Archive for June, 2013

Bradley The Magician

Friday, June 28th, 2013

I’m going to have to ask you to click on some sound bites this time, but you’re going to have a lot of fun with this. Let me introduce you to a friend of mine by the name of Bruce Bradley. Lots of folks know about Bruce, because he was an important radio personality in New York, Boston, and St. Louis. Bruce and I worked together at the station in Boston where I met my Lady Wonder Wench. There’s an air check of my show one night, when Bruce decided to drop in on the current podcast. I think you’ll enjoy the fun. But if you’re not from Boston, there are some things you’re going to need to know about, in order to understand what’s going on.

Here’s the scorecard. Bruce and I played a lot of tricks on each other. I started the Grape Aid Society…GAS…featuring stories like what’s purple, weighs 8 tons and lives in the sea? Moby Grape…of course. So Bruce started promoting elephants. How do you know if there’s an elephant in your refrigerator ? Watch for foot prints in the Jello. You get the idea. I had a venus fly trap. I called it Irving the Second… Superplant. Faster than a speeding clump of crab grass…able to gulp tall garbage dumps in a single chomp. Bruce had Super-mosquito. They had many virtual battles. Arnie Ginsburg was a very important dj on another station. The Blue Bunny was a somewhat…semi sleazy bar at Nantasket Beach, where the station did a lot of broadcasts. And I claimed that the first person to slap a slab of meat between a couple of pieces of bread was not the Earl of Sandwich. It was the Duke of Shrewsbury. Therefore, your lunchtime treat should be called a Shrewsbury. Bruce disagreed.

Ok. Back in time now…way back. It’s about midnight in Boston, at WBZ radio…and I’m minding my own business doing my show, and Bradley comes into the studio to answer some phone calls. Please either click on this url or copy and paste this link into your browser and open it:

That’s my friend Bruce Bradley. He’s not in my bookStaying Happy Healthy And Hot (, because unlike the guys in my book like Imus, and Wolfman Jack and Cousin Brucie, some people don’t know about him. But now you do.

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are at

1-  What can fruit flies now safely forget ?

2-  What does the Marine Bobbit worm have in common with the Lorena Bobbitt woman.

3-  What happened to 16 of the top 20 cities most often hit by hurricanes ?

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

I wanted you to meet my friend Bruce Bradley for a reason. He was brilliant on the air, and he was for a long time a real friend to my Lady Wonder Wench and me. As you may know, I spent a lots of years on the radio. Radio was different then. It was a magic box. We hid our radios under our pillows at night, so we could listen to Louie Louie, and the Dodgers, and you could find out if school was closed tomorrow because of the snow. But there was something more coming out of the box than just the music and the information. There was magic in that little box. And the magic in the box somehow instantly made the voices in the box appear in your mind as complete, living, breathing, people. People who became your friends. They were there with you whenever you needed them. They made you laugh, they told you stories, they made you feel better when you were hurting. The magic in the box turned just voices into real people. Real Friends. Radio was different then.

Bruce and I always wanted to be the magicians in the box. And for a while, we were. The stories a magician tells on stage, are just as important to the magic as the rabbit he pulls out of the hat. And the way he tells the stories turns a simple stick into a magic wand. If you read the story he was telling, it wouldn’t be the same. The magic was in the telling. Please click on A real friend and listen carefully to this story about a woman from the Night Connections personal audio cd. And watch her suddenly appear in your mind.

  What did she look like to you? What was she wearing? How did she feel about her friend? What do you suppose she’ll do with the rest of her life ? See what I mean ? Magic.

A Real Friend is from the Night Connections Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep this blog, or if you’d like a fresh copy, just check out the night connections icon on the home page.

Thank you for making my friend Bruce Bradley feel welcome, here in this magic box where you keep this podcast. I’m pretty sure he knows you did that. Because you see, Bruce died last Saturday. But he was a master magician. And magic works in wondrous ways…forever.


Monday, June 24th, 2013

The most talented radio personality I ever knew just died. I’ve worked with Wolfman Jack, Bruce Morrow, Don Imus…and they are all brilliant guys…mega stars. But  it  was my honor and pleasure to share a studio with Bruce Bradley for a lot of years at WBZ in Boston. He was the best. And he was my friend. There is a little less light left in the magic box tonight.


Friday, June 21st, 2013

I love “Once upon a time”. This one is from my book, Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. Stories rule. Especially true ones like this. Once upon a time… 4:18 AM last night to be specific. I was asleep…in the middle of a dream that seemed to have something to do with Catherine Zeta Jones. I didn’t even notice my Lady Wonder Wench getting out of bed and going for a potty break. But just as Catherine Zeta was smiling seductively and introducing me to her twin sister in my dream…Lady Wonder Wench cut loose with a shriek that must have cracked windows all the way to Greg’s house down the block.

Without even waiting for instructions from my brain, my legs did about a quarter of a mile in 1.2 seconds…because I was lying on my side… but in the process, somehow one foot hit the floor…which, of course, caused me to run right into Mr. Wall. That woke me up enough to realize that Wonder Wench had either seen an asteroid the size of Asia hurtling directly toward us, The New York Mets had blown another pennant race, or there was a mouse loose somewhere within our zip code.

The bathroom door slammed, and a pink streak flashed into the bedroom and up onto a chair. It was pretty obvious that Ms. Wench was considering climbing up to an even safer position on top of her dresser. Now, as a Louie-Louie Generation guy…I’ve been around long enough to know that trying to calm a woman down with words while she is trying to climb up on her dresser is not only not going to work… it’s like trying to put out a kitchen fire with a can of gasoline. It was obviously time for action. I was going to have to go head to jaws with the mouse. Mano-a-mouso. Me against Mickey. And it wasn’t going to be a catch and release…Ms. Wench was calling for a scalp. Mickey had to go down.

So I quickly slipped on my slippers and pulled on some shorts to protect my most vulnerable parts from possible retaliation on the part of the mouse…grabbed my baseball glove from the top of the closet…and went on the attack.

I opened the bathroom door just a crack, so he couldn’t come running out… and up my leg…and there he was…about two inches long… probably weighing in at three or four ounces…trying to hide behind the bathroom scale…two malevolent red eyes gleaming…fangs bared…tail thrashing back and forth in anticipation of the battle. My plan was to distract him by talking to him, while my baseball glove hand sneaked around behind him for the grab.

Things were going well. I was bent down just a couple of feet from the snarling monster…my baseball glove just inches away from a catch… when he suddenly jumped…vertically…right up into the air…a good two feet…right at my face…as if he were on the attack. I did a quick retreat and tripped over the spare toilet paper holder and landed on my fanny. The mouse countered by jumping behind the wicker laundry basket. I slowly and carefully pulled the basket away from the wall. I could see him…lurking… looking up at me.

He was obviously way too fast for me to catch him or to hit him. So this morning, I got some mouse poison and a couple of traps, and I put them around the house. And, sure enough, right after lunch I went down to the computer room…and there he was. Motionless. Sprawled out on the carpet. Dead. I guess I should have felt victorious. But I couldn’t help think of the contrast here. He’s about three ounces by three inches. I’m about five ten and 180 pounds. And he battled me to at least a draw. I couldn’t beat him when it was just Mano-a-Mouso. I had to bring in a cowardly weapon of mouse destruction to do the job.

I know…I didn’t have much choice…if I was going to pry my Lady Wonder Wench off the dresser, I had to go mano a mouso. But I kept thinking about when I was a kid…how much fun I had with the story about “hickory dickory dock… The mouse ran up the clock”…and how I always told our kids the story about “the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”…and a long time ago…television sets had rabbit ears…but they also had those mouse ears that Annette Funicello wore on her head… and everybody sang…M I C…See you again tomorrow…K E Y…Why? because we like you…M – O – U – S – E. Good night, Mr. Mouse. You did good. You didn’t beat me, but I didn’t beat you either. Your mamma would be proud. You did good.

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

1- At which hour of the day do people laugh the least?

2- Why should you pour leftover cola down your toilet?

3- How could an ordinary smart guy have stopped King Kong?


3- Right – Mickey Mouse Himself.

2- Right – Road Runner.

1- Right – Elmer Fudd.

0- Right – Boris/Natasha

I have a favor to ask of you. If you like this blog and or the PodCast that goes with it, I’d appreciate it if you’d tell a couple of friends, and ask them to pass it along. Nothing like getting a good group of people together…all the time… when you’re doing a “Once upon a time.” Please let me know when you do this at because I’d like to thank you for your help.

Now here’s the end of the Mano a Mouse-o story. When I found the little guy…dead…in the basement, I was about to toss the corpus delecti into the trash. But my Lady Wonder Wench said, “No. Let’s bury him out of respect for the good fight he put up.” So we did.

That’s the kind of thing I love about my Lady.


Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Does the Lad sound like a doting great-grandfather when he brags on Cecelia?

 Not to worry, he’s not about to let her fly his plane … at least not yet.  But I wouldn’t take any bets against that little girl.  The summer breeze does something to the Lad’s head … he gets all loosy goosy and enjoys the weather so much that pretty girls can get almost anything from him.


The Great Circle Spins

Friday, June 14th, 2013

I’m taking a couple of weeks off to do some doctor things, and I thought  I’d take the opportunity to tell you about some Summertime things. This week’s podcast is about a summer rain. But right here, I want to tell you about my favorite little kid. 

Little Cecelia loves airplanes. I took her for a flight in my little four seat Piper while she was here last Summer, and I explained about the ailerons, and the rudder…and she understood. She’s smart. She not only understood, but evidently she gave a lecture on the subject to her day care class…complete with an “oh wow.” Our daughter Kris says Cecelia is quite convinced she can fly the airliner next time they come to visit.

There’s something genuinely magical about climbing into an airplane, and lifting off into the sky. A pilot-poet once said it was like… ”Reaching out to touch the face of God.” He was a nineteen year old kid…no he was a nineteen year old hero…who gave his life when his Royal Air Force Spitfire was shot down in the battle of Britan. It was World War 2. The RAF was mercilessly out numbered by Hitler’s Luftwaffe. Talk about flying with your back to the wall. Winston Churchill very famously said about that battle…”Never in history have so many owed so much to so few.” I’ve never had the honor of flying into battle for my country. But I’ve had the honor of flying…by myself…at night. And I’ve had the honor and joy of flying with my Lady Wonder Wench in our little airplane…just before Christmas. 

Christmas is the story of a little kid. I sometimes wonder what it must have been like to watch Christ as an infant…find his fingers. And learn to walk…and talk…like little Cecelia…and every little kid. Including you. And me. And my Lady Wonder Wench. There’s a very short story about flying with my Lady Wonder Wench on the night before Christmas in my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot

Christmas and Summertime are the two engines that make the great circle spin for me. They teach such lessons. I was a lifeguard at Coney Island in Brooklyn when I was a kid. Bay 22. For the last few years I thought it might be lots of fun to go back there and swim where I used to walk the beach like I owned the place…and watched the pretty girls…and the fireworks…and wolfed down the pizzas and the hot dogs, and the clams on the boardwalk. The Lesson? I should have done it while the chance of doing it was there. Hurricane Sandy took that opportunity away. As “Big Louie” says in my book, “While you still have some moving parts left, for cryin’ out loud…MOVE ‘EM.”

I will never forget the lessons in a note about Summertime that came in from a proud podcast participant by the name of Dave a year ago. It went like this:

On summer evenings when I was a kid, lightning bugs were as symbolic of the season as Phil Rizzuto calling Yankee games on scratchy Sears transistor radios or Sabrett dogs from the truck near the old DeWitt theater.

We all vied to be the first to see the first lightning bug flash of the evening. It was somehow important, although I don’t know why. Firsts were, that was the way of it.

They were large and flew so slowly; easy to see and watch as they cruised silently in the humid city air. We seldom killed them, as we did mosquitoes; they were harmless, almost totemic symbols of summer. If one landed on your neck or shoulder and, thinking it a wasp or some such horror, you did smash it, you were left with a glowing streak on your fingers, and felt sad.

As I grew up and went to college, grad school and beyond, I sort of forgot about lightning bugs. For years I don’t remember seeing them at all on hot evenings. I have even wondered if they suffered a population crash from all the pesticides we sprayed around in the Sixties.

In 1986 I was driving with my first wife back north from her parents home in far southern New Jersey. We drove in the typical dense, angry silence that characterized the last year of our marriage. The car had no A/C so the windows had to be open, the wind noise making conversation thankfully impractical.

The roads down there are often unlit, and it was fully dark. The tension in the car, the heat, the fog all made the long drive depressing and spooky. As we crossed a bridge over Rancocas creek, I looked out into the darkness along the road and was entranced. The marshy banks of the creek seemed to be lined with Christmas trees. Hundreds, thousands of fireflys – no, lightning bugs – perched on the branches, hovered over the marsh grass, flitted over the black waters of the creek.

I pulled over, ignoring my wife’s complaints, and stared out the window into the hot night, staring at the countless winking cold lights, luciferase greenly oxidizing luciferin in the tails of a million ancient beetles along a dank South Jersey creek bed, all for me. For just a minute, I was no longer an unhappy, soon-to-be-single-again grad student with no money and little hope.

It was summer and I was the first to see the lightning bugs.”

Christmas and Summertime. The two engines that make the great circle spin.

Little Cecelia wanted her ears pierced for her birthday last year. She was three. Kris said “maybe when you get a little older.” Cecelia said, “You mean like when I’m four?” Any Louie-Louie Generation lad or lady knows how persistent a 3 year old can be, so Cecelia now has both ears pierced.” I said did it hurt ?” She said, “Of course Poppa. But I didn’t cry.” I said, “How come you didn’t cry?” She said “Because mommy said if I cry, I can’t get my ears pierced.” I just said…”Oh wow.” And we both clapped our hands and laughed. And went outside to wink at Neil Armstrong’s full moon. 

Cecelia winked with both eyes. Which was also a quick little lesson. If you’ve ever seen a little kid you love do that…you’ve learned that it’s one of those things that tend to make it kind of hard to keep your own eyes from geting a little wet.


Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Summertime is the second best time of the year … sorry, Louie Louie Lad of mine, but when Fall touches all those little icy fingers around the edges of what Summer created and then takes the time to change tree and flower clothes into softer hues … now THAT is the best …

Dickie Quickie

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Thanks for asking. Lots of you did.  The first cataract cutting went fine. I’m sending the second eye in for a nose job in a couple of weeks. This week’s podcast is for people who love sunshine, sand, ocean, fun rides, do-wop memories, and feeling free.

Wonder Wench Writes

Monday, June 10th, 2013

All right, all you Lads and Lasses, he is home and in pretty good shape for a guy who really doesn’t deal well with doctors or hospitals … the only thing that actually hurts, I would say, is his pride because he cannot drive and he has to rely on … ME!


The chief nurse said he’s fine, the eye should be great … which means, of course, that he can watch pretty girls flow by … and once he gets used to it, I expect him to be shrugging his shoulders and saying, “No big deal.”


Ever notice, Lasses, that Lads have a tendency to milk their situation for all it’s worth?  He is currently (I think) taking a nap, which the nurse said he should and of course HE said he didn’t need to … oh well …


I truly do hate it when he isn’t all right …

Another Good Time Summer Time

Friday, June 7th, 2013

I’m taking a couple of weeks off from sitting in my big, manly, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room. I have to do some doctor stuff. This week’s podcast is about how Summertime makes me feel like a kid. But let me tell you about what happened to another kid…my favorite kid…last Summer, when she was three years old.


Her name is Cecilia. She’s the youngest member of our family, and she had to bring our daughter Kris along when she came to visit us last year because the airlines don’t let three year olds fly alone. Cecelia is that kind of three year old. In my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, I told you how Cecilia, our daughter Kris, my Lady Wonder Wench and I did what Neil Armstrong’s family wanted all of us to do on the nights of the full moon…go outside in Neil’s honor, and wink at the moon.


But Cecelia is her own little person. She told me last week, “Poppa, I am now FOUR years old. When can I get my ears pierced.”  When I referred that question to our daughter Kris, Cecelia said, “I already asked her. Oh well. I guess shit happens poppa.”


Cecilia lives near a small airport, and Kris has taken her to see the small planes take off and land many times, much to Cecilia’s delight. So she was really looking forward to flying in a big plane to see us. And she wasn’t disappointed.


Kris told us that Cecelia had a window seat in the airliner. And when the big engines powered that huge, silver, flying beast down the runway, and up into the clouds, a little three year old voice said, “Oh wow.” There was an even bigger “Oh wow” as the clouds swallowed the earth and everything else outside her window…even those big silver wings. If you’re a member of the Louie-Louie Generation, I know you’ll appreciate that sound…an amazed three year old you love…saying “oh wow.” But then…when that giant 737 broke through the dark grey clouds… and the sun and sparkling blue sky started dancing on top …all she could say was…”Oh. Oh”…then she clapped her hands and laughed…as if she were applauding for a miracle. And in a way…she was.

Don’t you love it when a little kid you love, discovers some new miracle ? Like when she finds her own fingers. I’ve seen that 13 times…including Cecelia. It’s always amazing. It almost makes you remember when you had that experience yourself…all those years ago. Finding your own fingers. Then figuring out that there are other fingers out there…much bigger ones than yours. And it feels nice to curl your fingers around those bigger ones. Then you learn that those big fingers belong to someone who has a soft voice, and does a funny thing with his face…it’s called a smile. You learn trust, because you find out that you can hold on to the fingers on that hand, to help you use your legs to walk…that hand makes you feel so secure. You know you’ve got to let go of that hand and walk by yourself…so you do…you take a few steps…you wobble and you fall down. So you do it again…it seems like forever till you get it right…you let go, you take a few steps…you wobble…but this time you don’t fall down and another hand you can trust catches your hand.


Eventually your hand gets big enough to make a fist, and hold a pencil…then a handle bar…and eventually a steering wheel. You learn what a solid feeling you get when you shake hands with a friend…and the amazing feeling of holding hands with somebody beautiful…warm hands in front of a fireplace on a cold winter night…tingling fingertips in secret places…fingertips to face…finger tips around lips…then sometimes, the feeling of little fingers around your fingertips…and the great circle starts again.


The circle turns from what was, to what is now, and and gives us hints of what may be yet to come. In this week’s podcast you’ll hear how I learned an outstanding lesson about women when I was a young lifeguard at Coney Island in Brooklyn. And there’s a story from the lovin touch Personal Audio CD about another lesson I learned at a beach a number of years later. It’s the simple lesson at the center of my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. ( At Amazon )


Little Cecelia seems to understand very well, that you may as well get comfortable being your own person, because everybody else is taken.


Friday, June 7th, 2013

Jungle Jim” strikes again, with this story from a friend of his:

When I was a child in the 1950’s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice: she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney’s Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!

Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serviette ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material might become transparent in water.”

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

You’d better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time. Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a stylish bathing suit!