him" explained C. Carey Cloud, Brown County artist and creator of the first toys found in Cracker Jack boxes.

Kuralt, whose "On the Road" interviews are featured an the CBS News with Walter Cronkite, caught up with Cloud last Wednesday at the artist's home, Cloudcrest, on Town Hill Road.

Cloud and Kuralt spent the morning before the television camera, the reporter quizzing the artist about how the Cracker Jack toys came to be.

The interview was broadcast worldwide last Friday night.

According to Karen Beckers, Kuralt's secretary in New York, the Cloud interview was first suggested by a Kuralt "school chum" who is now dean at Ball State University in Muncie.

Cloud's reaction "My goodness they work fast."

The artist described Kuralt, a veteran reporter, as "wonderful, a great guy he's warm, and he makes you feel comfortable like you've known him forever."

Cloud had spoken with Kuralt on and off for the last couple of years.

"He kept calling me all the time, and I kept putting him off," Cloud said.

Kuralt phoned the artist at his winter place in Florida a few months back, and Cloud, who had just had surgery, put him off one last time.

"I told him Florida wasn't the place to do it, that all my (Cracker Jack) toys were here (in Nashville)."

Kuralt didn't forget.

The reporter was in Indianapolis about 10 days ago and phoned Cloud to arrange an interview in Nashville.

The result was the "On the Road" bus, in which Kuralt and his 2-man crew travel the US, docked at the Brown County Inn. Tuesday night of last week.

The bus is a traveling television production facility, containing all the sound and camera equipment needed to film Kuralt's interviews of interesting and different people.

(A collection of 10 of the best of these interviews from over' the years was broadcast last Friday night as a special "CBS Reports: On the Road with Charles Kuralt.")

Then Kuralt "went after Mr. Cloud," the secretary said.

She added it is not unusual for the tracking down of characters for interviews to take as long as two years.

The filming began outside Cloud's home as the camera followed him on a brief stroll to his studio next door.

There, in front of a new Cloud painting that will hang in the upcoming Indiana Heritage art exhibit, Kuralt and Cloud talked for an entire morning.

The artist reminisced about the Cracker Jack toys and demonstrated how several worked.

Cloud credited Kuralt with coming up with a "rather cute ending" for the interview.

The reporter picked up a small top, spun it and the camera zoomed in far a tightly cropped close-up shot.

The experience of the interview may have a couple at benefits for Cloud.

First, be has decided to cease another stalling tactic be has used on the Chicago Historical Society, which; like Kuralt; has been trying to lure Cloud before the camera for some time.

The society, which has came upon a collection at Cracker Jack toys. wants to produce a documentary film on them. Featuring a extensive interview with their creator.

"I didn't know how to approach it" said Cloud, "but after this (the Kuralt interview) I think I know how to present it."

Cloud said he'll use Kuralt's format – an interview conducted in his studio, with a painting in the background and, of course the toys in the foreground.

Another reward may be more bankable.

"Do you suppose I can start asking more money for my paintings," Cloud mused.

As for Charles Kuralt, at noon last Wednesday he and his bus were back On the Road, heading for Kentucky, the secretary believed, and somebody else interesting to talk to.

Kuralt is on the road 12 months a year, except for weekends, when he returns to New York to be host on CBS' new 2-hour news show on and called "Sunday Morning."
- Greg Temple

C. Carey Cloud