Archive for December, 2007

The Dick Summer Connection – December 23, 2007

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

There will be bodies strewn all over the floor tonight. We have three couches and two beds…and 15 family members and friends due for a three night visit. Three of them should be here any minute. Not worrying too much, because some of us haven’t seen each other in a year, and we tend to be a little rowdy anyway, so I doubt if too much sleeping will be going on. But please excuse the fact that this edition of the CONNECTION is even less organized than usual.Before I forget it, several Proud PodCast Participants reminded me that all of us, that is ALL OF US, should send at least a note to:

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20307-5001

 Actually, that would be a good address to keep long past the holidays. It wouldn’t hurt to send a note, or some goodies, or a letter doused in cheap perfume with lots of lipstick kisses on it, once a month or so. If you go the letter with cheap perfume route, I think I’d address it to A Male Recovering Soldier…etc., because one of the things that outrages me most about this war is that we have stooped to sending our women into battle. Some Pimple People…even female ones… will call me a dinosaur because I think that’s disgusting. I’m not really a dinosaur …but I AM a proud member of the Louie-Louie Generation. Among other things, that means I remember when we felt that our honor demanded that we love, protect and respect our wives, girlfriends, daughters, and mothers. Don’t get me started on that, because I AM DETERMINED TO STAY POSITIVE.

My Lady Wonder Wench and I went for our traditional Christmas flight last night. We don’t have a magic sleigh, but we do have a little four seat airplane, and each year we pick a beautiful night just before Christmas, and we fire up the engine and climb into the magic of a clear, calm sky…to watch the world spread out in Christmas lights… slip under our wings. We stopped at a little airport with a diner, had dinner, and raised a couple of cups of coffee to another year in love together…and to a friend who lost his love this year. (You don’t drink anything fizzier than coffee when you’re flying an airplane.) On the way back, our landing light blew out, which means we had to make a dark runway landing. It’s not an emergency situation, but it gets your attention. Pilots say that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. Any landing after which you can use the plane again is a great landing. On that basis this was a great landing.

That’s not something a lot of people do. But as Big Louie…his own bad self…always says, “We’re all the same… because we’re all completely different.” (Sometimes Big Louie says things that make you scratch your head…or someplace less elegant, if you are a major league baseball player.) But I think he means we all see things…even Christmas… differently.

Late December weather here in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains is usually quiet, gray and dreary. But Santa swashbuckles in here with a big red suit, green, gold and silver wrapped presents, and happy music made by symphony orchestras with choirs, rock bands, and even chipmunks. And there’s no ducking away from him to go suck your thumb and put the back of your hand to your head, and cry in your beer…because “He sees you when you’re sleeping…he knows when you’re awake….” no matter where you are, he’s going to pop up, and lay a ho ho ho on you if you give him a chance. So no matter how tough things may be…the price is right…you may as well give him a chance.

We’re ready. We’ve watched “The Grinch,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Holiday Inn,” Pierce Brosnan’s “Thomas Crown Affair” and “Casablanca.” Thomas Crown has the most beautiful sail plane scene, and a very wise comment from the police detective about silly things that are only important to rich people. And time always goes by so gently in “Casablanca.” As Big Louie says…we all see things differently. Lady Wonder Wench and I like watching those movies on the week before Christmas.

It would be kicks to know what movies you like to watch before Christmas. If you have a moment, drop me a note at


Dick’s Details Quiz – all the answers are in the current PodCast at

1- How many miles per gallon do American Men get?

2- Is magic real?

3- Why should you never try to hide from butterflies behind red, green or yellow shades?


3 right – You get the spare bed tonight.

2 right – You get the large couch.

1 right – You get the small couch.

0 right – Lots of luck on the love seat. (I had some luck on it… never mind.)

Wonder Wench has enough food stashed to stuff all the bodies strewn all over the floor tonight, plus the entire Pennsylvania National Guard, with enough to spare to take care of any leftover troops from a long ago encampment not far away in a place called Valley Forge. And I’ve got plenty of firewood stacked and ready to keep the fireplace warm for You Know Who. And right on cue, there’s our son Eric and his new bride Brenda…the newest Mrs. Summer, pulling into the driveway… along with our Granddaughter Cassie… who is now such a beautiful young lady that the hormones of the young guys around here won’t return to normal till mid April.

No blog or PodCast next week, because…it has begun. Another Christmas for us to remember. My Lady Wonder Wench and I, along with everyone who lives in all the bodies that will be littering the floor tonight…wish you and yours everything good, and warm, and strong, and loving… now, and through the New Year.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.


The Dick Summer Connection – December 16, 2007

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

HARK ! Led Zeppelin makes a comeback.  Mother Theresa admits she didn’t keep the faith. The Yankees fire Joe Torre. Gas heads for $4.00 a gallon. Tony Soprano packs it in. Don Imus gets fired. Don Imus gets hired. Spam becomes 95% of all E-mails. Steroids make some of us think of chucking our baseball cards. Stem cell research explodes. It looks like a woman or a black guy may be our next president. And the beat goes on in Baghdad. Who’d have thought it.

What a year.Those were some of the big stories. We all had little stories. I got to tell you some of mine. The plastic potato popgun war with Randy next door…losing the tickets to the spring training games…my non-cosmetic shnoz-ectomy…passing my flight physical…the Peter, Paul & Mary concert…the formation of the Louie-Louie Generation and the appointment of Big Louie, his own bad self, as its Consultant… scoring at best a draw when going Mano-a-Mouseo…and of course, lots of stories about my Lady Wonder Wench.

If you’re new to the Dick Summer Connection, you might be interested to know that my Lady Wonder Wench is a smart, beautiful, sassy wife- woman. A real Louie-Louie Generation “Doll.” She obviously deserved a handsome, rich, intelligent, sensitive guy, but I married her before she found him.

I’d really like to hear some of your stories from 2007. My E-mail is Mostly it was a good year for me. Except when the SUV hit my little airplane and put it out of commission for the whole summer, and the last few weeks when the bug bit me, and almost everything hurt, and what didn’t hurt didn’t work. But all in all, it doesn’t take too much of a spin job to look at 2007 and come up with…”IT WAS GOOD…SHUT UP AND STOP WHINING.”

The Art of The Spin is fascinating to me. I told you about the Men Are Saints campaign…The “M.A.S. Appeal”…how we saintly guys let our women spend entire cold Thanksgiving days in the warmth of the kitchen, while we throw ourselves across the television tube to keep the harmful rays from hurting our loved ones. And how when saintly men everywhere meet beautiful young women who are hanging around in bars, we invite them to our apartments to get them out of those dangerous places. That…is Spin.

Here’s a sample negative political “Spin” look at the “Wizard of Oz” assuming Dorothy is running for office: “Candidate Dorothy was given a mysteriously funded trip to a dream land…possibly drug induced… where she immediately killed the first woman she met. She then teamed up with two complete strangers to kill again!”

So…ok… the Louie-Louie Generation is…Spin. BUT… just because you can’t PROVE Big Louie his own bad self…really exists… remember you can’t PROVE that God or Santa exists either. So why not go with the flow? Who the hell likes getting older? But you might as well make the best of it. That’s why Big Louie insists that “Louie-Louie Generation guys are the bed mates of choice of super models everywhere.” And he’s honest about it. He says it’s because “Louie- Louie guys tend to treat women right. We have charm, experience, and some of us have money.” Big Louie…his own bad self…has discovered the secret to perpetual marvelous middle age.

And Louie-Louie Generation “Dolls” are the envy of all 22 year olds who like minks and Cadillacs. B. Louie reminds those 22 year olds that with a little time, luck, and practice, they too may become a beautiful, mature, Louie-Louie Generation woman.

HARK ! Look at it this way. Who the hell wants to work out every day…but…Big Louie to the rescue again. He likes to remind you that it’s nice to hear heavy breathing once in a while at your age.

I’ve tried to put Big Louie’s positive spin on everything this year. Almost got dizzy and hurt myself a couple of times. But I think B.L. is right. “Wanna win? Grab a grin.” That makes some sense. Big Louie also says, “The best answer to a serious problem is often a silly solution.” And, “When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.” On the other hand, “When you hit bottom and somebody tosses you a shovel…don’t dig.”

Here’s my nomination for Big Louie’s best advice of 2007: “Truth times Maybe = Honesty.” I like that one a lot. It paints a smiley face on statements like: “This is the one true religion, because God said so.” “The world is obviously flat, and the sun revolves around the earth.” “Life begins at the moment of conception.” “UFOs? ha ha ha ha.” “Mission accomplished. The major fighting in Iraq is over.” And even, “The Mets have a lock on at least the division championship.”

I like a little wiggle room. George Carlin does too. He says, “If you try to fail and you succeed, which have you done?” Even Einstein said, “E=Mc2…but then there’s the uncertainty principle. I think.” Brittany Spears may put it best of all when all she simply says is, “Huh ?”

Dick’s Details Quiz – All the answers are in the current podcast at

1- What one word gets the Herald Angels so much attention?

2- What should we do about getting some of that attention back?

3- What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?

Scoring: 3 – right: Love, Money and Fame in 2008.

2 – right: Love and Money in 2008.

1 – right: Love in 2008.

0 – right: The IRS will audit you in 2008.

Next week’s “Good Night” PodCast will feature 2007’s top five most downloaded stories from the Personal Audio cds. Since you can’t put an audio cd in a blog, if you want to hear them, and you don’t feel like buying the cds…next week, just go to

Hark! Lady Wonder Wench and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.









The Dick Summer Connection – December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Wanna know why Herald Angels get all the attention and we don’t get any? It’s the word HARK! That word gets your attention. I like attention. That’s why I spent so many years on the radio, I guess. The attention… and the girls. I even met the girl who is now my Lady Wonder Wench because I was on the radio. She was in charge of the program log at the station I worked at in Boston.I used to screw up the log on purpose because I knew she’d have to come into the studio and throw me one of those “What IS the matter with you?” kind of looks, with those big baby blues turned up to stun. Then she’d look down at the log book and hide behind a curtain of that long, soft brown hair, and fix the mess I’d made. I actually caught her sneaking a look at me sneaking a look at her, one day. She thought I couldn’t see her behind that hair. If I were a little faster in the head, I would have said, “HARK !” But some naturally occurring chemicals originating in places somewhat lower than my head always seemed to hinder my thinking when she was around.


But, as usual, I digress. “How” you will ask, “can I work the word HARK into my everyday conversation, thereby becoming more Herald Angelic?” Well, have you ever noticed that when most of us are asked a question, we almost always start our answer with the word “WELL”? Even people on tv do it, as in… (Host) “Well, what’s the weather going to be like tomorrow, Al?” (Al) “Well….probably nice if it doesn’t snow or rain.” Even our leaders talk that way. (Vice President) “Well, what are you going to do today, George?” (President) “Well, Dick, mmmm… let’s check out those Iraqi oil wells.” You even hear it in hospitals, where nobody is really well. My buddy Al had a serious operation the other day. Fortunately, it was successful. We know that because when we asked the doctor, he said, “Well, he’s going to get well.” Swell.

So, as Big Louie his own bad self, always tells the members of the “Louie-Louie Generation”… “Say the hell with well… light a spark… with ‘hark.’ ”

Think what the word “hark” did for Jamie Lee Curtis’ father Tony… when he played the part of an arab sheik, and he uttered that unforgettable line… “Haawwk. Yonda lies da castle ov my fadda.” Were it not for that Brooklyn translation of the word Hark, Tony would be totally forgotten. And think how absolutely classy Rocky Balboa would have sounded saying “Hark” instead of “Yo.”

“Hark” is one of the reasons the herald angels got away with rhyming “Proclaim” with “Bethle-haim.” When you start a statement with HARK, you can say anything you like after it. Try it. “Hark, I’d like a raise.” “Hark, I found lipstick on your collar.” “Hark, I’m pregnant.” “Hark, I got fired.”

Saying “Hark” gets you attention. Of course, you’ll also get some attention when the weather outside is frightful, by going around dressed in your gay apparel, telling one and all, “fa-la-la-la-la.” Another way to get attention is to feed your guests roasted chestnuts. Have you ever tasted those things? Yeeech. Going for a ride in a one horse open sleigh on US-95 will do it too. And if I were still on the radio, I think I’d avoid using the words “girl’s basketball team,” and “ho-ho-ho” in the same sentence.

But HARK…maybe it’s because I’m an ex radio guy, but as much as I hate to keep harping on it…and as much as I wish them well…I see no reason at all why the Herald Angels should get all the attention…and the girls.

Dick’s Details Quiz. (All the answers are available in the current PodCast at

1- What will my Lady Wonder Wench and I be looking for while flying in our little airplane this week?

2- What did Father O’Connell give all the good little boys and girls in my grammar school? (“Hark…He must have skipped you” is not the answer.)

3- What was my Mom’s last Christmas gift?


3 – right – Hark !

2 – right – Well…

1 – right – Yo !

0 – right – ahhhhh….

Lots of mail about Christmas this week. Thank you for everyone who wrote. Proud PodCast Participant Lisa has a wonderful project going to help our troops on active duty. She’ll be glad to explain. Her email is   . Lisa is a good lady.

Proud PodCast Participant Steve Green wrote a beautiful note that said in part: “My late mom came from a large family. By the time they had made their way from Poland to Boston, where a street (Greenwood Avenue) was named for my grandfather who built homes in the area…there were six sisters and a brother….My Aunt Fran had a ladies undergarment store….She specialized in undergarments for women who had undergone mastectomies. (She) always invited me to sleep over on Thanksgiving, so I could go to work with her on Friday to be the first kid in the family to see all the decorations in downtown….Year after year i would get to spend that weekend with my Aunt on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Many times there was snow. And what’s now known as “Downtown Crossing” was lit with the beautiful sights and sounds of Christmas. My other Jewish friends were often confused how I could enjoy this aspect of the holiday season. And even at the tender age of 12, I explained that I wasn’t celebrating Christmas, I was enjoying the candelabrum used…a menorah has 7 branches and was used in the Tabernacle in the wilderness and in Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples. But I had a great heads up on all the latest toys and games that were out, thanks to my special Friday in Downtown Boston. What a wonderful time it was. And oh, how I wish I could do it again.”

HARK…Steve…and all of you who wrote…Thanks. I’d like to hear from everybody…your memories…the things you “wish you could do again” in this season. My e-mail is

Whooops…HARK…I must include some of the wit of the season from Proud PodCast Participant Jim King:

What is Santa’s primary language? North Polish.
Where does Santa go swimming? The North Pool.
If Santa rode a motorcycle, what kind would it be? A Holly Davidson
What is Santa’s favorite breakfast cereal? Frosted Flakes.
How do Santa and Mrs. Claus get around? On an icicle built for two.

What is Santa’s primary language? North Polish.Where does Santa go swimming? The North Pool.If Santa rode a motorcycle, what kind would it be? A Holly DavidsonWhat is Santa’s favorite breakfast cereal? Frosted Flakes.How do Santa and Mrs. Claus get around? On an icicle built for two.Oi !

The Dick Summer Connection – December 2, 2007

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

My friend Dick Stadlen takes pride in wrapping Christmas presents… he does it enthusiastically, if not very well. He claims, “You can’t be a cynic while you wrap pretty paper around a box, just so somebody else can tear it off a little while later.” His Lady Diane doesn’t give him a hard time because she loves him…even though the results of his wrapping often look like green and red spit balls. Dick says, “If there had been wrapping paper at the first Christmas, Matthew would have said…‘And lo the Magi’s gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty The Snowman. And Joseph was going to throw it away, but Mary sayeth unto him…holdeth it…just a minute…that’s nice paper… Save it for next year. And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than in the frankincense.’ ”

I love Christmas, and my favorite guy is Santa Claus. And you feel about the same way according to your letters and Emails. Here’s one from Lisa, who lives in Kentucky: “Christmas for me has always been all about the memories, the sights, the sounds, the feelings that maybe were not really real, but in my heart they still feel real. Here is hoping this Christmas is the best for you and Lady Wonder Wench, it should always be full of goodness, love and memories.” Thanks, Lisa…and back at you.

Cathi wrote: “Christmas to me is very much about childhood memories…making wonderful memories for my kids and grandkids …and my own childhood memories. You happen to be one of my childhood memories. My grandmother gave me a radio for Christmas the year I was 15…I plugged it in late that night and discovered you on the radio from Boston.” Pretty neat that you remember, Cathi.

And thanks for reminding me that besides the memories and the goodies…Santa’s pack each year is full of the hopes and fears for what is to come….”Making wonderful memories for my kids and grandkids”…

Santa is the connector. But he gets a bum rap. He gets the blame for all the tasteless, crass, loud tv commercials for the “Biggest sale of the year”. He also has to take the fall for “taking Christ out of Christmas.” And he deserves better. I think it’s time to thank Santa, because that stuff is not his fault.

Santa is a connection with who you were when you got your brand new electric trains… your first Christmas kiss… a sled or a bike under the tree…and most important…the distinct Christmas Eve “tuck-you-in-so-Santa-can-come-with-his-reindeer-and-presents” feeling you remember from your Mom or Dad…even though they may be only a memory this year. And Santa helps you pass all that along to your kids… especially the way you felt so safe and excited so long ago…every Silent Night.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping…he knows when you’re awake.” That means he’s around all the time, and he’s paying attention to you. My Lady Wonder Wench always says “Women have to talk twice as much as men because you don’t pay attention the first time.” And she’s probably right. But Santa is there…all Christmas season…paying attention…day and night. Thank you, Santa.

Of course, “He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” Not a bad reminder for us “Louie-Louie Generation guys and dolls.” Sometimes we slip…and a reminder at Christmas is in order. “You better not pout, you better not cry…” yeah…we do too much whining and not enough smiling the rest of the year…how about turning that around at Christmas.

My friend Paul Berge, a proud member of the Louie-Louie Generation, says: “I refuse to grow up. I still want a BB gun at Christmas, and even if I do shoot my eye out, I’ll still have my BB gun. And I want real Lionel Trains under the tree…and I still have faith that we’ll eventually find X-ray glasses that really work…and we’ll finally admit that Bosco is far superior to CocoMarsh…and the ‘59 Chevy was the best car ever…and how about Yoohoo in bottles…and Three Musketeer Bars for a nickel…and nickels…and singing Christmas songs with the guys you like singing harmony with on warm summer evenings out on the stoop…and nothin’ to do…and no guilt about doin’ it. Merry all them holidays.” (A stoop is like a porch, for those of you who are New York Challenged.)

My friend Len Segal remembers one Christmas season when I was on the air in Boston. He says, “You asked listeners to write to you with their personal thoughts about what Christmas means to them. You were struck by how much your listeners opened up their hearts and souls in those letters. And since you were doing the Christmas Eve broadcast from the remote studio on the Common (Boston Common is a park in the middle of Boston), you decided to read the letters outside the studio with the people who had come to see the broadcast. I think you had one or two of your children with you. (I did. One of them…Dave…grew up to be the guy who now runs the PodCast for me. The other…Mark… is now a professional musician on Long Island.) You and I scouted the area for a suitable burn barrel, which we needed because when we went outside with the letters and everyone who was standing around gathered in a huge circle holding hands as you read the letters one by one…you were going to throw the letters into the fire. That’s all I remember. By the way, I’m Jewish, but spent many a Christmas Day with my Christian friends. It’s a spirit of good will that makes Christmas.” Right, Len. And Santa says, ” Happy Hanukkah to you.”

Here’s a little more of the story, although I’m not going to swear everything I remember is accurate after all this time. The broadcast was 8 pm to midnight. I planned on reading the letters…and burning them…at around 11:45. I mentioned what I was going to do on the air, and I invited people to “drop in.” By 9 pm there were quite a few folks there. By 10, there were several hundred people there. By 11, there was a traffic jam on Charles Street (the street right by the park.)

Remember, this was a spur of the moment thing. I didn’t have permission from anybody, including the radio station or the police department to do it. By 11:30, it looked like we had at least a thousand people standing around the broadcast trailer, and the cops had sent extra troops out trying to untangle the traffic. I figured I was in TROUBLE. But one of the cops came over, saw what was going on, smiled, and just wished me a Merry Christmas.

Then some of the musicians from the Unicorn Coffee House showed up. As I recall, Tom Rush was there, and I think Jose Feliciano, Jaime Brockett, and Mitch Kertzman. At 11:45, I went outside and started reading the letters, and burning them as I went. I consider burning them to be a sign of respect. As if on cue, it started to snow….softly. And just before midnight…a little off key…we all sang Silent Night.

If you ever heard 1,000 people singing Silent Night…standing close enough together to keep warm…by a Christmas Eve bonfire in the snow, you will never forget it. If you were there, thank you. It was a long, long time ago. But I will never forget it. Never. Thank you. And thank you, Santa Claus.


Dick’s Details Quiz – All the answers are in the current PodCast at

1- What’s this year’s most popular Christmas recording?

2- What’s a “Personnel Decellerator?”

3- Where’s the best place to find Christmas?


3 right – It’s the night before Christmas.

2 right – One mouse is up and stirring.

1- right – Santa leaves you guys a cap, and you dolls a kerchief.

0 – right – Merry Christmas anyway.

Some people don’t believe in Santa Claus. They’ll tell you Christ was born in the spring, not on December 25. The truth is, I really don’t care when Christ was born. I don’t even care if He was the “Son of God.” He gave us lots of good ideas, and lots of love. And I figure even if you don’t believe in Christ at all, you’ve got to admit His birthday celebration is pretty neat. So is Hanukkah, Quanza, Solstice, and any other holiday that involves candles, music, standing close together, some laughs that you really enjoy, and a few tears that you can’t help, good stuff to eat, and most important…some great loving…and of course…Santa Claus.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Send them to:  please.