|Full name||James M. Varnum|
|Born||23 April 1928|
|Died||29 March 2005|
Varnum and Jacobson first met in 1977 when Varnum was working at Video Midwest, an electronics store on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa; Jacobson came in and took an interest in the Apple II computer and, after spending a few afternoons trying it out at the store, bought the machine. The two became friends and later colleagues, working together both at Video Midwest and then in 1979 at a computer company in nearby Ames.
Varnum was for many years an employee of Iowa's WOI-TV where he worked as a video producer, designer, director, and writer, and featured in several locally-produced programs including The Red Dash and the cult horror movie show Gravesend Manor (as the Duke). It was also rumored that Varnum was the voice of the puppet Gregory in his wife Betty's long-running children's program The Magic Window. A tribute to the program published in the The Des Moines Register in 2019 describes Varnum as "an Iowa broadcasting pioneer".
- Gravesend Manor – DesMoinesBroadcasting.com
- Gravesend Manor – YouTube
- "Magic of Ed Weiss, Katrina leaves WOI", The Des Moines Register, 25 May 1986
- "Shade Drawn on 'Magic Window'", The Des Moines Register, 5 March 1994
- "Betty Lou's 'Magic Window' entertained Iowa for 43 years", The Des Moines Register, 8 February 2019