The Dick Summer (re) Connection – Chapter 9

The Dick Summer (re) Connection – Chapter 9

I have three stories for you this time:

1- I was just sitting in NBC Radio’s studio 2B, Rockerfeller Center New York, minding my own business. It was around 10 PM on a sultry summer evening in New York. I had earphones (cans) on, and I didn’t hear her walk in the door. Unlike during the day when there were tours, nighttime dress at WNBC was pretty much the same as it is at radio stations all over the country: sport shirt, jeans, and in my case stocking feet.

My regular “tech” Vic Lombardo, had his hands busy trying to juggle the turntables (like cd players), the carts (tape playback machines) the mic switch, and the pots (volume controls), without spilling his cardboard cup of cold coffee all over his very warm copy of Playboy magazine. Just like every night, we were sitting in a mostly dark and empty sixty story skyscraper pumping 50,000 watts of 660 Kc from Manhattan to Montana. The mic was on, and I was doing a live commercial for some car dealer, when all of a sudden my back was full of fingernails! My hair exploded, knocking the headphones to the floor. Vic’s coffee came squirting out of his nose all over the picture of Ms. August. My extensive training as a well paid professional, and Fordham University graduate with a degree in liberal arts, immediately kicked in, and I said something really smart like, aaahhHHHHHA! Clutching his soaking wet magazine with one hand, Vic did a triple gainer to the tuck position under his chair. But to his credit as a member in good standing of the New York Engineers Union (NABET), he managed to reach up to the control board with his non-magazine hand, hit a jingle and a record, and a certain amount of order was temporarily restored to WNBC’s programming. That was my introduction to Angela.

Angela is my sister-in-law Peggy’s best Brooklyn buddy. The “airtight” NBC security guys knew Peggy, and they didn’t bother calling upstairs to say she was on the way up to the studio with a friend. (We’ll have another whole chapter about the NBC “airtight” security guys next time.) Peggy’s sense of humor had decomposed almost to the level of mine. Not a surprise after living with my brother John, who suffers from the same pie in the face approach to life that I have enjoyed through the years. Angela loves to give back rubs. Actually, back scratches. She calls them, “the Angels.” They start around the small of a back, and they click their way in slow circles up to the top of a guy’s head. Angela is very popular with guys who have backs and heads. Angela is also honest, funny and very Italian warm. She has become a good friend to my lady Wonder Wench and me. And let me give a tip to any young lady reading this who wants to get the quick and undivided attention of some guy who works on the radio: Grow some talented fingernails, and use them like Angela.

2- “Meeting” Michelle Genereux was just as startling an experience in a very different way. She gave me an instant picture of my future. Michelle sent me a very kind note about the Night Connections Personal Audio Cd. She said, “I really love it. But something that good deserves a better cover design.” I wrote back and said essentially, “ok, if you think you can do better, go ahead.” She did. I’ve never seen an album cover quite like what she did. (You can see it on the home page.) I call this blog the Dick Summer (re) Connection, because although it’s only a couple of months old, it has already caused an amazing number of calls and e-mails from some people who listened to me literally decades ago. God knows I loved being on the air with you then. And Michelle is kind of a bridge between the “then” and the “now”, and maybe to my “tomorrow.”

My tomorrow doesn’t include going back on the air. I love radio, but not the business of radio. Actually it’s not the radio I love. “Radio” is just machinery. The thing I love is the feeling of having you “with” me. Sometimes it worked around the other way…I was “with” you. But either way I never felt alone on the air at night. We were together. That affected me very deeply, and therefore it affected the sound of my voice…which gave some of you the same “together” feeling. That’s what the Personal Audio cds are about.

We all have holes in our lives. Falling into a hole hurts. Sometimes even a really good life looks like Swiss cheese. The feeling of being “together” that’s in the Personal Audio cds can actually fill in some of the holes in your life.

Michelle obviously understands that these Cds are more about the “together” than they are about the words. Thank you, Michelle. I’ve never seen a picture of “together” before. I think it’s a picture of my “tomorrow”.

3- Confession: I check about twice a day to see if anybody has posted a reply to this (re-) Connection, or has sent an e-mail (to ) about it, or about the “Good Night” Audios on the web site. That’s not cool. (Kool ?) But I told you before I don’t like cool. Most of the time when I see someone being incredibly cool, I think he needs to go eat some prunes. A lot of prunes. Right away. The “Good Night” Audios all have some fun, some nutty “Dick’s Details” and some kind of a bedtime story, to help you get to sleep. They’re easy to hear. Just left click on the title, have a moment of patience while it downloads, and listen. If you want to keep it, just right click on the title and save it on your desktop, or in My Documents. No hooks. They’re free. And I have an awful lot of fun doing them.

Next time, The “Air Tight” NBC Security guys and the ladies of Midtown Manhattan. And a non political look at what “The Media” is really all about.

2 Responses to “The Dick Summer (re) Connection – Chapter 9”

  1. Bob Conklin says:

    As a long lost listener of Dick Summer on WNBC New York, I was overjoyed to locate him and to find that he has done what I always wished for and that is to put on CD his unique collection of stories and isms and just down right wonderful easy listening ramblings. I tried to be an on-air personality in another life only to be told I did NOT have the Radio voice needed. So I have learned engineering and finally landed in the support arena of radio then on to television. (Radio with pictures). I am a bit saddened to read the Dick’s tomorrow does not include returning to the air waves, but to know that these CD’s and Pod Casts are here is even a better deal. Take care Dick, keep talking and keep recording and I for one will keep buying and downloading! (quack quack 66 WNBC!)

  2. crb3 says:

    Hello from a long-ago listener to the Subway on WBZ, and a thank you for doing it. In the fall and winter of 67/68, college freshman, I had a six-transistor radio (AM-only of course), so it was WBZ, WRKO which had just gone top-40, WMEX (more of a teenybopper audience), and, just before sunset, “Brother Love” on WILD. After dark, Summer’s Subway was *IT* for the new music until I got an FM receiver. I don’t even remember most of the tracks played or who played them, I was so new to the scene, but I remember the kindly energetic voice that made me feel welcomed to it. Thanks again.

    You’re getting comment-spammed. You need to put in a CAPTCHA block to stop it, because it will get nastier and worse now that they’ve found your blog. Hit for an explanation, then Google for sources, or have your computer-literate son do it, to see how that works. What you’ve got here is beautful and it shouldn’t be covered with garbage like that.

    73 de WB1HKU