Archive for December, 2016

Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Time to put the Christmas notes you’ve sent away for another year. I do that. I’ve got a box full that I keep on the shelf in my office closet. They’re important to me. Christmas is a festival of the heart. And that’s where I’ve kept Christmas ever since I first heard Mom and Dad helping Santa put up the tree downstairs in our Brooklyn living room all those years ago. That’s why I do a podcast…so I can tell you about it with my mouth instead of just writing about it. I’m a little better with my mouth than with my fingers. Christmas is tough on cynics. Cynics say, “Christ couldn’t have been born in December, because according to the Bible, the shepherds were in the fields tending their flocks. And they don’t do that in December.” I really don’t care when Christ was born. I don’t even care if Christ was the “Son of God.” He gave us lots of good ideas and lots of love. So of course the cynics crucified Him. Because cynics are always afraid of new ideas. And there’s not a lot of room for love in a cynic’s life. Love is reckless and hot. And cynics are carefully Kool.

I figure, even if you don’t believe in Christ, you’ve got to admit His birthday celebration is pretty neat. So is Hanukkah, Qwanza, Solstice, and any other holiday that involves family, friends, music, candles, good stuff to eat, and loving. Lots of loving. And that’s what my Lady Wonder Wench and I had again this Christmas. And your notes were part of that. Thank you.


Dick Summer Connection

Friday, December 30th, 2016

December « 2015 « Dick Summer Connection//

I’ve been writing this blog and doing the podcast that goes with it, sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room for quite a while now. Not long enough to call it a “once upon a time time,” but it started a long time ago. You think about things like that when a New Year pops up on the calendar. “Once upon a time.” To lots of people it was a long ago “once upon a time” that the numbers on our years started with a one instead of a two. When you think “What’s today’s date?” do you sometimes still come up with a 19 something? I think most of us in the Louie Louie Generation stumble on that one once in a while. The last time it really was a 1900 something was 1999 of course, which was the year today’s high school 17 year old new driver kids were born. How did you get along all the way back then without your smart phone, or your car GPS, or your email, your texting, or your Netflix? Did you like your video tape recorder, and your fax machine, and how hard was it to learn to use Windows 98? Big Louie says, “What are you going to make happen in this new year?”

Here’s a suggestion:


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Today’s podcast explains why kids like Christmas, and lots of grown ups don’t. Grown ups are scared of all kinds of things. It’s kind of safe being a grown up cynic. Cynics figure, “Why take chances ?” Most new and different ideas fail. So if you’re a cynic you get to say, “Ha…I told you so.” And if it doesn’t fail, you get to point out that it’s not perfect. You get to say things like, “Hey… did you hear…there was another plane crash. Those Wright guys should be STOPPED.”

Cynics really can’t stand Christmas wrapping paper. “Why put fancy paper around that box. Somebody’s just going to tear it off anyway.” And cynics would freak at the way Santa gives my Lady Wonder Wench her present from me. He tucks a note into her Christmas stocking with a clue to where it’s hidden. That clue leads to another note hidden somewhere else. There are usually four or five clues she has to follow to find her present. It makes her laugh. And I love her Christmas laugh.

Cynicism is not a childhood disease. You have to “Grow Up” to get cynicism. There are no cynical kids. That’s one of the things that makes Christmas special. For a little while we get to feel like kids. That’s especially good for those of us who are members of the Louie-Louie Generation. We’ve arrived at a time when our lives are really clicking…our knees are clicking, our fingers are clicking, our necks are clicking…we’re a noisy bunch. We’d be in really big trouble if wrinkles hurt.


Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

The long process of tucking Christmas away for another year has begun. Please give today’s podcast a listen. We open presents on Christmas Eve, because ever since Santa brought me a toy airplane that really flew when I was a kid, I lose control of my eyebrows under that kind of pressure. They tend to flip up and down. And my nose and my left ear wiggles. They also do that when my Lady Wonder Wench walks into the room wearing something she says is “a little more comfortable.” Especially when it’s just her “two piece.” That’s what I call her slippers. Cynics say “you’ve got to be kidding after you’ve been together all this time.” And in a way, they’re right. I like to kid with people I care about. When you think about it, Christmas is magic. And like any magic, it depends on making the kid inside us happy. Cynics don’t really think things through. They say things like: “Boiled milk ??? LOUIE…are you nuts ?” “George Herman Ruth, you put that baseball away right this instant. Come in here and study so you can make something of yourself!” “Those nutty bicycle builders Wilbur and Orville were in here at the bank again looking for a loan. I told them to go fly a kite.”

It’s safer being a cynic. They figure, “Why take chances ?” Most new and different ideas fail. So if you’re a cynic you get to say, “Ha…I told you so.” And if it doesn’t fail, you get to point out that it’s not perfect. You get to say things like, “Hey… did you hear…there was another plane crash. Those Wright guys must be STOPPED.”


Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Please give a listen to today’s podcast. Meantime…”My Lady Wonder Wench Writes:”

Eliana Dockterman wrote a wonderful article for Time Magazine called “Wonder Woman breaks through” and I would be delighted to meet Eliana – and not just because she has a lovely name of her own. I don’t know if I am a feminist because there are so many definitions for that simple word. I DO know that I’m a woman and damned proud of that fact. I wouldn’t be a man if by doing so I could live forever. There is nothing that I cannot do as a woman . . . yes, I know how to fly a plane and ride a horse and shoot a gun. I also know how to cook and clean and read a book and write one. I’ve raced my own car and changed its tires, and I’ve washed a baby and changed HIS diapers. The current insanity in our world scares me and infuriates me – but it doesn’t make me feel incapable or unable to function. If Wonder Woman sets any man’s teeth on edge then it’s about time that man grew up and joined reality. Reality is not an I-phone or a television program that mimics life. Reality is a woman. A wonder woman.


Dick Summer Connection

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Finally…I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room…recuperating. When I was a kid, I used to hate when Christmas night came around, because that meant it was 365 days till the next Christmas. “Don’t cry because something is over, smile because that something happened” is a lesson that takes a while to sink in. I love Christmas, but it can whack you. I start looking for Christmas presents right after Christmas, because one of the things I like best about Christmas is finding gifts that are different, and personal, and happy. I do the Santa-ing for the guys on our list, & my Lady Wonder Wench takes care of the ladies. I usually get the guys toys…because that’s what I like. Christmas is a kid’s birthday. Kids like toys. I let my little kid out to play at Christmas. Little kids understand Christmas much better than grownups do. But even little kids can get pooped. So it’s take a deep breath time. Take a few days off before looking for next year’s presents. Go listen to today’s podcast and get a rub down, Santa.


Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

My Lady Wonder Wench and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Our Daughter Kris made a magnificent Christmas tree from pieces of driftwood she found on the beach near her home. Here’s a picture of the tree, and a picture of Kris. Our son David will be posting the 528th podcast in the morning. Thanks to his wife Julie for understanding that he takes the time to do that every Sunday morning. Our son Eric and his wife Brenda are due here any minute. Our son Mark and his lady Donna were snowed out of their visit, but they’ll be rescheduling. Our friends next door, Randy and Bernadette and their kids Emily and Joe are hosting a Christmas brunch, and we’re invited. New Year’s Eve will be with our friends Al and Vigi. That will be about 30 New Year’s Eves together. And if all goes well, we’ll be having our usual Friday dinner with our friends Mike and Ruth. And you’re reading these words…thank you. It is a very Merry Christmas this year. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. treekris-pic

Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Thank you for your Christmas memories again this year. Some we put here in the blog, and others were in the podcast. Here’s one for Christmas Eve:

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.   On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.  
On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.  His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.
The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone  the Christmas Eve service, headed home.  On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just  the right size to cover the hole in the front
wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
B y this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.
She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.
Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor,”she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten “The Tablecloth”. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .
When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week.  He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.  The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the
pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.
One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.
The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.  He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.
The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.
True Story – submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways.  I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares we know He will see us through.
S o when the road you’re traveling seems difficult at best, just remember I’m here praying and God will do the rest. Pass this on to those you want God to bless and remember to send it back to the one who asked God to bless you first


Dick Summer Connection

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

This is a Christmas story that came in a few years ago. I think it’s magnificent. If you have a spare Christmas story to give, my address is Some stories will show up here, and others will be in the podcasts. Listen to this one from Proud Podcast Person Dave:


Early in the relationship, back when we were both freshman college students, back in New Jersey, my First Love’s parents decided, for various reasons, to hate me. Virulently. I was a resident but she lived at home. So, for nearly two years, we saw each other behind their backs. Stole minutes and kisses when we could. Walked the campus between classes, telling each other that it would be different soon, someday. In retrospect it was not the best way we could have handled it, but for whatever reasons, it was what we did.
Finally in the fall of 1976, we decided that we could not stand to spend another Holidays apart, so we confronted her parents. Came out of our personal closet. It was angry and difficult and frightening. There was shouting and tears, but that isn’t the Christmas story. We spent that Thanksgiving with my family, but that isn’t the Christmas story either, nor is the fact that before Spring arrived we were done forever.
On Christmas Eve in 1976, I drove to her home in Bergen County. The atmosphere in the house was tense and unfriendly, so eventually we went for a long walk. It was cold. It wasn’t snowing but there was a bit of snow on the sidewalks and front yards, clinging to the bare trees. We walked the empty suburban streets of her neighborhood, holding hands, stopping to kiss, delighting in the sensation of merely being together, of feeling free and in love. I remember little else of that long ago night except for the way that the dim, widely-spaced streetlights cast our long shadows on ahead of us, elongated and distorted against the whiteness of the snow. I remember that the headlamps of passing cars made diamonds glint from the piles of plowed snow. I remember how the Christmas lights blinked on porches as we passed, and for just a while, I remember that we were so very happy.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Dick!

Dave V.


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Thanks for sending your Christmas memories to me at and for giving a listen to the podcasts. Today’s note is a very special memory for me. It was written by my Lady Wonder Wench:

Wonder Wench Writes

My Louie-Louie Lad and I remember a skinny kid in an old leather jacket and carrying a beat-up guitar who came to the radio studio late one almost Christmas night and sang Christmas carols … just the gentle sound of his guitar and his quiet voice … but Jose Feliciano made Christmas for us even more beautiful that year … long before he became famous … and the lights of of our Christmas shone brighter because of him.

And there was a day when my Louie-Louie Lad caught me without a tree … and went out and got one for me because that tree was also Christmas …

Or the day I went to the airport to pick up a present from him … and he turned out to be the package …

But the most bestest Christmas of all is the one in today’s podcast. That’s the one with real telephone bells ringing in my memories …