Archive for November, 2016

Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

There’s Christmas music everywhere. Comments about that in today’s podcast.  Must be near Black Friday. Tough on folks who work in retail.


Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Every year I ask you to send me your favorite memory about the winter holiday that has the biggest impact on your life. For me, that’s Christmas. Today’s Podcast features a note from Proud Podcast Person Betsy K. It’ll make you think. And maybe make you cry…a little. My Email address is


Dick Summer Connection

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Today is T.G.I.F, so it’s time for Dick’s Details from today’s podcast. Dick’s Details is a bunch of totally unimportant stuff for you to stuff in one ear, so you can squeeze the important stuff that’s going ho ho ho holy cow out the other ear, and you can jingle your bells with the best of them. The smart guys in the white lab coats tell us that women blink twice as much as men. Probably because they can’t believe what they see us doing. If the answer is “Remember algebra homework” what is the question? Nobody thinks outside the box in Quincy Florida, because Quincy Florida is the kitty litter capitol of the world. Do not want to think outside the box there. More smart guys in white lab coats tell us that females hear better than males at every age. That’s so they can tell their lady friends that we can’t ever hear them telling us to take out the trash. And “not tonight dear, I have a headache.” It’s a defence mechanism. If the answer is “Remember algebra homework” the question is “How can you stop wishing you were young again.” One question I often ask myself is, “When is that old enough to know better thing supposed to kick in.” Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind. A little housekeeping here. If you like these podcasts, or my spoken word CDs at www.dick, or my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, available at please tell a couple of friends, because they might like them too, and you’ll be doing me a favor. Thank you.


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Today’s podcast is about “baggage.” People baggage. Some people claim experiences and memories are baggage. I guess you can say that memories are baggage, but only if you remember how helpless you felt the last time an airline lost your suitcases. Christmas is good music, good food, and if you’re lucky good, happy people around you. But maybe you’re not lucky this year. Even if your Christmas memories hurt, it’s coming. Maybe it will help if you remember what Big Louie, the head guy of the Louie Louie Generation always says, “You might as well let a smile be your umbrella, because you’re going to get soaked anyway.” Come on…send me your Christmas, Hannakuh, Solstice, or Kwanza memories. Happy or sad. The address is trust-me-im-a-pilot

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Today’s podcast is the second in this year’s Christmas File. It’s called “An Italian Christmas” It was sent by Proud Podcast Participant– Bill Ervolino last year. WARNING – This may cause the egg nog to come squirting out your nose. Bill says, I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parent’s house on Christmas Eve. I also thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see how an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit if off like partridges and pear trees. So I was wrong. Sue me.  I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. “I know these family things can be a little weird,” I told her, “but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve. “ “Sounds fine to me,” Karen says. I had only known my mother for 31 years when I told her I’d be bringing Karen home with me. “She’s a very nice girl and she’s really looking forward to meeting all of you.” “Sounds fine to me,” my mother says. And that was that. Two telephone calls. Two sounds fine to me-s. What more could I want? I should point out that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season – an Italian woman’s reason d’etre. She cleans, she cooks, she bakes, she orchestrates every minute of the night. I should also point out that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it. She doesn’t clean. She doesn’t cook. She doesn’t bake. And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being. I brought her any way.

7 P.M. We arrive. Karen and I walk in and putter around for half an hour waiting for the other guests to show up. During that half hour, my mother grills Karen like a cheeseburger and cannily determines that Karen does not clean, cook, or bake. My father is equally as observant. He pulls me into the living room and notes, “She has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.” 7:30 P.M. Others arrive. Uncle Ziti walks in with my Aunt Mafalde, assorted kids, assorted gifts. We sit around the dining room table for antipasto, a symmetrically composed platter of lettuce, roasted peppers, black olives, salami, prosciutto, provolone, and anchovies. When I offer to make Karen’s plate she says, “Thank you, but none of those things, ok?” She point to the anchovies. “You don’t like anchovies?” I ask. “I don’t like fish,” Karen announces, as 67 other varieties of fish are baking, broiling and simmering in the next room. My mother makes the sign of the cross and things are getting uncomfortable. Aunt Mafalde asks Karen what her family eats on Christmas Eve. Karen says, “Knockwurst.” My father who is still staring in a daze at Karen’s chest temporarily snaps out of it to murmur, “Knockers?” My mother kicks him so hard he gets a blood clot. None of this is turning out the way I hoped.

8:00 P.M. Second course. The spaghetti and crab sauce is on the way to the table. Karen declines the crab sauce and says she’ll make her own with butter and ketchup. My mother asks me to join her in the kitchen. I take my Merry Christmas napkin from my lap, place it on the Merry Christmas tablecloth and walk into the kitchen. “I don’t want to start any trouble,” my mother says calmly, clutching a bottle of ketchup in her hands. “But if she pours this on my pasta, I’m going to throw acid in her face.” “Come on,” I tell her. “It’s Christmas. Let her eat what she wants.” My mother considers the situation, and then nods. As I turn to walk back into the dining room, my mother grabs my shoulder. “Tell me the truth,” she says, “are you serious with this tramp?” “She’s not a tramp,” I reply. “And I’ve only known her for three weeks.” “We’ll it’s your life,” she tells me,”But if you marry her, she’ll poison you.”

8:30 P.M. More fish. My stomach is knotted like one of those macramé plant hangers that are always three times larger than the plants they hold. All the women get up to clear away the spaghetti dishes, except for Karen, who instead lights a cigarette. “Why don’t you give them a little hand”? I politely suggest. Karen makes a face and walks into the kitchen carrying three forks. “Dear, you don’t have to do that,” my mother tells her, smiling painfully. “Oh, ok,” Karen says, putting the forks on the sink. As she re-enters the dining room, a wine glass flies over her head, and smashes against the wall. From the kitchen my mother says, “whoops.” I vaguely remember that line form Torch Song Trilogy. “Whoops?” No. “Whoops is when you fall down an elevator shaft.” More fish comes out. After some goading, Karen tries a piece of scungilli, which she describes as, “slimy, like worms,” My mother winces, bite her hand and pounds her chest like one of those old women you always see in the sixth row of a funeral home. Aunt Mafalde does the same. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, bites her hand and pounds her chest. My Uncle Ziti winces, and my Father’s teeth fall out and chew a six inch gash in the table cloth.

10:00 P.M. Coffee, dessert. Espresso all around. A little anisette. A curl of lemon peel. When Karen asks for milk, my mother finally slaps her on the face with cannoli. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, picks up cannoli and slaps my mother with it. “This is fun,” Karen says.

Fun? No, fun is when you fall down an elevator shaft. But amazingly, everyone is laughing and smiling, and filled with good cheer – even my mother, who grabs me by the shoulder, laughs and says, “Get that bitch out of my house.”

Sounds fine to me.


Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

We’re getting a quick start on Christmas with today’s podcast. This is a note just in from Proud Podcast Person Steve. It’s one I’ll never forget. Please send me your thoughts on Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Quanza, or whatever Winter Feast you treasure. My address is

Greetings from one of the “group” back in ’63-’64 era. I just listened to your podcast tonight and heard you ask for Christmas memories. Thought I’d send this one along to you, it’s about a Christmas I spent in Chu Lai, Viet Nam back in 1967. I was 21 years of age at the time, one of the old men on the perimeter. The rest of us were about 18-20. It was December 1967 in Chu Lai, a Marine Corps airfield built upon the brilliant white sand along the shore line of South Viet Nam. I was assigned to a two man bunker on the south perimeter of the base. We were hole number Five in a sector consisting of fourteen bunkers. Perimeter security was on a fifty percent alert, with one man sleeping while the other kept watch out over the white, snow-like sands. Trees that looked like evergreens grew outside the wire. It was a quiet, lonesome vigil, especially on Christmas Eve.

Shortly before midnight the field phone in the bunker gave out with the “all holes” ring – one long subdued but nerve-jangling sound which usually meant serious trouble. I picked it up and signed in on the net. As soon as all fourteen of us had acknowledged the call, we heard a few voices start singing “Silent Night”. I listened for a while, then realized that I was having a little trouble seeing out over the landscape properly. My eyes were watering somewhat – must have gotten some sand blown into them. I handed the phone to Corporal Houston, the other Marine in the hole, who had awakened when the phone rang. “Here, it’s for you” I told him. He must have gotten some sand in his eyes too, because soon they were watering as he sang along in a hushed tone. Christmas Eve of 1967 was a very memorable one.

May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thanks for a lot of wonderful memories from the early ’60s when I listened to you on WBZ.

Semper Fi,



Dick Summer Connection

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Today’s podcast is about getting an early start on Santa stuff…looking over some of the notes you wrote to me about Christmas.  I read them all, and run some of them in the podcasts and blogs. Then I pack them away for the next year. Some of them make me wonder what happened to the people who sent them. Here’s one I’ve wondered about all year. It’s from proud podcast person Betsy K. It says, “We only spent one Christmas together. He gave me a dozen yellow roses and a card that read (in part): I have never felt so close, so comfortable, and so warm around anyone else but you. It has been those mornings when I woke up before you, next to you, and looked over to see you peacefully sleeping. So I turned my head so I could watch you breathing and think to myself how someone as beautiful, intelligent, and funny could end up lying next to me. I was a junior in college, and he was the man I was convinced I would marry — not right then, but one day. Because isn’t that what we do? We imagine a future even before the present has turned into the past. He came over to my parents’ house and we sat by the Christmas tree and exchanged gifts. I gave him a flannel shirt and he gave me a bracelet. We ate strawberries and whipped cream and pretended we were older than we were. We dreamed about having children one day. We gave them names. We talked about how we would do Santa when we were parents. A few months later we broke up, but we came back to one another again and again. We never had a typical linear relationship. You know: meet, fall in love, break up, move on. What we had was of the on-and-off-again variety, a tug-a-war of love. He pushed; I tripped over the line. I wrote; he wrote back. He called; I came running. We fell out of each other sometimes as quickly as we fell back in, over and over, sometimes with long silences in between. It lasted until my late 20s, but never during the holidays (perhaps that should have been a sign to me, even then, that we were never as serious as I wanted us to be). We never shared another Christmas. Instead, eight years later, I found myself driving by his condo one evening in early December. He lived on the third floor, a place I had come to know well the year prior during a summer of “on.” Through the long rectangular windows, I saw the white lights of a Christmas tree sparkling against the glass. And I knew, in my heart, he had found someone else. Single guys don’t put up Christmas trees, I thought. I knew whatever it was — whoever she was — it was special. She was special. She was someone to buy a Christmas tree with. She was eggnog and cookies, tinsel and ornaments, “Winter Wonderland” by the fire — all the traditions we had not had the chance to establish. Sometimes, a great love doesn’t have to last forever. Sometimes, a love becomes great because it never makes it to the routine… breakfast and coffee and you-drop-off-one-kid-while-I-drop-off-the-other…dinner and dishes; bills and bath times; quiet glances across the room that don’t need words or whispers. The memories that matter, the long haul of life that keeps coming back day after day, year after year. The love that shows up. The love that stays. The love that now watches in awe with me each Christmas morning as my two sons open presents under a glow of white lights — lights that no longer remind me of him.”

Such a well thought out, and well written noten Betsy K. The reason I’ve thought about it all year is that I can’t stop wondering If the Christmas lights no longer remind you of that guy from all that time ago…what did remind you of him? Actually…did you ever really forget him…or has he been in your mind for all that time…hiding away in some dark corner…making plans for a come back. Betsy, if you’re listening, please drop me a note and let me know how things are going. My address is dick at dicksummer dot com. While I’m at it, I’d really appreciate it if everybody listening would send me your thoughts and feelings about the holidays…Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice…whatever holidays you celebrate. My address is


Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Today’s podcast asks the burning question: “How come election day isn’t a holiday, and Columbus day is.”Every time you think things can’t get any worse, another election day pops up. You have to vote on election day, and that can take a while. Voting is a privilege and your civic duty. That deserves a day off. We don’t get it. We get Columbus day off. Let’s take a look at that. Columbus was a confused Italian guy, who tried to sail to Japan in some Spanish ships, but he bumped into an island in the South Atlantic called Hispanola on the way, so naturally we give him credit for discovering America. So we get a day off to remember him. Huh? The reason election day is on a Tuesday has something to do with the way farmers used to bring their crops to market. Obviously times have changed, but learning new ways comes hard and slow. As this past election proves, the road to enlightenment is long and difficult. And that’s why you should pack your baggage carefully before you start off on the trip. Pack your baggage carefully. Add a sandwich, your tooth brush, some asprin, and a change of underwear for the trip. Because you never know what you’ll run into along the way.



Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Today’s podcast claims that “Huh?” is the most under used word used in our language. It’s a word that upsets lots of important people. The “forces for good in the community” for example. And religious leaders, maiden aunts and self anointed self righteous “political protectors of family values.” They pretty frequently talk as if the Lord created us from the waist up, and the devil created everything from the waist down. My personal answer to that has always been, “Huh?” Having barely survived the last election season, when there seemed to be a great deal of confusion about the Lord’s intentions I’d suggest we start using that word “Huh?” a lot more often. It’ll help us double check instead of just starting another fight.


Dick Summer Connection

Friday, November 11th, 2016

It’s T.G.I.F. Which means it’s time for Dick’s Details from today’s podcast. Dick’s Details is a bunch of totally un-important stuff for you to stuff in one ear, so you can squeeze the important stuff that you’ve gotta double check out the other ear, and you can start saying well instead of “huh?” If you’re dyslexic, you see things backwards. So if you are a dyslexic atheist you don’t believe in Dog. If the answer is “All the jelly has been sucked out of the jelly donuts” what is the question? I’ll tell you in a minute. I just found out that Henry Ford grew marijuana. He claimed he was hoping to make a new kind of plastic out of it. Riiiggght. The smart guys in the white lab coats tell us that unlike a human’s eye, birds eyes keep everything in focus all the time. Thereby improving their aim every time you wash and wax your car. If the answer is “All the jelly has been sucked out of the jelly donuts” the question is, “How do you know when a vampire has been in a bakery?” “Huh?” Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

A little housekeeping here – if you like these podcasts, or my spoken word CDs at, or my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot available at , please tell a couple of friends because they might like them too, and you’ll be doing me a favor. Thank you.