I woke up at the Howard Johnson’s Long Wharf, and showered.
It was March 4th, 1985, 30 years ago last spring.
I had clawed my up to the the position of morning show co host at 97 Rock, but had been fired in a format change at the beginning of the year. A guy named Neal Mirsky had heard me in Buffalo and wanted me for his new morning show on WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.
I flew into Hartford to meet with Neal and the General Manager at the time, Manuel Rodriguez on a Monday. I really liked both of them. Two Heinekens later, I was seriously considering the job.
By Wednesday I had taken the job, on by Sunday had back to Connecticut to start a new chapter in my life.
That night, we went to dinner at the Rusty Scupper in New Haven, where I met my tall (and Fu Manchued) on air partner: one Brian Smith, with whom I would work for the next 18 years.
Brian and I would go on to quite a run, and though it ended abruptly – and not without acrimony – I have some of the fondest memories of my life from those mornings spent reading the papers, saying whatever crazy stuff popped into our heads, and having some of the most hilarious, non-repeatable conversations while the records were playing and the mics were off.
Which brings me to the inevitable question I get in bars and supermarkets: “What are you doing these days?’ And the answer is always the same – I’m loving life.
My kids have all grown up. “The Girls” that have been part of my life since I met their mom, “The Good Doctor”, almost 25 years ago, have grown into incredible young women. “The Boys”, both born during my PLR tenure, are now 18 and 21.
I’m an independent producer for WNPR. I host the 7 to midnight time slot Mondays through Thursdays, along with 8 to midnight Saturdays, and 6 am to 6 pm on Sundays.
Which brings me to The Real Life Survival Guide!
I started this “pet project” more than 15 years ago, while listening to a “Martha Stewart Minute” on a New York station. I started thinking about how I could use my love of the audio medium to share suggestions for living, a la Martha, with my contemporaries. The result over the years has been a series of website iterations and radio programs exploring the question of how to live a better life.
Going forward, I see the Guide evolving into a website and podcast featuring entertainment and lifestyle suggestions. In the mean time, if you were ever part of the Smith and Barber madness, thanks for the memories. As I said before, it was a great run…