Friday, December 15, 2017

Funny, I Don't Remember...

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, the rest of the clothes were tossed pretty much anywhere."

That was one of the many comments received regarding last week's blog, all of them not yet ready for posting without considerable name changing and other modification.  I had no idea that so many of my old broadcast buds could recall some of the epic parties of those golden days of open bars, traded out hotels, record company freebies, and a morality somewhere to the left of "whoopee".  Too many participants are going to have to step off the planet before those tales can be told.

There was that time in, wait, better not.  How about the naked cartwheel contest in San Diego?  Perhaps another time.  The trip to the transmitter to shut the station on and off just for laughs?  The FCC could still be looking into that matter.  My pal Johnny E's impromptu and uninvited on stage appearance at a local "gentleman's" club in San Francisco after becoming over served at a station holiday celebration?  Nope!  Those are tales awaiting more relaxed non-PC times which most likely will never come again.  I guess those of us who suited up for the big game should be happy we're still around to remember.  Sort of.

I do believe gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson nailed it with his apt summation of the music business:  "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs.  There is also a negative side."

Oh, I nearly forgot.  Johnny boy, I left your RX-7 in the Chinatown Holiday Inn parking garage after that blowout in '82.  I'll look for the ticket and get back to you.  You may need a jump start.

Friday, December 8, 2017

But Regrettable Fun Is The Best Kind

Now there is one more reason I'm happy to be retired.  Holiday office parties, always a ready source of delightful misconduct, are on the verge of getting sent home in a cab by the growing posse of fun police determined to rid this great country of any and all behavior deemed "not PC".  Human Resource nerds are now riding herd on the suddenly less than festive workplace end of year meet-ups like referees at a high school prom.  No kissing, dirty dancing, faxing your ass to clients, or getting drunk and telling off the boss for today's employees.  Why attend?!  Half the fun was watching Marty and Larry get a skin full of booze and hit on the manager's wife while the big guy slipped off into a closet with his secretary.  Bad behavior at its finest!

Perhaps it was because I toiled in the morally bankrupt world of broadcasting, but I can recall several yuletide office bacchanals that involved fist fights and broken bones.  One party featured not only broken bones due to slippage by guests on several gallons of spilled punch but also the historical first  squad car ride for some of the women in the sales department.  You're welcome ladies.  Good times!

Why have we become so damn averse to good not so clean Animal House fun?  As a nation we used to be able to let the badger out a couple of times a year, but no more.  Now the killjoys of political correctness have us lashed to the mast of good behavior and refuse to let us party down.  I say we stop this nonsense right now!  So what if you lose your job?  It's the season to monkey around and the circus is still in town baby!  I think I hear sirens.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Need A Wooden Overcoat?

I read newspapers.  It's an old habit that I'll likely never break.  The idea of starting the day without first having at least scanned a local and a national daily makes me feel, well, unprepared.  Sure I read papers on line too but it's never quite the same.  Often the various layouts are hard to follow, the print is too small or the clicks too tedious for digesting entire stories and I simply quit.  Give me ink stained fingertips anytime!  

Local papers are the quickest way to discover what makes a community tick.  They are a veritable piƱata of local scandals, government issues, sports, schools and just about anything else of importance to a town or city.  If you want to speed up your adjustment to new environs, have the local paper hit your front porch every morning.

In retirement I am delighted to be living in the panhandle of Idaho.  The Coeur D' Alene Press is easy to navigate and seldom takes long to peruse yet there is no doubt that it reflects the essence of its hometown.  Most of us in the Inland Northwest are here by choice and the letters to the editor appearing in the Press are seldom ambivalent or bashful when it comes to expressing an opinion.   Lots of exclamation points and cockeyed logic.  I love that!!! The classified section, long diminished by the Internet in many metropolitan dailies, is often the most entertaining reading in the Press.  Classic cars, RVs, puppies and even an occasional fire truck or two are advertised for sale or trade.  Today's offer of a Cowboy Coffin may just be the Black Friday answer to the question of what to get that hard to buy for aging relative.  Try finding this one on Amazon!

The rope handles are a nice touch.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Minnesota Can Have Him Back

The smug look on my face as I contemplate the well deserved comeuppance of the only SNL cast member who never once made me laugh nearly matches the one Al Franken sports during his too frequent grandstanding Senate performances.  His condescending badgering of any and all conservatives  is often embarrassing in its lack of sophistication or even basic understanding of the constitution.  Naturally this never stops him.  He plays to the cheap seats. 

Like Ted Kennedy, he'll likely avoid censure or condemnation for his piggish behavior.  He carries water for the left and that is all that matters to limousine liberals who cling to their bankrupt philosophy of identity politics.  

Thanks Minnesota for electing this miserable waste of taxpayer money and, for that matter, air. Whatever happened to people like Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale?  Though too far left for my taste, they were at least honorable and decent men.  Recall this idiot, give him a bait shop in Bemiji and elect someone who can tell a joke, not be one.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Not that many years ago--okay 30--I often wondered why the world seemed to have run out of transformational inventions.  It was reasonable to assume that the invention of the horseless carriage, airplanes, indoor plumbing, radio, television and rocket ships capable of landing a man on the moon were more than enough excitement for my grandfather's generation, but I was hard pressed to think of  any particular life changing technological contribution produced by mine.

"Dad, there is this thing called the Internet that we use for homework, term papers and communication with our professors," my oldest daughter explained to me after her first semester of college back in 1989.  I recall saying something like, "that's nice honey" and moving on.  I hadn't a clue that what she was giving me was an introduction to a watershed of societal change that continues to this day.  The Internet, at least in my estimation, appeared to seep into our lives like flood waters.  First a small trickle under the door; then waist high and ultimately a tidal wave that changed how we live, do business, have fun, travel and pretty much EVERYTHING.  Daily there seems to be a myriad of new ways to apply the plethora of tools now available to us via the Net.  Our phones have become the most important tool in our possession.  Instant information and entertainment are available whenever we want.  Music, a camera, instant contact with friends are all right there in the palm of our hands.  Appliances, homes and our cars are rapidly becoming part of the growing "Internet of things."

Certainly we are more distracted.  I notice it most in, of all places, New York City.  When I first started visiting the city there was an energy and bustle unlike anyplace else.  People walked with determination at a high clip.  A couple of years ago I began to sense that something had changed about the pace of the city and then it hit me, literally.  I was bumped into by a man so engaged in checking his email or something on his phone that he plowed right into me.  He was one of the many New Yorkers who now, instead of walking a straight line, amble all over the sidewalk while either chatting on or looking at their phone.  The Internet and all the multi-tasking it invites slowing down the city that never sleeps?  No time for sleep!  There's too much to do on the Net.

I realize there is nothing terribly profound in all of this but it is interesting, if you are old enough to recall, what a different world we lived in before the Internet.  Business, leisure, entertainment, shopping, how we plan our day...all have been forever changed by this all encompassing new universe.  And, if you're like me, it all happened while you were thinking that maybe we had finally run out of ideas.

Friday, November 3, 2017

When October Goes

Military Drive in the Fort Grounds neighborhood of Coeur D' Alene, Idaho

Nothing lets the air out of the year like October coming to a halt.  At least for me the loss of the leaves, hours of daylight and baseball really puts a rather rude and abrupt cut off to one of the more enjoyable months of the year.  Baseball always seems to take a hike when we need it the most, though not having to watch the insufferable Larry King masticate peanuts behind home plate in Dodger Stadium is certainly a bonus.  I guess it's better to be thankful for a sensational World Series and, at least here in Idaho, an abundant and certainly colorful Fall palate of leaves.

It isn't lost on me that the holidays are coming and soon we'll all be complaining of time constraints, expanding waistlines, what to get the grandkids and where the hell to get enough money to pay for it all, but we still seem to like it.  This will be my first Christmas without my wife so the plan is to stay busy with friends and travel to San Diego to experience it through the eyes of my eight year-old grandson. Since it already looks to be another snowy year up here in the Idaho panhandle, I'm sure it won't be tough to take the dependably warm and sunny San Diego clime.

Everything about Fall invites reflection.  The cool nights, crisp air, waning daylight and approaching holiday season suggest a conclusion of yet another year along with the anticipation of the fresh start of a new one.  All of the projects and new experiences we didn't get to this year we're certain to accomplish beginning January 1.  Or not.

As I write this, as if on cue, it has begun to snow here on Lake Coeur D' Alene.  The flakes are fluffy at present and don't seem to be sticking but the Canadian geese, at least those still around, are bunching up on the beach.  I think it's time for a long walk in the wet leaves.  As Kipling said, "smells are better than sights or sounds to make the heart strings crack."  The loamy fecund smell of the leaves takes me back to the woods of the Midwest and a time when I was young and the world  a very different place.  As I mentioned, it's a time of reflection.

Friday, October 20, 2017

This Calls For Drastic Action!

I'm in New York.  There is work to be done and I must do it.  The hideous and painfully dreadful Dodgers have dispatched the clueless and clumsy Cubs to seize the National League pennant; now  all that remains standing in the way of a Dodger/Yankee World Series is the upstart Astros.  I arrived yesterday in the city so big they had to name it twice and have been roaming the boroughs with a Mets cap on my balding pate just begging Yankee fans to take a swing.  I have no idea what would happen if they did, but it makes me feel good to be doing something completely stupid and pointless. 
That's right Yankee scum, I'm callin' you out!

The Queensborough Bridge as the sun sets on the Cubs
Please, no World Series here!
 Yankee fans are naturally in abundance in the Big Apple and they sport the smug and certain look I remember oh so well from the 1950's.  A Yankees/ Dodgers series is the moral equivalent of trying to decide whether to root for Hitler or Hirohito during World War II.  I refuse to participate!  A baseball pox on both of their dugouts!
Should the Astros fail to stop this miscarriage of sports justice tonight, I'll be at the White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village ordering doubles and wearing my Mets cap.  Feel free to call, I'll be the guy next to Mr. Met.

Friday, October 13, 2017

NO, Not Again!

Baseball is always tough for me to let go of.  It's that last whisper of summer before the return of long cold nights, snow, rain and the holidays.  I cling to it like a life preserver.  Sure the games are getting way too long (Umps, call the high strike!) and it's hard to remember just what channels are broadcasting each  playoff game, but we eventually make it to the World Series.  There is something satisfying about witnessing the best millionaires money can buy competing at a level far beyond those of us less skilled.  Hell, I didn't even have a decent Little League career! 

The series is special, but this former scrub will NOT be watching if, as the Fox Network hopes, this year's big tilt comes down to a dance between the Dodgers and the Yankees.  I HATE THOSE TEAMS!  They ruined my childhood!  Growing up in southern Michigan in the 1950's meant that my baseball world revolved around the woeful Detroit Tigers who were always dependably out of the American League pennant race by Memorial Day.  When the Fall Classic rolled around it invariably seemed to be a Dodgers-Yankees shoot out and that was that.  My wife, like many non fans, thought that there were only two baseball teams in the whole country.  It was that bad.  The Yankees and the Dodgers have met 11 times in the World Series; six times alone between 1947 and 1956.  It's just not right, and I say we need another century or two without a re-match.  Sure the TV network will make a ton of moola if the country's two largest television markets play host to the contest but it sure will be a lot more fun for those of us in the hinterlands who root for underdogs like the Cubs or Astros if the Series is Dodger and Yankee free.  We want a central time zone World Series!

I do believe, like most men of my years, we are happy to have known some good women, a great cigar or two, the inside of a Corvette, the bottom of a glass of Jack Daniels and, with luck, another World Series that is Dodger and Yankee free.

Cubs!  Astros!


They've had quite enough, thank you!

Friday, October 6, 2017

TRIX Is For....Kids?

Trix is for ADULTS, damnit!  And, I am happy to report that the good General at General Mills finally sobered up long enough to realize that doing away with all that beautiful artificial goodness a person could heretofore find in that wonderful box featuring the "silly rabbit" is now back  where it belongs.  In case you hadn't noticed, some nitwit V.P. in Minneapolis (they are decidedly bossy in that frozen outpost) decided a couple of years back that the company might score some points with health conscience moms by doing away with all the brightly colored dyes and chemicals that made the product so appealing to sugar aficionados and replaced them with...uh, "natural" coloring that looked like your basic rabbits turds.  Don't kid yourself stuck up V.P.!  It wasn't the little tykes eating your highly addictive product, it was ADULTS.  Face it,  Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms and Trix have been the only way some of us over the age of 12 have been able to take care of our sugar jones through the years.  If you had kids it was pretty easy to pull off.  All that was needed was a minute or two when the wife's back was turned and the day was off to a grand start.  Of course after the kids were grown it took a good deal more stealth and deception, but it was worth it.

I'm going to cut this short as we've just received word here at  Bad Diet Central that the new, beautiful and practically 100% pure candy breakfast treat that is the original TRIX is now back on supermarket shelves and practically glowing in the dark with iridescent fake color goodness.  Time to start the car!

Does anyone remember, is it red or white wine with Trix?

Eat Me!

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Visit From The Planet Energy

The kid will turn eight in a couple of weeks and I still tell him he is my favorite grandson.  I've been telling him that for at least as long as he has been on the planet and I await the light bulb moment when he realizes that he is my ONLY grandson.  That will be a watershed moment in his young life.  He is here in north Idaho with his parents for an autumn vacation.  His folks took him out of school for a week which means he has been assigned homework by his teacher to insure he keeps up with the class.  I note with interest that he loves to read but absolutely hates doing any math.  The apple does not fall far from the grandpa tree.  "Put a dollar sign in front of all those numbers and that'll make it more interesting", I offer as encouragement.  So far, it doesn't appear to be working.
Oh well, there is always cowboy or circus work.

It's such a cliche to complain about how kids can wear you out, but they DO!  After a week long visit from my grandson, Dan, it becomes crystal clear to me why we have children when we are young.  A normal day in the life of a seven year-old requires more energy than grandpas can produce on any kind of consistent basis.  I'll need a couple of weeks and a nap or two just to get back to my old self.  (Operative word: old)

Gramps and Dan hatching a plan to snare the 'rents.

The fur babies in the park like him.

"Come down here and get these nuts!"

Two guys up to no good

Dan and his mom ready for a boat ride

He's a Pirates' Booty junkie.

A nice quiet moment with his dad on the lake.

Oh sure, he gets to nap on the way home.

Looking for crime to fight!

"Beware evil doers everywhere!"

"Yes, this book is far more interesting than talking to adults."

Friday, September 22, 2017


The one thing about moving frequently is that it affords you the opportunity to compare the pluses and minuses of life in different parts of the country.  I have now lived in eleven states and multiple cities in every part of America except New England.  Boston was always on my list of potential homes as it was, and is,  a very vibrant and competitive radio market, but, for whatever reason, timing and opportunity never came together.  As a kid in the Midwest I would often have my transistor tuned to WBZ and could imagine the thrill of one day uttering "The Spirit of New England, WBZ Group W Westinghouse, Boston" at the top of the hour.  What can I tell you?  I was a weird kid and have no complaints.  Cracking a mic on some legendary sticks in Tampa, San Diego and San Francisco ("K-101 is K eye oh eye, San Fraaaaancisco!") more than fulfilled my geeky Midwest boyhood dreams.

Lately, because this has been a strange year, I've found myself feeling homesick for...nowhere.  It's just odd.  I feel like there is someplace I need to be no matter where I happen to have myself planted at the time.  The easy answer is that the loss of my wife nearly six months ago has caused me to lose my compass and, no doubt, there is a lot of truth to that, however, it seems like there is more.  I suppose there is a price to be paid for leading a sort of rootless existence, though I'm hard pressed to put my finger on it. There is much to be learned from exposure to different people, climates and local traditions.  True friends are always there if you want to keep them.  My address book--yes I still use one--is loaded with folks I can't imagine never meeting and clinging to for life.  They are like jewels you can count on for love, support and, most of all, laughs.

These thoughts were paramount as I flew north to Idaho after a recent visit to San Diego.  It was good to feel the soft warm air of that southwestern most corner of America and even better to catch up with a few friends.  The traffic I could have done without.  San Diego was home for several years on two different occasions and it's always easy to slip back into old routines whenever I''m there.  I'll head back for a radio reunion late next month and again in December for Christmas with daughter Katie and her family.  For now I'm in Coeur D' Alene hoping for a beautiful Fall and some crisp pine scented air to go with it, but there is still something missing.

I have lined up several trips designed to keep me out of the cold this winter and am hopeful that they help me find some answers to this restlessness that won't go away.
A woman friend of long standing whom I admire and respect made the most obvious yet profound observation with regard to my situation.  She said, "When you find your heart, then you'll be home." She may be on to something.

How did women get so damn smart?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ken Copper: Ken Copper: Reflections on a rainy afternoon...

Ken Copper: Ken Copper: Reflections on a rainy afternoon...: ( This is a blog from 2011 that I thought worth a repeat this week.) Ken Copper: Reflections on a rainy afternoon... : Lots of constructio...

Ken Copper: Reflections on a rainy afternoon...

(This is a blog from 2011 that I thought worth a repeat this week.)

Ken Copper: Reflections on a rainy afternoon...: Lots of construction underway at the World Trade Center site The rain persisted as the afternoon wore on but it seemed appropriate...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Maybe Not Irma, But We Could Use A Little Breeze

Kim Jong Fatass

If that fat little North Korean psycho with the Moe Howard haircut wants to lob a dollop of Hiroshima hot sauce on us, now might be the ideal time.  With Florida about to blow away and the Pacific Northwest hidden by tons of forest fire funk there is little chance of him being able to even find us with his Korean atomic kimchi.  Add to that the fact that we're all pretty pissed off and spoiling for a good fight just to take our minds off this end of summer clearance sale on crappy weather.  Bring it on Tubby!  We'll be up your posterior with a plutonium proctoscope that will light up your pathetic province like Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Why so hostile?  Maybe it's from breathing all the smoke that has blanketed the Northwest for the past week.  I know that the situation in Florida is dire but in this neck of the woods Irma has some appeal as we breathe through our hankies.  Just a mild summer zephyr would do the trick.   Florida can keep the hurricane.

It's funny,  I spent five years in Florida during the 70's and never experienced a hurricane.  Longtime Floridians explained that they were a great excuse for a party and made it seem as if I was missing  one of the best adventures the Sunshine State had to offer.  I wonder how many are partying now?  From the looks of the lines at gas stations and northbound freeways not many are sticking around.  Let the gators and cockroaches (sorry, palmetto bugs) have it.  I'll be playing it safe here in the Idaho panhandle sucking in the rough equivalent of a carton of Lucky Strikes every day.  Bring on the fat kid!  I'm fairly certain I can take him.

Floridians gassing up to head north.
I-90 Coeur D Alene, Idaho

Still Coeur D Alene, not Gary, Indiana

At least the tourists are gone...
For those who have forgotten, it's supposed to look like this.
Your corespondent preparing for a trip downtown

Friday, September 1, 2017

Seaplanes, Wienies and Tug Boats...Oh MY!

"Pick up your bag and grab the shuttle to the docks," my old pal The Skipper says to me on my cell phone while I wait for my luggage at the Logan airport Delta carousel.  Apparently there was a change in plans regarding my being met in Boston last Thursday.  I had flown in to attend the annual Wienie Roast Fly-In the good Captain and his wife, Betty, throw every summer.  It's a get-together for all of their seaplane flying buddies that has become legendary in New England after a couple of decades.  I had not attended since 1993 and was overdue for a dose of that clam "chowdah" accent.  I don't fly a seaplane but have been high in my living room and am always dependably ready for a good debauch with or without an invitation.  I was there and down to clown with the Red Barons and Baronesses  of the float plane air force.

The Skip had decided to fetch me from the Boston airport not in a car but in his tugboat the Captain Shorty, a key asset in his New England Harbor Services fleet.  A few years ago he purchased the company after retiring from being a full-time captain of ocean going oil tankers.   The business keeps him about as busy as he wants to be and is a fine way to be "sort of" retired and out of Betty's way.

The Captain Shorty

Just as he told me to do, I caught the shuttle with the life ring on its grill outside the Logan terminal and was off to the Boston docks.  To my relief the Captain Shorty, the Skipper and a crew of two suspicious looking high seas reprobates were there to meet me.  Now, past sunset, we were off to the Shorty's slip in Quincy where we would spend the night.

"Which way to the marina?"  Isn't the captain supposed to be at the wheel?
I can't say that the Shorty's amenities were all that upscale but it did have running water and a working refrigerator that struggled to keep things cold.  I was grateful for the futon provided on board for me and am reasonably certain that I will be able to eventually stand up straight once my back heals in a couple of months.  In the morning we hit the road for the Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire about an hour and a half north of Boston where the Skipper and Betty make their home on Otter Pond in Georges Mills.  It's a beautiful place for float plane enthusiasts and a wonderful spot for a party.  

Inflatable First Mate Lem Motlow

The Skipper saluting the REAL boss

There was much to do before planes began landing at their dock the next day:  chairs and tables needed setting up and multiple trips to the grocery and liquor stores for hot dogs and booze were also on the "to do" list.   It was fun to be there to offer helpful hints like: "I think you'll need more booze." and "Do you think 30 bags of Cheetos is going to be enough?"  I was glad to be of service.

The big event went off without a hitch.  Crowd estimates all hovered around 100 depending on when the counting was done.  Toward midnight several of the non pilot attendees from the Skipper's maritime days may have been seeing double and over counted.  I can see it will be necessary for me to return next year to supervise.  I hope the Shorty is available.

A chef prepares

The Skip's nephew flew in from South Carolina

Tube steaks supreme were the star of the show

NO Ketchup allowed!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Total Eclipse of My Interest

The last time America had this good a look at an eclipse was the year my father was born.  Even knowing that I couldn't' muster any interest in donning a pair of those goofy looking goggles to catch old Sol's dissappearing act.  Stuff like that has never interested me and coupled with the fact that local and national media morons were doing their level best to make the event seem as exciting as the invention of canned beer only made me dig my heels in.  I knew that, just like the moon landing in 1969, the event would be replayed ad nauseam  for the rest of my life.  Yes, I missed Neil Armstrong's lunar tap dance too.  In my defense--if I need one-- I was busy keeping commies out of Kansas as the Army's premier 2nd Lieutenant of the First Infantry Division.  (Okay, I WAS in the Army that summer but chose to just sleep through all that moon lunacy.  I was tired!)  Didn't miss a damn thing.

The lawn of the big Coeur D' Alene resort near my home was filled with chairs for watchers, parking lots and the beaches were loaded with people determined to waste their time looking at this enormous non event.  It was more entertaining to watch all those folks look like complete dorks as they cast their eyes skyward.  "Look, up in the sky, it's a bird it's a's a SHADOW!"  I couldn't help but wonder if any of these people questioned the true quality and safety of the "protective" cardboard framed glasses they were depending on to keep them from GOING BLIND.  Who was in charge of certifying those things??  What if they were just some old 3D glasses from one of the local movie houses that some kid was selling to take advantage of the situation?  I'm for capitalism, but come on.

At least the eclipse lookers here in the Idaho panhandle weren't dumb enough to drive a few hundred miles to Oregon for a camp out with a few thousand weirdos there to witness this celestial sideshow.  That scene looked just a tad too exuberant for my taste.  Not unlike a honeymoon night for a couple of 90 year-olds, the whole show only lasted about two minutes.  I hope they took pictures.  (In both cases.)

All things considered, aren't there far more impressive and beautiful events to see every waking day? A bumble bee, birds, rainbows or your uncle Bud picking up a check for once? 

I did snag a pair of those goofy glasses and am planning to take them to the park where I will put them on and look skyward.  It should be interesting to see how many people will try to explain that I have missed the big show. 

By the way, I have yet to watch "Gone With the Wind".  It's sort of become a "thing" with me.
Bucket list?  I don't need no stinking bucket list!

idiot encampment

Friday, August 18, 2017

The King Has Left The Building

Every generation has its watershed moments and mine is no exception.  We boomers all remember the line of demarcation that was the Kennedy assassination and, whether you liked him or not, how his death burns in memory as the end of our innocence.  America felt very different after November of 1963.

"I'm all shook up"
 This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.  Really?!  Forty years??  At least for me, the "King" personified the beginning of music that spoke our language and let our parents know that the culture now belonged to us and not them.  Elvis was all about free and untrammeled emotion and a never before seen sexual electricity that frightened most adults.  The marriage of what was then referred to as "hillbilly" music with southern rhythm and blues, indigenous to the black community, was all that was needed to confirm our parents contention that the world was going to hell in a big hurry.  Naturally we embraced it and begged for more.  To appease the adults Elvis would sing an occasional hymn on the Ed Sullivan show before launching into Jailhouse Rock, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear or another of his songbook of hip swiveling rock n' roll hits.  Colonel Tom Parker, his Svengali like manager, knew enough to push some of that "good boy" image especially for the benefit of the parents of teenage girls.

I remember buying many of Presley's early 45's to play on my crappy little Sears Silvertone record player only to have dad point out that I was an idiot for spending my hard earned lawn mowing dollars on "that junk".  
"A hunka hunka hunka fried Twinkies please!"
So much happened in those years from the mid-fifties until Elvis's death on August 16, 1977.  The Beatles and others had eclipsed him and chronic drug abuse and a peanut butter and 'nana sandwich habit of epic proportions had made him almost a character of himself. He sweat buckets of gravy while looking like a Macy's Thanksgiving parade float during his concert appearances.  It was a sad ending for a true rock n' roll icon.  

I was on the air at KOGO radio in San Diego on that August afternoon of '77 when the wire services began dinging with the bulletin announcing his death.  I still recall program director, Bill Dodd, bursting into the studio loaded with records and tapes of the King as we transitioned to an "All Elvis ALL the Time" format for the rest of the day.  Now, forty years later, I am retired, radio is no longer the tribal drum of the culture or even relevant,  and records are for antique collectors.  The entertainment business is corporate these days and music is something we stream.   A lot has changed.

Trying to imagine an 82 year-old Elvis seems beyond the pale.  It's doubtful that he would have made it to his 82nd given his condition, and the idea of a tubby gray-haired, liver spotted Elvis slipping around his assisted living facility on one of those rascal scooters just doesn't compute.  Perhaps if he'd merely considered that waking up with a live gopher in your bedroom and peanut butter on the ceiling might have been a significant indication that it was time to slow down?  We'll never know.

I choose to remember the skinny Elvis of the 1950's and 60's when the nation was far more innocent and so was he.  Let the comedians have fat Elvis.  He was a significant piece of the mosaic of our lives and will live on as long as there are a few of us around to recall the magic.  In the meantime, the Gypsy dogs are still barking but the wagons have moved on.
"Does this microphone make me look fat?"