Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Love Him Or Hate Him -- That's Our Dave

If you have ever lived in Flint, Michigan -- you know who Dave Barber is.

Dave Barber is the most beloved hated radio personality in Flint, Michigan. To love Dave Barber is to hate him, because you know that sooner or later, he's going to say something to piss you off. That's our Dave! He knows how to push our buttons and he lives to push them until we scream that he's an asshole or some other like comment, because that only fuels the fire in Dave's belly.

Barber is at his best when he has a caller who thinks that they have all their ducks in a row and they're going to let Dave have it. Dave doesn't have to have a library of facts to back up any of his arguments -- he's got the microphone and Dave has perfected jumping on something stupid someone says and hitting the caller over the head with it. And, if Dave can only get the caller to hang up on him -- it only puts another feather in Dave's cap -- because there ain't no son-of-a-bitch going to win a round of verbal gymnastics with Dave. No way!

I got to work with Dave for a good part of the 80s as his producer at WTAC and as I look back at those years -- they were probably the most fun years of my broadcasting career. At first, my job with Dave was nothing but a glorified board operator, but I eventually became a "real" producer (or so I thought) and got to book the guests and interviews. I had fun and I was getting paid, too...Those were the days.

Looking back, it was always hard to believe that Dave and I were the same age. When I was 28 going on 30 -- Dave was 28 going on 50. While I was into "The Boss", Dave was into "The Chairman of the Board". When others of our age were drinking beers -- Dave would have a cocktail -- maybe a martini (shaken not stirred).

I never had a chance to talk to Dave about his "soft spot". Yeah, Dave Barber did have a spot spot on the air at times. He could be as tough as nails with any guest that he interviewed or caller that came his way, but the boy would soften right into butter anytime that we had his Mom on the air with him. Every Mother's Day, we'd have our Moms on the air for a bit and Dave knew that you couldn't be an asshole with Mom -- because Mom Barber would put him in his place without batting an eye.

Those were the days.

It's nice to know that Dave's back on the air again in Flint on Super Talk AM1570 WWCK. It would be nice if the company that he worked for would stream the show on the net, but at least Dave's been able to give us some bits and pieces every so often -- such as with his recent interview with Michael Moore.

Of all of the questions that he asked Michael Moore during that one hour interview -- nothing was more telling than when he asked Moore how much money he had in his pocket -- because that's the kind of question that you and I would ask if we had the chance.

Love him or hate him. Dave Barber definitely is the voice of the people.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


(Mom and I -- Thanksgiving 2001)

It's been four years now. I can't think about Thanksgiving now without thinking of this picture of the two of us. It was probably the last picture taken of you and I together. We didn't take a bad picture, did we?

It was Thanksgiving Day 2001 and I picked you up at Vicky's and we went over to St. Mike's
and spent Thanksgiving with Father Bill and the rest of the Roza family. I was hoping that we could get some time alone and talk seriously about the battle you were fighting. I don't know how you felt, but it was probably the hardest conversation that I ever had to have with you.

Mom, you had been fighting your cancer for a long time and you thought that your doctors were going to put you through another session of chemotherapy. Driving over to Father Bill's, I can remember telling you that you didn't have to put yourself through it, especially if it wasn't improving the quality of your life. I wanted you to know that if you were doing it for Vicky and me that you didn't have to do it. I know how you worried about us -- but as I told you -- Vicky and I will be alright -- you were a pretty good mother and you taught us how to survive.

It took a lot for me to say what I did to you that afternoon. I love you Mom and the last thing that I wanted was to "see you go", but I know how much pain you were in and how the chemo wasn't doing anything but drain you physicially.

That whole day -- You kind of refused to say either way whether or not you would go through more chemo treatments -- but in a round about way -- you told people at the Thanksgiving dinner that this would probably be the last Thanksgiving dinner you would be attending... (Although you did surprise everyone by showing up for Father's Bill's Christmas party and you even got to sit on Santa's lap that night.).

After dinner -- remember joining Father Bill, Rosie and I in that little room off from Father Bill's living room at St. Mike's? I don't think you were prepared for what was coming -- you got to plan your funeral service. You, Marty and I had already been to the funeral home and we picked out your casket -- Father Bill was about to take you to that next step. It was pretty emotional in there, Mom, saying good-bye to someone you love can be pretty emotional.

Before we left Father Bill's, I can remember him having everyone there hold hands and say a prayer for you. I don't think that there was a dry eye in the house. After that I drove you back to Vicky's place -- and it was a quiet ride wasn't it? I let you know one more time that I would understand if you didn't consider going through anymore chemo and that I loved you more than anything.

I gave you a kiss good-night. You kissed me a couple of times on the cheek and then gave me a couple of more kisses for Marty.

"Tell Marty I love her," you said. 

I promised I would tell Marty and that I promised I would talk to you soon.

Once you got up the stairs and into the house, I began my journey back to Avoca. The journey home was tough one...full of tears....I cranked up the radio to the public station in Detroit playing the blues -- because I didn't want to hear any music that I was familar with -- but I wanted noise to fill my head and drown out my screams and the thought that it was only a matter of time before I lose my Mom.

It was a helluva Thanksgiving Mom. And now that you're gone -- I want you to know that everyone misses your carrot cake -- but they miss you even more.

Your son,

You Know What They Say About Hat Size

Please help me.

I am one of those people who should never wear a baseball cap, because it makes me look like I'm the dumbest human being on the planet earth. Forget that I have a cigarette up my nose. I still look like a tard in a baseball cap -- but I love baseball caps.

I got a few of them and when the mood is right -- I'll put one of them on and I won't take it off for nothing.

There's one thing in life that my girlfriend and I can agree on -- I look dumb in a baseball cap and she wouldn't mind if I never wore a baseball cap for the rest of my life.

When we have one of those "take off the cap" arguements -- I tell her -- "I know I look dumb in a baseball game...but I like them. I also know that I would look dumber than dumb in a pair of speedos -- be grateful that I'm not sporting a pair of those on my fat ass right now because I don't think your stomach could handle it."

Hey, I have the sense to spare the general public what they don't need to see. I like wearing shorts and I'll wear them in the privacy of my own home -- but you will never catch me in public wearing a pair of shorts.

I like tank tops -- but with these handsome set of "man boobs" -- I don't feel that the general public should be granted the right to see such a display -- if only some other people felt the same way. Do 200 pound women with boobs that should be assigned their own person zip code be allowed to wear a tube top in the summer? No! There should be a law against chubby women trying to wear hip hugger pants. Do these people ever look at a mirror before they walk outside.

Hey....guys..here's a news flash for you -- most of you jerks with your shirts off this summer -- put them back on -- you're not impressing that blimpo in the hip huggers and I'm sure that you don't want to have anything to do with that woman in the tube top who probably would be interested in you.

And..do me a favor. If you ever see me outside with my hat on....you can go ahead and call me a retard...I can handle it...my fashion statement is just a temporary thing...it's not a lifestyle statement.