Tuesday, December 11, 2012


    Joy in this season, or any other, is seeing parents or family members watching their kids in chorales, plays, skits, ballets, concerts and the other performances that make this season so merry.
       Love is modeled best whenever it happens and we get to absorb a large gift of it during the holidays. Seeing proud parents and those little communications from kid back to them is a heart-warming information loop. It's good for all of us.


  Dickens demonstrated for us how Christmas ghosts play a role.  Don't you think memories morph into a kind of apparition?  I think of old stories as becoming a kind of ghost of times passed. 


     You may need a context for this.  
A Story AS Response
        That goofy shot from the beach where swim suit and the beach chair matched the color of peppers on the grill prompted the above comment.  You would know this if you read the comments below the post.
        Despite the denunciation re-printed above, his recent post about our long friendship, renegade forays at political conventions and other carrying on is mostly true, as either of us remember those years of "pedal to the metal" television news.
         It started in radio.  My first day on the metro news staff of the 50 thousand watt "Voice of News" found me assigned to shadow the veteran Bruce Taylor.  It was the pre computer era and the old line station had truly been the Voice of News for the state capitol. Unimaginable today, our radio news staff was larger than one or two of the television stations in the city.  It competed with the  three, then two, daily newspapers to break stories.
         I had been hired to work 3PM to Midnight, starting my day by picking up city government and/or state house leads before sources left their office or the bars some retreated to. Then I moved into our cubicle at the "cop shop" to cover police, sheriff, fire and emergency news.  At some point in the evening I went back to the studio where I wrote and produced the 15 minute 10:00 PM news.  I was to learn that newscast had thousands of listeners, many of whom had listened for years.  Back then people would get what they needed from our cast and didn't need to wait up until the late local TV news.
        Taylor had been working that beat for a while. I'd heard him on the air.  He wrote great copy, used a lot sound in stories, had a very professional big market style. Here I was, the new kid from a smaller market getting my orientation from the old vet.
        He wore a pin stripped shirt, mint green as a I recall, and an orange patterned tie, loose at the neck, as he sauntered into the news room.  His jacket was on his finger over his shoulder, he carried a cup of coffee, a cigarette clamped in his teeth.  His face and eyes said this was a guy who you could not bull shit.
      Our boss, a legendary radio news man and ex sailor, who swore better than the best, said something about "glad he could make it!" 
      "It was one of those kind of nights,"  Taylor shot back. 
       He looked to me like a guy who probably was a veteran of those "kind of nights."   
      I was a year out of college and had worked radio news in a medium sized factory town.  I'd been around a little bit, but I knew this guy Taylor was from the major leagues in being around.  
      We'd been dispatched to a north side shopping mall where a works project had changed the flow of water and several shops had been flooded.  It's hard not to be impressed by a guy who smokes, drinks coffee, talks on the two way radio and drives like a bat out of hell simultaneously.  
       Heading to our first assignment I thought a couple of things; man, this new job is going to be a blast!  And what a cool dude Taylor is.  He even liked jazz. That was a start to a friendship that for many years existed in those famous letters he wrote of.
      So, let him deny knowing me now, but let me tell you this.  Lana and I showed up in Phoenix one year for our periodic visit.  I was surprised when Bruce met us at the airport.
        "I thought you had to work," I said.
        "I quit.  They didn't give me the weekend off, so screw em!"
         We had a wonderful weekend up in Zane Grey country and created another story or two, as we always seem to do.
        Some time we should tell you about the Democratic mid term convention in the Kansas City landmark Muehlebach Hotel.  Here's the teaser-Bruce, a friend who is now a respected broadcast executive, a woman who ran for congress and I find our way into the deep innards of the old hotel.  It was a portion of a floor that had been walled off and had not been remodeled as the rest of the hotel had been.  It was a kind of 1940's pastiche of old hotel in decline. We were in a Felliniesque scene. It looked like an old conference room, now a storage area of dated furniture and other discarded stuff on the way to being junk.  
         Cutting to the chase-Taylor is jamming away on an old piano, clunking out a version of Sentimental Journey. The lady is singing, someone is pounding on a chair bottom like a drum and someone is trying to modulate the blast of a fire extinguisher to ape a trumpet when we are suddenly interrupted in our dusty jam session, by a Secret Service contingent. The lead guy asks "Can you tell me what's going on here?"
         All of that was early in the evening. It gets more interesting when Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace work into our evening.
        Don't believe for a moment what he wrote above!

See you down the trail.


  1. As Richard Baily always said, "Tom Konk Run has the story." and finished with "Richard Baily, WIBC New."

  2. Bruce /TOM, we really had it then, didn't we.
    The TV stations checked us for leads, too. Then... things changed. -w-

  3. The world was a very different place back then, but that's just the sort of thing an old fart like me would say.

  4. Oh, so give away our secrets, will ya? Now I have to start looking over my shoulder again! Those were great times and Will (Out and About) was not a small part of it.