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Saturday, October 18, 2003
October 14th, 2003, a very respectful autumnal day. A fine day to wear jackets and ties. The luncheon was held at the Radisson Hotel, on an obscure street in Englewood N.J. The drive up from Virginia was unremarkable but enjoyable because of the anticipation of seeing friends and coworkers. My wife deemed to come with me because she now thinks I have limited driving range, and too an extent I do, but now and then I take a five, (Not a Gil Miller five, but a legitimate break to clear the cobwebs from my remaining brain cells). This was my first trip in a while to attend the luncheons. I wish I could be there always, because the camaraderie and welcomes were there upon entering the door. That's when the lies and embellishments were layered on with a trowel. The "You look great," and "Hey you took off weight..." or, "Paula, if you ever want to leave that old man..." were there by the toilet bowl full, for all to enjoy. I was happy that most of the old codgers were wearing name tags, but,.... that caused the severe bending at the waist to see the name tags with these G-D bifocals, that the Lord foisted upon us to help pay for our sins before being called to the schedule desk in the sky. They had a bar that was a "Cash bar" meaning... only those that were there without there wives could go and hoist a few before the meager, but ample lunch was served. There was much milling about, and that afforded us to socially dance and pick those that we could sit with for what ever reasons that one could think of. Chico Claudio one of the stellar stars of the studio show crews attended in his wheel chair. I remember pushing Chico on the boom, as I was reminded by Marty Solomon, so I dutifully pushed him about the room and he was greeted but all. His lovely wife and my dear friend Betty Claudio escorted him. Tony Casola, who used to be an associate to the venerable Fred Schutz, put this affair together, along with the help of Ted Perzeszty. This isn't an easy task for these two, for it entailed the research to find this place, while keeping in mind the cost factor. Neither of these fine men is paid for their efforts. They do it because they care, and are willing to sacrifice time for friendship. A resounding applause to them, and all that helped.
As I perused the room, and noted the physical changes to the avoirdupois of some of the people, it also was notable that quite a few of the men there were still quite selectively handsome. They didn't seem to age as most of us did. I am refereeing to the likes of Nick Giordano, Sandy Bell, Big Bob Pieringer, and Al DeQuinzio. They seemed to have found the fountain of youth. If I failed to mention your name, sorry, maybe you didn't wear the right tie, or something? It was noted that Dwight Temple celebrated his ninetieth birthday, and we are reminded that there are several CBS'ers in their nineties. I don't think I will make that age, because when I received my Virginia state license I asked that I have "Donor" emblazoned on it, I was rejected because I don't have enough parts that they can use. I at least thought that maybe my productive organ was acceptable, but I failed the Viagra test, and everyone my age is already at the limp stage anyway. There were enough hearing aids, and bifocals liberally placed about the room. I sat at the table with Al Consiglio and his wife Ann, Al, always had a hearing problem, but Ann told us he could hear her going through his wallet from twenty paces away. Ted Perzeszty and his wife Patricia are on vacation at this time, they are cruising the Danube River. They remember the story told by the beloved Doris Reardon, who made that trip with her husband the man with the big singing voice Ed. I hope Ted enjoys this trip, he earned it. If you think you have a problem about traveling, consider that Ted had a quad heart bypass, a pacemaker, a defibrillator, and spine surgery, and that doesn't stop him from any activity. He is truly a remarkable man and friend. I have never known Ted to turn down any request for help.
It was nice to see the DeIeso brothers, Mike and Steve there. Along with Bob Callahan, and Klimy. (Don't you kinda feel a little jealous of people that can get by with nicknames or acronyms? Like, Klimy for Klimscak, or just plain Chico, and you know immediately who they are?) I always knew who Bob Dailey was talking to when he used to yell, "Jesus Christ, focus........" I knew it was me? Art Tinn always the gentleman, absent though without Lou Scanna? Charlie D'Onfrio, a legend easily. Sitting with them was Tony Ancona one of the best golfers in CBS. George Gray, easily recognizable without his garish red tie, sitting comfortably with Big Brain Bob Guercio. Morris Drucker was lost without his eternal light box, but he was listening to Water Freedman revisiting CBS history. It is in my recollection that this is the first time Chic Gulino visited with the Retirees. He lives out in the desert, near Phoenix, Arizona.
There many other fine people that visited with us that Tuesday. Joan Sullivan, wife of Jerry, told us that she is going to art Classes to increase her already formidable art talent. I don't want to be remiss and not mention that I spoke to one of the finest human beings I have ever met in my life, Ernie Lowe.
There was also two of what we euphemistically refer to as the young CBS'ers. Charlie Carlucci, (son-in-law of Don Costarello) and Mike Singer. I implored them to get involved and try to keep this Cosa Nostra, (This thing of ours) going. After all, for the most part most of us are in the home stretch and we need an infusion of young blood, from those that are still working, to add to the history of our company. I have dragged this on too long, and if I didn't mention your name, it is because the little grey cells can't remember them all. But, I truly love all of you. For all the good or bad you were a very big part of my life. And I constantly think about you. I just wish you would contribute a story or two. And let all of us share a moment in time with your story. Well, for now I will say Buona Notte e' sogni d'oro (Good night and Sweet (Golden) dreams) And no, I didn't forget Ruppert Baron; I told him that there were still elephants to be brought on stage, sheesh....... OK quiet, Charlie ready, fade up on one............