Saturday, May 12, 2012

Twilight Time Again

(Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  -Albert Einstein)

Before you read any further, take another look at the picture on the left.

There's a fine line between reality and illusion, and coincidence and fate
Sometimes it's hard to determine which is which.

Consider, for example, what happened to Warren Sparrow recently at a funeral he attended:

"All the town's dignitaries were assembled.  One was a former judge, a former North Carolina Banking Commissioner.  He sat next to me.  On his other side was a prominent Winston-Salem woman, the one who founded Leadership Winston-Salem.  In the pew in front of the former judge was another prominent Winston-Salem woman whose husband is very respected in local circles.

Work with me, now.  On one side of the former judge you have me.  On the other side you have Margaret Saunders Newman.  In front of the former judge you have Gerry Smith Spach.  It is a triangulation thing.

The judge and I have been fraternity brothers since 1956.  So, we have known each other for a long, long time.  But, I have known the women longer.  They were classmates of mine at AG.

What are the chances of three AG classmates being at the same Winston-Salem funeral?  What are the chances that we would all be sitting so close together? 


And what about those moments when we arrive at some new location and suddenly feel that we've been there before or those momentary emotions that are exact replicas of those felt 40 or 50 years ago.

Just last week, our power here in the house went out for about 5 minutes. When it came back on I had to re-set all the electrically powered clocks. Strangely, I had to roll them all back 10 minutes, to match the correct time! Had the power failure occurred 10 minutes into the future?

All in a Name

In broadcasting, the era of the ANNOUNCER was coming to an end in the late 60's.  When I joined WTOP in Washington, we had a staff of 10 announcers. Now, even the largest stations have no more than one or two, who record the station breaks etc, instead of doing them live as in the old days.

There were 5 of us one evening sitting in the “announcer's lounge” talking about “names.” The station had given us all  “air names” that they felt would be easier for the listeners and viewers to relate to and remember..

Casper App was given the name “Jamie Bragg.” Donald Resnick was “Don Richards," John Wilkinson was 'John Douglas,"  Sam Donaldson was allowed to keep his real name as was Roger Mudd.

I asked Roger one time how he was able to keep his real name, when they changed my perfectly good name Ed Myers.

He said that shortly after he started work at the station a breaking news story required that he go on the air immediately before management had come up with a new name for him.and since he had already appeared under his real name it was decided that it was too late to change it.

In my case, of course, the fact that there was already an “Ed Myer” on a competing station in town., changing my air name actually made sense.

Anyway Jamie Bragg happened to mention that the announcer with the most unusual name he had ever worked with was a fellow named “Grey Olive.” who was the chief announcer at the station in southern Virginia where Jamie had begun his radio career 15 years earlier. Jamie swore that it was his real name and had no idea if he ever changed it, or even if he was still in the business, since he hadn't seen him again in all those years.

Not two minutes later the phone in the lounge rang and it was for Jamie. He picked up the phone and literally turned a bright shade of white.

The caller was Grey Olive.


(Rarely do events like this have so many witnesses....who still talk about it after all these years.  -Ed)