In 1982, Portville Central School Class of 1979ers Boomer Connell, Gary Swetland, and Moke Jaekle
were students and football players at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.
Boomer was a communications major, and one of his professors assigned the class to produce a radio
program. Boomer wrote the script and recruited his childhood buddies to help him.
The 3 videos below contain the entire original audio recording of that project, which the professor
used for many years as an A+ example. The 79er trio became legends at Canisius.
This is the story of Herb and Skippy, two city boys from Buffalo, New York who travel
to the Allegheny Mountains to learn how to hunt deer from the legendary Big Jim Hawbaker.
So gather 'round, sit back, and turn up the volume for the next 25 minutes.
Big Jim - Gary Swetland
Skippy - Moke Jaekle
Herb - Boomer Connell
2009 Panther Profile Interview:
PP: Where did Big Jim Hawbaker come from?
Boomer: At college, Gary used to tell hunting stories, and dozens of students would
gather around to hear him voice this character that was a combination of Jim Steinbacher, Ed Swetland, and Wimpy
Swetland. In the dorms, in the cafeteria, and at the bars, people would all hang around and listen to gary go on and
on about these true adventures.
PP: How did the radio show assignment come about?
Moke: Boomer planned the whole thing and we recorded it at the college sound studio
in one night. He added in the sound effects, edited it, and put it all together for that audio class.
PP: What happened after that?
Gary: Boomer played it to the class, they all loved it, the professor freaked out,
and the rest is history.
Boomer: Eventually, I took the original cassette and made a CD of it sometime during
the 90s. Jimmy got a hold of it and used Big Jim as one of the main characters for our Portville website. I think
it was 2003. His brother Todd drew the picture of Big Jim. It took off from there.
"Howdy fellers...You're right on time" - Big Jim Hawbaker