The View From My Wheelchair – The Last Cocktail

When I first began going “Live” on Facebook March 18th, after the St. Patrick’s Day cocktail I had the day before with John Jaras, “One Cocktail With Kid” was exactly what I needed to get my mind off the out of control emotions created by the worst nightmare of our lives, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Let me state here that when “One Cocktail” began, we were being reminded to not hoard, not to eat all the food we’d purchased, and to not sit around all day believing self-quarantine meant vacation time and it was not an excuse to drink ourselves into rehab. I tried to drink one cocktail during “Live” on FB and quickly realized, because of all the meds I take for Multiple Sclerosis, I can’t have one cocktail a day. From the very beginning, the title was a mistake. America’s current state of affairs I’ve got a fairly creative imagination. I'm pretty sure while hanging out with friends sometime in life, we’ve imagined what would happen and how we would react if aliens attacked the world, probably around 1987 after Ronald Reagan actually warned the world of an alien attack. I’ve watched the newsreels of German planes dropping bombs with human beings running for their lives and have tried to imagine that very thing happening to me and mine; it is scary to envision. What’s happening in America today is very scary. Nobody knows where this horrific, out of control virus is headed. We’re a long way from a vaccine and it will not disappear when it warms up. I believe we are blindly going back to regular lives because of pressure from groups of people who have no empathy for anyone except the bros they get to protest with. Had we begun to self-distance in when SCIENCE WAS SCREAMING COVID-19 WAS GOING TO BE A CATASTROPHE last January, by now we most likely would have been on the positive side of managing life with the virus and bringing the economy back. All the while, still awaiting an actual vaccination because only then will we be in the clear from this current Pandemic. The First Cocktail On March 18th, I committed to be on Facebook “Live” for six to eight weeks, probably hoping against hope Covid-19 would magically be defeated by some far away researcher who had a vile stashed in his desk that could save us. It must have ended up in the vertical “covfefe” file. Wednesday, May 13th makes it the eighth week. It’s time for me to get back to my day job as a writer. I spent 33 years in radio, yet it’s not even one year since I published “Come Get Me Mother, I’m Through'' and “The Death of Fairness.” I’ve been planning my next book, a follow up of “The Death of Fairness” that has the protagonist Molly from the first book, who ends up in a wheelchair and very committed to .... nevermind. I’m holding on to the plot, but it will focus on the return of The Fairness Doctrine. I believe there are generations who don’t know where the division in America began. For me, the division began after this single decision, made by Republican President, Ronald Reagan. My intent is to continue educating young people about when “lies were made legal.” My kids, my kids-kids. Nataliee, my wife’s hairdresser, Jonathan, a producer tech for the punk band Descendents and Alina, the 18 y/o immigrant from Ukraine who gets me my smoothies, have all read the book. I want Taylor Swift to read “The Death of Fairness,” and I want the Teen Vogue people to read it. I saw a story about Reese Witherspoon who’s now a top TV producer who finds movies by reading books. READ MINE. Spike Lee should read the book. Would it be the first “Spike Lee joint” with a total white cast? 18-50-year-old people do not know that there was a time when “lies were made legal” and Ronald Reagan is responsible. The story really gets their attention. And every one of these young people have wondered why we can’t bring the Doctrine back. So, I must get back to writing. Self-quarantining for growth Since leaving the pinnacle of my career in 2005, Power 96, and after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and having my brain abused to the point of physical and mental distress, “One Cocktail With Kid” has taught me that I still have the ability to do something like this. I enjoyed having a deadline, doing research, and paying attention for long periods of time; all priceless in the continuing rehab of my brain. When working in radio, I often complained about going over previously recorded radio shows with program directors, because I couldn’t stand listening to myself. It’s the same thing here, I can’t stand watching myself. During the first interview with Frank Reed, it was difficult to concentrate. My brain overloaded a variety of times, and I wasn’t listening. I had notes but I’d freeze and not look at them. A question would come to mind and it would disappear the next second. In another interview, my over 40-year friend, Banana Joe Montione, was mistaken when he mentioned he loved my morning show on 96X. I never did mornings on 96X and it just sat in my brain and I didn’t correct him, my mouth wouldn’t move and I looked like a deer in the headlights. There is still more brain rehab needed. What did happen for me, and I think it may have happened for some of you, was I did try to learn something and reach outside my normal world and grow my brain in the downtime of the Pandemic. The man-crush I discussed over and over with my friend Eric Rhoads is real. I truly admire a guy who’s been able to cash in and concentrate solely on doing something he really has a passion for, and that is Art. The painting of, the business of, the promotion of and the sale of Art. And, he devised a simple system that explains the very basic method of painting. Yes, even you could paint. I’m not interested in painting, but it did inspire a new appreciation. I’ve personally been to the Louvre in Paris twice in my life and have recently visited their virtual tour on-line and have spent hours, going through the different Galleries. It’s so clear, you can recognize the actual strokes. Thanks for the inspiration, Eric. While encouraging people to read during self-quarantining, I too picked up some books I’d been waiting to dip into. One being The Book of Joy where the author writes about his discussions and impressions from his times interviewing Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. I learned how fear turns to anger and how conspiracy believers will only stop believing, when they honestly conclude they’ve been lied to. Once that happens, they need to forgive themselves which leads to personal compassion. Only then would they be able to show compassion for others, a very difficult transition. Another book, voted the number book on the PBS show, The Great America Read, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is my new jam. Scout tells a good story, but not as good as when she makes them up with Jim and Dill. As I have developed a real passion to write, I also spent time on “One Cocktail” encouraging my viewers to pick up a pen and craft a story, either make one up or write about a personal encounter. One of the viewers was my long-time friend of 40 years, and boat captain who was my dive partner when we dove 200 feet below the ocean in St Croix, the Virgin Islands. (I went 190 feet, he, Greg and Y100’s Dave Ross went down 200. I got distracted by a sponge that looked like a telephone). Captain Steve Westervelt is now working with my writing coach, Kerrie Flanagan, who also joined me for “One Cocktail” as a guest. After watching our talk, Cpt. Steve hired Kerrie and is penning his experiences as an UBER driver. Excellent Captain, we’re writers now (I wish we had some of those pictures. On second thought…)!! Those who played along I want to thank my other friends who joined me on the show that meant absolutely nothing: ”if you came here for content, then you don’t get the show,” a line stolen from the Dan Lebatard ESPN radio show I watch where long-time journalist Greg Cote is often a guest on the show. I’ve seen Greg Cote’s name pass by as one of the people watching “One Cocktail With Kid.” I’ve read his articles for years. We’ve never met but, Greg, thanks for playing along. Frank Reed and I are polar opposites in politics and religion but it’s never invaded our relationship. I can always depend on a great conversation with Frank. Best to your wife. Hector Reyes… I loved being in the same building as you brother, you’re a very talented and funny guy and I love listening to your internet radio station, The other thing we have in common is getting ugly drunk with the late Joe Nasty, who in my personal record book, was one of the three best DeeJay’s of all time (personal record book, another line stolen from the “Dan Lebatard Show”. Roger “Ramjet” Davis is the guy who had taken a picture of me in the control room of 13K/KKAM Pueblo, Colorado in 1975 and it ended up on the cover of my memoir, “Come Get Me Mother, I’m Through”. Joni Siani, Bill Tanner’s old assistant, left Florida and worked for radio stations in Philly, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston with some very famous morning shows. She’s now a college professor working with young people on their interactions with social media, with their phones. And how their phone usage may change now in the days of a Pandemic... Jo Maeder… “the Madame”...”Up and at’em with the Madame.” I lost control of the interview in the first 30 seconds as she jumped up, put “Stayin’ Alive” on her turntable, and proceeded to dance for a few minutes. When her path in broadcasting ended, she became a published author and has penned a variety of books including one each about her father and her estranged mother. Both were enlightening in that while doing simple personal research, she gleaned things about them she didn’t know. Ms. Maeder also told us about when she went on K-Rock radio after Howard Stern, he would refer to what she was wearing during his show. ”Hey, what’s the madame wearin’ today?” When the mic was off, he’d ask, “You’re ok, right…. if I talk about what you’re wearing?” Who'da thunk. That particular “One Cocktail” was viewed nearly 700 times! Robert W Walker, my radio big brother and producer extraordinaire. I was excited to learn things about his radio career I wasn’t aware of but was mesmerized by his experiences with Gloria Estefan. Robert and his wife, Mo Fitsgibbon, have been involved in a variety of different projects with the Estefans and specifically mention that when working with Gloria, oftentimes, shenanigans would appear. And he mentioned what I’ve known for decades, Emilio Estefan is a very driven man, and it shows. Thanks, RWW. I always enjoy our time together. Jackie Robbins, Jerry Cliftons’s assistant in 1976 at 96X, enjoys taking credit for getting me hired in Miami. After I flew home from my job interview, I repeatedly called and instructed her to walk into Jerry’s office and demand he hire me. It worked and I’ll gladly give Ms. Jackie credit. She ended up performing on the radio in Houston, Texas for years and at one time, was the Newslady for the legendary guitar superstar, Joe Walsh. Jackie said that in one of Joe’s “wacky” moments, she was “mooned” by Mr. Walsh. For that, I hold you in even higher regard, Jackie Robbins. With all the good deeds being done around America during the Pandemic, I’d been watching one of my old promotions dudes on Facebook, “Mobile” Mike who has been all over South Florida. He and his volunteer crews set up at different food donation locations where mile after mile of cars line up, each vehicle loaded with families, desperate in their search for basic necessities. He’s been out at multiple locations daily to coordinate the food distribution and I give him HUGE props. Someone else who’s been digging deep to lend a hand is Maty Mondort-Novia Maty was on the Power 96 morning show with; Tanner in the morning, Mark Moseley and Jim Reihle and was one of the “Don Francisco” girls on the internationally famous Sabado Gigante. She then moved on to an ABC TV daytime talk show where she was a co-host on Mike and Maty. I walked in on my father once and he was sitting in his wheelchair, watching Mike and Maty and I said, “Hey, that’s my friend Maty” and he proceeded to tell me that she was a new favorite of his. I reached out to Maty and she did me a favor and sent my dad some M&M show swag. Way back when self-quarantine started, she began collecting funds to feed the Doctors, Nurses, and support teams at Cedars Sinai and St. John’s hospitals in Beverly Hills. The fund is “Scrub Hub” so if you can still donate, get on Go Fund Me. The legendary radio program director Bob Hamilton was next on “One Cocktail.” I’d noticed his name pass by during a previous show and I’ve followed Bob’s radio past so he was kind enough to accept an invite. Mr. Hamilton was the first interview done with someone I’d never met. Hammy goes all the way back to classic 1960’s Philadelphia and Los Angeles radio. It was a surprise to me that at one time, Bob Hamilton had Jerry Clifton as a consultant. After spending time with Bob, and knowing Jerry quite well, it would have been perfect for me to ask Bob what he thought of working with my somewhat, nutty mentor. Again, remember the brain freeze I’d been experiencing? It happened again right there, and the words never came out of my mouth. I’m sure Bob will come back if I continue doing some sort of Facebook “Live” thing and I’ll ask. The first time my wife met Jerry, we were on Ocean Blvd, stuck in some sort of traffic re-routing at an intersection. When we came upon the slowdown. Jerry was the one who’d moved the traffic cones and directed traffic, while the South Beach cops watched from the sidewalk, laughing. Jerry can be a bit of a pill. One of the favorite guests on “One Cocktail With Kid” was my former business partner and close friend, Barry Richards; The Reazar... The Boss with the Sauce. Barry was backstage with some of the original shows in rock and roll’s infancy. Little Richard, Bo Diddley, The Beatles, The Doors, The Kinks, Bob Segar, Rod Stewart to name a few. An early meeting with the Rolling Stones led Barry to a lifelong friendship with Mick and the boys and The Reazar still tracks down their concert schedule and catches their shows a few times a year. Barry has a video of a TV show he hosted in the early 60’s and the shame is that because of legal concerns, it may never be legally seen. But, if you go to his house... I asked BR why he got into the radio business and he admitted, “for drugs and chicks!” His appearance was on 4/20, my birthday. He appeared with a huge “spleef.” All of these people did me a major favor. This isn’t a real show, it’s just me goofin’ around and killin’ time... In my memoir, I wrote about Newsman Jim Reihle. An incredible news delivery that spawned more than news. Y-stories, Sofie Sofa, and a variety of other characters were also part of his repertoire. He has a real knack for telling stories, never afraid to use a pregnant pause. And, he announced he’s incontinent. I’ve gone back to watch the Reihle interview a few times. He’ll come back if I continue Pendejo mas grande del mundo. The author, talk show host, motivational speaker, and Boston Bruins fan Ed Berliner and I passed each other in the halls of WINZ-AM and FM in the ’80s. He does a couple of talk shows on YouTube and invited me to join him in a convo with a trio of guests. One was a sportswriter from the Boston area, the other was a long time radio Deejay in South Florida, Kimba Schnickelfritz, or just Kimba to radio listeners. We were on the radio for years in the same town, both knew of each other, but had never met. We both enjoyed meeting each other on Mr. Berliner’s show so I later invited her and Ed to join me for “One Cocktail”. I wanted to talk to her about her last name, Schnickelfritz. She recently informed me, it’s a made-up name. So, like Cher...Kimba. The guy who I assigned to watch Power 96 when I couldn’t, Ira Wolf,.Triple T. Tony the Tiger was a guest and with our longtime friend and record promoter Bruce “the Beerman” Reiner. I wrote about my relationship with Ira in my memoir. I was in the beginning of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and shared much of my concerns with Triple T. My body was failing and I had to tell someone because I didn’t want to worry my wife. Bruce worked for a record label that brought us lots of songs to play on Power 96 and he admitted some artists began their careers because we played their songs. Ira and my staff were very prolific in finding hit music for the Miami audience. They’re sitting out the pandemic at the epicenter of unemployment in America, Las Vegas. Barely hanging on, like so many others in Vegas. I loved the green screen of the Vegas strip in their background while we visited. Every time I reached out to someone to join me on the “One cocktail With Kid,” I hesitated because, why would these people want to help me out on a show that means absolutely nothing to anyone. When I asked Mark Moseley to join me, I thought it was a real shot in the dark but he jumped right on it. He was the most famous white guy, playing a black guy in America with the “Tyrone Steele'' character he created at Power 96. A character voice that sparked a voice acting career that none of us…(Tanner, the late Don Cox, Robert Walker, Reihle, Maty, Phyllis (our office manager)), could see what was about to happen to one of the nicest guys we knew. Mark Mosesley came on “One Cocktail” and did all the voices of; Arnold, Eddie, the PJ’s characters, Thurgood Scruggs, and more. It was fun remembering the “Boys to Men's Room'' contest on the morning show, with Tyrone flushing on those who sucked. Pretty sure Mark would reappear. And, last Friday night, my final guest...Dennis Reese Humbert, we worked together at I-95. He wandered around working in radio for a couple of years and then got into the record business, worked his way up to become head of Columbia records…imagine the artist roster. And now, doing country music promotions in Nashville with a completely different artist roster. I didn’t even get to ask about his wife, I wanted to know more about her and the syndicated radio show she does with Slash!! And, there was a simple question I never got to ask. I wanted to ask why he took his wife’s last name when they got married. Without offending him, I wanted to find out what brought him to that decision. That leads me to this. I still have questions for some of the people who’ve already been on ‘One Cocktail With Kid” but, for now… I’m done, I need to get back to focusing on my next book. But, now that I’ve figured this Facebook “Live” thing out, I’m considering doing something like this but it won’t be called ONE COCKTAIL and certainly NOT EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK. Maybe I’ll try one night, maybe Saturday night. I loved listening to Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion Saturday nights, maybe I’ll show up at the same time he did on Saturday nights. I’m pretty sure my guests will all come back and I’ve reached out to others as potential guests, but for now, I want to thank all my guests for playing along. Here’s some of the names of people who I noticed, also played along. Mark Katoura, Rigo Menendez, Tony H, and Mrs. Tony H, Jammin Johnny, Mark Driscol, Greg Cote, Rick Thomas, Jose Pulido, Alan Michaels, Mickey Johnson, Kimberly A. Koebrugge Heiser Puller, Mindy Baer Puller, Patti Martin, Michael Mike Rodruquez, Jim and John Cooper, Tim Lynch, Molly Hamilton, Rafi Contigo, Patty Jo, Brenda Craig, Gail Stairs, Anthony Carreras, Debra Dickenson Powell, Jeff De Forrest, Maureen Kelly, Brian Phillips, Mo Fitzgibbon, Chick and Cathy Terry, Jack Gonzalez, “The Boy Wonder’s” mom, Joan Slotnick, Sally Canaday, Russ Oasis, Al Gordon, Sheree Moreno, Clean Arlene Wukits Binford, Ray Perry, Selma and Selina Gloria, Quick Karl Kelleman, Rick Elliott, John Caras. The listeners in Liverpool and London, and, all others I missed. Please work to be positive, smile, and put on a happy face behind that mask..and, please wear one. Don’t forget to pass good vibes onto front-line responders; Doctors, Nurses, Hospital support teams, policemen and firemen, postal workers, and delivery drivers. Remember to give to food banks, DONATE BLOOD, FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS and remember, it’s never hard to be nice. Special thanks to my lovely wifey Ely – this would not have happened without her. Be on the lookout… I’ll be back….and, as I used to say at the end of Bedcheck.. COME GET ME MOTHER, I’M THROUGH!! Until next time, Peace, put on a mask, and wash your hands.

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K.R. Curry, the Author

PO Box 464 Fort Collins CO 80522

2019 K.R.Curry, the Author

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