The Gift of “Old Friends & Fond Memories”

December24/ 2022

December 24, 2022


NOTE:  The following is a personal anecdote.  As with all “personal anecdotes” I chronicle here, its purpose is (1) to entertain you … and (2) to hopefully kindle a thought / memory from Your Life that might bring the same pleasure to you during this special season.


Earlier this week – Thursday to be exact – I was considering how flawed and self-destructive Humanity is.  Would we as a species have been better off never inventing “Fire” …. “The Wheel” … and “Social Media”.  My conclusion was Yes to all three.

Blondie was busy comparing 17 different Weather websites to determine if weather predictions for this Christmas weekend would be the 2nd or 3rd “direst” in recorded history.  We would be traveling 2 hours and 27 minutes from our driveway in Raleigh to Kid & Priest Danny’s driveway in Richmond …

Could we evade “Jack Frost’s” knockout punch in doing so?  For the record we did … now she is researching our odds for the return trip on Monday as I busy myself posting this.  After 38 years we have an effective division of labor playing to our respective strengths.

I view “Weather” like I view “the NCAA” and “Congress”.  Expect the worst so I’ll be pleasantly surprised at anything less.

And my phone rang – the theme from The Magnificent Seven – the caller ID said “Handsome Bobby”.   OMG!!!


I met “Handsome Bobby” in 1977-78 during my Kansas City days.  Around the same time I met an unemployed DJ with a silly dream to become The Greatest Radio Personality in History.   Yeah, like THAT would ever happen, duh!

Bobby would become one of the very very very few people I have ever known who – when I blurt out some obtuse nonsequitur – ALWAYS “gets it” without a need for subtitles.  After 40+ years we still have that connection.

“Handsome Bobby’s” dream was slightly less awesome than that other fella’s – to someday own a minor league baseball team. 

At that time he was PR Guy for the NBA’s Kansas City Kings.  He would go on to be Marketing Director for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks … then into the radio biz leading to his overseeing “a bunch of” radio stations all over the world for media colossus Clear Channel Communications.   25+ years in corporate America led inevitably to an entrepreneurial venture in his hometown of San Antonio.

Anyhooo, back in Kansas City …. Bobby and I were judges for the Kings’ Glitter Girls auditions.  There are certain images once seen, one never forgets in one’s life …. “Born To Glitter” … “Thunder Thighs” and “Cleopatra” are three such images from 1978 for both Bobby and me 40+ years later.  

“Cleopatra” was “dating” (wink, wink) a King’s rookie named Phil Ford.  Yes, THAT Phil Ford.  

Phil was the subject of a truly historic comment by Bobby. …. “The first time Phil Ford walked into an NBA shower room he was declared All Pro”.  I leave the “what he meant by that” to your imagination.

Bobby and I also shared “A Royal Night with A King” attending a KC Royals baseball game with then Yankees’ scout – the legendary Clyde KIng … and we learned how much we never knew about the game of baseball.

Our friendship grew as we were both in Dallas in the early 80s.  He with the Mavericks … me with The Fairmont Hotel.  Bobbly helping me move a multi-ton armoire in a frog-strangler thunderstorm being yet another shared memory.  Along with several double dates during our Not Very Wild & Crazy Guys days … which would soon end with the arrivals of Blondie and Pam respectively.

In the Spring of 1988, I (1) became a father … (2) had my first detached retina … and (3) was a groomsman in Bobby & Pam’s wedding … becoming the first “groomsman wearing an eyepatch” in the history of that particular San Antonio Jewish synagogue.

Circumstances split us up in the late 80s but we have never lost touch.  We have that sort of Friendship that I hope each of you have with someone … one or the other will pick up the phone every 2-3-4 years to call the other.  Nothing scheduled … just “Just wonderin’ how you doin’?”  

We had such an event for two+ hours this past Thursday.  It was as special a Christmas gift as I could want at this point in my life.  

I don’t need more “stuff”  … I DO need to be reminded how fortunate I have been – in spite of myself – to have connected with a handful of very very special people over my life.


GUESS WHAT? …. Remember Handsome Bobby’s dream back in 1978? …to someday own a minor league baseball team.   

In this his 6th decade, the sonofagun has gone and DONE IT!

As of this past November, Handsome Bobby is the General Partner of the San Antonio Missions – Double AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. … But Wait … There’s More!

“Knowing a for-real Internet Legend” is a lifetime achievement for some folks … but Bobby has gone a couple steps further.

He put together an ownership investor group that includes Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio and Henry Cisneros.  

Henry, of course, was the former Boy Mayor of San Antonio.  More about him in a minute … the other three guys are ex-baseball guys you mighta heard of.

As he was telling me this, I stopped him.  “Damn Bobby, You Have Realized Your Dream”.  He was surprised that I remembered from 40 years earlier.  Of course, I remembered!

ASIDE:  In the mid 80s, Henry Cisneros was the odds on favorite to become America’s first Hispanic POTUS.  He was “the package” … charisma … intellect … resume … Hallmark card family … et al.  Then Oops …

Henry’s longtime MISTRESS emerged and Henry’s political ambitions went SPLAT! …. This was the mid-80s …. When America still had an iota of moral conscience. … sigh.

America would go on to elect …The Arkansas HornDawg … a Bi-sexual Black Guy … and a Senile Pedophile !!  Many of us would gladly take Henry Cisneros and his side piece … a Hispanic JFK.  Oh well … now he’s Handsome Bobby’s partner with the San Antonio Missions.

I cannot tell you how much fun Bobby and I had in those two hours plus on Thursday.  Yes, I bragged on the Four Munchkins in Richmond AND, of course, my 7 lb bass … we rehashed the above memories but also relished sharing our more recent life circumstances …..

Blondie and my long association with that afore-mentioned “unemployed DJ back in KC in 1978” who, by golly, also realized his dream.  And our current gig with yet another notorious political icon. Oh My!

Bobby’s three kids are out in this crazy world chasing their dreams just like their Dad did so successfully.  Do Bobby and I share the opinions on “you know what”?  Do you REALLY have to ask that?

The 2,500 incredibly insightful commentaries here and sharing with “all you people” including the incredible “Old Coach” / CNR and how his and my paths crossed a dozen years ago. ….. The Wizard of Westwood – The Baron of The Bluegrass – Heisman Ty …. Oh My!

Ain’t Life a Hoot!

So this morning I’m watching the Munchkins drink hot chocolate … and by golly … that same phone rings again … Magnificent Seven et al … and its an iconic ACC legend who has been a dear friend for 60+ years calling to wish me a Merry Christmas.

I’m telling him about Handsome Bobby and his Missions ownership group when I realize his contact registry includes Joe Montana, OJ Simpson AS WELL AS “a smart aleck with his own website” …

These Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon aside … its not the random celebrities in the above stories that matter … It’s the Long Time Friendships and their Fond Memories.


With many of you joining me walking up Life’s 18th Fairway … it is those Friendships and Life Experiences and Memories that are Invaluable.   Who’d a thunk it 60+ years ago?

Hopefully you are like me … despite those “zigs when I shoulda zagged” over the years,  I have managed to come out pretty darn OK.  Being reminded this week of my good fortunes in that regard … Is

The Best Christmas Present I Could Ever Wish For.


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