I read the full text of the Declaration of Independence once a year (required reading for me) but I've never read it "on the air" in my 20+ years of broadcasting. This simple document, created 244 years ago, was the launching pad of freedom from the yoke of tyrannical rule by the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained why the Thirteen Colonies were at war with the British, regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. Add in the fact, that the 56 signers of the Declaration didn't always agree, and many of them would suffer greatly just for putting their names on a piece of paper, and you have some serious lessons about what sacrifice really looks like.
Garry Meier is a radio legend. He will tell you that it all began with a dead butterfly. One day he walked out of his house and saw a beautiful dead Monarch butterfly lying on the ground. He scooped up the lifeless harbinger of things to come and sent it to his then favorite disc jockey, Larry Lujack, the biggest jock in Chicago at the time. Larry was always talking about reincarnation and he claimed he was going to come back as a butterfly. In a note accompanying the butterfly Garry said, “I think I found your dead uncle. Sorry for your loss”. Larry read the note on the air. For Garry it was a “flash-point” moment. Fascinated with radio, he knew what he was destined to do in life when he heard his material on the air.
What followed is an amazing career beginning as part of "Steve and Garry"-one of the most successful number one radio duos in the country. That fifteen-year run garnered international publicity, as well as an Emmy for the TV show Greetings From Graceland.
I had to opportunity to broadcast back to back with The G-Man at WGN Radio in Chicago for a couple of years, and this episode is an "unplugged" conversation with one of the great voices in the business.
I've hosted thousands of radio shows in my twenty-year plus career. My conversations with Christian Picciolini are in the all time Top Ten when it comes to impact, perspective and the courage to change one's life, and in doing so, save countless others. At age 14 in 1987, Picciolini was recruited to join the Chicago Area Skinheads (CASH) by the group's founder, Clark Martell. Two years later, after Martell had gone to prison for a second time, Picciolini became the group's leader at age 16. He would go on to head the white supremacist punk band, White American Youth (W.A.Y.) and, eventually, a hate rock band called Final Solution. Final Solution was the first American white power skinhead group to perform in Europe. The concert was held in a former cathedral in Weimar, Germany attended by 4,000 people, and was made up of several other white supremacist bands. After some serious wake-up calls, he officially renounced ties to the American neo-Nazi movement in 1996 at the age of 22, and has spent the past 24 years breaking the chains of hate.
45 years ago today, the movie JAWS was released in 400 theaters, and created a widespread fear of sharks and an increase in business for therapists trying calm the waters of fear for millions of people who vowed never to go into the water-any water-(including pools and bathtubs) ever again. It was the first "Summer Blockbuster" that brought Peter Benchley's best-selling novel to life on the big screen. It's back to the summer of 1975 with JAWS fan Jim Brinkman, award-winning screenwriter Carl Gottlieb (who also played Harry Meadows in the movie) and celebrated conductor Richard Kaufman, who played on the original soundtrack, hitting the notes on the iconic John Williams score.
I am no clinical psychologist, but I am intimately connected to PTSD, a condition that I was unaware of until I was hit broadside by a drunk driver in 1986. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.
So, I am qualified to make the following statement.
It's my observation, experience and opinion that most us in America have some level of PTSD, as our central nervous systems are overloaded, saturated, bludgeoned, beaten and hammered into submission with headlines of virus, murder caught on camera, riots, looting, protests, along with the usual mayhem and chaos humans seem to enjoy creating.
But, the new term for PTSD (for me) isn't "Post Traumatic" but rather "Present Tense Stress Disorder."
There however, an antidote to the current level of madness and mayhem that works every-time, and you already know what it is....
George Hawthorne and I both attended Schurz High School in Chicago. I graduated 1977, George in 1985. He was a stand out football player who would go on to be named to the All-American Team in 1987-then on to the University of Iowa playing ball for Hayden Fry. He'd strap it up for the Cleveland Browns and make a career of of law enforcement, 25 years with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and held the rank of captain the last 15 years.
As Space-X prepares for the Falcon 9 for launch today, the timing is perfect for this episode of the Life 2.0 podcast.
The Apogeo Spatial mission is to communicate the power of geospatial tools and technologies in managing the world’s scarce resources and environment, so that the global population has security—of water, food and energy. The driving force behind this incredible effort is Myrna James-Yoo, the publisher of Apogeo Spatial magazine, where she has gained a unique macro view of the satellite and space industry. Among Myrna’s defining experiences are traveling the world solo for 18 months, when she lived in tree houses in Turkey, trekked in the monsoon with leeches in Nepal, cooked on a cattle station in outback Australia, debated politics with a Frenchman of her father’s generation. She was blogging before it was an official word, and in this episode of Life 2.0- we take a look at the human condition as it pertains to living on the "blue marble" that hangs in space, and the official announcement of the partnership of "Earth Matters with Bill Kurtis" videos on the Apogeo Spatial magazine platform. Music in this episode by John Denver.
This is a mashup of The Wednesday Rant and Wednesday Wisdom-and in order to pull that off, I had to reach out to my gal-pal Jen Weigel the vaunted award winning journalist and long-traveled talk radio host and best-selling author. We cover a lot of ground, so you might want to take notes (or just keep listening over and over and over again) and mine your own gold as it were. The big take away for me today, is that the bottom line is that your cause in life, is far more than your eventual cause of death.
For 50 years, Tom Skilling has been at the forefront of forecasting the weather. He's become "America's Weatherman" from the studios of WGN-TV in Chicago and one of the most trusted, knowledgeable and reliable sources when it comes to all things atmospheric. At one time a skeptic in regard to human induced climate change, Tom now leads the charge in raising awareness of the challenge of global warming, based on science but also experience. Millions follow his predictions, which isn't something anyone could have predicted when got his first big market break in Milwaukee, with the help of a sock puppet named Albert The Alley Cat. The price of fame...is steep.
What are the odds that best-selling author and celebrated journalist Cathleen Falsani would win a trip at a fundraiser-throw a dart at a map that lands on Malawi, she and her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Maurice Possley head off on an adventure, and in a matter of grace... meet a little 10-year-old boy named Vasco, who had a serious heart condition, and in doing so, steal their hearts in a moment, and...eventually become their son? It's a miracle of the highest spiritual significance, and a reminder that whatever you are seeking...is seeking you. 10 years later, we revisit their incredible journey. We also talk about the latest book by Cathleen and co-author Jenny Dyer- "The End of Hunger: Renewed Hope for Feeding the World." Once you listen to the podcast, and are ready to take an action step to make sure you help a child keep their belly full-just click the link to "Corbin's Legacy" make a donation of any amount, and this incredible organization will take care of the details.