Archive for December, 2018

Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

“Hark” the Herald Angels sang. The word “Hark” got the whole world’s attention. When somebody asks you a question, instead of starting your answer with “Well…” today’s podcast encourages you to say, “Hark” instead. You’ll get more attention. Words are important. “Amazon” is more attention-getting than “Hudson” for example. Especially in December.

Dick Summer Connection

Monday, December 17th, 2018
At least for the Christmas season, when somebody asks you a question, don’t start your answer with the word “well. Today’s podcast says use the word “Hark” instead to start your sentence. For example think of the attention you’ll get saying “Hark…I’m pregnant.” It will get people’s attention. Think what “Hark” did for the Herald Angels. They even got away with rhyming “proclaim” with “Bethleheim.” As in “Hark, the the Herald Hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Dick Summer Connection

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Today’s Podcast is called, “The Hell With Well. If you give a listen the first word of any sentence you speak will never again be, “WELL.” Still looking for your Christmas stories at

My buddy Fred wrote a Christmas story to remember in  his blog at He gave me permission to put it here. Fred and I go back a lot of years. His friendship is one of the best parts of Christmas for me. This is what he said:

“I awoke to find myself in the less-than-bustling metropolis of Comstock, Michigan. No, I hadn’t been on an all night bender — it only felt that way. I had been on a fifteen hour drive with Vigi to visit her family for Thanksgiving and I did all of the ‘aiming’ for the final seven hours. It was our last chance to make the trip before winter closed in and I looked forward to spending a holiday with a house full of people once again.

Since the kids moved out and scattered around the country raising their own families, the peace and quiet I longed for while they were growing up had become deafening, especially around the holidays. Besides, things were getting kind of crazy at the radio station and we were sloshing our way through the middle of a financial rough patch at home; not the greatest timing with Christmas just around the corner.

After the obligatory slide show and catching up on several years of National Geographic, I was more than ready to prowl two of my favorite haunts in town — the only two haunts in town. It felt good not to be sticking to a schedule for a change and, in my absence, Veege could visit with her folks without being concerned about keeping me constantly entertained. After meandering through the aisles of the local Meijer’s ‘everything store’ I headed over to the one place that was an absolute, positive, don’t miss any time we made the trip: The Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

They had vintage aircraft from World War II and Korea through present day classics hangared there and many were still operational. On the right day, you could even catch a glimpse of a local pilot putting one of those two-thousand horsepower beauties through her paces! They had everything from flight simulators and a pink [believe it or not] P-40 flown by a very talented pilotress, to a mighty gull-winged Corsair — the plane that makes my heart go thump and has held the kid in me hostage ever since I first saw the movie Flat Top. You could actually walk up close enough to get a whiff of grease and oil mixed with just a hint of musty leather.

No tour of The Air Zoo was complete without a trip to the gift shop. I entered expecting to see the usual models, banners, books and displays — but what to my wandering eyes should appear but a shiny Corsair, perfect scale to the gear! She was carved from mahogany and painted in such painstaking detail that you could almost hear the roar of her engine. She was gorgeous! She was, also, $139 and I couldn’t afford to spend the price of a post card at that point.

I was unusually quiet for the last two days of our visit and most of the ride home. I am never quiet. Never. ”All right, what’s wrong?” Vigi finally ventured. ”Shows, huh?” ”Not if you’re a mime,” she answered. I told her all about the Corsair and explained that it wasn’t so much that I wanted it but that I couldn’t get it. We both had good jobs and worked hard. We weren’t extravagant. It’s not like it was a car or a boat or something — just a stupid airplane model that shouldn’t even require decision making. She reminded me that the financial rough patch was only temporary, and I stopped my whining. In my generation guys were supposed to do better than that for their families; the little airplane became a symbol that continued eating at me — and she knew it.

The remaining few weeks until Christmas sped by. Our ‘rough patch’ was beginning to smooth out and I had, at last, put the whole episode with the Corsair behind me — mostly. Christmas morning, the two of us did our usual Santa thing but when the ripping and tearing of brightly colored paper had ended, there was still one more present under the tree. She smiled and handed it to me. Unlike the others, I opened this one carefully unveiling a plain brown box. I was puzzled. Slowly I opened the flaps marked “This Side Up” — and what to my wondering eyes should appear but THE shiny Corsair! The one from The Air Zoo!

That incredible lady actually pirated all of the money from her change jar, where she had been dumping stray nickels, dimes and quarters for years, contacted the curator of The Zoo and ordered one very important Corsair for one grumpy old man. So many times through the years Vigi has lighted a torch when she found me in a dark place — and that Christmas, she did it again!”


Dick Summer Connection

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Looking for stories of the season. Please send yours to I’ll use some here, and some more on my regular podcasts. Here’s one from a Fordham buddy of mine, John Lancellotti:

I remember growth … in shoveled snow … tall mountain …  I little … climb mountain … slide down … clothes wet … hands cold … fingers numb … shiver … pick up snow … mold ball …  throw …. other kids dodging … laughing … mold two balls … hands warm  … one hardens …throw soft one  … high arc… kids looking up … dodging ball  … laughing  …  mold two  more … arc soft one …. high arc … kids watching ,,,  heads up … still laughing… I zing hard one … hits kid … stops laughing … mission accomplished … I feel taller.   

Dick Summer Connection

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Still a little time left to get your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or Solstice stories in to for this blog or for the regular podcast. I want to thank whoever sent this Christmas story. And if you’re reading this right now, please drop me a note. “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 not 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. So 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 bike tire pump, Lara came to life. My sister in law was in on the plan, and let me in during the week 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 and bark, start to 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 – Part 2

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Gotta do this blog over, because I forgot to put my friend Eric the Pilot’s note in here. So here goes:

I’m thankful that I can afford to have a roof over my head with heat, lights, and high-speed Internet. I’m thankful that I live close enough to the office that I can walk to work. I’m thankful that I can walk. I’m thankful for the tiny flower garden in front of Old St. Patrick’s Church that I pass 4 times a day, pausing each time to smell its sometimes nakedly lascivious perfume, or to note the subtle stages of emergence, growth, climax, decadence, decline, and death.
I’m thankful that sometimes the nun that cares for the garden is there. As I walk by, we exchange pleasantries, and I find myself secretly wondering how such a nakedly sexual garden could be the expression of this taciturn woman draped in a veil of chastity and obedience. The tune to “Eleanor Rigby” comes to mind. I hum along, mumbling as many of the words as I can remember. Soon, it becomes an ear worm that will pester me for hours. I’m thankful that I have enough of a mind to have an ear worm, or even know what one is (though I don’t know how to get rid of one, other than to exchange it for a different one).

I’m thankful to be debt-free and, at least for the time being, to have the means to stay that way. I’m thankful for an airworthy airplane, ever ready to take me closer to heaven. I’m thankful for the strength to carry the psychological baggage I’ve accumulated without asking others to carry it for me, and that those burdens do not include pedophilia, alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive gambling disorder, or severe debilitating depression (yet), or a tendency toward violence. I’m thankful that I so often get the whole of Gardner Municipal Airport (K34) to myself on weekend evenings, especially on Sunday nights, and that no one has yet tried to exterminate the coyotes that serenade me on summer evenings as I walk the runways. I’m thankful for my friend, Dick Summer, whose life and times have been enshrined forever in the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame; whose podcast puts me to sleep every week; and whose voice accompanies me on my weekend visits to the airport (and when the aforementioned coyotes are off-duty). I am thankful that I passed up the opportunity to mess around with someone else’s wife that day when Dick and I went to Starbucks. That is, I’m thankful that I had the luck to dodge a bullet that almost certainly would have left another deep and sickening wound. I am indeed thankful that I have what I need to survive–even to thrive a little.


Dick Summer Connection

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Today’s podcast is about Christmas. Christmas is big with me. I’ve been asking for your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza thoughts. Please send them to This is one from my pilot friend Eric, who had a really bad year. But hey…it’s Christmas.

Dick Summer Connection

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Your Christmas stories are a treasure. And I sure wish I remember who sent this one:

Funny…I wasn’t thinking about Christmas till I got your podcast; even though it seems all of Manhattan is filled with Christmas decorations (the Rock Ctr Tree is not lit yet tho).  I love this time of year! I am a December baby and so is my daughter. So, we get lots of presents!  One of my favorite Christmas stories is the year my Mom got all three of  us bikes! My Mom was a single mom in the early 70’s working full time  & going to college and we didn’t have much money, but she was  determined to buy us bikes! My little brother was only 3 or 4, so it was easy to get him a bike and put it together. But she knew she had to scour> the pennysaver paper to find second hand bikes for me and my other brother. She was determined! That Christmas morning we got up early as usual; but couldn’t get to the tree because my mother blocked the access to it…we were so excited…what did we get? When we saw the bikes, we were so happy! Mine was the prettiest pink bike!  I had that bike for years! Riding to and from school; riding in the park and throughout the neighborhood. It was one of the best Christmases because we really wanted bikes and didn’t know how Mom was going to get  them for us! You know, I don’t remember what happened to that pretty pink bike! It was so long ago. We are all grown up now. No pouting… just fond memories.
Merry Christmas!

Today’s podcast is about a huge gift my Lady and I got from our son, Dave. Give a listen please.

Dick Summer Connection #2

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Today’s story is from a fellow radio guy. It’s mostly about Chanukah. (His spelling but I’ve seen it before in Brooklyn.) It’s also about being a mouth on radio. And it includes a holiday shift schedule that I experienced at NBC Radio.It goes like this.

Todd’s Baby Boomer Trivia

Frank Todd

Christmas story time, boys and girls. I am going to tell you that I am Jewish, and while not strictly following my religious dietary laws, for a time in my life I did not eat any meat that came from a pig. In fact, I still never had eaten ham by my mid-20s.

Working in radio, it was a given that once station management found out about my religion, which I did not keep a secret, I would be the guy who would work on Christmas day. That meant mentioning a sponsor and the station call letters 3 times an hour, and just play albums of Christmas songs by well-known artists all the way through. Imagine 15 different versions of the same song ! I would usually bring a book to read to get me through the day, which would be 10 ½ hours long. I worked on several stations that were licensed to be on the air during daylight hours only. One particular Christmas I was at a station located between where the casinos of Bethlehem and the casinos of the Poconos are today in Pennsylvania. They had special permission to sign on at 6AM every morning, but had to sign off at sundown, which in December meant 4:30. So I would be the only guy who would have to come in, just spinning those Christmas songs the whole shift. Another DJ would have to work all day Thanksgiving, and another all day New Year’s. The summer holidays, since sundown was later, would require 2 guys to cover the entire day.

I had no family in Pa. My friends still lived in NYC. I was single and did not have a girl friend at that time. Nothing would be open. No place to go after I signed off the station. I planned to just go back to my apartment in town and see what I had left in the fridge and cupboards to make some kind of dinner, and see what might be on TV that was not holiday related.

I always felt left out at holiday time, growing up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. And despite what Adam Sandler might say, I did not get 8 presents for 8 crazy nights. I was lucky to get one Chanukah present. It actually would be my birthday slash Chanukah present since I was born on Dec. 8.

I was in my mid-20s and had already spent a few Christmases on the air in various places, so I was used to the loneliness by this time. I was about to throw some kind of meal together, when I heard a knock on my door. I asked who it was, a young boy’s voice said it was my neighbor. I knew my neighbors were a couple with two young children. They knew I was on the town’s radio station because the station owner was the landlord of my apartment, which was always rented to a DJ.

I opened the door, and the young man said, “my parents knew you must be all alone for Christmas, so my mom made a plate for you with our Christmas dinner.” I looked at the plate. Mashed potatoes, green beans……..ham. I was about to try to explain to him why I couldn’t accept his gift, because my religion did not eat ham, but he saw my reaction to receiving it was not what he expected, and I saw some sadness and disappointment on his face. I stopped myself and told him to thank his mom and wished his entire family Merry Christmas and took the plate. I had ham for dinner that night. It was delicious.

Frank Todd is the host of “Todd’s Top 20”, a syndicated oldies radio show heard on over 20 stations around the world, 7 days a week. Visit for info and the schedule. Last week’s answers: Candi Stanton, Syreeta Wright, Flip Wilson. Congrats to Reginald Johnson of Metuchen and Charles Spicer of Monroe.

Dick Summer Connection

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Today’s podcast is from a fellow radio guy. It’s mostly about Chanukah. (His spelling but I’ve seen it before in Brooklyn.) It’s also about being a mouth on radio. And it includes a holiday shift schedule that I experienced at NBC Radio. Give a listen please.