Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wandering Wisconsin

Friday January 17th, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI/Stevens Point, WI/Merrill, WI

   Plenty of stops to make today – and all of them happened to be in Wisconsin. Even though that wouldn’t raise many jealous eyebrows most other places, it’s my home state so I was fine with it. I had a lot of fun with a lot of nice people, and it shouldn’t matter where that happens. I loved it.

   My first stop was at Fox 6 studios in Milwaukee to be on their “Real Milwaukee” show to plug the breast cancer benefit at Memories Ballroom in Port Washington, WI tomorrow night. Getting on TV is never a bad thing, and for this particular event I did it twice. I think that’s a first for me.

   After that I drove to Ted’s Diner in Wauwatosa, WI to have breakfast with Steve “The Homer” True. I hadn’t seen him since his horrific car wreck in November, and wanted to hear all about it. I had a similar one twenty years ago, and was lucky to have survived. He is too, and he knows it.

   Homer has always been one of my very favorite people in the broadcast business because he is completely unaffected by any of the glitz and glamour. He’s a real person, and has a heart about as big as a watermelon. Every benefit I’ve ever done in Milwaukee he has not only showed up to support, but also donated money completely under the radar. He’s a super talent on the air also.

   I would love to team up and do some kind of motivational presentation with Homer. His father Dr. Herb True was a pioneer in the motivational speaking business along with others like Charlie “Tremendous” Jones and Zig Ziglar. Homer understands how crucial the entertainment aspect is.

   After a fun visit with Homer I drove to Stevens Point, WI to have dinner with my cousin Leah, her husband Rob and their daughter Janine to celebrate Janine’s birthday. I can’t believe she’s 20 already, and no longer the cute little kid that used to laugh at everything I said. Time slips away.

   After dinner I drove about an hour farther north to Merrill, WI for a show at the Lincoln Lanes bowling center that has never tried live comedy before. It was booked by my friend “The Mighty Jer Dog”, and I never know quite what to expect at any of his gigs. That’s part of the adventure.

   Tonight was a pleasant surprise, as the owner had done his homework and packed the place to the rafters. He got the word out in town, and people showed up. He’s a smart guy in his late 30s that bought the business from his father. His grandfather started it, so there’s some history there.

   I liked the guy from the second I met him, and that’s extremely rare for most club owners. I’m used to keeping my guard up at all times, but not tonight. I saw this guy was sincere about doing shows, and people like that make a drive to Merrill, WI in January worth the trouble. It was fun.

   He even had my name in lights on his marquee. That’s always a kick, even though I have zero drawing power Merrill, WI. It felt good to work for a guy that cared, and I know he made money tonight so that’s even better. Would I come back here again? Sure. Nice people are nice people.

   Normally the venue puts us in a set hotel, but tonight the deal was that I received a stipend for my own lodging. I wasn’t tired after the show so I drove to Green Bay and got a room there. Life sure is a blast when everything is running on all cylinders. This is by far the best time of my life.

I did an appearance on Fox 6's 'Real Milwaukee' this morning to plug the big cancer benefit show tomorrow at Memories Ballroom in Port Washington, WI. www.fox6now/category/

Steve 'The Homer' True had a horrific car accident on his birthday last November 13th. He's looking and feeling great, and on his way to a full recovery. Listen to him on his afternoon radio show 'Homer and Thunder', or as one of the best play-by-play talents around for Marquette basketball games.

It's always a kick to see one's name in lights - even if it's at a bowling center in Merrill, WI. It was a super audience and everyone had fun - including me.

No comments: