ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

You wouldn’t know this but, I’ve had the worst time trying to write the simplest part of this book.  Here I am at the part where I should thank all those who helped me along the path from scratch paper to books in hand being read.   This should be easy but, to my chagrin, I’ve had a hard time putting this part into words. It’s not that I’m ungrateful at all. I try always to be as thankful as can be. In truth, I’m afraid I’ll forget someone. At my age that’s pretty easy to do.

Also, there’s so many to thank. There’s the ones who inspired me to try. There’s those who cheered me on and didn’t gripe when I was busy with this thing and ignoring them. There’s plenty of people who gave me a hand with the hard parts and details. There’s all the people in my life who put ideas into my head for stories. I might also want to thank all those who made my life miserable in one way or another. Without them, I wouldn’t have been inspired to try. I should thank those that made my life happy and interesting. Without them, I wouldn’t have been inspired to try.

There has to be some names. Let me thank Sandy, Millie, Sunny, Sadie, Richie, Burgess, Dan, Jeff, and the guy who arranged all the loose manuscripts into a book. I don’t know his name yet but, he’s got one heck of a chore coming.   If I missed anyone, just consider yourselves thanked. Let me know and I’ll acknowledge you in the next book.

Mostly, I’ve just got to say that I’ve run into some wonderful people in my time here. Yes there’s been some stinkers for sure. But, heck, I’ve been a stinker myself. We all stink at times and then, with luck, we get over it and move on. I just want to thank all the fine and good people I’ve known. There have been so many of them to meet and enjoy. I really can’t complain.  I thank all of the people I’ve known. You’ve all been great.

I’ve dedicated my life, to trying to improve things one way or another. You have all, and I do mean all, have been very helpful in this assignment, You and I are shipmates on planet Earth and, I thank you all.

 

 

MAW COME QUICK, THE SNOWS A MELTING

Now that all the snow is melting in the yard, you should see all the stuff I’m finding that I gave up for lost.  My cinder block grill just reappeared.  I knew it wasn’t gone but, I wasn’t too sure exactly of it’s coordinates.  It would be rough on my feet to suddenly trip over it into a snow drift while walking to the firewood pile.

     My snow shovel finally poked through the surface.  Good thing for me that Sandy’s shovel didn’t disappear.  Gosh, what would she have done?
     A traffic cone just popped through, as did my favorite pine tree.  Three crab traps finally got to daylight.  Why they were in the yard is beyond me.  Our big cast iron chicken just pecked his way to the top.  Two picnic tables down by the river weren’t washed away I see.  Turns out that the big mound of snow near the driveway was really, just under the snowy surface, a massive pile of firewood that needed splitting.  Two chamber pots can be seen now with their little handles finally seeing daylight.   There’s a few baby buggies along the driveway.  No, there’s no babies in them thank heaven. There were some bills in them though. You wouldn’t have known that that tool tray full of nails was just under the surface near the shed.  It’s a good thing it was off the beaten track.  You know, I really meant to take out that big bag full of old eggs and chicken leftovers and other garbage the night of that big blizzard.  I put it right along the walk so it wouldn’t smell up the house and then, I couldn’t find my boots. By the way, my boots were right where I left them just out side the back door.
     Boy, this thaw is a big help.   It’s so nice to get your stuff back

HOW I GOT MY AIR NAME

HOW’D I GET MY NAME?

When I first started on the radio, I just used my real name. It didn’t seem to matter what I called myself.   The name my folks gave me was OK by me. Wilson, NC was a pretty big city and honestly, I thought it might be great if people I ran into would, once they heard my name, get all star struck and say things like, “ Oh hey!   You’re that guy on the radio. We love your show!!! “   I kept thinking it would be cool to be stopped at the Parkwood Mall on a Saturday morning to sign autographs. I always kept a fresh pen handy.   I didn’t want to run out of ink what with those long lines.

A fellow DJ warned me that it might be a good idea to not use my real name. He told of how he once used his real name on air.  One day he came home to find his place was robbed. The crooks heard his name, looked up his address and enjoyed his live show on his home radio, as they cleaned out his stuff.  At least, they didn’t take his radio.   It was still running and, tuned to his station.

I played and loved oldies for my show. I figured that everyone would love them too. Imagine my shock when listeners would call in saying that the music stunk.   Some “fans” could get really mad about my talking about a sponsor that maybe they felt gipped them.   Of course, there’s always the listeners who would take exception to some comment I made or, a song I played.   One “fan” even called up one night and ordered me to quit playing “Black Music”   He used another word for Black which I won’t use. I told him to get lost and hung up on him.   It kind of bothered me that this idiot and his friends with the hoods might be able to find my house.

Of course there were people calling with good intensions and wonderful comments too.   Some would call me at home after matching my name with a phone number.   There were folks who had records to sell. Some had parties that needed a DJ. Some fans just wanted to talk.   Most calls were just great. Still, I got to thinking it might be a very good idea to lose my real name.   I had to come up with something else.

By the time I realized I needed an air name, I was back in New Jersey. With the help of a dear friend, I got a show on a local college station.   Before I did any work for them I figured it would be a very good idea to come up with some kind of other name.

All I can say is it’s hard to air name yourself. Try it. I must have gone through at least a few dozen names. It was easier to come up with names for my kids. Pets also, are no problem. But to come up with an air name…..WOW, What a chore!!!!

Eventually, after a day or so, I decided on Doc South.   I used Doc because I was once a rescue person and devoted to helping people. I reasoned that DJ’s make people feel better too. I decided on South because I got my start in the South. Rock and roll started in the South too. I also loved my time in the South.   So, there it was, my name was to be Doc South from that point on.   At first I really didn’t like the name but, I couldn’t think of anything else. That means that I must have had the perfect name.   No sense losing the name now, I’ve had it for thirty four years.

THE SIREN CALL OF THE CORN CHIPS 03/10/15

I was having a momentary case of writers block a few minutes ago. My sure cure for that is to have a quick snack and a cup of coffee. It works every time.   So, I went into the kitchen to sneak a few mouthfuls of crinkle cut potato chips while I also heated my coffee water in the microwave. Our microwave makes a lot of racket. I guess they all do. Sometimes the rotating plate jumps off its track and rumbles like a broken wheel bearing in a Mack Truck.   There must be a cooling blower or, something like it, in a microwave. So, that was sounding off too, at the top of its lungs.   Then, when I reached for the bag of chips, the skin of the chip bag went nuts and announced to the world that I was going for a few more calories. What a racket. My simple little snack was getting like feeding time in the monkey cage at the Bronx Zoo. I almost needed ear plugs just to eat especially when I started crunching on the chips.

This all reminded me of something Sandy mentioned the other day. I guess I was showing her this brand new bag of hot pepper potato chips I bought. She didn’t bother to get up from her spot on the floor but, she was suitably impressed and, thought she might try one someday.  Sandy’s not a big on snacking.   She looked up at me and said, “Shake that bag a little.”   I did just that. Gee, it was kind of loud. Sandy went on. “Did you hear how loud that bag is? I hear they make them that way. Loud as heck to make you want them more.   Somehow that racket makes them attractive.” I crinkled the bag a bit and sure as heck, it was pretty noisy and somehow, I was getting hungrier and hungrier.   Sandy said how she was standing in the snack aisle the other day and, it sounded like a boiler factory there.   I couldn’t answer her right then because I had a mouth full of hot pepper potato chips. Man are they hot! I resolved to check out her observation myself the next chance I got.

So, yesterday, I noticed that someone decided not to buy a head of lettuce. They decided to leave it next to the heavy cream in my dairy case. It sure wasn’t going to sell there so, I grabbed the lettuce and headed for the produce department. I figured this would be a good opportunity to check out Sandy’s snack bag theory. Lettuce in hand, I headed for the snack aisle. There weren’t too many people there. But, luckily, there was one knot of people, a family I think, ransacking the aisle.  It was quiet near me but, as I neared the grazing group.   They were making quite a racket.   The bag crinkling din got louder and louder to the point that my eardrums were about to pop.   Worse than that, I started getting hungrier and hungrier. I almost ate the lettuce in my hand. When I was right in amongst that family, who were shoveling BBQ corn chips by the armload into their cart, I found myself drawn to the cheese puffs. They were on sale and I was almost to the point of holding out my apron to carry off a dozen bags or so. Regular or crunchy, it didn’t matter. I wanted it all. My mind kept screaming, “ Where’s the dip?  Where’s the darn dip!!!???”

Somehow, I was able to break free of the spell. Maybe it was because the family had filled their cart and were heading to the soft drink aisle. I only know that I was lucky that there weren’t any other customers in the snack section.   I broke free, dropped the cheese puffs and, ran as fast as I could to the produce section. Once there, I stood near the broccoli display and regained my composure.   “My god, Sandy was right. She was right! What’s with that crinkling? I almost ate five bags of cheese puffs.”

That sound had me ready to sell my kids, both of ‘em, for a case of slim jims. All I can say friends and take heed, if you venture into your local super market snack aisle, wear ear plugs, look neither left nor right, and keep chanting, “BROCCOLI…..BROCCOLI….LETTUCE……BEATS…..KALE!!!!!!   Beware the siren call of the crinkle.

 

PREHISTORIC CATIPILLARS IN THE NIGHT

PREHISTORIC CATIPILLARS

Early one morning before the sun came up, Millie the Hound had to go out to anoint the lawn.   She never wakes up my wife Sandy. I’m always the chosen one. I guess I should be honored and, I am. Still, it’s hard to feel honored as I’m stumbling around the living room looking for my old shoes that are now serving as slippers.   My old slippers fell apart one night. They actually broke into separate pieces. The front part stuck to my toes ok but, the heel end fell off my feet in a snow storm. I’ll find them in the spring. So, I drafted my old work shoes on the spot. I had pitched them in the trash can outside. So, I had to go out to the garbage can out on the street and, issue a reprieve. Good thing that they weren’t too far down in the can. I took the shoelaces off and saved them in my top dresser drawer. Without the laces to slow me down, the old work shoes slip on with light foot pressure. They’re hi tops. That gives a snug fit. Sure they smell a bit right now. That’ll go away in time and, now, I have a great and comfortable pair of slippers. The best thing is, they really didn’t cost a thing. Really, they saved me money. Good slippers cost quite a lot.

So, I’m standing out in the snow wearing my new slippers. Millie was sniffing around. There was a full moon, no wind and it had just stopped snowing.   The full moon mixed with all that fresh snow, made it almost as light as day. We we’re over near the berry bush patch.  Millie was busy fertilizing the area. It’s funny, but, I noticed a really neat phenomenon. The evening snow had just stopped like I said.   We got about an inch. The snow that fell on the berry bush branches clung to the limbs for dear life. Every here and there, snow had fallen away leaving a gap between the next row of clinging branch snow.   It sounds crazy but, the roundness of the clinging snow and the gaps between one row or, another made the remaining clinging snow look like giant catipillars crawling along the limbs.

On the berry patch alone, there were dozens upon dozens of these creatures crawling here and there on every branch.   I looked up at the trees. There were thousands of them up above. Some of them being on the bigger branches of a towering tree were gigantic. They were three and four feet long and inches thick. I couldn’t count them all. Then, looking out into the woods and across the river, I realized that I was staring at millions of these creatures. I found myself surrounded by a prehistoric army of millions of giant prehistoric fur worms!!!!!!   They had eaten every leaf on every tree and shrub.   My God, what if they think dogs taste good or, maybe even humans???? They were crawling by night in search of human flesh and, there I was, the only human left alive in miles.

A man can go insane walking out in the snow at night in his pajamas.   I did manage to slap myself back into reality.   Still, the woods did look like millions of very big catipillars were everywhere. It gave me pause. There was most likely a time many millions of years ago when giant catipillars ruled the earth as giant butterflies commanded and darkend the skies. Cave dwellers kept their campfires hot and bright to scare them away. Drums beat feverishly as dusk descended to warn stragglers to find safety in caves. To be found alone out in the night meant certain death in the many arms of catipillar gangs roaming the jungle.   Many natives were found at daybreak suffocated inside of huge cuccoons left barely alive only to be food for hatchlings once their fangs and appetite grew deadly.

Catipillars, I reasoned, must have ruled in this manner for eons.   What was to stop their deadly advance?   They just curled and stretched, curled and stretched their way from continent to continent in an unbridled squirming conquest. Vast catipillar webs stretched across deep mountain passes.   Trees went leafless.  Fig leaves were nonexistent.   Mankind had nothing to wear.   All was lost.   It was then that I realized that maybe I shouldn’t eat hot pepper cheese steak with Worchestershire sauce and fried garlic and onion sandwiches before going to bed.

In any case Millie was done and was getting cold.   We headed for the front door.   Suddenly, a brisk wind blew down the valley from upstream. With the breeze, all the snow catipillars disappeared in a vast puff of snowflakes. One poof, and, they were gone. Just one lone six inch snow catipillar managed to hang on against the great breeze of extinction.   It clung to a sheltered tiny twig just outside my bedroom window. I hoped it might hang in there but, knew that the morning sun when it came up in would finish it off. The poor thing held on for about an hour after sunrise and that was it.

 

POP POP TALKS ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS CAR CLUBS DO 02/02/15

In the summer, you can often see a hotrodder heading somewhere down the highway in a car all prettied up with flashy paint, chrome everywhere, fat tires, and a big loud muffler.  You might think to yourself, “Gosh, what a show off.”  Partly, you might be right and, partly, you might be wrong.   Sure, it’s a flashy car your looking at.  But, chances are, that car took a long long time to build and the owner spent many a day in a garage smashing his knuckles down in the engine compartment trying to get that chrome starter in just right.  Heck, it probably took all day.   After all that work, he’s entitled to show off a bit.   One more thing, he, or she, is most likely heading to a car show somewhere down the road.   That means sitting in a hot parking lot  when back at home, the lawn needs mowing.   Most certainly, that car show is running to support a charity or two.  So, the lost day is worth it.   In this podcast, Pop Pop speaks up for the car clubs.   Check it out.

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POP POP LOOKS AT SOME OLD PHOTOS 01/19/15

Listener Marsha sent me some old photo’s she found on the web.   I guess it was one of those sites that make the rounds in cyber space.   The viewer was asked if he or she remembered the items pictured.   I remembered quite a few and, thought it would make for a great show if I talked about as many of those items as possible.   I’ve got to say that I had a ball.  So, open a can of Moxie the old fashioned way, with a can opener, and enjoy this one.

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FRANK AND HIS BOWL OF SOUP

FRANK AND HIS BOWL OF SOUP

Almost anytime I was getting ready to play music at Mama’s Café Baci I’d see this old timer in the corner having a bowl of soup.   He’d watch me lugging my stuff as he ate. I’d smile a hello at him. He’d nod a hello back and have another slurp of soup. He might have known me from radio shows that I used to do in town. I didn’t know him, at that moment, but I figured sooner or later, we’d get acquainted.

Tommy, the owner of Café Baci, is a great guy and, very good at getting people together.   Tommy must have seen the two of us eyeballing each other.   He came over to me and got me aside for a short word.   Tommy told me that the man in the corner was named Frank and that he came in most every day for his supper. Usually, he had a bowl of soup. Tommy also told me that Frank served on a Battleship during World War Two.

Well, that’s all I had to hear. I dropped my gear and went straight over to Frank’s corner table.   (By the way, I’m very sorry about dropping that box of records on Tommy’s foot.)   At the table, I said hi and introduced myself.   Turns out that Frank knew who I was and kept right on eating his soup as I stood there talking.   He wasn’t being rude at all. The soup was good and soup has a way of getting cold. I like hot soup too and if I’m in the middle of eating a bowl of soup, I get kind of quiet myself.

Frank got to the bottom of the bowl and told me how he was on the Indiana during World War Two. I flipped. “That’s a Battleship right?” Frank said that it was.  “We’re you in the Pacific Campaign?” He said yes.   I was going nuts.   “You had to be in the thick of the war. My god the things you must have seen. What was your station on the ship?”   I think he said it was mostly battle stations.   Other than that, he may have told me that he was a deck hand. In fact, I’m not that sure he did tell me what he did on board.   He did mention how one day at sea the Indiana somehow ran into one her sister ships and some crew members were killed. After all these years, that seemed to upset him.

Now and then, I would run into Frank while setting up at Mamas.   Our schedules seemed to jive. He’d be eating soup and, I’d be lugging my stuff.   I always went over and said hi. He’d say hi back and eat his soup. I once asked him if he’d like to do an interview with me sometime about being a crew member on the Indiana. He never said no. He never said yes.   I never once heard him brag about his service.   I could tell that he loved that ship he was on and that his fellow sailors we’re very special to him. I never got the interview.

Frank died the other day. He’d been sick awhile.   I got to thinking how so much history was lost with his passing.   I looked up the WW II service record of the Indiana. You could have made eight John Wayne movies just on that ship alone. Everything was thrown at them and they threw it right back. I think the Indiana has nine battle stars. The crew on many days was very close to not making it out alive. But, they did and then some.

As I think about it.   Frank told me an awful lot about his service just by being quiet about it. He was of that generation that in spite of the danger and whether they were scared or not, just went out and did what they had to do.   When it was done, they came home and ate soup.  Just fact alone makes them special, very special indeed.

Funny, but by Frank being silent, he gave me the best interview ever.   I learned all I needed to know.   Now you have too.   God bless him and keep him.   I hope the soup is great in Heaven. I’m sure it is.