Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Like an Oak

Everyone knows that my favorite Oak Ridge Boy is William Lee Golden. Always has been. Last week, I had the chance to interview him on the radio show; Sunday, Noel and I had the chance to meet him and his comrades at the Great Overland Station and then Carol Ann joined me for their Christmas concert at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Noel was thrilled to get her picture with each band member and the GOS hosted a wonderful event. Likewise, TPAC was packed, and if we could have harnessed the energy in the room, it would have lit our holiday season!
PS--My producer and KMAJ's morning newsman Steve Forman, says you might be a Southerner if you have a favorite Oak Ridge Boy!

Left, Noel with Richard Sterben; right, with Duane Allen; and below, with Joe Bonsall. I'm going to have her add her own commentary.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friends--New and Old

Charlie LeSueur was a guest on my radio show this morning. It was a hoot. His new book is called, Riding the Hollywood Trail: Tales of the Silver Screen Cowboys. A native Westerner, Charlie has transformed his passion for classic cowboy movies to a lucrative business and satisfying personal relationships. Whoa, Sally! Can it get any better than than? (You know, at first I thought Charlie looked like Alan Ladd, but upon further consideration, I believe he really looks like Nick Adams.)

We had a great conversation and I'm not going retell his stories here...visit charlielesueur.com and pick up the above mentioned or Charlie's first book, The Legends Live On: Interviews with the Cowboy Stars of the Silver Screen. I can't think of a more appropriate gift for the Western fan in your house. Charlie will be back on the show before Christmas.
Reality Check

I enjoy almost all my guests, but some are particularly special. My friend Frank Schilagi (below, right) joined me on the air Tuesday and it was great to reconnect after all these years. When I was a reporter for The Mount Airy News, sometime before 1980, I read a full-page article on Frank in the Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel. At the time, Frank was dean of the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University. I clipped the article and put it in a drawer, thinking, "I want to meet that man."

Well, lo and behold, a couple of years later I was working for the Winston-Salem paper when I was assigned to cover the Realtors meeting where Frank was the guest speaker. I introduced myself and we set up a time for an interview. We met at the Steak and Ale on Stratford Road (I think Frank owned it). We had lunch, I made notes, and then Frank cancelled his appointments for the afternoon so we could continue to talk. It was one of the nicest compliments I've ever had.

Every now and then, Frank and I would get together and he would share his infinite wisdom on life and business, which I never forgot. I also never used it. I stumbled and sputtered through life and now Frank has re-entered it and I hope to make the most of his wisdom and expertise. I surely treasure his friendship.

Friends, you too can partake of Frank's wisdom in his book, Reality Check for Leaders (left). It's worth buying just for the prologue, which reads like the opening scene of a Jean- Claude Van Damme movie. The book chronicles a year in the life of a hotel manager, a profession that has served Frank well. While targeting professionals in the hospitality industry, its principles apply in any situation--even the home front. Visit realitycheckforleaders.com and tell Frank that Deb sent you.

I have now begun the movement to get him to Topeka for a public appearance. Bill Moore, CEO of Westar, was very interested so I'm sending Frank's PR info to him and I'll keep you posted on the progress. Frank will be back on my radio show before Christmas as well, so stay tuned to kmaj1440.com from 8 to 10:40 a.m. each weekday morning. I'm the warm up for Paul Harvey and Rush Limbaugh.
And some parting words of wisdom: put Frank's principles to practice, in business and in life. He's one of the most successful men I've ever known, professionally and personally. He's a positive force.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beau, Bodine: Tuesday Night at the TV

I'm watching Maverick when Roger Moore (left) was playing the lead in the guise of Beau Maverick, the white sheep of the gambling brood. He's wonderful. The synopsis of this particular episode, according to Moore's official website, appears below. One thing not mentioned is that Max Baer Jr. (below, right), otherwise known as "Jethro Bodine," has a bit role. My goodness, he was really a handsome, strapping, fellow! Too bad he got typecast with the Beverly Hillbillies. In a really funny aside, Baer plays the ticket-taker/bouncer for a high-brow prize fight. Roger Moore sucker punches him then lands a right hook on Baer's jaw. Not likely, considering Baer's famous father! Even funnier, the prize fighters were wearing tuxes. Now, perhaps this is an historically accurate detail I missed in my Wild West research. Somehow, all these crucial elements were totally overlooked by the chroniclers:

8. Kiz (Robert Douglas) 04/12/1960
Episode 91: Beau Maverick crashes a party in Virginia City thrown by eccentric socialite Kiz Bouchet. Kiz has a penchant for smoking cigars, playing poker, and fighting fires. Recognizing Beau as a fellow free spirit, she hires him to protect her. She believes her life is in danger. Beau discovers that Kiz's cousin Melissa, along with family doctor Pittman and attorney Hanford, are plotting to have Kiz judged incompent [sic] so they can split her $2 million inheritance. Beau comes up with a scheme to turn the tables on Melissa.

A sad side note: In January of this year, Baer's live-in girlfriend committed suicide by shooting herself. He found her; apparently, she was still alive but was placed on life support at the hospital. Her family decided to disconnect the machines later that day according to press reports. Bless him, and her family. She was 30; he was 70.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Intentions

Dear Reader, I promise to be more diligent with posting. My friend, Freddy Badgett, back in Mayberry, complained that my day job at the radio station is interfering with my writing. He's right! It has been pretty time-consuming, though interesting. It has given me the opportunity to meet some really incredible folks, either in person or on the phone. I've interviewed Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, Arizona, and an author/lawyer from Kentucky who changed his name to Natty Bumpo. No kidding. It's a new adventure every day.

I'm on the phone with my brother, who lives back home in Ararat. He is a heavy equipment operator--and there hasn't been much work this past year. He's worked about half the time of the year before. The economy is so far in the tank there, that I hope something good happens soon. So does he. We must strive to be supportive of one another and to be hopeful.