Archive for November, 2017

Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

We’re collecting your Christmas stories again this year, for this blog and for the podcasts. In order to fully appreciate today’s story, you should know that the writer, Audrey, is a musician and she has a very special spirituality. One of her “other” names is “Many Waters.” Hang on to your heart when you read this:

This probably won’t be very long, but it’s a large event in my life. Christmas 2016 was to be my last Christmas with my husband. ( I didn’t know it at the time.) He had had leukemia for almost 2 years, and I was sick with some one of those 48 hour viruses. I spent my Christmas eve, Christmas, and day after on the couch, wearing a surgical facemask so I wouldn’t spread my germs. The grandkids needed to open their gifts from us, so everyone came up to the house and they opened up their gifts, with each person taking a turn to call out the names on the gifts. It was short but very nice, and I’m glad that Dave got a chance to celebrate his last Christmas with his family, I’m only sorry that I was sick, so any close contact with Dave was out of the question….. no hugs, no kisses, and no snuggling ……… but he was there with us so it was all worth it. I’m also thankful that he was with me for New Year’s Eve — nothing like a Dohse kiss at midnight! Dave died July 18th, 2017, so this Christmas is going to be a difficult one for me. Thank you, Dick, for relaying this and all the other stories for Christmas, as you do every year. It makes the day much warmer.

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Looking for your Christmas stories for the podcasts again this year. Please send them to Here’s one from one of our special Proud Podcast People Carole, a Brooklyn girl now living with her husband Bill in Myrtle Beach.

The Christmas pilgrimage my Dad and I would take via subway from Coney Island to NYC every year: We would start at Rockefeller Center, and check out all the store windows on Fifth Avenue up to 57th Street, then reverse course and head down to 34th and Fifth Avenue. Last stop – the Chock Full O’Nuts right near the Herald Square subway station, for a steaming hot cup of Joe and one of their famous date-nut bread and cream cheese sandwiches. He wasn’t a man of many words — but he would give me his arm, and off we’d go. I treasured those times more than I can say. The memories are still so vivid. (Many of the stores we’d window shop are no longer around. Georg Jensen and B Altman, to name a few. ) The many Christmases spent with my brother,now long departed. No immediate family left,with the exception of Bill (and my family by proxy, most of whom reside in NH). He and I spent a wonderful, amazing, quiet and peaceful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – just the two of us. I prepared a special Christmas Eve meal – garlic and herb marinated shrimp, later cooked with more garlic, butter and white wine,to become delicious shrimp scampi, served over pasta with a glass of white wine (or two). Bill and I have a Christmas Eve ritual. Myrtle Beach has a wonderful station, “Easy Radio”, which plays a wonderful mix of Christmas music (traditional, popular, and classical), with virtually no commercial interruptions all night long. We take our post-dinner coffee and flip back the tablecloths atop our dining room table, and start work on a jigsaw puzzle. That usually continues till the wee hours. (It usually takes a week or so to complete.)

Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Today’s podcast, and every podcast till Christmas will be looking for your Christmas stories. Please send yours to  Here’s one from a very special Proud Podcast Person whose name is Bill Killeen: 

Eric Schmitt-Matzen looks every bit the Santa Claus. His 6-foot frame carries 310 pounds, leaving “just enough of a lap for the kids to sit on,” he says with a gentle Kringley chuckle right out of Central Casting. No fake facial fuzz for this guy. Schmitt-Matzen’s snowy beard is the real thing, albeit regularly bleached to maintain its whiteness. His shag is so spectacular, in fact, it won first place in the “natural full beard, styled moustache” division of a 2016 national contest sponsored by the Just For Men hair products company. He’s professionally trained. Custom-tailored in red. Was born on Dec. 6 (that’s Saint Nicholas Day — are you surprised?) Works approximately 80 gigs annually. Wife Sharon plays an authentic Mrs. Claus. His cellphone, with a Jingle Bells ringtone, continually counts down the days until Christmas. Even his civilian attire always includes Santa suspenders.It’s designed to spread joy and have fun. Which it does – except for the role he played several weeks ago at a local hospital. “I cried all the way home,” Schmitt-Matzen told me. “I was crying so hard, I had a tough time seeing good enough to drive. “My wife and I were scheduled to visit our grandchildren in Nashville the next day, but I told her to go by herself. I was a basket case for three days. It took me a week or two to stop thinking about it all the time. Actually, I thought I might crack up and never be able to play the part again.” This is what happens when a terminally ill child dies in Santa’s arms. “I’d just gotten home from work that day,” recalled Schmitt-Matzen, 60, a mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering in Jacksboro. “The telephone rang. It was a nurse I know who works at the hospital. She said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus. “I told her, ‘OK, just let me change into my outfit.’ She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’ ” Schmitt-Matzen got to the hospital in 15 minutes. He met the lad’s mother and several family members. “She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him,” he said, voice growing husky. “I sized up the situation and told everyone, ‘If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.’ ” Nobody entered with him. They watched, sobbing, from a hallway window in the Intensive Care Unit. “When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf! “He looked up and said, ‘I am?’ “I said, ‘Sure!’ “I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down. ‘“They say I’m gonna die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’ “I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’ “He said, ‘Sure!’ “When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in. “He said, ‘They will?’ “I said, ‘Sure!’ “He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’ “I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him. “Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.

“I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.’” In despair, Schmitt-Matzen was ready to hang up his suit. “I’m just not cut out for this,” he reasoned. But he mustered the strength to work one more show. “When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play. “For them and for me.”


Dick Summer Connection

Monday, November 27th, 2017

PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY! Today’s podcast begins our annual Christmas Story search. And Proud Podcast Person “Sgt.” Tom Preston just came through with this…and I love it:

The best Christmas present I ever got was the joyous reaction from my wife on Christmas Eve so long ago she wasn’t my wife yet. I got her an engagement ring, and while she was not surprised, she was thrilled. I wasn’t surprised either, when she said, ”Yes.” And I don’t know if I was delighted or thrilled; maybe both. The reason I say she was thrilled is we went to midnight mass ,and she sat in church, holding the ring toward various light sources to see it sparkle. I was thrilled watching her sparkle too.

Got a Christmas story for me? Please send it to It doesn’t have to be fancy…just…real. 

Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Time to start collecting your Christmas stories for the podcasts. Please send yours to This story is called “An Italian Christmas” It was sent by Proud Podcast Participant– Bill Ervolino “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

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

One more Funny thing about Thanksgiving is in today’s podcast. Thanksgiving is not a religious feast. It was one of the best ideas that ever came out of the government. But it’s a celebration and a reminder of something that’s really the best part of what it means to be a person. Everybody likes Thanksgiving. But I must admit that I liked it a lot more before the government told us about salmonella poisoning. They say you can get if from badly cooked turkeys. I think what happens is that tiny little turkey dwelling salmon get into your blood and swim up stream to your brain to spawn, which causes you to completely lose control of your higher reasoning functions, which is what makes you rush out to the mall to go shopping. So be careful. Cook your turkey in an oven turned up to stun for at least two quarters of the football game. Then give a piece to the dog and watch closely for signs of any fishy symptoms…like he goes chasing after a lot of little salmon that only he can see. There’s something fishy about fish. Especially bigger ones. 

Dick Summer Connection

Friday, November 24th, 2017

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 keeping you awake at night out the other ear, and you can nod off comfortably to sleep. This just in…the official State song of the state of Washington is…Louie-Louie. Big Louie is so pleased. No wonder so many people are sleepless in Seattle. 78% of American women say they would turn down a date if they hadn’t shaved their legs. What is wrong with you people? Don’t you know any man worth his saintly halo would be glad to shave your legs for you ? Baseball legend Ty Cobb slept with his homemade bat. He called it Big Yellow. No wonder he was such a nasty guy. Sleeping with your bat is really going to cut down on your over night social life. Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind. A little housekeeping here…If you like the podcasts, or my spoken word story CDs, or my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, please tell a couple of friends, because they might like them too, and you’d be doing me a favor. Thanks. And if you’re on the road for the Thanksgiving Weekend, I hope you never run into signs like this.


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving. And welcome to today’s Thanksgiving podcast. In case you’re wondering my Lady Wonder Wench and I will be spending a quiet day at home, listening to some books on tape. 

Books On Tape

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

As you can imagine, today’s podcast featuring the M.A.S. (Men are saints) appeal is frequently not well received by certain people with more evolved levels of social sensitivity, and mostly higher voices, although Big Louie, his own bad self, the chief mustard cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation has tried to explain that it’s testosterone that causes the bad reputation that many guys enjoy, and we’re therefore not responsible for our sometimes strange thought processes, and the things that we frequently can’t help doing. Louie says a guy’s brain swims in this sea of testosterone, which absorbs some of the shocks of a guys life to which we are all exposed…like hitting a button on a radio and getting an unexpected blast of Yanni’s music, or getting hit in the head by a baseball, or being exposed to high levels of excess verbal communication. That last point is especially true when a fairly easy going guy puts a picture like this up on his refrigerator door.


Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Today’s podcast invites you to think about this: How often have you seen a relatively innocent Louie-Louie Generation man at a raunchy bar go over to a woman he has never even met, and invite her to the safety and comfort of his very own apartment to get her out of that dangerous environment ? And what reward do we get ? Right. None. But we soldier on as we always have, even in the face of this shameful lack of appreciation. That’s why I started the Men Are Saints appeal. MAS. The MAS Appeal. Things like this totally excessive reaction by someone who is a little more evolved than her man, with an excess of estrogen, and possibly way too much PMS need to be addressed.




.S. appeal.