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The Lilac

Skipper Andy & Happy Hoyer



SCN Children's Afternoon Show between 1968 and 1969 Starring Carl Gentry as Skipper Andy costarring first mate Mike "Happy Hoyer."

Happy Hoyer (Mike Hoyer) was best known for his roles on the SCN children's afternoon show. Happy Hoyer starred as First Mate to Skipper Andy aboard the Lilac on the SCN Afternoon show.  Upon the departure of Skipper Andy (Carl Gentry), Happy Hoyer took over as host to the children's show until his departure.  His character "Happy Hoyer," was well known and loved in the Panama Canal Zone.  

After Mike left SCN, he became a Roman Catholic priest at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he is still referred to as "Happy Hoyer." Near the church, a road has been named after him.


The Lilac Crew

  • Skipper Andy - Carl Gentry

  • First Mate Happy Hoyer - Mike Hoyer

  • Crewman Uncle Frog - John Tedrick

  • Black Bart - Bill Moss #1

  • Lollipop Sue - Sue Bretz


Click on any photo to enlarge

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Black Bart (Bill Moss #1) 

Kathy Holcomb ASPCA

Skipper Andy (Rear)

Happy Hoyer 1st mate

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Skipper Andy

Happy Hoyer

aboard the Lilac

Randy Bretz Cameraman



photo courtesy Gerry Fry

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  • an unidentified young man
  • Kathy Holcomb - ASPCA chief, and the pearl mesta (great party giver) of the canal zone. 
  • Pat Parks wife of SCN staffer USAF Sgt. Gary Parks
  • "Skipper Andy" aka Ssgt Carl Gentry
  • Happy Hoyer
  • note the flag "p.c" that did not stand for politically correct!!!     

  Photo courtesy Steve Momot

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a real gathering of eagles

Sgm Sam Sumner inspects the Llilac, as Skipper Andy (army Ssgt Carl "Countrypolitan Chapel" Gentry), the officer of-the-deck of the Lilac stands by. Alongside is army specialist Gordon "Packrat" Pafrath. He is recording   "demerits."

Photo Courtesy Steve Momot

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inspection continues with Sgm. Sumner, being a good NCOIC, finding lots of things wrong. Sp5 Gordon Pafrath has run out of ink...note the length of the list... and Sam isn't done yet. 

it was also thus on Monday morning during the weekly inspections that were instituted by Sgm Sumner shortly after his arrival at SCN

Photo Courtesy Steve Momot

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Kathy Holcomb & Happy Hoyer  

Summer 69

Photo courtesy Steve Momot

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Happy Hoyer interviewing the guest  children passengers

to say that Happy was popular with the kids in the zone would be an understatement. When he would visit a school from time to time... he needed a bodyguard

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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  • 1969, and the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001 a Space Odyssey had just come out, featuring the "Hal 9000" computer, which took over the spaceship. 
  • Not to be outdone, our Davie Lindquester created the "Pal 9000" for installation on the lilac. 
  • When happy left, the pal, along with the magic vent "walked" off the set courtesy of an animated film shot by some creative photographer in the pre-dawn hours.

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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along with USO groups, we'd have local entertainers from the zone visit "afternoon" from time to time. one of these young ladies went on to fame (not fortune) as an "ID" girl

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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Arnie Huberman 

 master control

Happy Hoyer Show


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Happy Hoyer at the control board in the radio studios, August 1969...

note the hibiscus bloom in the microphone

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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Happy Hoyer with his Miranda Sensorex Camera

Fall 1968

Photo courtesy Steve Momot

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This is vintage Happy Hoyer, red hair and smile. he's pictured here aboard the SS Pioneer contractor with his Nikon F Photomic. Happy called his picture taking "push and click." this begins a series of photos taken aboard the Pioneer contractor during a transit of the canal arranged by Pan Canal. November 1969

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot


there was no time that had more mixed emotions than when a good friend was leaving the zone. On one hand we were losing, maybe for a while or maybe forever, someone who had become a good friend... on the other hand, our good friend was doing something he'd longed for... going home. This was Happy's departure... 

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Nov 1969 from left

Steve Momot with the Bolex 16mm camera (film at 6:00p.m.) Bill Moss, unidentified man bending, then John "Uncle Frog" Tedrick (USAF) and then Paul Hogan... and the remainder ???

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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"unknown" in back on the left... Sp5 Hoyer, Steve Momot and John Tedrick...they are joined by some- thing really important... the plane taking Happy home. This was one of the few times anyone saw Happy in his class "a" uniform.

Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot


Happy Hoyer touring Canada


Photo courtesy Steve Momot


Happy Hoyer with long hair?!

Happy Hoyer...appearing as best man at Steve Momot's wedding in Dec. 1973. although he was no longer on television...the star quality was clearly still there.


Photo & Caption courtesy Steve Momot

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Vince (Holcomb) O'Connor

 Mike (Happy) Hoyer

Florida Reunion 99


Street near Our Lady Queen of Martyrs church in Ft Lauderdale named after Happy Hoyer



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