Dick Summer Connection

December 10th, 2018

Please send me your Christmas or Hanukkah stories for this blog and the podcast. Here’s one with some legal complications from our very regular huddle member, Jim Doran:

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

December 9th, 2018

I think one of the reasons we all like Christmas, is that we all like it…together. That includes Jewish friends, and friends who don’t got to church. Today’s podcast is about being together. And Christmas. It’s good to do things together. Give a listen please.

Dick Summer Connection

December 8th, 2018

Today’s podcast is about the difference between being smart and being wise. Wisdom comes from doing things that aren’t smart. That’s important to remember when you’re buying Christmas presents. Please send your Christmas, Hanukkah, Quanza thoughts to me so I can note them here.

Dick Summer Connection

December 7th, 2018

Seems like the airlines have special problems around Christmas time. We do too. Today’s podcast explains how to deal with the holiday madness. Give a listen please. And…do watch where you’re going.

Dick Summer Connection

December 6th, 2018

You can’t fake Christmas. As today’s podcast proves, you’ve “Gotta Believe” or you miss a lot. Here’s a Christmas memory from Capt. Chuck Maire to prove it. Hey Dick, I thought of a cute story from when my daughter was a young girl. I was giving a group of young 8-9 year olds a ride in our van back from my daughters birthday party. Her birthday is December 20th . I was listening to the conversations between the girls. One of the young ladies told the other girls that she did not believe in Santa . She said he was a fictional character created by adults . One of the other girls said to her,” are you willing to take that chance ?” I was chuckling under my breath. It was one of those things you don’t forget.

Dick Summer Connection

December 5th, 2018

Still looking for your favorite Christmas, Hanakkah, Solstice, Kwanza stories. Please send them to me at dick@dicksummer.com A Christmas Calorie Count came pouring in  from Proud Podcast Person Texas Ty. It’s good information for when you’re entertaining guests this season. 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

December 4th, 2018

Please send your memories/hopes for Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice or Kwanza to me at Dick@DickSummer.com I’ll be using them here and on the DickSummer.com/podcast Length doesn’t matter, just “REAL” matters. Thanks.

Dick Summer Connection

December 3rd, 2018

Today’s podcast is about Christmas/Hanukkah, Solstice, and Kwanza Memories. Give a listen please. Here’s a note from one of our proud podcast people by the name of Bill Ervolino. 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

December 2nd, 2018

Today’s Podcast is about Christmas. “Twas the night before Christmas” wrote Charles Dickens one Christmas a long time ago. Here’s what one of the members of our huddle, Bill Kileen wrote a very short time ago:

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

December 1st, 2018

Today’s podcast asks about your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, or Kwanza memories. Here’s one from “Sgt. Preston.” “I was a sophomore in college and a dj on the college radio station.  On my show, I read my letter to Santa to  my listeners. I said, “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a doll.  Her name is Karen and she’s 18-years old.” Santa must have heard me.  She was already my girlfriend for about a year at the time.  It didn’t happen right away, but we’ve been married for 48 years and are still going strong. Merry Christmas to you and the Wonder Wench, from me and Saint Karen (who must be a saint to put up with me).”  Tom Preston