Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A promise to be busy....

I was transferred to a different program at my job last week, handling consumer service calls for a major toy company. The past week has been spent listening to other communicators handling calls like I will be as early as tomorrow evening, learning about the product, and that company's data base. I figure to be busy in the next month or so.

I find working at a call center to be a real adventure. You find that with some people you talk to, you are the last person they want to have a conversation with. You also have those who like the fact that they are talking to someone in their own country and I have given out plenty of weather reports for Akron, Ohio.

Special Note: In the days following Christmas, I will be writing some special posts. I will not be awarding Top Bananas this year, as I wasn't nearly as busy blogging this year as I was in the past, but there will be plenty of kudos given.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is Larry Morrow: a book review

The area of the country I live in has seen many talented people come and go in television, in radio and on the athletic field. Most of these people feel the need to take their talents elsewhere. The book I'm reviewing for this post is about one of the unselfish few who stay and use their talents for the betterment of the community.

One of the media friends I have made since I started blogging is Sue Wilson, who happens to be the program director of Akron, Ohio country music station WQMX and morning show co-host. Sue had told me that Larry Morrow was one of her positive influences during her career in radio.

This is Larry Morrow...My Life on and off the Air is the autobiography of one of the classic good guys of the Cleveland airwaves. Larry tells us about his life, how he got into radio, and why he moved to, and fell in love with, Cleveland.

Larry Morrow was one of the original WIXY Supermen, the lineup of disc jockeys that helped make WIXY/1260 the legendary station it was. Larry tells quite a bit about the others, especially those behind the scenes, that helped make WIXY the success it was. At that time, he was the midday personality there and his audience was mainly housewives. In playing to that audience, there was a daily contest called what's cooking, where Larry would reveal ingredients to a recipe one by one in between playing the hits of the day.

Next stop was 3WE, where he would replace legendary announcer, Jim Runyon. It was those days I listened to him as I got ready to go to school. I used to enjoy hearing about when he got his morning coffee from David's Place, especially asking newsman Hugh Daneceau if he enjoyed his coffee. It usually was responded to by a tape of wrestler Pampero Firpo saying "ohhhh yeah."

Larry also chronicled his years behind the mike at WQAL. Wherever he stopped, he always left a positive imprint. The title that he was most proud of was "Mr. Cleveland," one he wore with pride. Larry first moved to Cleveland during the Hough riots in 1966, and he has spent the last 40 plus years working with civic leaders for the betterment of his adopted community.

This book is a very easy and enjoyable read. Even though it's about the life and career of Larry Morrow, there's ample credit to go around to everybody in his life. In the times in his career when things could have gone better, Larry spent very little time being bitter. To me that's the sign of a good pro and a great man. And you can feel safe letting anybody in your family read this book as Larry, a born again Christian, used no offensive language in the writing of the book.

If you have a love for Cleveland radio, or have a love for Cleveland period, this book is a must read. If you know anyone who has a love for the above mentioned topics, this would make a great Christmas present. Click here to order from

Cliff Note: I want to thank Jane Lassar, publicist at Gray and Company for providing me with the resources for this post.

Special Announcement!

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I have a special blog post coming up. I don't know if it will be ready to-day or to-Morrow. In the meantime enjoy the Cleveland Cavalier's fight song from the 1970's, "C'mon Cavs, Gotta Make it Happen."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sometimes the delete button can be your friend

This past weekend I was feeling pretty low about myself. Having been flying high during the week, low was a pretty long ways to fall. I did let some feelings show on Facebook and started writing a blog post. After I read a couple of paragraphs, I had decided it was time to do some editing, which I did via the "delete post" option.

Even at the age of 55, I find I still need to learn about myself. I also have to get out of the mindset that the world is out to get me.

In other news, we got our first significant snow of the season and I realized that I have to get out of the house earlier on those days. It was nice to spend most of last winter not having to drive to work when the roads were snow covered and slippery. But then again, I still like the idea of driving to a job, no matter what the road conditions are...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I need friends like you to get me through the holidays!

The title if this post is a sentence from a message I got on Facebook this past weekend. One of my high school friends, Nancy, shot this to me after I wished her happy birthday via a wall post.

At best, during high school, Nancy and I were casual friends. She was a cheerleader and hung with her group, and I tried to be a jock and hung with mine. One of my biggest victories in high school came at her expense. We ran against each other for senior class vice president and I won. I was riding a wave of popularity from my role in the junior class play, otherwise Nancy would have probably prevailed. But at the end of the senior year, we graduated and would not be in communication for almost 36 years.

Then came all my "new friends" on Facebook and as many of us were working to get a reunion together this past summer, Scott, one of my classmates from West Virginia, informed me that Nancy's husband had passed away. I immediately put a message on the reunion page on FB to pray for Nancy. She then accepted my friend request and would have been at the reunion, but was in Ohio earlier that month for a wedding and had to be back in Alaska for her job.

Another one of my friends, Rex, was at the reunion. Rex was an equipment manager on the football team and tried to encourage me at times. His older brother, Jeff was, and still is, a classic good guy who took a liking to my younger brother while in school. But back to Rex. He had spent quite a bit of his time in the past few years taking care of his wife as she had been ill for quite some time. He was able to attend our reunion this past July and we even sang Happy Birthday to him. His wife ended her battle a few weeks ago with Rex, their son, and Rex's parents at her side.

Another friend I would like to mention is actually a distant relative. We originally met because we share the same name, Cliff Feightner. I first met Cliff and his wife Lynn in 1990. He was a manager at Goodyear, and I was a salesman at an appliance store. I was told about him and he about me. Cliff then searched me out. Several years later, we started contacting each other by email, which resulted in him coming to one of my family reunions. Lynn brought a chocolate cake and it was delicious. We have kept in contact over the past few years, now mainly by FB. Cliff will also be spending this Christmas without his life mate, as Lynn passed away this year. I'm sure his sons, Chip and Eric, will be there for him this year, but there will be some emptiness.

I'm sure there are many other stories of people who will spend their first holiday season without their partners. I just want to encourage you to reach out and touch those who need a friend this season. It will make a difference.