Hangin’ with Roger

We know many of you who follow us on this blog are not on Facebook and probably didn’t see what we posted there, Saturday, after a terrific day in downtown Chicago.  So,  just for you, a recap…

It was a wonderful day!  We saw Sting’s The Last Ship for a second time (WE LOVE IT!!!) then stopped into WGN Radio.  Got to visit with the adorable Hannah Stanley.  Since the Cubs game was on, we had the chance to talk with Hannah for a while.  We don’t mean to overstate it, but she really is absolutely delightful.

We also got to catch up and hang out with ace newsman & buddy Roger Badesch!  As many of you know, Roger is dealing with some pretty serious health issues but, with the attitude Roger is bringing to this fight, we’re betting on him to be the winner.

While we were hangin’ with Roger somebody broke out a camera.

Steve & Johnnie with Roger Badesh

Steve & Johnnie with Roger Badesh

A great day, a great play, new friends, old friends, you really can’t ask for more.

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2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate Road Test

Our Video Road Test of the 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate has just been posted on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.  Just click on the link to take it for a spin.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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Happy Father’s Day 2014

He was a 20 year old soon to be Dad and… he looks happy! Happy Day Dad…I love you.

Johnnie's Dad, John

Johnnie’s Dad, John

Johnnie

I was lucky enough to know him as both my father and my best friend. His name was Roy. Sitting in the back seat of the car in this picture is one of his best friends, a beautiful German Shepherd. His name was Bingo.

Steve's Dad, Roy

Steve’s Dad, Roy

Steve

Happy Father’s Day!

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Friday The 13th + Full Moon + Marina + Video Camera =

Friday the 13th.

Full moon.

We’re in Panama City Beach, but we travel across the Hathaway bridge to Panama City (Yes, Weather Channel, they really are two different places!) to see it.

085

And, along with our digital camera, since we had a little Flip video camera with us …

… we thought we’d share both with the class.

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Happy Birthday, Les!

June 9, 2014 would have been Les Paul‘s 99th birthday.  If, Les were still alive today (And, honestly, none of us who knew him would have been surprised if that were the case!) we know the “Wizard Of Waukesha” would still be playing, tinkering, inventing and sharing his “toys” with anyone who expressed an interest.

The last time we saw Les he was doing just that.  It was June of 2008.  The occasion was the official opening of Les Paul’s House Of Sound, in Milwaukee, and a follow-up concert Les was giving, that night, at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater.

The House Of Sound was a project Les was very proud of.  It gave him the chance to share his “toys” with the world in a beautiful setting, not far from his hometown of Waukesha, at Milwaukee’s Discovery World.

Les had already asked us if we would join him onstage at that evening’s concert and, after a short speech, officially opening the House Of Sound, he joined fans and friends walking through the exhibit.  As he answered questions and told stories about his inventions Les asked Johnnie if she would walk with him … and hold his hand.

Les Paul holding Johnnie's hand at the House Of Sound opening.

Les Paul holding Johnnie’s hand at the House Of Sound opening.

Fortunately, for us, the moment was captured and e-mailed to us.  A priceless keepsake memory of a wonderful day spent with Les.

Happy Birthday, Rhubarb Red!  May your echo never fade.

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R.I.P. Larry Schreiner

Along with many of you, we were/are shocked and saddened at the news of Larry Schreiner’s death.  Too soon, too young, leaving us with years of memories.

For any of you who are new to Larry’s name, most of those who heard him during his years on WGN would probably agree that he was a singularly passionate, outspoken, sometimes hard-headed, devoted, dependable, driven, renowned expert in language mangling (“Schreinerisms”), product of Chicagoland’s streets, police departments, fire departments and broadcast media.

Additionally, in his private life, Larry was many things to many people: Father, gardener, car lover and … FRIEND.

Larry Schreiner

If we may, we’d like to share some stories about our friend.

During the many years we co-hosted overnights on WGN one of the things our producers knew was that, regardless of the guest or topic at hand, if Larry Schreiner called in he went on the air NOW.  Larry was one of our not-so-secret weapons.  If Larry called in, chances were good that the story he was calling about would be the one that was making the headlines for the rest of the day.

In spite of his reputation as a “no nonsense” newsman, Larry could have a wicked sense of humor.  During the early days of our WGN ride when Johnnie was still doing traffic reports during the Bob Collins show, one morning she outfitted Larry in “hooker garb,” including pantyhose (Oh, to have the audio of teaching Larry how to put on pantyhose) and high heels, as part of a surprise planned for Bob during one of his morning broadcasts from WGN’s Showcase Studio.  Bob was in mid-broadcast when, outside the window, he saw what looked like a streetwalking hooker followed by a large car pulling up to the curb on Michigan Ave.  It appeared as if the hooker and her “agent” were engaged in an argument that was escalating right in front of the Showcase Studio window.  It wasn’t until Bob tried to intervene over the studio intercom to the street that he realized he was the victim of a “gotcha” perpetrated by Larry Schreiner, newsman and future Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford (dressed as the pimp) and Johnnie.

Along with his work, which, in Larry’s world, really was a 24/7 gig, Larry’s other world revolved around his twin boys.  While doing traffic for Bob Collins, since Larry was already out on the street most mornings, Johnnie had the responsibility of being sure that the boys were awake and on time for school.  One morning, during a hostage situation that found Larry LITERALLY lying in a gutter protected only by the curb of the street, he still remembered to radio, breathlessly (And wasn’t he always!) “Call the boys!  Call the boys!  But, don’t tell them where I am.”

Steve was still in bad shape, on crutches and in a wheel chair, after a hip-breaking accident, in London.  When our flight back from the UK arrived in Chicago we were expecting to have a rather difficult time getting off the plane, through the airport and through U. S. Customs.  Instead, Larry arranged to have our plane met by U. S. Customs agents and an ambulance.

One of the things Larry should have learned early on was that “socializing” with friends from WGN could be hazardous to his health.  Along with the morning crew, we were at Great America with Larry.  His radios were quiet and he seemed to be enjoying himself … until he bent over writhing in pain.  For a moment we thought he was kidding but, no, that wasn’t Larry’s m.o. and it became obvious that his pain was getting worse.  It turned out that Larry was passing a kidney stone.  As an ambulance took him to the hospital, we followed driving Larry’s new Mercedes convertible.  If you knew Larry, you knew how much he loved his cars … so, to us, this was a HUGE responsibility.

There was also the day when, after venturing out on the “Yacht Lyle Dean” that Larry wound up with a broken knee, which briefly sidelined him for a while.

As a group we always found excuses to party on the radio and Larry, who had a direct line to some of the best bakeries in Chicagoland, supplied the cakes.  Larry was always looking for any excuse to spread cake and doughnut love.  He wouldn’t even come to the station to pick up his mail without bringing boxes of doughnuts.  We don’t think he ever passed a nurses station without dropping off a box of doughnuts.  That was Larry.

We could go on and on with stories, both public (And there were MANY that Larry broke on our show and others at WGN) and private, but we think you get the point.  THIS was a man who made a difference.  THIS was a man who, if you were lucky enough to have him as a friend, was a FRIEND.

THIS was a man who will be missed.

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2014 Toyota Corolla LE Plus Video Road Test

Our Video Road Test of the 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Plus has just driven in to Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.  Just click on the link to take it for a spin.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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