Archive for April, 2012

Summer Smarm

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

I am sitting here in my big, manly, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room, having survived a “RICHARD” morning. As any honest, Louie-Louie Generation guy will admit, one of the good things about having some years in your rear view mirror is that eventually you learn when to say yes, when to say no, and when to say, Whoopie and when to say, Whoops. My Lady Wonder Wench saw a very loud, Whoopie moment coming this morning, and that’s why she said, RICHARD. When she says RICHARD like that…it always gets my attention. My Lady Wonder Wench is the only person in the world, besides the IRS, the FAA, and the Department of Motor Vehicles who calls me Richard. And that’s only when my testosterone has betrayed me, and I do something that can best be described as adolescent, immature, and or smarmy. I guess I hit the jackpot this morning.

Here’s what happened. I’m having some dental work done that involves a dentist and three nurses. So you know it’s not just the every day kind of dental work where he says things like, “Open wide, this won’t hurt…can you feel it when I whack you with my dental hammer, and please don’t bite down that’s my thumb”. It’s more complicated than that. So my Lady Wonder Wench decided that it would be a good idea for her to drive me home, because there would be so much Novocain in my mouth that I wouldn’t be able to see over my swollen upper lip to drive home myself. That’s why she was sitting in the office with me, when the 13 year old Pimple Person nurse came in to take my blood pressure, and to ask questions that are routine in a procedure like this. Questions like are you allergic to penicillin, and more ominously, what’s the name of anyone you’d like to have us call in an emergency.

That’s when one of those voices you probably also have in your head that insists on telling you jokes at a funeral made me say Sophia Loren. Nurse Pimple didn’t even blink…she just wrote it down…because she had no idea that Sophia Loren lurks and smiles, and turns up the sweat glands in the dreams and fantasies of almost every Louie-Louie Generation guy. And then she said the most amazing thing anybody ever said to me in a dentist’s office. You will not believe this.

With a completely straight face, Nurse Pimple said, quote, “I’ll tell the girls you’re ready now.” I’LL TELL THE GIRLS YOU’RE READY NOW. Instantly, a soundtrack started in my mind. And on cue, a long line of Victoria’s Secret models, led by Fifi, Desiree, and a mostly naked Catherine Zeta Jones look alike who were lying in wait, anxiously anticipating the word that I was ready for them…whirled into the room, and began to have their way with me…in my head that is. And the voice in my head started hollering YEssss, and began clapping his hands over his head like a Spanish tango dancer…or maybe that was me clapping my hands over my head…things were getting confused, and all of a sudden a very familiar voice rang out, with a very specific message. It said…”RICHARD.” Whoops.

As Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie Louie Generation has explained in the past, testosterone is a preservative. A preservative is a chemical that keeps fungus, and other things from growing…and growing is one way to describe the process of maturing. And evidently, I seem to have an excess of the stuff.

All this happened very quickly. And no sooner had the sound of RICHARD made my eyes flick open, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but…THE GIRLS Nurse Pimple had promised. They weren’t the same ones who had starred in that silken, sweaty, sleazy, scene that had evidently put a smile on my face that Lady Wonder Wench later probably accurately described as smarmy. There were three of them…masked…wearing surgical gowns that were not slit up the side. There was not a stitch of black lace showing. Two of them were Pimple People. As a matter of fact, one still had acne, and one had distinctly noticeable droopy ears, and the non-pimple-person would have looked better wearing orthopedic boots and corrective hot pants.

Then the dentist walked in and said, “This won’t hurt.” I wanted to tell him it already did. But I couldn’t make my upper lip move.

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

1-   Why did a board of directors give a guy $26 Million?

2-   How enthusiastic can you get as a blood donor?

3-   How do we know where Bill Gates keeps his cash?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

A couple of very interesting emails this week. (The Email address is  Proud Podcast Participant Sgt. P said, “Your blog last week reminded me of Bob & Ray. Why? Because many of their bits were sponsored by Quagmire Corporation, makers of mud.” If you don’t remember Bob and Ray, Google them. They were very funny guys.


Proud Podcast Participant Scott, commented on last week’s podcast too. He said: “When contrasting Diane Sawyer vs. Chris Wallace, what came to mind was how the difference in their styles mirrors that of broadcasters like yourself vs. the David Staebler character Nicholson plays in “The King of Marvin Gardens.” When Diane Sawyer addresses the camera, you feel as if she is talking to you, personally. In fact, the intimacy she establishes can be disconcerting sometimes.” Scott, I’m a big fan of intimacy like that. And it’s always fascinating to me, watching for the sparks that all of a sudden snap the sizzle into our lives. There’s a story about that in the Night Connections 2 Personal Audio CD. It’s called, “The Piano Man.”

He knew that expensive lady wasn’t going to show up for his gig. The spark…the sizzle… had burned the tenderness between them to a crisp. And they both knew it was time to brush the ashes away. That happens sometimes. And that’s why some people get scared when sparks start flying. He’ll do just fine. But I often wonder what will happen to her.

“The Piano Man” is from the Night Connections 2 personal audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, you can just download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page at .

One of the good things about being a Louie-Louie Lad or Lady, is that we’ve been around long enough to know that there’s a time to say yes, and a time to say no, and a time to say Whoopie and a time to say Whoops. My Lady Wonder Wench knows that very well. That’s why when my excess testosterone starts some excess Whoopie going… like this morning, sometimes she has to bring me back to reality with a quick “RICHARD.” But she also knows how to start some lovely Whoopies going in my head…and other parts. Like when she says, “I THINK IT’S PAST OUR BEDTIME…DICK.”

Lady Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

“Mud … mud … glorious mud ….” Come on, Big Louie, sing the song with me ….Mud is such fun, Lads and Lasses … you can wallow in it … kick it at things (or people) … make lovely pies … or mud balls … it doesn’t splash like water, it just slogs … and best of all, it makes you laugh ….Pimple people have no idea just how great real mud is.  They’re all so busy slinging the pseudo-stuff at each other, they don’t have time to sit down in it and enjoy the crumbly, sticky, thick, gooey marshmallow-like mess that can keep you warm (and dirty, of course) … but fills your head with giggles, your fingers with mud pies, and your smile with memories.

I never met a mud pool I didn’t want to skip through … and I have to figure out how I’m going to teach my great granddaughter about mud without her mother having fits over what she considers dirt.  Dirt?  Mud?  You’re wrong, momma Emma …

And by the time little Cece is old enough, she will also fling herself wholeheartedly into all the mud pools of her wonderful life.


Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I’ve got to be more consistent about telling you about some of the emails that come in between these blogs and podcasts. For example, Proud Podcast Participant, Mike T. said, “I have finally understood the basic message that Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie generation has been trying to get across. Big Louie dreams of a better world, where chickens can cross a road without having their motives questioned.”

Well…yeah…I guess you could say that’s part of the point. But I think a bit more of the point is that Louie-Louie Generation Lads and Ladies understand the many uses to which that chicken’s feathers can be put to use when making out. That’s not weird either. Although it might be considered a little out of control if you get so excited you start using the whole chicken.

The Pimple People can’t understand us. And they won’t have anything to do with us, because we still read books. They think a nap should be our happy hour. They’re convinced that all our sexy parts have fallen off. They haven’t. They may be rolling around a little…but they’re not falling off. And we know how to use them. We confuse the Pimple People, because we’re not into Archie and Edith Bunker type dried up, old relationships. We’re not into relationships at all. We’re into romances. As Big Louie, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation always says, “Relationships are full of careful choices, painful compromises, and mutual goals. Romances are full of hope, and fear, and sweat…and lots of stuff that makes the politically correct forces for good in the community blush.” They’re not shiny and pure. They get down in the good, hot, human mud, and roll around. I guess that when you become a Louie-Louie Generation lad or lady, it becomes obvious that life will eventually turn you into either one of the 3 Stooges, or one of the 3 Musketeers. And it’s mostly your choice. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t ever plan on being ANYBODY’s stooge.

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

1-    What baseball routine reminds me of a drunken basketball team?

2-    What could be Arnold Schwartzenneger’s secret weapon in case he does another super hero movie ?

3-    What did Admiral Richard Byrd’s friends call him ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

Emails. The address is I read and answer them all. Here’s one from Proud Podcast Participant Scott E. It got me thinking about how we need mud in our lives. By “mud,” I mean imperfections…not terrible stuff…but sometimes…simple, human, naughty stuff. Scott is doing a book about Jack Nicholson, and he says in part, “I was curious if you had any feelings for the kind of characters he played…either related to your own work and style, or just as a broadcasting professional.” Interesting note. Here’s part of what I told Scott: “Mucking around in the roles that Jack Nicholson played  is going to get you into some pretty deep mud. I think he’s one of the guys who plays himself for real. There have been others who played the ‘Self’ they wanted the public to see. Bogart…Grant…guys like that who played their parts to P.R. Perfection. I have a hunch that Nicholson had the guts to drop his drawers…right down into the mud that real human beings are made of. That’s what it says in the Good Book. God grabbed a handful of mud, and said, “Get a life.” No dirt…no mud. No mud…no life. Jack Nicholson had the courage to show us his own, genuine, emotional personal parts. Mud and all. I like mud. The sticky, warm, human kind.

And it’s getting rare.  Certainly in the media. Except for Diane Sawyer. Diane Sawyer is definitely sticky, warm and human. She manages to tell the news in no nonsense fashion, but she is always either your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, or your mom depending on the story. She’s a living, breathing, real, human being. And she behaves like one. But I was watching Chris Wallace the other night, and he was showing an interview he did with his father, Mike Wallace a while ago. At the end of the interview, Mike said…”Chris…I love you.” It just blurted out. It wasn’t careful, considered, or contrived. It was an honest, proud, gutsy dad, watching his son trying to fill those big poppa shoes. Mike was that way. Chris isn’t. He kept that precious, muddy, moment of truth at arms length. No mud on Chris. He finished the piece on his dead father like any reporter…straight, ahead, clean, pure…a professional newsman, noting the death of an important person. His father. How sad.”

That brought up the other point that Scott was asking about. I told Scott, that, “I hurt for radio right now. The only thing radio has to offer is…companionship…being a friend. You put an ear piece right into your ear to listen…no other medium can get that physically close. But it’s not happening. Radio is doing a Chris Wallace. When I was on the air, I considered my listeners to be part of my, ‘huddle.’ I was the quarterback, and we were all gathered around for mutual protection. And the big goal was, no matter how muddy and hurt we might be feeling, we were going to make it through the night to dawn…together.”

There’s a story about making it through one startling human night, in the Bedtime Stories Personal Audio CD. It’s called, The Perfect Stranger. She’s a good lady…the lady in the story. She’ll be faithful to her husband. She’ll give him every bit of herself…her body and her mind. Well…except maybe…for that little… magnificent…magical…muddy speck that she might keep…and hold…privately…deep in her heart. I think most of us have a little speck of mud like that…hidden away…very deep inside. Even my Lady Wonder Wench…and me.

The Perfect Stranger is from the Bedtime Stories Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Bedtime Stories icon on the home page at .

I’m looking forward to more emails from you. Tell me what you think. The address is dick at dick summer dot com. You know what I think ? I think most real, live, breathing, romances including my own, aren’t shining and pure…made of careful choices, painful compromises, and mutual goals. They’re made of hope, and sweat, and fear and flesh…and stuff that makes the forces for good in the community blush. Mud.

And that’s what I wish for you. That, and the experience of at least one hour…of one shocking night…of happy, laughing, crying, rolling around together in some hot, sticky, human mud…at least once in your life.





Dick’s Dick Clark

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Lots of big names are being interviewed on Dick’s death. Here’s a true story from an ordinary guy (me) who had the pleasure of interviewing him on my New York radio show. Out of the thousands of people I interviewed on my show, he was the only one who took the time and effort to sit down and send me a hand written note. It said, “Thank you for having me on your show.” What a class act.

Here’s a (free) download of that interview:

Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Would you all believe that the mighty Louie-Louie Lad … son (or grandson) of Big Louie His Own Bad Self … actually got s-i-c-k on returning from his great but all too brief vacation?  Yeah, well he sure did.  And do not ever let anyone tell you that men are big strong capable types. 

Well, they may be all those things, but when they get sick they become just like little boys.  Take medication?  You have to be kidding.  Stay in bed?  Not in this lifetime.  See a dozen doctors of various types to find out just what the blazes is wrong?  Sure.

Do what they ALL said to do?


But this Louie Louie Lass knows just the right formula for at least a modicum (thank you, Vickie) of success.  Stick out your lower lip and cry.  Works every time.  Not wanting to make ME sick as well as himself, he agreed to at least take some of what the learned folks said would help him get better.

And lo and behold, it worked.  He actually got better!

No wonder strange people look back at him from that mirror.  Just as long as it isn’t Dorian Gray …

Mirror Magic

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

I’m back in my big, comfortable, manly, leather poppa chair, with a bit of a tan, a substantially thinner wallet, and a head full of vacation snap shots to run past you:  Here’s one…Walking along the beach, and all of a sudden, a shadow rippled ascross the sand…and then out into the bay. It was a big pelican coming in for a water ski type landing…feet first. He settled into the water, looked around at the people on the beach, and tossed his head, as if he expected at least a quick cheer for his performance.

Here’s another. In that same beach’s parking lot, an old time Chevvy station wagon, with a license plate that expresses a deeply felt urge for many a Louie-Louie Generation lad and lass. It said, “I-Gotta-P. And speaking of beer, the new Budweiser slogan is “Grab some buds.” That’s ok on their TV commercials. But they probably didn’t think about how that slogan would look, when it is proudly displayed on the tight T-shirts of the young ladies selling their beer at the ball park. Or maybe they did…I don’t know. It sure got my attention…and that got a few un-ladylike comments from Lady Wonder Wench.

And there’s one of those snapshots I think I’ll frame, and hang somewhere very close to where I live; my Lady Wonder Wench and I were taking a little walk in the park across the street from our hotel. There was an old guy sitting on a park bench…just sitting…not even reading…just sitting and watching the people walk by.  As we walked past, I noticed a brass plaque on the bench. It said, “In memory of Amelia… my wife and my best friend. Please save me a seat.” I didn’t let go of my Lady’s hand for quite a while.

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

1-    What’s with the drunk ants ?

2-    What burns 150 calories, but drives you nuts in the noggin?

3-    How come I claim I’ve heard all million words in the English language ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

I’ve noticed that the guy in my shaving mirror sometimes looks a little different when I’m on vacation. And I wonder if seeing yourself like that surprises you too. The first morning we were there, he was waiting for me…the guy in my mirror. It was like he was happy to see me, because he had been up taking care of me all night while I was sleeping…and it was a long night. I started thinking about him. Was he on vacation too? Was he a small plane pilot like me ? Did he get to sleep with my Lady like I did ? And if he did, how did she feel about that? Then I started thinking, I’m looking at retirement pretty soon. And he’s got to know that.  And I started wondering if that guy in the mirror is as scared as I am that he may be…suddenly…finished…with the life long daily process of becoming somebody new ? 

The guy in the shaving mirror….How about the other end of his life. The first times. What kind of secret celebration did he enjoy  the first time his mom let him comb his own hair before he went to school. Or how big were the monsters that prowled around in the attic when he was home alone in an empty house for the first time. How did he learn to ride a two wheel bike. Who taught him to swim. What did his first kiss taste like. Who was his first real date. How did he feel when he passed his driver’s license test. How did he talk some girl into having sex for the first time. What did his 21st birthday feel like. When did he do his first radio show. What did he feel like the first time he realized that he really managed to hypnotize somebody. What was it like to hold his first born child in his arms. How about the first time he landed an airplane by himself. How did he take being fired for the first time.

The face in my shaving mirror…sometimes lives a little different life from the one I remember. I often look at my Lady Wonder Wench…I like doing that…and I wonder what she sees in her mirror. In fact there’s a short story about that in the lovin touch personal audio cd, and in the current podcast. It’s called, Mirrors Like You.

She’s told me that her mirror face doesn’t look at all like the face I see…lying on her pillow in the first light of dawn…slowly opening her eyes, and turning the whole world blue…the face I’ve seen for all these years…smiling, and crying, and…eating lobster, and cheering for the N.Y. Mets. I wrote Mirrors Like You a long time ago. Because I had a hunch she didn’t know how beautiful she is. She doesn’t spend a lot of time looking in her mirror. 

Mirrors Like You is in the lovin touch personal audio cd. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast.  Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the lovin touch icon on the home page.

It’s a fascinating thing…seeing your vacation mirror face. You should try it. It’s like meeting somebody who knows you, but you can’t quite remember him. I was thinking about that, when my Lady Wonder Wench and I were walking in the park, and we saw that old guy sitting on a bench…just looking…at the passing people…eyes wide open…but it was obvious that he was seeing a face the rest of us didn’t know about. He was seeing a very familiar face…smiling…and saving a seat next to her…just for him…just like he asked.

Baseball and Bravery

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

We’ll be back from vacation with a new blog and podcast soon. In case you missed what’s going on, will explain. But something happened that I need to tell you about right now. 

My Lady Wonder Wench and I were at a Mets Spring Training game, when the P.A. Announcer asked everyone to “Stand and honor America as 8 year old Raquel (Somebody) sings our national anthem.” I don’t remember her last name. I wish I did. She walked out behind home plate and stood in front of 6,000 people in all her 4 foot something, maybe 90 pounds worth of little girl splendor. She was probably the only person in the stadium wearing a dress. Pink, I think, with a little bow on top.

Lady Wonder Wench and I stood up, put our hot dogs on our seats, and our hands over our hearts. Little Raquel took a deep breath, and started to sing…

“Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” It was a little girl’s voice…but with just a hint that in a few years, it might sound a bit like the late, great, Whitney Houston…but not yet.

“What so proudly we hail, at the twilight’s last gleaming.” I started thinking about how proud my Lady Wonder Wench and I are of our two little girls…grown up women now…with their own kids.

“Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, were so gallantly streaming”… The old guy in the row in front of me had one arm around his wife, and his other hand was holding a very ancient baseball cap over his heart. “U.S. ARMY” it said on the cap…probably circa World War 2. He stood as straight and tall and proud as my dad used to stand.

“And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air”… The old guy began singing along with Raquel…very quietly and a little off key…but singing. And Wonder Wench started singing along with him…singing and crying…and I knew she was thinking about her brother Bob. His simple white cross stands in the sand behind Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod.

“Gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there”…More and more of the people around us started singing…very quietly and a little off key…but singing…together.

“Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave”… All of us were singing now. Very quietly and a little off key…but singing. All of us. All around the field.

“O’er the land of the free”…Even I was singing. Quietly. Off key, I guess. But singing…and thinking about my Uncle Joe the World War 2 B-17 navigator, and my brother Geoff who did a second US Army tour in Vietnam because he knew the experience he got the first time around would save a couple of buddies. He was right. It cost him a chunk of his leg…but he never talks about his Purple Heart and his Bronze Star.

“And the home of the brave.” We all sang it together…quietly…a little off key…. Little Raquel, my Lady Wonder Wench, me with my jacket that says BROOKLYN across the front, and about 6,000 other people who just came to enjoy a baseball game together.

It wasn’t a huge majestic sound. It was really kind of quiet…and a little off key. But it was…all of us…together. I don’t think any of us expected that.

There was an almost embarrassed moment of stunned silence. Then someone in the bleachers cut loose with one of those long, loud, two fingers between the teeth whistles, and the place exploded with applause, and laughs… more than a few tears…and so much pride. So much pride we felt at that moment…together. .

E Pluribus Unum…out of many, ONE. That’s more than just a slogan on our money. Out of many, one. Teamwork. That’s what makes us unique. That’s what makes us so powerful. That’s what makes us able to do things no other nation could possibly accomplish. Listen !

No nation has ever done what we do…on the scale that we’re doing it. No country anywhere near our size, with our power, our wealth, our thrust…has ever been governed by its own people. There have been kings, and dictators, who have successfully ruled over their people. But here…we are our own rulers. We are an experiment in progress. And I think the Fearful Fringe has no idea of how powerful our possibilities are. The only thing that can stop us…the only thing that can steal our unique power is…fear. And those of us who are fearful are making lots of noise, but they’re living on the fringe. And there was proof of that at the same ball game.

A little guy by the name of Tyler threw out the first pitch. Tyler looked like about six years old. He had a little league uniform, a fiercely determined look on his face, and he threw from a full wind up. And he threw a strike. And the crowd gave him a big cheer. Then the announcer mentioned that Tyler was a representative of the Make A Wish Foundation. And the crowd was quiet for a moment, and then they went nuts. You see, The Make A Wish Foundation is devoted to helping to make at least one wish come true for kids…like little Tyler…who are probably going to die. Soon. But little Tyler had only one thing on his mind. He went out there, and threw his strike. He didn’t let the fact that he wasn’t going to throw many more of them stop him. He just rared back and fired his pitch. That’s what made America. That’s what we’re made of. That…and our secret weapon…team work… E Pluribus Unum.

That song we sang together just before the baseball game…the one about the bright stars and the broad stripes, and the perilous night ends with a question to which I think Francis Scott Key really wished he knew the answer all those years ago. “Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”

The answer is yes. Oh yes. For those of us in the ball park that night, singing together, and watching little Tyler throw his strike, those stars will always shine their light…and those broad stripes will wave with pride and power…in every dawn’s early light.

That’s who we are. All of us. Together. The most powerful force on the face of the earth. We can do whatever we set our minds and our hearts on doing. So…maybe we’re looking at doing things that other nations haven’t been able to do. So what ? We have our unique secret source of power. Our own secret weapon. Our teamwork. Our E Pluribus Unum.