Archive for November, 2016

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Today’s podcast has a Christmas story from me. PLEASE SEND YOURS TO  DICK@DICKSUMMER.COM Here’s one from Proud Podcast Person “John L:”


  1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

    2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

    3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

    4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

    5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

    6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

    7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

    8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

    9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

    10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

  2. keep-dreaming

Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Still looking for your favorite Christmas, Hanakkah, Solstice, Kwanza stories. Please send them to me at A Christmas Calorie Count came pouring in just now from Proud Podcast Person Texas Ty It will be in our next podcast. Texas Ty says here are the Christmas Cookie Statistics:

  1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.
  2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.
  3. If a friend comes over while you’re making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend’s first cookie is calories free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone; and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.
  4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
  5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.
  6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five – one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!
  7. Cookies eaten while watching “Miracle on 34th Street” have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one’s personal fuel.
  8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
  9. Any cookies consumed from someone else’s plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!
  10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories.

These are the statistics. So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies – we only get them this time of the year.


Dick Summer Connection

Monday, November 28th, 2016

If you haven’t yet sent a memory about Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice or Kwanza, please do it now. My address is Here’s Bill’s story from today’s podcast:

Bill Says,  As a joke, my brother Mike used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning, although Mike’s kids stockings were always full, his poor panty hose never was. One year, I decided to make his Christmas wish come true. I put on a pair of sunglasses, and slinked into the neighborhood “Adult bookstore.” I decided to buy a standard, uncomplicated inflatable lady, that could also substitute as a fake passenger in my car, so I could use the car pool lane during the rush hour. I settled for a doll called “Loveable Lara.” On Christmas Eve, with the help of a bicycle pump, Lara came to life. My sister in law was in on the plan, and let me in during the wee morning hours. I filled Mike’s dangling panty hose with Lara’s legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies, and drank a glass of milk left out on a nearby table. Mike called me in the morning to tell me that Santa had finally made his wish come true, and to accuse me of having something to do with it. He said the only problem with Lara, was that she confused the dog, who kept coming over, looking at the pantyhose  bark, walk away, and come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Lara should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for dinner. My Grandmother noticed Lara as soon as she walked in the door, and said, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” My brother explained that it was just a doll. “WHERE ARE HER CLOTHES ? WHY DOESN’T SHE HAVE ANY TEETH? I considered answering her questions, but I didn’t want to have to spend Christmas riding in the back of an ambulance, saying “Hang on Grandma, hang on.” My Grandfather, a great guy with bad eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey Bill, who’s the naked lady by the fireplace ?” I told him she was Mike’s friend. A few minutes later, I noticed him over by the fireplace, flirting with Lara. It was then that I realized that this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Lara made a noise like you often hear from a bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the fireplace, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the TV. The cat screamed, I passed some cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran over, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. Mike fell off his chair. Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. Later we discovered that Lara had suffered a puncture from a hot ember on the back of her left leg. Fortunately, with the aid of a wonder drug called Duct tape, we restored her to perfect health, so she can be with us to celebrate New Year’s Eve.


Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

I am sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly black leather poppa chair in my living room, and I want to thank you for sending your Christmas/Hanakah/Solstice/Quanza memories. If you haven’t done that yet, please do. My address is I’m not sure  when the story in today’s podcast from Proud Podcast Participant Bill came in, but hey…It works. In fact, by the time you get to the end of it, you may notice your egg-nog squirting out of your nose. What better way to celebrate Christmas than a few moments with “Lovable Lara?”


Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

We’re doing our traditional Christmas story swap. Mine is in today’s podcast. Here’s yours from Proud Podcast Person Jim D.

Friends, With the Holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving. As you may know some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a “social session” out with friends. Well, two days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails followed by some rather nice red wine. Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit. That’s when I did something that I’ve never done before, I took a cab home. Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block, but since it was a cab they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident. This was a real surprise as I had never driven a cab before, I don’t know where I got it and now that it’s in my garage I don’t know what to do with it. Happy Holidays!



Dick Summer Connection

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Thank you for sending your Christmas stories to Some Christmas stories are nicer than others. Some are mostly lessons. Here’s one from Proud Podcast Person Dan Hughes:

1967. I worked for the Indianapolis Star and News when I was home from college. Sometimes I was sent out to collect money on routes for carriers who were on vacation or sick. One Christmas vacation I was collecting a where the carrier had just quit, and an elderly man came to the door. “Collect for the News, forty cents,” I said. He handed me a quarter, dime, and nickel.I gave him is ticket and thanked him, and he said, “Just a minute, sonny!” He slowly pulled his wallet out, opened it, and with shaky hands removed a dollar bill and handed it to me. “Merry Christmas, Sonny!” he said. Before I could say “Thank You”, his wife, from the other side of the room, hissed “Harry! That’s not our REGULAR paperboy!” Quick as lightning, Harry snatched that dollar out of my hand, gave me a curt “Sorry!” and slammed the door. Hated to lose the dollar, but I guess having the story is worth it. Best, —Dan


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Happy Big Bird Day. Here’s a Thanksgiving Story from Proud Podcast Person Betsy K. Hi Dick, I know you’re wanting Christmas stories but let’s face it, we’re not past Thanksgiving yet, so thought I’d send a little story about Thanksgiving, not any particular one but rather a theme that ran throughout every one of our family Thanksgivings.  My mom tried endlessly every year to cook a tasty turkey, but every year it ended up being mostly raw, so we’d eat around the edges and keep cooking the turkey all week. When my dad became critically ill at age 77 he jokingly said that one good thing about dying was that he’d never have to eat another raw turkey. After my dad died, Mom didn’t attempt to cook another turkey although she did at times serve a turkey breast. Many years later, after moving to Colorado, off she went to the grocery one day only to find a 20 pound turkey that was such a good price she simply could not resist buying it. After all, this was a woman who lived through the Great Depression and at one time had lived in a tent with her family. I still remember the scene, this woman now in her mid 70’s, lugging that oversized turkey through the house. I thought, “here we go again.” Sure enough, another raw turkey, and this one so big she must have messed with that thing for two weeks. After all was said and done, she put the wishbone on the bay window sill to remind herself to never buy another damn turkey! It sat there for a good 10 years until at age 85 or so, when she knew she would never again be tempted to buy or cook another turkey, she threw it away.


Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

 I’ve been asking you to send your favorite holiday memories to Here is one of the best I’ve ever received. It’s from Proud Podcast Person John Gfroerer: 

           Thanksgiving, 1970.  It was the last time my family all gathered at our home in Tonawanda, New York for the holiday.  Just twenty years old, I had moved to Washington, DC that September.  The lust for independence from parental control was my guide and I was making sure there would be no going back.  I was on my own, I had a job I loved, my wings had unfurled and I was discovering I really could fly.  Being absent for Thanksgiving was going to be the first test for the strength of those wings.      In Washington I was on the staff for a citizen action organization.  The week before Thanksgiving we had worked with Senator Gene McCarthy of Minnesota to hold a two day Senate hearing on welfare reform. It had been an intense couple weeks leading up to the hearing.  And when it was all over I experienced my first post action “what now” moment.  Adding to the emotion was an internal drama where I worked. The day after the hearing ended there was a staff purge and four people were let go.  Having survived gave me a new measure of confidence.  I felt valued.  I felt accepted and wanted.  My wings began to feel secure.  There would be no going back, I was going to make it on my own.    Along with that realization, it suddenly felt alright to go back for a visit. I didn’t tell the family in Tonawanda that there had been a change of mind and I was coming after all.  A friend offered a ride from Washington to Syracuse the day before Thanksgiving.  From there I hitchhiked on the New York State Throughway.  I remember getting picked up fairly quickly near the toll booths where Interstate 81 intersects.  He wasn’t going all the way to Buffalo, but wanted to make sure I made it home.  Using the CB radio he put out the word for anyone “going to the nickel city” that had room for a rider.  A truck driver responded. In the darkness somewhere near Rochester we rendezvoused with an eighteen wheeler.  I can still reach back and touch the moment, see that truck slow down to pick me up, feel myself jump up into the seat and welcomed by the driver.  Happy Thanksgiving was everywhere and with everyone.  The trucker got me close, but it took another car or two to complete the journey.  I walked the last block to my parent’s house, drinking in the significance that my home was no longer this street.  I still had a bedroom there, but I knew as the house came into view that I would never live there again.  I decided to knock on the front door to get the full effect of my separation and my mother’s surprise.  There was a moment of disbelief, then she hugged me and the holiday began.  It was Thanksgiving, the family was gathering, even me. I remember very little else about that Thanksgiving.  It was the travel, the anticipation, the surprise, the sense of having established roots in another place–they all combined and fixed the moment in my memory forever.  I’m sure we had turkey and Waldorf salad and pumpkin pie and ate on my Mother’s special china using the silver that only came out for holidays.  Because that is what we always did on Thanksgiving.  Growing up there I thought it would be that way forever.  Then I grew up a little more, and it never was again.  Just like that, as easy as making a wish on a wishbone, past and future separated and went their own ways. Thanksgiving will always be a time to give thanks for the richness and blessings in our life.  But there is something else as well.  There is the possibility to go back for another touch of what once felt like forever.  Just knowing that it is there and possible and waiting on a certain Thursday of every November of every year is like having a hand to hold forever.            You grow up and move away and build your own nest for your own children to jump out of and come home too.  Thanksgiving weekend they clog the roads and airports and bus stations to affirm one more time that there is a place called home.


Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

As you can see by this picture there are all kinds of, “One horse open sleighs.” And in today’s podcast, there are all kinds of lessons we can learn from the Christmas music. I’ve been asking for your favorite Christmas memories, and here’s a beauty from Proud Podcast Person Tom (Sgt.) Preston:

My father was sick when I got out of the Army. His illness was why I had been stationed thirty miles from home for my last year. That Father’s Day, my sister and I bought him a room air conditioner to help him breathe during the hot, humid summer. Father’s Day was just before I was discharged, I didn’t have the money to pay half, so I bargained with my sister. She paid 80 percent of the price. I said I would give her enough money to make up the balance of my share before she went back to college. When the time came, I renegotiated the deal. I told her she
could have the money I promised her, or if she waited until Christmas, I’d give her a TV instead. The TV cost more than twice as much as I owed her. She waited. My dad, the retired cop, was a school bus driver. But when school opened, he was too sick to work. He was 61 years old, and he was dying. He was basically bedridden so I bought a TV set he could watch in his room, where the air conditioner was running to help him breathe. He did die, in October, four days after his 62nd birthday. I didn’t want to, nor did I, forget my dad, but I changed a lot of things so remembering him, and being without him wouldn’t be quite as painful. Among them I bought a new car, repainted the inside of our house, changing the color of every room, and instead of Christmas dinner at home, I took my mother, my sister, and my girlfriend to dinner in a fancy restaurant on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, I went to my girlfriend’s family home, got down on one knee in her living room and asked her to marry me. I’m a traditionalist, and anyway, getting back up is the hard part. She said yes. Since the proposal happened at her family home, they knew about it right away. She and I went to midnight mass where she held her diamond ring up to the lights to watch it sparkle, and I enjoyed watching her sparkle. I’d say I enjoyed her reaction as much or more than anything else I’ve
enjoyed, ever. We shared our good news with a few friends we saw at mass, but I didn’t tell my mom and my sister until the big Christmas Dinner. My father’s slightly used TV became the one I promised my sister. I’m
not sure if it was because the TV was used, but I also bought her a record player. Added to the stuff she normally carried back and forth to college in Chicago, she couldn’t carry a TV, and a record player too. So, I put her, her luggage, and her Christmas presents in my new, little car, picked up my newly minted fiancé and all three of us drove off to the windy city. From October to December, the end of my Dad’s life to the beginning of my lifelong commitment to my wife, I don’t think I’ve ever gone through more changes in less time before or since. But all of that is why it remains my most memorable Christmas.


Dick Summer Connection

Monday, November 21st, 2016

You’ve got to be careful about what the Christmas music is telling you. Today’s podcast reveals the secret of why the Herald Angels get all the attention at this time of year. But it cautions you about taking too literally what the songs are promoting. Be especially careful about donning your gay apparel.