Friday, March 13, 2015

Fairly Random Thoughts on Recent Moments

It has been a while but there are a number of things I wanted to comment on and share with you (and copy to Facebook ,in all honesty).   Let's start by talking of the radio programs I host (and co-host) on WFDU,   The support for both of them is sincerely appreciated and has been, to say the  least, overwhelming given the public type radio we are in.   I am happy to also report that the station had a raffle amongst pledgers for some premium prizes and one  of our loyal listeners and  supporters for many years was one of the winners===congratulations, Vic and thanks for all the years of support and, on a personal note, those recordings you have sent me.

Now, before more political comments, a tale of a JCC weekly discussion group here in my new place of residence (to which I am still trying hard to find comfortable) . We have a lovely (and I mean that in the mature and physical sense) moderator and an interesting group of attendees.  Of the entire group there are two truly well spoken and erudite men. I use the term "men" appropriately since the ladies (honestly) never stay on topic and just "yowl"(well chosen word).  The moderator chooses the topics. and no one seems to stick to that as they drift into discussing (spouting) their personal grievances .   A brief example:   The topic was Racism===more prevalent  now or earlier---the twp gentlemen I mentioned voiced their thoughts  in a rational way and the ladies (and some of the men , lest you think I am chauvinistic.) just rambled on about their personal lives and how many times they have moved so as to stay in a neighborhood where they feel comfortable.  I guess racism takes many forms but it did seem to drift off topic and more int the area of--"enough about your topic and let me tell you about me".

The other topic (which is when I left) was Iran and one woman screamed---yes, screamed---damned Obama , you don't talk w/ your enemies' you bomb them to hell.  I did try to make a comment and that did not work out very well.    You cannot enter the mind very narrow people because there is no room left for thought====and when one says"...what do know anyway.  I watch FOX news and they know \what the facts are  (whatever that means))  I asked if she ever listened to radio and NPR---damned bunch Commies (OK she lives in the past) That is when I left   and felt this was not rational discussion.  Best I stick to non confrontational tennis

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


It certainly has been some time since my last comments on this page and, certainly, a lot has happened in the world, the nation, and in my not so humble existence.  Let me start with a few recent events that I am noting here and not on Facebook since that place seems overloaded with people who vanity problems and want to publicize their last bowel movement---kind word for was funny on "Married w/ Children "on TV.    So, recent events.   Recently moved to L I . More on that lush island later.    I joined the local JCC since I have heard, and rightfully so, how good it is for your health to be involved with social events.   Today I was invited to join in a discussion group.   There was a time when I had discussions that had results.   Being on my library board,  meetings at my radio station etc;.  Here,  it was a discussion that went nowhere with people bloviating to hear their own voices at great volume.   Well. the good part is I met some folks that I probably won't see again---except for one person who I knew before and who commented "..does  no one ever get to a point..."   Right on!

To be brief I will just add one more thought to this missive that has not been published in while.   Allow me to mention my 2 radio programs (there were 3 but TABLETALK is gone at my request---too much work and no staff) .SUNDAY SIMCHA and TRADITIONS.   It is a joy to be able to keep doing them and my thanks to WFDU for allowing such wonderful "free form" rado to still exist in this wasteland of mediocrity and sameness

Thursday, December 11, 2014


It certainly has been a while since the last mostly unappreciated or redundant commentary that you care about.  But, if you are reading this I do appreciate it.

Let me start with the change of venue in my life.  It has been a source of great upheaval and depression for me.  Hard to give up 50 years of an area that was, to me, home with beautiful surroundings,  acquaintances, and scenery.   I am now in Long Island---South Shore.  Not to denigrate it since many people abide here and, surely, love it.  To me;   An awful place that is totally without charm or scenic beauty.   Interestingly, most people who as where  I came from ask me "why"---they all seem to comment of the beauty of my former place.     I have the answer but even that makes me realize that one can make big mistakes (and irreversible ones) in one/s life.

Now; on to more positive things.   The good thing is technology.  Yep, technology.  Where I was able to get to the radio station  (WFDU)  in about minutes this is no longer possible.  Yet, technology allows me to record my programs at home.  I miss the live inter-action with listeners but e mail does supplant that problem.  So,  the shows will continue with your wonderful support.  The interviews will also shortly  proceed.   Speaking of interviews.  If you ever want to hear some of the older ones from  TRADITIONS (some fascinating artists when they started---and Dave Van Ronk---not when he started but, rather, comments of thing that were surely misrepresented in the Coen Bros. film_ ) 

 One or two final things.   Some recent films I have to mention which I may have commented on the program----

Love Is Strange---not to be missed.   For ever so  many reasons not the least are the brilliant performances by the featured actors and the whole subject matter.

Elsa & Fred---what a delight.  I related to the first half and not to the second half, which I truly enjoyed on its own.

All In The Family---a bit off the beaten track on this subject.  Having heard the interviews wit Norman Lear recently I decided to revisit some of those episodes and, as he said, they were not only wonderful but truly classic TV.  They changed the landscape of television with their topicality and wit.  While, in the interviews, the names of the actors never came up I am so impressed by the talent of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton(who,to me, stole the show).  I am always amazed now Mr. O'Connor went on to create a whole new persona as a Southern Sheriff  after the disaster of his doing a truly awful coda to the earlier success with "Archies Place"

Well, as they say---whoever they are ---see you on the radio.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I do admit that this blog is on an irregular basis but the playlists are, hopefully, fairly current.  Many bloggers feel the need to post their daily thoughts, their constant activity (even, I suppose, their bowl regularity or irregularity), and much else.   Seems Facebook has such people as well and I approve since that activity keeps their interests and time well occupied.  For them.

Today, not to he guilty of my last paragraph's comment, I just want to mentions a few items.  Most are quite positive.

My Co-host on Traditions presented a truly wonderful tribute and memorial to a wonderful artist we have lost (as so many others) at a tender age---Danny Quinn.   Truly a warm, sensitive and talented artist.  My compliments to Ron Olesko and my condolences to the family and friends of Danny Quinn---and my own sadness in losing such a warm and wonderful talent.

In that same mode may I also mourn the loss of a loyal listener to so many programs on WFDU and a loyal supporter of so many of them in financial ways.  But, more important to me, in her personal contact, about the programs.  She never made requests (though infrequently in correspondence) and had some wonderful insights and suggestions about performers in her correspondence with me.   I will make mention and honor her at the start of TRADITIONS on 11/16---along with a few of her favorite artists that I gleaned from here rare requests.

In a more positive mode now I have to say that I have some truly interesting people of late.   Perhaps things are, as it is said, generational.   If I had been at a function---some people say "affair" but that sounds like an immoral assignation---and met people who jus love Rap the conversation would have been over.  Generational, I suppose.  Yesterday my table companions at a "function"---still no "affair"--sorry---were Phil Ochs fans and also Bela Fleck.   I was told of their birthdates.   Perhaps it is, as I said, generational.

I do not know if any of you recall the original title of this Blog (which was stolen and accredited to Jimmy Cannon (sports columnist for the NY Post before it became a rag to wrap dead fish) Nobody Asked Me But.....   So --
....Do we need 24/7 coverage of Ebola over just the brief, sad facts?
...Why are there hundreds of channels on TV and nothing to watch that is new.
...Why is it that the older TV programs had more substance (OK forget the likes of FatherKnows BEst and that ilk)
 ....Norman Lear created quality programming and Carrol Oconner --talented as he was---should have known that when the show ended it ended and not tried his disaster.  In fairness, he did create or perform a whole new character in has later series.  He was a great actor.

I end by hoping that you will be tuned in this coming Sunday to WFDU for all the eclectic programming that will be offered---Sunday Simcha, Vintage Rock & Pop Shop, and at 2 PM I will be with you again with TRADTIONS and have, hopefully, a program worthy of your interest---you radio afficianodos (as myself)

Saturday, October 18, 2014


It has been a while since the last post and a lot has transpired during that time.  Many of you probably know that the Sunday Simcha programs have been "encore" presentationsFancy term for repeats.  But we are now back on schedule for both Simcha and Traditions.   Traditions will, once again, have my presence on 10/26 and Sunday Simcha on 10/19 and the usual schedule returns.

On a personal note.  The reason for the hiatus was my moving from Rockland County to Nassau County.  More about that in a moment.    It created electronic problems that precluded my presenting the programs. Thanks to the staff at WFDU all these issues are now resolved and I am able to continue with the programs and hope for your e mail input.   A whole new and wonderful electronic world.  I, also, have to thank my co-host on Traditions  for his gracious coverage during all this time.

As mentioned earlier I would comment  on the move from Rockland County to Nassau County.   OK.   Brief thought---don't  leave heaven for something better.  It does not work.  My move was for the right reasons (having to do w/family and aging).  I know that people who have lived here are delighted with their surroundings.   Rightfully so.  But a few things to think about---costs, surroundings, and community.   Prices for everything (from taxes, food, etc;) are a fraction in Rockland County.   The views in S. Rockland (I can only speak for 0rangetown) are spectacular compared to  LI South Shore-=--there I had Clausland Mtn. and here I see Mt. Garbage---some dump they have converted into a hill covered w/ grass.   Supermarkets and taxes.  Nuff said about that.     

I could now write a whole riff on the "gated" community where I  now reside . I felt just as secure in my  former house and, frankly, who would want to enter this area that reminds me of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World".   

Enough of that as I now plan to leave my unlocked abode to find any activity availale in the new version of an Aldous Huxley novel.

On the bright side I have had the support of my daughter in this transition and that of the the folks at WFDU in helping me set-up all the electronics to permit me to continue in the radio moments I love and hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random Ramblings

Some random ramblings of , as the song says, these things are on my mind.  OK, I purloined the line from Pete Seeger on a much bigger issue---"These Three Are On My Mind", This is the anniv. of Freedom Summer and it will be duly noted and remembered on TRADITIONS on 7/6.

Back to the random rambling.   I finally did my second garage sale in 40 years---the first netted about $20 and about 2 shoplifters.  I promised myself never again.  Today I succumbed to clean out the garage and I do believe we live in affluent times for some folks.   Opening at 9 AM the 1st person showed up at 10:30 and purchased a butterfly net for $2---should have kept it and used it so someone would commit me for this inanity.   My 2d patron (and his mother) came about 11:45.   Truly a sad case or I am the sucker of the day.   He asked me how much I wanted for a beach chair I had---I said $2 and we settled for $1 which is when I realized he seemed to have no money since his mother  (he was in his 40s, it seemed) paid.  He then wanted some 75 feet of electrical wire I had(heavy duty) and he offered $1 and did not have enough change---I let him have it anyway and gave his mother a gift of some baskets I had.   That ended my disaster of a sale.  Never again.   I do wonder if he was good at pleading poverty while driving a fairly late model van.   Yet, I felt for the man and tried to do a little good.

Everything now is at the curb FREE for the taking and even there no takers. There was a time---oh well.  Monday the trash (sanitation folks for proper nomenclature) will, hopefully, take it all away.

 For a few more ramblings---
    Dick Cheney on Charlie Rose.   Charlie Rose did better than I have ever seen him do given the Cheney intransigence.   The Jon Stewart characterization of him is even more true to his image than a characterization should be . 
    Not that I want to make recommendations for people to contact for Real Estate agents or contractor I do have to say that I have run into some people who truly care about the "client" even when there is not a thing that will benefit them but just care about how "you are doing".   On request.
    Back to the programs---a truly funny (by request) Sunday Simcha on 7/6 and on Traditions that day we commemorate the holiday in a comical way along with the usual features and some brilliant new material.    Don't miss Hour 2 (3 PM now) for some remembrances of your favorites---again, more requests.
    One last thought about Sunday Simcha.   I hope many of you viewed the CBS show on Sunday a few weeks back.  What a wonderful segment on Fyvush Finkel and how delighted I was to have had the honor of having him on the program and also of driving him home after a show in his honor.  A real gem of a gentleman who is still going strong w/ great talent and humor.
     So, of course there has to be a final thought about Traditions and the fact that back in 1999 Mary Gauthier was my guest.  I found her to be the most honest and open person in our interview which started with her recording of "Drag Queens & Limousines".  Biographical.   I saw her a few years later in Rockland County and I asked her to stay over at my place to save hotel bills. She did.  Now she is a huge success and I am so delighted.  I just heard her about a week ago on WNYC on Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross---still honest and open.  A delight.