Life After Dark With Dear Friends

Even though we’re trying our best to recycle our body clocks, we’re still finding ways to have fun after the sun goes down.

Last Sunday night we attended the annual WGN Quarter Centurion dinner.  On our way, we stopped by and picked up Roy Leonard.  When we arrived, we sat with Bob Collins‘ wife, Christine, and former WGN Sports Editor, Jack Rosenberg.

As the night progressed, we caught up with “the weather dodger,” Roger Triemstra, our former newsman, Dick Sutliff, Dean Richards, “Gabby” a/k/a Dianne Huske (Faithful listeners recall “Gabby” was Bob Collins’ secretary/assistant.), former WGN Radio News Director, Tom Peterson and, while talking with Orion Samuelson, got the scoop from the “Big O” about his upcoming book, “You Can’t Dream Big Enough.”

We’ll be telling you more about Orion’s book in a future post.

There was a lot more of course, but those are just some of the “talking points.”  Over the course of the evening, we had the chance to swap stories with many additional friends from both the Radio and TV side of the WGN family.  All in all, it was a VERY good night and we didn’t have to go to work bleary-eyed after the event.

We thought you might like to see a picture that was taken while we were hanging out with WGN-TV engineer, John Bobera and Roy Leonard.

Johnnie & Steve with John Bobera, WGN engineer, and Roy Leonard

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25 Responses to Life After Dark With Dear Friends

  1. valarie says:

    So glad you both are doing so well. You kept me going while working midnights test driving for Ford over 30 years. God bless you real good and many more happy years and friends!
    Valarie

    P.S. Johnnie, do you still have that pink leather jacket? 😉

  2. Michael W Barnard says:

    Thanks for that update. How is Chris Collins doing? is her and Uncle Bob’s “baby boy” Booger still with her? Glad to hear you got together with old friends.

  3. Judy Kay says:

    Oh you guys !! I want to bawl ! Here I sit in Manitowoc, Wi. on Lake Michigan, just missing you to pieces, and no one would understand it.
    Just to read the names you have listed that were at the dinner, gave memories to each one. I have listened since Wally. Every radio in the house tuned to nothing else but WGN when WGN was the true WGN. Man ! how small was my life ? LOL…hey, don’t knock it, our car radio didn’t even know FM ! How many miles I drove with one or two of those people to keep me company. !
    In those years, I never got the chance to listen to the both of you, and who proceeded you. I was raising 5 kids.

    Then they all grew up…went to college , got married (radio still playing) got married and began giving me 14 Grands !!! In all that time WGN was my constant companion. I had my kids, and listened while in labor DON’T LAUGH, I TRULY DID THAT !!!!! When i painted the house , my transistor was at my side. At Christmas, Roy had that GIFTS HARD TO FIND SHOW…. omg! I love it. And Uncle Bobby played ” Pretty Little Dolly” and would bust up every time ! Such memories can only be appreciated by someone reading this that experienced RADIO before it stopped being radio.

    When we got older, my hubby got disabled and had to have the bed to himself..and I moved into the quaint little country bedroom that belonged to our baby daughter.. That was the room that got all changed the day after she left for college ! Ha. And guess what graced my bed right behind my pillow ? My little radio ! And guess who kept me awake whether I wanted to or not ???? It was a very cute couple called Steve and Johnnie. A WHOLE NEW PHASE was begun !

    And this was after Bobby died…and new people had “changed things” and fired Kathy and Judy ! That was a very DARK DAY for sure… I still miss those girls.

    Steve and Johnnie…When you left. I left. How could anyone spoil the best station in the U.S.A. like that ? I was so glad to have you. Granted I would fall asleep, but you played on all night.. I would awake and then…..DARN IT…. NOW THEY HAVE …..(and it woke me up !! A most wonderful song I had never heard…. !!! ) …SOME WOMAN SINGING….WHO IS THIS ??? I was half asleep, and heard this voice and music, and I listened…who is this ? so I laid there and enjoyed it. It was Lisa McClowry singing COME DANCING. Well ! did you ever wake up from a dead sleep by the sound of an angel, and in the dark try to find the little writing pad and the pencil ? I had to find it….and I did… and her name went on the pad. Then I had to stay awake and listen to you talking to her. I ( Yes I could read the writing even though McClowry ran down to the right..ha)

    It was hard to get back to sleep, but I finally did, and in the morning, after grabbing my coffee….out to my computer I went, and looked her up. Later that day, the Podcast wqas up… and I had downloaded the song. By the late afternoon, I had compiled a Group Email to introduce people to Lisa, complete with her song, website, and Podcast embedded to the email. I got wonderful emails back with them loving her song.

    Now.. If I can’t listen anymore, I do her Milt, but it is a different kind of listen. I want to thank WGN for hiring both of you, and to you, I am so happy that you have each other, and have a LIFE After WGN. I am glad to hear from you. I apologize for such a long post. But I just want you to know how you have played a part in my life. I know you have had sad times….but I also know that in those times….you each took your time in caring for and loving the other through it. You are just those kind of people.

    TRUE CLASS …………………………All the way………………….THANK YOU !

    • Judy, thank you for posting this. Your details might be different, but the thoughts are mine. One thing to add. for my listening at all times…. I actually worked the same hours as Steve and Johnnie when they weren’t on together. I was working 4 jobs at one time and never was at home enough to sleep 8 hours.
      Thanks Judy. I hope that your post is read by many!

    • Barry says:

      Wow. Although the details of each of our stories is different, Judy’s email sums up all our feelings. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Marianne says:

    Thanks for keeping me abreast of what you both are doing! I miss hearing you on the radio. Then I moved to TX and REALLY feel left out! Everything’s bigger, but not necessarily better, in TX.

  5. Barb says:

    So good to hear from you and see your picture with Roy Leonard, I have so many good memories of you and all WGN family. I will be looking for Orion’s book on your future post. Thank you, Barb

  6. Still lookin’ good. Miss you but glad we are still able to keep in touch. If you ever get neat=r to Butler, look me up. Just ask any body where D’ lives & they will know. Butler is near the Mohican Forest, Malabar Farm and the Shawshank tree!! Love and Blessings D’

  7. Carolyn Faulkner says:

    Sounds like it must have been a great time!! Thanks for sharing with us. Roy looks great! Can’t wait for Orion’s book to be released. When is YOUR book coming out????

  8. Carol says:

    So glad to see all of you are doing fine. Life after dark is not the same for me anymore. My how I miss you guys. Still listen to Orion and cannot wait for his book. I would love to read YOUR book….write it soon!! God Bless

  9. Ok, so with today’s internet technology, were is the life after dark radio podcast…your fans need their Steve & Johnnie Fix…we gota hear ya again!!!!!

  10. Lynda from Chicago says:

    Judy Kay said it all. The radio, the kids, radio always at my side, no matter where. Still catch John Williams and the Cubs. Looking forward to your book. Lynda M.

  11. Nancy Olson says:

    I truly miss you both so much. I have been up this morning since 1 am because I can’t sleep and WGN radio is not the same without you both. It was great to see your picture and Roy Leonard! I hope to buy YOUR book soon!

  12. Susan Erion says:

    Thanks for the directions to the blog–sounds like you had a great time!!!

  13. Marc says:

    My first time around with your show was while cleaning up my then apartment, getting it ready in the wee hours for the next folks who would live there. Good radio makes chore time go much faster! I remember taking a break to call in, during a discussion of televangelists and politics. That was late summer 1987.

    When Orion’s book is released we will all have an opportunity most rare: not only a radio insider’s view, but also from a veteran of some FIFTY years! I’ll certainly seize his book–after I pay for it, of course! 🙂

    Meantime we can honor and enjoy each radio era for what it is. I grant that the WGN sound quality isn’t pristine as it used to be: the management-directed marketing ploy of LOUD dial standout surely has longtime engineers Aubrey Mumpower and Ron Cone squirming. And naturally I miss the musicians distinctive to YOUR show–who would now get fifth-rate representation because of the bloated, distorted sound. And yet, Bill Leff is doing well in his own right, John Williams is still here, Milt Rosenberg is still here, and the two of you have more time now for projects formerly squeezed out. And I hope listeners understand that personnel changes often arise from budget, not from minimizing anyone’s established competence.

    We will continue to be grateful for your updates, and the time investment that cones with giving them to us. ~ Marc

  14. gardengirl39 says:

    So glad to see that you are both still a part of the “good WGN family”. The post from “Judy Kay” says it all. I’m sure her life parallels many of ours. It surely does mine. How I miss Steve and Johnnie overnight, but I am also glad that you are getting to recycle your body clocks and enjoy life. God bless you both and thanks for all the great years of keeping me company as I workefd overnight.

  15. Warren Karas says:

    Thanks Steve and Johnnie for the blast from the past. I had been listening to you during my night shifts for many years. Was a bit upset when you were leaving. Hope all is well. By the way just finally been switched to day shift a couple weeks ago.

  16. Mark says:

    So GREAT to hear all those familiar names. I only wish all of you knew just how much you made us al laugh. Although there were always times to be serious, you never failed to keep us informed

    Mark

  17. Liz A says:

    I just WGN would realize how great it would be if once in a blue moon when they needed to fill a space they would bring back some of the biggies who are no longer there. I would love to hear Steve and Johnnie on some afternnoon or early evening for a “special”, ditto Cathy and Judy, and also Roy Leonard. It would be a treat to hear a special on Saturday evenings so we don’t have to listen to the regular person with his boring details of his drinking and exwives….”man, just find me another bar I specialize in drinking doesn’t do it.” I regret the regular person is still there when some of the biggies are not. Oh well. That’s radio!!!

  18. Eric says:

    Oh…. how I miss you two on the radio, I so relate to the same message as Judy Kay sent, in one of the above messages. I also, laid awake at night listening to both of your show, and every now and then fall asleep. Suddlenly waking up as a very good song hit me, I thought I was dreaming. But, you two were playing a song, I have not heard in years. So much enjoyment, I had laying there listening. And, every now and then, I would call in to the show. I mostly called during the “Automoblie test drive and car question nights”.
    God Bless stay healthly
    Eric Carlsen

  19. Larry says:

    Glad youre having a good time. Since youre not workng nights anymore youre welcome to come fill in for me some night so i can stay home and get some sleep.

  20. Bob Modaff says:

    Enjoyed seeing Roy miss all of you on WGN

  21. CM says:

    It’s a shame as to what WGN is doing. They are going to the dogs and that’s being kind. Not even a full handful that I listen to anymore. You should all get together and create a new station and boy it would be great to hear all again. Thank you for all those years and information.

  22. Barb says:

    I agree with the comments sent. I am also sorry that WGN has changed. Now that John Williams is leaving, I will no longer have WGN on during the day. It is not so much due to the change of on air talent, but their meanness and complete disregard for the listeners. I have been listening more to NPR which, hopefully, will no longer be in danger of being eliminated. We have saved Big Bird!!

  23. Dorothy Troost says:

    My husband died two and a half years ago after a terrible illness, and many nights it is difficult for me to sleep. The two of you were a great comfort to me. My children gave me a kindle and I was beginning to learn how to download podcasts. BUT the knowledge was not soon enough to obtain the podcasts from your show and Dr. Milt’s show. I, like Judy, listened to Wally, Roy Orion, Steve Cochran, Roger Ed and Al—oh so many great radio personalities. My WGN is gone. Those days are greatly missed.
    I wish you both well. I am sure life will be good to you because you are good to others.
    God Bless you

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