2006-03-30 @ 3:43 p.m.
Last night a local radio DJ, who my mom is a big fan of, retired and his radio station rented the art deco theatre to give him a big going away bash. He’s moving to warmer climes, the lucky bastard. She has been a fan of his for about 7 or 8 years and its been a very good thing for many reasons. She discovered his morning radio show shortly after I moved out, because at that point I was literally her only social contact except for her sister. Since then, however, through this radio show, she had made many radio “friends” much in the way, we here at diaryland are “friends”. She soon became what you would call...a regular caller, which is not surprising because she LOOOOOVES to talk and loves attention and yes, does have a good sense of humor (I had to get it from somewhere, right?) so calling a radio station where the DJ was kind of cantankerous but funny was a perfect fit for her.
And then she started following this guy around where he would perform locally. He played the piano and then she started meeting people and making friends in person. She even became a legend in her own mind (Hey! Kinda like me) because people would sometimes recognize her voice at these shows and they would give her lots of attention, which my mother loves and she became her own minor celebrity.
I have met the Radio Guy quite a few times. I used to go to his piano-bar shows because he played all that stuff that Broadway/Gershwin geeks like me like to hear. Songs from “Cabaret”, “Oklahoma”, “New York, New York”. He would even play a certain Gershwin song that I liked, whenever I came through the door, which I thought was nice. And he was nice to my mother. Over the years he had given us many free tickets to local theatre productions, because of course, radio stations get free promotional tickets and then the Radio Guy would have contests, which my mom rarely could ever win, but it really didn’t matter because he would always save two for us and give them to us on the sly. He knew that neither of us had any money and that we both really like theatre.
So he retired this week at the age of 74. But he was a young 74. He still had a wicked sense of humor and still flirted shamelessly with the ladies (in real life too from what I hear.) I actually had some inside info on the guy since his oldest son was Married Guy’s best friend in college. And oh the stories I heard from the 60’s. Alcohol. Women. Ummm....alcohol.
But what was funny about all this was all the drama amongst the “fans” of Radio Guy. I had to listen every night to my mom rattle on and on and on about J-9 doing this and M from M doing that and I hate L the Listener and Crazy Annie (who incidently lives directly across the courtyard from me in my apartment building) calling in and talking about God and masturbation and being clicked off the air and then calling right back still talking like nothing happened. My mom just talked to infinity about all these people. It was kind of boring after a while, especially when she repeated herself or would talk about people I didn’t know. But it gave her a life.
So my mom had been going on and on about the tribute that was going to happen last night and naturally it was at the same damn time as my art class. She was relentless. Pleading. Suggesting. Guilting. She wanted me there. It was for “Radio Guy”, who she had to remind me, “had always been good to you and liked you.” She even called me at work yesterday. As soon as I walked in the receptionist said, “Your mom called. She needs you to call her!” I knew it was my last installment on the guilt payment plan. And to be honest, I wasn’t totally against it. I liked him. He WAS always nice to me other than trying to smooch me once directly on the lips during a full embrace. I was kind of squicked out by that since he was in his 70’s. So I just said I would be there, and then there were all her fluttery instructions of where and when even though I already knew and had known for weeks.
She had even told me people were camping outside the theatre the night before in order to get in. You know like to get tickets to a Bono concert or something. I drove by there Wednesday afternoon. Nothing. She also said I’d probably had to park 5-6 blocks away with all the people coming. I was only 1.5 blocks away. I spotted her right away. Her and her new “boyfriend”, the Elvis impersonator guy. They are strangely inseparable now. I’m a little suspicious of the pairing however. Its purely ego-driven I believe. Especially after the show ended and he told her, “Ok, now its time to go hawk some of my CDs!” and handed her a bunch of his self produced CDs.
She’s a 77 year old woman. Why is she selling his CDs for him? That’s kinda nervy. But that’s all I’m going to say, since there may be prying eyes afoot.
But I think there was probably about 250 people there. Two local TV stations were there including the one that the Radio Guy used to work for back in the 1950s when he had a game show. They had a nice tribute with clips from his various TV shows, radio programs and even film career (He was in David Lynch film of all things). And than at the end of the tribute he had pictures of all his radio fans popping up on the movie screen and I was aghast when a picture of my mom and I suddenly filled an entire movie theatre screen. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
It was a picture from her 75th birthday and she was wearing a tiara and I was sitting next to her looking appropriately scornful like I always do. I even remember that day. It was hot, humid and I had just come from Married Guy’s house and we were angry at each other. And then that night after the party at the restaurant, of which he knew the location, I went out to my car and his SUV was parked a few spaces down. And I was like WTF? I didn’t go looking for him. I was too grumpy. I later asked him if he had been at H*ll*r’s and he said no. But it was definitely his SUV. It had the name of his damn business on the back window ferchrissakes.
I did finally find my mom. She was standing in line to get an autograph for her and Elvis Impersonator Guy. He kept coming back and asking her how long it was going to be, because they wanted to leave (him and his parents had brought my mother to the event). Give her a break Elvis, maybe she’s tired from hawking your freakin' CDs.
Afterwards I stopped at my art class briefly. Talk about a contrast. A bunch of crochedy old apple faced grannies begging to kiss the Radio Guy vs. a bunch of hip, yet jaded artsy types standing around painting a nude woman. Which place do I belong? I think you know.
I did see the ever-intriguing “A” this morning. We’re getting in the last couple of appointments before he goes on vacation. He was very into wanting me to spill my guts with all my “happy” news. Oh, the pressure. I didn’t have any overtly bad news. I mentioned finding the filipino mail order whore in California and the ongoing phone calls from the married coworker and the naughty notes from someone on the internet that we know mutually. When we discussed the naughty notes person he said the guy might be legitimately interested because “I wasn’t ugly”. Wow. What an endorsement "A"? Yay! I’m not ugly. I did want to get a little more specific like...maybe slightyly less horrifying than an extreme close up of e-coli bacteria?
....Oh, you know how sensitive us girls are when we're PMSing.
He did however give me a very nice, extra special nice pep talk about my budding art skills. I brought in my latest painting of the pseudo-Peter O’Toole. He’s sort of getting used to seeing me lug in my large black art satchel these days. He was very impressed. I think he said it was my best effort yet and “A” doesn’t give out stray compliments easily (i.e., ahem... the “Not ugly” thingie). I told him that I was interested in taking a 4 week portrait class with a local portrait artist that I took a class from last year. He is very talented artist and does portraits and murals locally for a living and is the only person I’ve ever actually gotten instructions from.
When I mentioned this to “A” he immediately stepped up to the proverbial plate and offered to pay for the class (It’s $59). I thought that was nice. There was a vague stipulation, of course. We have been talking about me painting a large painting for his office for over a year now. At first I was afraid to make any kind of commitment because of my colossal insecurities. But now that I am getting a little more confident in my skills, I do think I might be getting closer to being able to consider his request for a commissioned piece. So we touched on that. He said he would pay for the class and that money would go towards any painting I might do for him. I guess thats fair enough.
He still doesn’t know what he wants though, and I told him, as good as I am, I’m not psychic, so he better get to work on that. (yay me, giving the shrink homework for a change).
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty