A Great Show — Thanks to You!
August 16, 2010
Sunday’s Bob Grant Radio Show was one of the most enjoyable I have ever done.
It really felt like the good old days when I was proclaimed by the rating surveys and the newspapers as the “King of Conservative Talk Radio in New York.”
I don’t care if I sound like I’m bragging. The truth is I should have bragged in the past. But, I was brought up in a fairly typical Italian American household and Italians didn’t want their children to brag.
Even though my mother was born in the U.S. and my father came here when he as only six-years-old, and even though my parents were fluent in English, the customs and traditions were old country.
My father was strict and short tempered. His value system was anybody who could play the violin like Jascha Heifetz was a deity. He himself was a good violinist, but not a Heifetz.
His love of the violin was more than his love for his children. His feelings about playing the violin led him to have a great affection for Jews. He used to say, “If it weren’t for the Jews and the Italians, nobody would be playing the violin anymore.”
Was that an exaggeration? Of course it was. But, if I pointed out there were other ethnic groups playing violin, he would say, “They’re all shoemakers.”
When I saw “Fiddler On The Roof” in the early l970s, here in New York City, I thought of my father who had passed away before his time in l968.
I remember his last words, “Bobby, I’m glad you quit smoking. You won’t wind up like me with emphysema. This is what I got for smoking like Humphrey Bogart. Tell Gloria she had better quit before it’s too late.”
I left him as he fell asleep and since he seemed to be doing better, I took a plane the next morning for Los Angeles where I had been living and working since June of l959.
By the way, you may wonder who Gloria was. She was my older sister. I did as my father had asked and tried to convince Glo that she should do what I did and stop smoking.
But Gloria was stubborn and didn’t listen. And that is probably why she too succumbed to emphysema. I tried talking to my younger sister, Anne, to quit, but she told me she knew what she was doing.
How did I get started on this anyway? Oh, I know. I wanted to make a point. I was about to brag and explain why everybody else in the business of radio talk shows has no problem bragging, except me.
Well, better late than never. I will join the vast army of those entertaining, knowledgeable, wealthy epigones. In case you didn’t know, I suspect somewhere in the handbook of traits a talk show host must have, is a huge ego.
In fact he must have an ego of gargantuan size! And, why not? Who else would dare sit behind a microphone and tell people what to think, how to think, and who to think with?
I mean, let’s face it. The power of the microphone is awesome! There is one guy, for example, who is on some 600 stations. And each and every day it is written he must be mentioned in the news by someone or everyone.
I happen to know this guy, but you know what? He’s a good guy and I like him.
Back in 1992, when his first book came out, he made it a point to salute me on page 13. I’ll never forget one day when I was visiting my son in San Diego. He was calling on a customer and asked if I would come with him.
I, of course, did want to accompany him to see him in action. Chris introduced me to a very charming lady. He said, “This is my dad. He’s on the radio in New York.”
The lady was holding a copy of a book. It was “The Way Things Ought To Be,” by Rush Limbaugh. Now there she was with Rush&8217;s book in her hand. And when number two son introduced me, she said, “Oh, Mr. Grant, do you know Rush Limbaugh?”
And I asked her, “Have you been reading that book you’re holding?” She said she was at least half way through.
I knew she didn’t remember reading about me, so I said, “Open the book to page 13.” She did, and turned beet red with embarrassment. I told her there was no need be embarrassed.
I tell that story because so many people have books in their hands, but maybe none in their heads.
What has all this got to do with Barack Obama? Nothing, really. I’m just so sick and tired of him. I wanted to change the subject. Hope you don&8217;t mind. I enjoyed it.
Being a narcissist I would, of course. Please spread the word to check out this web site and any suggestions you may have.
And, please, don’t forget “Straight Ahead,” every Sunday at 12 noon on WABC 77.