“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”—-Roald Dahl 1978
REMEMBER WHEN ?
Most of us are too old to remember when radio was more than either music or talk. From a period of the 1930’s to the late 1950’s radio had shows of comedy and drama much like television does have today. These Radio Shows however engaged the mind in a way far greater than does television. When your favorite show came on families stopped and gathered around the radio in a way far different than we do with television. No body talked. Everybody listened. You might miss something if you didn’t. There were no reruns. Shows like OUR MISS BROOKS, THE SHADOW, THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE, THE JACK BENNY SHOW, BABY SNOOKS SHOW STARING FANNY BRICE, and EDGAR BERGEN AND CHARLIE MCCARTHY just to name a few were a regular part of our life. It was theater of the mind. It was funny without being rude, crude or overtly sexual. Life was simpler then. Maybe, I think, a little bit better. Thanks to that time machine known as the internet I am on occasion able to take us back to that chapter in our collective history when Radio was King. When I periodically air segments of old Radio Shows and we can remember when.
Gossip is a guilty pleasure for many people. I confess that it is foe me. Many men like to believe it is just for women only. That, I believe, is a sexist statement. I think on some level we all ( men too ) like to know what is happening with the famous, the infamous, the rich and the powerful. It is this belief that periodically has me invite Cate Meighan from CELEB DIRTY LAUNDRY DOT COM. on the show. She always knows what is happening. Unlike Europe in America we have no royalty. Our celebrities, from all walks of life, are as close as we get. As a group we want to look up to them. We often envy them. Consider the cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY. They recently signed contracts for a base salary of $1,000,000.00 per episode. At the same time we might envy them we find some degree of “comfort” in finding out that they often have the same difficulties/problems we have. Whether it is in watching E news on Cable TV, reading US or People, listening to my visit with Cate monthly or scanning the Tabloids while in the checkout line at the Supermarket we want the details. Our golden Idols have can have feet of clay. Yes, our enjoying gossip like our addiction to chocolate might not be one of our finer attributes but it is, I believe, part of being human.
ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE II
In follow up to my original posting with this title I’m pleased to report my Doctor says everything is fine. This is certainly good news. The experience,however, has been life changing in it’s own way. When you are waiting for these kind of test results you begin to confront the question of your own mortality. The mind can easily take you strange and what feels like frightening places. No matter how old we are we never know what are body is doing to us. As we age, and I am aging, there is the possibility that more things can go wrong with our health than we’d like to imagine. I’m reminded of the old saying, ” If I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself.” While for many of us,myself included there is truth in that, I urge you to live a healthy life with as few regrets as possible. If there is something you always wanted to do or say then get it done. Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN : My JOURNEY INTO AN UNKNOWN LAND
This past Sunday I took a journey behind the curtain of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I confess it was uncharted territory for me as I was always in bed when the Tonight Show theme was struck. My guide was Dave Berg author of the new book, BEHIND THE CURTAIN:AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF JAY LENO’S TONIGHT SHOW. When he was hired by Jay it was uncharted territory for Mr. Berg as well. A recently unemployed News Producer/Writer at NBC he applied for the job more out of need than anything else. Surprise, he was hired knowing nothing about the traditional “Stars” that were a staple of late night T.V. What he brought to the show was a newsman’s understanding of politics,sports and how to get guests from these worlds.One example we talked about was a long and successful pursuit to get First Lady Laura Bush on the Show. Following Johnny Carson into the the host chair and the Show was a daunting task for all concerned. While very much alive, Johnny was a “ghost” haunting the new residents of the show’s studio.What would Johnny think or do were questions in the back of everybody’s mind. Like many “victims” of “hauntings” they eventually moved. It was interesting to learn of the time and effort that Jay put into his monologue. Some times going as long as fourteen minutes they were carefully constructed pieces of of comedy with bite. Like a slide show of my journey this is but some of what were the highlights for me. Perhaps the greatest highlight of all was learning that Jay was what he seemed, a truly nice guy. While I will never understand those who visit late night T.V.on a regular basis, I prefer sleep, it was instructive to visit the world of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE
On a more personal note I have had a recent heath experience that has given me a new sense of understanding and respect for what women experience. Recently I discovered what felt like a lump in my left breast. Going to my general health care provider, we tried several different medications before it was decided that I needed to see a Breast Specialist. Gulp. I was sent to a local women’s health health center. Imagine if you will being the only man in the waiting room filling out forms asking questions like “when was your first period.” It was an odd experience to say the least. After the visit with the Doctor it was decided that I should have both an Ultrasound and a Mammogram of the left breast. Being rather ample in size I had sufficient mass to insert into the machine to have numerous pictures taken from several different angles. Getting squished into what is a relatively small space can only be considered an enjoyable experience if mild S&M is what you enjoy. The results of the Mammogram dictated that a needle biopsy needed to be done. While it is rare for men to get Breast Cancer, it does occur, and that is the first place my mind took me. The procedure itself was relatively painless and I am deeply grateful to my Doctor for all of her care and kindness. While it could be many things I await the results of the Pathologists report.
LUST VS LOVE
This past Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing Romance author Tami Lund. She has written numerous books both in paperback and e-book format. Her fascination with this literary form began at age twelve when she’d borrow books from her mother’s night table. From that point on she was hooked. I asked her about the reputation romance writing has for ” purple prose. ” Phrases like “milky white loins and throbbing manhood’s”have give the form a bad name. She chuckled agreeing with me. She did however state that lust is a part of every woman’s life and must be acknowledged. She sees a difference between lust and love. When I asked her about the old belief that men will often trade an I love you for sex and women will often trade sex for an I love you she disagreed. Women she stated are just as interested in sex as men perhaps they just don’t talk about it as much. Often lust can be a building block to love but if it doesn’t that’s OK as well. We also addressed the old notion that men aren’t attune to romance. Men she believes want romance in their lives as much as women want it. Again it appears to be a case of guys just don’t talk about it. She has receive many fan letters from men who have found her books most enjoyable. While she began reading romance at age twelve she doesn’t recommend it for other children of that age. Her own daughter will have to wait until she is sixteen. Tami doesn’t fall into the marketing trap of bare chested hunky men or big busted women on her covers. While there is sex on the page there is also something for your mind to consider.I’m reminded of a line from the musical ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOR EVER, ‘love with all the trimmings filled with spice.” It describes the writing of Tami Lund
A HIDDEN TREASURE
“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”Marion Anderson
IN FOLLOW UP—-BUSTED II
While law enforcement authorities may have decided not to prosecute those individuals and their crimes detailed in BUSTED ; Hollywood has a different idea. Apparently the hour long series is to be titled ANONYMOUS CONTENT. Sarah Jessica Parker is set to star as one of the two reporters. No other casting has been announced nor has whether they will be filming in Philadelphia. I applaud Hollywood for calling attention to what is a stain on our City’s reputation
Dr. MAYA ANGELOU : MY MEMORIES
Many things have been written and will be written about this remarkable Lady. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing her twice during my Radio career. These interviews hold a very special place in my memory. Few of the people I’ve interviewed have had me “star struck” and she is one of them. Actress, dancer, film maker, literary giant it took ever ounce of focus I could muster to get the words out into coherent sentences. Tall, dressed simply dressed in slacks and a sweater she waited patiently while we changed studios (the first having technical problems ). As I frantically tried to cope I can remember her grace as she waited patiently singing a spiritual to herself in a beautiful voice. While it’s my job to put the guest at ease she was doing that for me.In our second visit together we got on the subject of good literature specifically poetry. When she talked of “RAP” as the poetry of today I challenged her. She proceeded to recite Edgar Allen Poe’s the Raven to a rap beat. It was the most amazing recitation I ever heard, While these two memories may seem small I believe they say much about this lady of quality. Since her passing I stumbled across MAYA ANGELOU”S GUIDE TO LIFE IN 12 TWEETS” on the internet. Two of them specifically remind me of the person I remember. They are LISTEN TO YOURSELF AND IN THAT QUIETUDE YOU MIGHT HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD and WE MUST BE WARRIORS IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IGNORANCE.