The Dick Summer Connection – 2-1-09

I went to get my driver’s license renewed today. They take your picture. It didn’t do me justice…it really looks like me…well at least my teeth aren’t wrinkled. And they make you sign your name. They printed my grown up name on the license…Richard Summer. But I signed it with my real name…Dick Summer. I like to  be called Dick. In today’s politically correct world, the word Dick gets a little attention. I like attention.


I’m a little put off when people call me Richard. Sister Mary Attilla the Hun used to call me Richard in grammar school. And when my Lady Wonder Wench is angry with me she calls me Richard. And telemarketers usually ask for Richard because that’s the name on the phone bill. So I tend to think of Richard as some guy I don’t really want to know.  


Mr. Summer is way out of line for me. I am as you know, a maturity challenged individual. I’ve always taken to heart the words of Big Louie…His Own Bad Self…the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie- Louie generation. Louie says, “The more seriously you take yourself, the funnier you look.”  So I think of myself as Dick…and that’s how I usually sign my name. The word “Dick” is short, to the point, and it gets attention.


I was “Dickie” when I was a kid, because my father’s name was also Dick. Mom and Dad still called me “Dickie” when I became a grand father. My brothers and a couple of my cousins still call me “Dickie” sometimes…and to be honest I get a kick out of that. I liked being a kid. When I had kids of my own, I liked to kid with my kids. I like kid things…like pulling the paper off crayons because they smell nice like that…pushing a straw through a very thick chocolate milkshake…building a snow fort…the way we built them in the Holy City of Brooklyn was when the snow plow came down the block, it pushed big piles of snow over to the curb, so we just dug down in the middle of the snow pile…I always loved the smell of flowers drifting through a screen in an August thunderstorm…and sliding back and forth in a bath tub to mix the too hot water with the cooler water in the back…tinker toys…and erector sets…popcorn at a circus…stick ball, kick the can… I had a great kid hood.


And I really loved the sixties. For no particular reason, I made up a little ditty about them. It went like this:


It was the Beatles and the Stones,

JFK, Bobby and Teddy.

It was mini skirts, and ice cream cones,

Louie-Louie and going steady.


And just in time…we went…zoom…to the moon.


I think mini skirts were one of the best things that happened in the sixties. They were short, to the point, and they got your attention. Like the name Dick.  But the nicest skirt I ever saw in the 60s, was a pleated wool plaid skirt that my Lady Wonder Wench wore when I first met her. Maybe it wasn’t actually the skirt that got my attention. And I liked it even more when she wore spaghetti straps too. That…was an unbelievable sight. And as I have become more and more determined to have a disorderly, vigorous, and disreputable old age, I have become convinced that it’s important to believe in, and enjoy, the unbelievable.


The Forces For Good In The Community huff and puff, and call that kind of thinking sexist. I hereby give those folks the words of Big Louie…his own bad self…who always says…”If the lord hadn’t meant for us to be sexist, how come he gave us sex ?”


I guess that’s the Dickie in me…the kid… coming out. Richard the grown up knows that real love is made of mortgage payments as well as moonlight, and sweat as well as smiles and songs, and rough times as well as romance. That’s all true. But Dickie keeps telling me…yeah…but it’s the unbelievable part of love that really makes it real.   


Dick’s Details Quiz: All answers are in the current podcast at


1-    What’s the difference between Japanese 60 year olds and American 60 year olds ?

2-    What impact does the Soprano’s plan for 2009 have on the concrete industry ?

3-    How do we know that Arabic people lead quiet, boring, sheltered lives.

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.


Another great note from Pastor Mike this week. Which reminds me…my Email address is in case you’d like to drop in a comment or two. Pastor Mike says, “It’s funny how kids think us Louie-Louie Generation folks aren’t into sex. Many teens who come across their parents in a compromising position are stunned.”


He’s right…as usual. I think boys have a harder time with that (excuse the obvious pun) Girls are better at coming to grips with Louie-Louie lust. Because girls are in many ways more practical than we are.


Practicality can be good and bad. Practicality got us to the moon. But it was the believing in a dream that most people said was unbelievable is what got the practicality going. “Dickie” is inclined to say practical, schmactacal. Practical very often sucks. There’s a story in the Good Night Podcast this week about a guy who was so practical that there was no time for the “Unbelievable” in his life. It’s called the Prince of Fantasy. Sometimes it’s very smart to believe the unbelievable.  Some magic, you have to see to believe. Other magic you have to believe before you can see it.


If you like The Prince of Fantasy, you can just keep the podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Bedtime Stories icon on the opening page of

There’s just no question that a Louie-Louie Generation gentleman like me needs to keep the little kid inside under control. In my  case, it would probably be best to disguise my little Dickie in a wig, fake nose and sunglasses, and try to get him into the Federal Problem Kid Relocation program. He’s forever going around the tables at the diner and turning those Heinz catsup bottles upside down because he thinks that’s one of the great ideas of the new century. Have you seen those bottles? They have a big round pouring spout so you can store them upside down, so you don’t have to pound the bottom to get the last bit out. Brilliant.  Not as brilliant as mini skirts. But brilliant.


Leave little Dickie alone, and he’s be inclined to buy a can of whipped cream and squirt it into his mouth till it came out his nose. He’s always trying to see how far he can spit. This is not how a Louie-Louie Generation grandfather is supposed to act.


When I have to…I can put on a pair of cufflinks, and go to a business lunch to answer a client’s objection to my latest commercial, while I adroitly make a perfect spaghetti ball by twirling it on my fork with a spoon behind it. I can even answer when the license guy calls me Richard. But I can’t fake it like that for too long…because I know what’s going to happen. My little Dickie is  just going to pop up and laugh out loud.  

One Response to “The Dick Summer Connection – 2-1-09”

  1. Jack Marshall says:

    I’m legally John but my father wanted to call me Jack. My mother however (and thus by extension the entire extended family) decided I was to be Jackie. I knew I wasn’t a Jackie. Gleason was Jackie, not me. I have managed over the years to convert most of the family to Jack but on occasion, there’s a slip. It used to bother me, no, it irritated me when that happened but I’m much more mellow about it now.

    I hang up the phone when someone asks for John. And if they ask for Mr. Marshall, I tell them that he died in 1978.

    And I really loved the sixties as well for a whole lot of reasons, chief among them was that was when I met my Judy. I had a great job in the sixties, too. Worked for a man whose name was Richard as I recall. Really nice fellow. I wonder whatever became of him?

    I can still clean up pretty good when needed but my attire of choice is t-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

    Sometimes you scare me, Dick. I realize more and more how alike you and I really are. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I’m happy to call you friend.