A Wayback For My Brother Tommy’s 44th Birthday.

This was originally written in 1999. It was written shortly after he was diagnosed with kidney failure and spent over four years on dialysis. He had a successsful kidney transplant in 2004. When this was written, he had not yet started his decade long love affair with Kelly Ripa. At this time, he actually had a crush on Kitty Carlisle, of all people.

I sat with my brother Tommy and asked him what he would like to help me write about.

This was his blog post. I wrote it and he served as my verbal editor. We wrote this on GEOCITIES (remember that?) but the original page is long gone.

The only change is to remove any dead links.

Happy 44th Birthday, Tommy.

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(These are some of the friends that Tommy made at the concerts.)


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For My Dad: On What Would Have Been His 91st Birthday

Below are links to previous blog posts about my Pop. Please read at least one to understand why he was so special to me and why, as I battle both a progressive lung disease and the aftermath a my radical nephrectomy for kidney cancer, I’ll always turn to my Pop for reasons to keep laughing and keep living.

If you hear me say something or see me do something, chances are I learned that from my Pop.

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That’s my Dad. You can call him “Rich”. His co-workers called him “Dick” but my mother always called him “Rich”. I called him “Pop” or “Dad”. For some reason, I don’t remember ever calling him “Daddy”. I never felt that word was strong enough for my Dad.

Calling him Dad was a real sign of respect from me, at least in my mind. When I would introduce him to people or talk to others about him, I always used “Dad”. “Pop” was more playful, more casual, more personal.

“Hey, Pop, do you want to go to the diner?”

“Hey, Pop, did you see the Phillies game last night?”

“What do you need at the store, Pop?”

“There aren’t any Christmas movies on TV in September, Pop. I checked.”

“Yeah, I can reset your watch, Pop.”

“A plain cheeseburger doesn’t mean that it comes without cheese, Pop. Don’t be mad at the server. Just order a plain hamburger.”

“You have to push the ‘TV’ button, then the “cable” button on the remote to make it work, Pop.” (Usually said with exasperation over the phone as I tried to work while he was mystified by the cable remote.)

“Tommy needs you, Pop.”

“I need you, Pop.”

“I miss you and love you, Pop.”

“Forever.”

One Year After My Dad

Dad’s Last Best Year : For Father’s Day

Dad at 15 days

Father’s Day Salute, to mine and yours…(updated for my dad’s 87th Birthday)

My Dad And Veterans Day

Dad and Tom at 1997 VSDA Convention

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Facing 2014: One Of The 365 Days At A Time

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Taking my inspiration from Dallyn Pavey (who has been doing a wonderful 365 photography project), I’m going to steal her idea but adapt it to myself and my own talents and tools as a method to forward focus my life in 2014.

Dallyn Pavey’s 365 Photo Project

I’ll have a blog post up tomorrow that looks back on what everyone I know has meant to me in 2013, but my top New Years resolution is to follow Dallyn’s lead and write one post a day on my blog, instead of sitting back and blaming the lack of a daily muse on things that happen around me, on the shadows in the corners that I fear instead of confront. All of then will not be earth moving, some may simply be what strikes my fancy, others may be composed with great care and planning, but they will be a reflection of me, I hope and honest and exciting reflection.

However, when I look at from January 1, 2014 onward, I hope each blog post, as each picture Dallyn takes, will show even the tiniest bit of growth, of forward, and most definitely of the world and friends around me.

My blog next year will be about us. Maybe I can’t even call it my blog anymore because I intend to make it so dependent on all of you to make it come to life, to be about “something”.

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I’m also going to invite others to contribute their own flights of fancy to both this blog and a new offshoot I will be starting called SECOND LOOKS. This related blog will be a way to take a fresh look at anything on my life that deserves a fresh look. It could be something I’ve taken for granted, something I never gave the proper attention to before that deserves much more of the spotlight, or simply something that will give me and you a second wind.

My friend on Facebook and Twitter , Catherine Rodriguez (@djcaterina), has already kindly written for the SECOND LOOKS project.

So, thanks once again to one of my favorite muses, Dallyn, for getting my damn mind back on track and looking forward again.

See you next year.

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WHEN C-17 MET A-19: TALES IN MY POCKET

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If it hasn’t been obvious by my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I am passionate about what I am passionate about. Sports, film, TV, bad jokes, my family, my friends, my doxys, Philly and especially music. Nothing in this world can take you back to a time and place and change your mood in a flash like 3 minutes or so of great music. Because the best music doesn’t waste time or take hours or weeks to develop, it has the power of immediacy , the power to grab you at the outset, and the power to get stuck in your head, be it amazing or kind of corny (thanks, Ylvis and your damn fox sayings).

But every so often, out of that music comes something more. That is exactly what has happened recently. Elsewhere on this blog, you’ll find posts about why I am where I am professionally and health wise, along with a piecemeal history of what I was able to accomplish before my professional life ended with my lung disease.

boardaward One of the things from that past life I’ve missed has been the chance to create and promote, to spread the word and ignite the same passion I felt for a film or project. I look back with pride on the two dance marathons for Muscular Dystrophy I created at Villanova University in the 70’s, the events I organized for a national trade association that focused on home video retailers, and the various promotions I held over the years at my video stores in Ardmore, Conshohocken, and the Philly area. I am especially proud of what I accomplished in the promotional area when I was with TLA Video (one day I’ll go into more detail of why my time with TLA Video was a sometimes frustrating time of my life, yet it was my greatest accomplishment).

My favorite promotion is still when I was able to attract almost 700 people to my 4th and South Street store for an in-store appearance by the great director JOHN WATERS, closely followed by a Chestnut Hill in-store World Series party with the Phillie Phantic.

dmi 055I also took great pride in meeting challenges that allowed me to interact with others in a common effort, such as the SEPTA road construction project in Chestnut Hill that severely limited access to our video store and other businesses for months. I wound up helping to lead an ad-hoc group of businesses to develop emergency business plans and promotions to minimize the impact during construction and come back strong when Germantown Avenue finally reopened.

So, when I now meet and follow someone who does promotion, I always am thrilled to spot even a little of the same passion I used to have in my work. I don’t have that outlet anymore other than the old “word-of-mouth” method, and I think I’m damn good at that.

However, I can vicariously experience the old thrills watching others still actively involved in PR who truly love the project or event they are promoting, not just working the press for coverage and then moving on to the next supposed big idea. Recently, I’ve met someone who does just that, even though she is involved with businesses that I have not had professional experience with, but for which I retain passion about.

I’m talking about Dallyn Pavey, owner of DISH PUBLIC RELATIONS


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