I’d Love to Change The World…

But I can’t do that much. I could complain and post angry opinions, (I’m capable) I’ve learned though that doing that makes me feel good and empowered for about a half an hour, and then I realize the people who agree with me cheer me on, but an equal number of people who disagree, take offense and dig their heels in on their side of the issues. Seems to me not much will change if that’s the dialogue between us.

So today…(one day at a time) I’ll try something new…I’ll try simply being a good friend.


Kindess…patience…understanding…being a good listener. These are the qualities that keep people talking and keeping an open mind. On ALL sides of Life.

Hope you have a good day.-Jim

Together, we’ve always taken care of each other.


Whenever someone asks me “Do you miss doing your Radio show?”, the answer I always give is “I miss the people…and all the good work we did to help folks out.”  Although we never planned it that way, our show over the years became almost like a “church”…it felt that way to me, anyway. When someone in our area was in trouble, we’d talk about it on the air…come up with a plan to help out, and then YOU…our Radio Family would come together and help out with food, clothing, cash, Toys for Tots, Blood Drives…whatever was needed. Including dropping our own pants if that’s what it took. (Producer Mike Bradley was always the best sport)


And that’s what I miss the most.

We all have our views and opinions on how to solve the problems of the world. But this I know firsthand: When you keep it simple and honest, Detroiters always find a way and come through for people in trouble.

Since retirement, I haven’t had the forum to help people like I used to. But I tell myself “That’s OK…there are a lot of great Radio & TV personalities in Detroit and they’re always helping out charities and good causes.”

But then my wife Lynn and I met John Kelly, who owns The Stand Resturant in Birmingham. John hired Lynn’s PR company, The WOW Factory and said he wanted to make his place a helpful part of the community. He wants to do regular community and charity fundraisers and “use his powers for good”.  We like that. Just like so many of our old radio advertisers like Gordon Chevrolet, Ahee Jewelers, Art Van, Centurion Carpet Cleaning, and Joe’s Produce, John Kelly understands that when you help out your local community, business takes care of itself. (below: The late Brother Vince from The Capuchin Soup Kitchen who, along with your generosity, helped clothe thousands of needy kids and parents in Detroit)

2008-06-23 13-39

So we’re doing a “party” to raise funds for a local family and we really need YOUR help.

Not long ago, Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke of the West Bloomfield Police was killed on a domestic call. It was awful. And a reminder of how our men and women in uniform put their very lives on the line every single day to keep us safe. (read story here)


Officer O’Rourke left behind a wife and four kids. And we’re getting together Friday Nov 20th at The Stand in Birmingham (Woodward and Maple) starting at 6pm. There is no admission charge! It’s free to attend! All the proceeds that night will go directly to The O’Rourke Family, just in time for the holidays and  their normal living expenses. As many of you know, when an officer is lost, the family is usually devastated financially, as well as emotionally.

(Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke)


And here’s a very cool thing about this event: EVERYone I’ve reached out to in the Radio & TV world has agreed to attend (if they’re not doing some other charity event). This is going to be the largest assembly of local celebs I think there’s ever been. And they’ll all be at The Stand to be your celebrity bartenders and hang out all night while we all enjoy some great food and drink. I’ll run down the list of celebs later on this blog.

In the meantime…PLEASE consider coming Nov 20th to The Stand for “Back The Blue-Night”. You don’t need a reservation, just grab some friends and come on down, anytime after 6pm.

As you and I both know: There’s no greater feeling, than sharing the love and generosity we all have in our hearts. Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up soon.

marinehug(U.S. Marine and child at Toys For Tots.)

And we’ll be there of course, with a big Thank You Hug for anyone who needs one. I know I do.

God Bless You for sharing this on your Facebook and Twitter pages,


Fall Back? Maybe we should Spring-ahead into the 21st Century?


Does anyone else think this is one of the dumbest things we’ve ever hung onto from the past? The history of DST goes back centuries and it was always used to make better use of daylight in the morning. Ben Franklin suggested it would save on candle usage back in 1784 while living in Paris. The first modern use here in America came in 1918 when President Wilson put it into effect to help the war effort. It was left up to the individual states in the U.S. for years, causing a lot of confusion with bus and train schedules until Congress established the Uniform Time Act of 1966. (a-HA! Congress…now it makes sense why this is a mess) Then it was extended in 1973 to save oil during the embargo and according to statistics, actually did save 10,000 barrels a day. But it’s always been subject to debate. I remember teachers telling us it was used to help the American Farmers with their Fall harvests, but a lot of parents have always felt sending kids to school in the dark is just too dangerous as a trade-off.

Personally, I don’t like it at all. When you get up early for work (4am for me, still!) it’s pitch dark outside. And since the sun sets earlier in the Fall and Winter, that hour of daylight we’re suppose to “save” doesn’t seem to be there. As I’m sure many of you know: getting up and driving to work in the dark, followed by driving home in the dark for 4 months every year doesn’t not promote a sunny disposition. A few years ago when they started identifying this “blue feeling” as Seasonal Affective Disorder, I thought “Yes! this makes sense…you need sunlight to be happy..,no wonder I’m tired and depressed!” So like some of you I doubled my dose of Vitamin D and bought one of those S.A.D. lights to try and fight back. I don’t think those things help much and the time and hassle of sitting in front of that dumb light wasn’t worth it. It often makes me want to hide myself away when I get that grumpy.


So why do we still have Daylight Savings Time? Since none of us seem to really know for certain…I find that very odd. Most areas of our life that defy common sense usually have an answer…and that answer is often money. But I’m unaware of anyone making money off a shift in the clocks. The truth is it COSTS money. A lot of money. Companies that have equipment set on timers spend thousands re-programming their gear. Insurance companies said we would have less accidents in the afternoon/evening if there was more light, but of course that quickly was offset by an increase in morning-darkness accidents. And the idea that it saves energy is faulty because of the increase in the use of electricity in the dark months, and air conditioning in the summer months. I think the Native Americans had the best opinion on DST:


There have been attempts here in Michigan to repeal DST by both Dems and the GOP but they’ve never passed through the house. Currently there is a bill bill that has been referred to the House Government Operations Committee for a possible hearing. Wow..good luck with that.

So I’ll try and cheer you up if you’ll do the same for me. In the meantime, I reject the notion that “you get an extra hour of sleep when you Fall-Back!” Unless you have to work the Sunday morning after DST takes place, that doesn’t really happen. It’ll take us all a couple of days to adjust and then we’ll be back to being over-worked, over-tired only now we’ll be doing it in the dark. Which bring me to my next blog-post: How the whole universe is against you this time of year if you’re trying not to get fat!


Halloween was kind of a bust at our house…

Mortice & Gomez Harper
Mortica & Gomez Harper

So we decided to really go all out this year with decorating for Halloween. We usually have quite a bit of decorations that we put inside the house…almost as much as Christmas, but Lynn and I have kept things pretty simple on the outside. But this year we put orange lights up in the trees, skulls and pumpkins everywhere, some light up ghosts on the lawn and the kicker was a video projection system I bought that shows really cool images on you windows from the inside. Someone observing from the street would see silhouettes of skeletons dancing, a ghost-bride flying around and even zombies clawing at the widow trying to get out (I’ll post an example later).

BUT…we had very few kids this year.

I don’t know if the neighborhood is changing…the weather being cold and wet, or the new things families are doing, like “Trunk or Treat” (where people park their cars, open the trunk and give out candy…I guess?) neighborhood parties at schools and community centers or maybe it was the “jinx” we’ve all gone through: buying tons of candy in advance. A sure fire way of limiting the number of kids who stop by.

But we had…maybe 2-dozen kids all night. And that includes the car load that rang the doorbell at 4:30pm. Sorry folks…4:30 is a little early. I would have given them some treats but Pippa’s barked scared them away before I could get the door.


I imagine a lot of what I’ll be saying on this blog, much like my FB page, will sound like a cranky old guy, but I’m OK with that. Sometimes I am cranky and I fully accept the reality of being “old”. But here’s my point:

Does EVERY tradition of our lives have to change over the years?

If you’re over 40 I’m sure you remember Halloween the way I do. You’d plan your costume for months. The night before Halloween…”Devil’s Night” you’d hook up with your best friends and hit the neighborhood soaping windows on home and cars and ringing doorbells. (No one lit a fire where I grew up in Westland, and like many things today, you can’t use the phrase “Devil’s Night” anymore, as if it would offend someone…The Devil maybe?) Then you’d have a little party at school on Halloween Day…nothing that big…perhaps you’d wear your costume to class…maybe not, but I clearly remember the thoughts and feeling of Halloween starting around 5pm.

Mom’s rule was we had to have a regular dinner before we could even get dressed to go out. So around 4pm we’d start bugging her about dinner because we wanted to rush through it and head out for candy. There we were, racing through some cheap meat she bought at Great Scott and made into a meatloaf (5 kids to feed). But around 5:15 we could hear the faint sounds of kids laughing and screaming. And sure enough, while we still eating dinner our doorbell would ring and you’d hear “Trick or Treat!” This caused panic among my Brother and Sisters but we were given “a pass” on finishing our meal and we would scatter to put on our costumes, leaving Mom to answer the door and hand out candy.

I almost bought this last week, but Lynn couldn’t stop laughing, so I decided it wasn’t scary enough mask

If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, Trick or Treating was like a military operation. You would head-out with a small group of your friends (if you were old enough) and head-out to the farthest point you intended to star-at and then slowly work your way back home. If you were really dedicated, you would hit-up houses on the way to the starting point, and then take different streets back. And, it was a TWO BAG night for us! That’s right…fill one up and head back out for a second pass. When the night was over I was proud of my accomplishment. Easily a couple of pounds of good candy that I would pour out and start sorting. I would like to add that some people back then actually did make their own little candy offering…often home-made and sometime pretty elaborate, and no one worried about being poisoned. (I still think that was a rumor started by the candy makers.)

But alas…I got my first taste of socialism from my very Democratic Father, who would insist we all “pool” our candy, and it would be divided in 5-equal smaller piles. And like most socialist policies, it may have seemed “fair” to the younger members of my clan, but left me feeling that all my extra effort didn’t benefit me much, so I stopped overachieving . (it really is as simple as that.)

My point is Halloween is different now. Very different. Maybe it’s better in some ways for our kids…more “inclusive”…easier on the parents…

But I doubt is nearly as much fun today as when we were young and free. I don’t hear a lot of laughing coming from the sidewalk these days. 

Hope if was a good one for you, though. Happy Halloween and if anyone knows where we can donate 3 pounds of candy, please let me know.

So I’ve decided to create a blog.

Hello Friends and Family.

After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to go beyond Facebook and actually write a blog, with the intention to create a virtual “Morning Radio Show” on the web. It won’t really be like a podcast or web-streaming show (at least not yet) but it WILL hopefully be a chance for you and me to share the same kind of experience we had for so many years on WNIC-FM and Magic 105.1 Radio.

Bear with me. This is all new and although I consider myself to be pretty good at learning new things, I understand I am “pretty new to the party” of having my own site. So if this appears rough at first and not very advanced, I hope you will bear with me.

My only desire is to re-create the warm, family-feeling we shared for so long.2012-03-03 09-32So…here we go!