Of All the Web Sites I Have Ever Done, This One is the Most Recent!
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    JUST IN TIME FOR FATHER'S DAY!

LAST CALL ...Remembering My Dad

To read a review of LAST CALL... Read Dan DeLuca’s column from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here.

What Others are Saying:

“Sometimes great things come in small packages. This book really moved me and it will move you too!”
~ Pat Croce

”This book will take you only minutes to read, but it’s impact will last a lifetime. It’s honest, brave and poignant. You must read it.”
~ Angelo Cataldi

“This is a poignant and bittersweet remembrance, told with an unsparing honesty. It will touch your heart and remind you that each of us, regardless of our station in life, is someone’s child.”
~ Bill Lyon
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Hilarious, moving, a walk back to the old neighborhood with Dad.”
~ Joe Conklin

“ Big Daddy has captured a portrait of a man born of a certain generation. Solid, yet detached. In snapshot-sized prose, Graham has delivered large, important themes.”
~ Larry Platt, Editor
Philadelphia Magazine

Autographed copy $15.00
(and that includes shipping)

If you want to order by mail, send $ 15.00 to:
Big Daddy Graham
c/o WIP
400 Market Street
9th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106

COMEDY SHOWS

Landistheater

 

 

 

I'm performing at PARX on Wed. May 22nd at 8 pm.

Bringing a big comedy show  to Vineland’s Landis Theater featuring special guests Scott Friedman and Mike KC on Friday June 7 at 8 PM. Click here for tickets. There's a $5.00 discount if you use either of the two codes, VOICE or FIRE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

lacosta 8-2

 

TWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS

Joe Conklin and Big Daddy Graham are down the shore! LaCosta Lounge & Deck Bar 4000 Landis Avenue Sea Isle City, NJ 08243 Fri, August 2, 2019 Always a sell out and always a hysterical show! Doors open at 8:00 pm, Show time at 9:00 pm. Click here to get your tix!

 

 

 

 

throwdown thursBIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

Listen to BDG'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely anytime you want.  There's over a hundred different shows to choose from.  They're perfect for a long drive or flight.  Just click here and pick the show you want.  If you enjoy Big Daddy's "Ditty of the Night" you will love these

 

 

Hey if you'd like to help my man Marvin, who runs a camp for blind athletes (Marvin's blind himself), click on this link!

TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

 I'll be at the Maple Shade PJs for every Tuesday Phils game starting April 2nd.

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly!That's a busy schedule!

hank's gold logo black BG cropped

 

 

 

 

Big Daddy Graham-Marc Farzetta & Joe Conklin taking a stab at Sinatra's "Summer Wind!" Click Here


 

libertybellbank-logoHey! If you need any mortgage work done whatsoever
get hold of my main man Ken Miller at
856-830-1131 or 609-238-3293
kmiller@libertybellbank.com
NMLS #152270

bar063

 

Wilt-Chamberlain-Volkswagen-Beetle 2

With the playoffs in full swing, we are going to attempt to name the five greatest NBA players of all-time by position. Let's get started.
(Remember, this is just the nomination process and these are in alphabetical order)

 

CENTERS

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Wilt Chamberlain

Hakeem Olajuwon

Shaquille O'Neal

Bill Russell

 

POWER FORWARDS

 

Charles Barkley

Tim Duncan

Kevin Garnett

Elvin Hayes

Karl Malone

Kevin McHale

Dirk Nowitski

Dennis Rodman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 5/13

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

MOM MOM AND MORE MOM!

I just can’t write about her enough.  There was an interesting line in “Game Of Thrones” on Sunday night, “That’s what death is.  Being forgotten.”  Well, She’s been gone for close to ten years now and every ounce of love and devotion that woman gave me still resonates inside me.  So she’s never going to be forgotten by anyone who ever knew her. 

Vince QuinnSo here are some random thoughts and I hope a few resonate with you.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT      What I loved about many of these gifts was the fact that up to the age of 11 when I started making a little dough selling newspapers outside the GE plant, the money that I used to buy Mom a gift came from her.  So I guess you could say she was actually buying the present herself.

And what was always the standby gift when I couldn’t come up with a good idea on my own?  A bottle of Jean Nate.  Don’t ask me what exactly it was except it came in these giant yellow boxes and was advertised as “toilet water.”  You got me.  (By the way, it’s still sold today.)

THE LATIN CASINO       My Mom used to go to the original downtown Philly location, but my old man didn’t own a car and frankly didn’t want to spring for a big night out after it moved to Cherry Hill.  So one night for Mom’s birthday when I was a senior in high school, my buddy Billy (like a limo driver) drove us over in his beat up Ford and I took Mom to see Tom Jones.  I have no idea where I came up with the money, but my Mom couldn’t believe I had pulled this off because she adored Jones.  My Mom had a thing for powerful baratone singers like Sergio Franchi and Mario Lanza.  Incredibly, I was once playing a Doors record in my bedroom when she poked her head in and said (speaking of Jim Morrison) “That man can sing.”  That night at the Latin we sat a mile away, but I swear Jones winked right at her.  I’m getting swelled  up now writing about it.

READING          My Mom was a voracious reader and if she saw me leaving the house to catch a trolley she would yell out “where’s your book?  What are you going to do?  Stare out the window?!”

JEOPARDY       Because of all my Mom’s reading and despite the fact she only got as far as high school, she was the smartest person I knew and would know every answer during a “Jeopardy” episode.  She was just amazing at it and I’m telling you she would give this James Holzhauer a run for his money.

DIVERSITY        It’s a big word today.  I grew up in an all-white predominantly Catholic neighborhood.  But the first two years of my life I grew up in a project called Bartram Village that was racially diverse and our next-door neighbor was an African-American woman named Phyllis who my Mom became very close to.  So tight were they that when we moved my Mom continued her friendship with her for the rest of her life.   On our new block 3 Amigoswas a rowhome dentist, a Jewish man named Dr. White, who whose wife Shirley became best friends with Mom.

Both these friendships were highly unusual back in the day and I can’t help but think shaped me to be a better person.  And none of this was done with any great long-range purpose in mind, that was just my Mom.  Friendly to all.

GENERATION GAP       When I’m hosting one of my shifts at 94WIP, occasionally I’ll get a caller who immediately starts whining and complaining about “these players today.”   That caller rarely recovers for me.  I’ll give you two guesses for a free Panzarotti where I learned to be bugged by this.  My Mom.

My neighborhood was full of  parents who used that the variation of that stupid nugget, “these kids today.”

My Mom had a habit of finishing their comment for them, but not in a way they expected.   “Kids today?  Are no different than you and I were when we were kids.”  It’s so true.  My Mom heard that “kids today” line when she was a kid (a “hellraiser” my Mom used to refer to herself with glee) and now was hearing parents her own age using it.  And boy did that bug her.  Guess what, Mom?  It bugs me.

THE JERSEY SHORE        My Mom adored the beach.  When my Mom was fifteen she used to take a bus to Atlantic City to dance to the big bands on Steel Pier.  Dance all night long she would till her feet bled.  When the band would take a break she would hang outside with them taking in the salt air while smoking Chesterfields.  (Geez, nothing goes together better than salt air and cigarettes, eh?)  What I wouldn’t do to be able to Youtube those moments, to see my Mom when she was fifteen.

When the kids came along she made the switch to Wildwood.  Her swinging nightclub nights came to an end, but boy we were on that beach by 9am in the morning and wouldn’t leave till 530pm.  Truth be told she would have laid on her blanket till the sun went down if we weren’t bugging her to take us on the rides.  Which she loved as well.  One little caveat sticks out is that Mom would smoke while we waited in line for the more popular rides.  Guess those days are over, huh?

When my comedy career took off I was lucky enough to be able to afford to buy a home is Sea Isle City.  It wasn’t some beachfront mansion, but an dagold rancher a couple blocks from the beach, but hey, it was awesome.  My mother, although she hid it from me very well, was still getting over the disappointment of me dropping out of college, just couldn’t believe that someone in her family, her own son, owned a house “down the shore.”  She might have even thought I had stolen it somehow for a moment.  Seriously, I’m not kidding.  It took her a couple visits to truly get comfortable in it.  “Get your feet off the coach!” she’d yell at me, like I was borrowing the house off some rich person   “Mom!  It’s my chair!  I would yell back.

MOM THE BABYSITTER          My wife and I are not stay at home types.  We love gong out.  When our daughters were born, that wasn’t that easy to pull off and every parent reading this now can identify with that.  “My Mom The Babysitter” to the rescue!  She couldn’t get enough of Keely and Ava.  She would actually call my wife Debbie.  “Guys feel like going out tonight?” she would ask.  She couldn’t get enough of them.  Not only would she take them to movies and such, she would also use these hours to teach then stuff.  Like how to tie their shoes or identify countries on a globe.  And her babysitting rates were fantastic.  Like, free.

LIZ TAYLOR       My Mom believed that Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful woman who ever lived.  She would say this every time she appeared on the tube.  One year I bought her this outrageously gaudy pink bathrobe for Mother’s Day.  When she opened it I could tell she didn’t know what to make of it. I don’t think she liked it.  But when I made her try it on, I said to her “Mom, you look like Liz Taylor!”  And she wore it till he day she died.

And you know what?  To me?  She was more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor.

Happy Mother’s Day!

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 3/16

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

South Jersey Award Winners

447PMMARCH 5TH, 2015We just went through the February awards season.  I get depressed every March when I realize I’ve missed yet another opportunity to thank my third grade math teacher, Mrs. Ruppert  (cue the tears and the orchestra hurrying me off),  for “without her I wouldn’t be standing up here accepting this award today.”
  Music has its Grammys.  Television has its Emmys while movies has its Oscars, Golden Globes, Sag-Aftra awards, and an endless stream of other big nights out.  There’s the British Oscars, the “Bafta’s,” and even the AARP has an award show now, the “Movies for Grownup Awards.”  I swear I went to order a pizza from Sal’s on Rt. 45 the other night and they were closed for their own movie award show, “The Sallys.”  And all these award shows take place in February for some unknown reason.
What cracks me up is that, despite the fact that they are ratings grabbers,  there are some women don’t even remotely care about who wins and who loses anyway.  It’s all about the red carpet.  “Tell me who you’re wearing?”  Mark my words, soon there will be an award show just for the clothes.  There will be judges and when the proceedings begin inside there won’t be any trophies for songs or TV shows or movies.   “And the nominees for best black dress with cleavage goes to . . . . .”  Don’t laugh, it’s close to happening now.
So these are awards for artists from South Jersey.  Not North
Jersey.  You got that?  South Jersey.  So don’t look for Frank Sinatra (an Oscar winner also) or Bruce Springsteen.  Forget about Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito even though I think it’s wild they both grew up in Neptune, NJ.  And even though James Gandolfini came to do commercials for Rutgers University and we have a South Jersey campus in Camden, “Tony Soprano” still spent his childhood in North Jersey.
So in alphabetical order and with no regard to their age and when they did their best work, here’s the winners of the First Annual South Jersey Awards.

mike angelinaBILLY HARNER     Pine Hill.NJ    “The Human Percolator”   Isn’t that a dynamite moniker?  Billy had a monster hit with “Sally’s Sayin’ Somethin’” back in the summer of 1967 and this stone cold classic is still being played on oldies and satellite stations today.  Ask your “Alexa” to play it and it will.  I used to DJ weddings and such back in the day and this soulful rocker never failed to pack the dance floor.  Would you believe I still own the 45 that I purchased back in ’67 on that cool “Kama Sutra” label?

JOHN EDDIE        Eddie, who moved to Cherry Hill in his early teens, became so associated with Bruce Springsteen with hits like “Jungle Boy” that he unfairly was labeled as a “Bruce wannabe” An extremely talented artist in his own right, John’s been making a great buck as a songwriter churning out hits for Kid Rock, amongst others, and is still a tremendous performer today.

LINDA FIORENTINO     This talented and sexy Washington Township High alum is best known for “Vision Quest” and “Men In Black,” but whatever you do, you must see “The Last Seduction.”  It’s a con-artist flick and she’s just totally awesome in it.

MICHAEL LANDON       Did you know that only Lucille Ball has appeared on the cover of TV Guide more often than Collingswood’s own, Michael Landon?  Not one, but three hit television series starting with “Bonanza” “Little House on the Prairie” and ending “Highway To Heaven,” a show I never even heard of that ran for five seasons. Very few TV shows last five years.
To break it down simplistically, there was just something about Michael that people liked and his appearance on Johnny Carson discussing his cancer was heartbreaking TV.  (Landon tragically passed way too young at the age of fifty-four)  One of the biggest stars of the small screen ever.
Dig this fun fact.  Landon actually broke a United States record for the javelin throw while attending Collingswood High.  So where did he find all that energy to father nine kids?

farzetta conklinALI LARTER      What a career this talented and beautiful Cherry Hill High School West alum has had.  She has pivotal roles in three franchises,  TV’s “Heroes” and the film series “Final Destination” and “Resident Evil.”  And c’mon guys, who can forget her whipped cream bikini in “Varsity Blues?”  I make appearances at the PJ Whelihans in Maple Shade every Tuesday during Phillies season and a while back I arrived and was told that Ali had eaten there earlier in the day.  Just think, she narrowly missed being able to tell all her Hollywood friends that she just missed out on meeting me.  (Uh, yeah, right)

PATTI SMITH     Raise your hand if you ever wrote a hit record with Bruce Springsteen.  I didn’t think so.  Well, this Pitman native did.  I think you may have heard it, “Because the Night” which has remained an in-concert tune for both artists.    She also attended Rowan University when it was known as Glassboro State College.  She’s a poet, a writer, an extremely entertaining music historian when she appears on documentaries, and one of the most ferocious rockers ever.  When she was touring behind her classic debut LP, “Horses” she came to the now closed Bijou Café for four nights with her full band and I went to all four nights.  I had never seen a woman rock that hard and true.  A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
PS  Another South Jersey resident is photographer Frank Stefanko who has a book of photos on Patti Smith and Frank also shot the covers of Springsteen’s “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” and “The River.”

BRUCE WILLIS    This Penns Grove high grad goes from being a security guard at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant to being one of the biggest movie stars in the world.  He gets the acting bug in college, starts bartending in Manhattan while auditioning, even works as a private eye at one point which I’m sure came in handy for his breakout role as David Addison in “Moonlighting.”  Back in the 90’s Willis came close to coming back home when he announced he was building an entertainment complex in Penns Grove, but alas, it never happened.  Bruce has shot a fair amount of films in the area and since I’ve been in the nightclub business my entire life, I know many bartenders and servers from that industry who had dealings with Willis and I’ve never heard an unkind word about him. 

I haven’t figured out what this award statue would look like (A tollbooth? A seashell?), but there’s seven South Jerseyites I would give an award to.  Did I miss anyone?  If I did, let me know by writing me at bigdaddy295@aol.com

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 2/7

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

HOW WE MET

I know guys are never supposed to admit that they like a romantic comedy.  They’re for chicks.  Guys like car chases and explosions.  It’s a generality, but more often than not, it’s true.
Or maybe men like seeing the dude get the girl at the end as much as women do and they just don’t want to admit to it.  Sort of like admitting you’re a Barry Manilow or Coldplay fan.  (I do like Coldplay by the way.)
But there’s one romantic comedy that I’ve seen a dozen times and that’s “When Harry Met Sally.”  I really dig the interviews with the couples who discuss how they met.  I love listening to how people hook up.
So here’s my little South Jersey version of those interviews.

PAT & MIKE

Pat & Mike Settar in SICPat’s a freshman cheerleader for Gloucester High and Mike is the senior quarterback.  Geez, how much more of a cliche can we get than that?  We might as well cast John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  Because of the age difference nothing happens, but they store each other in that special “maybe somewhere down the road” section we all possess in the back of our brains.
Years go by when they bump into each other again at Ferry’s Slip Inn in Gloucester City.  It turns out that Mike and Pat have some mutual friends and Pat wants to at least introduce herself, but there’s one little problem.  Pat’s girlfriend has eyes on Mike also, and here’s the important part, mentions it to Pat before she can mention it to her.  So Pat backs off because of that stupid code.
But more time passes.  They’re both in their young twenties now and here’s Pat and Mike back at Ferry’s Slip Inn.  (Must be a real romantic joint)  Pat’s standing at the bar, smoking a cigarette, she’s “kind of “ with a guy, when Mike walks up, yanks the cigarette out of her mouth.  and says to her “what are you doing with this guy?”  “Hmm” Pat thinks to herself, “that’s confidence.” 
They end up in a booth with a bunch of friends and Mike makes sure he sits next to Pat.  At one point Mike puts his hand on Pat’s leg and it’s right there, that instant, that sparks flew.  “I knew right then he was the one” remembers Pat.    Still, when Mike asks Pat for her number, she plays a little hard to get and (you will never hear this expression again) tells him her “number’s in the book.”
Well, Mike digs the number up, and their first date is at the Pub Restaurant at the Airport Circle where Mike says “You know it’s my birthday, am I going to get a birthday kiss?”  Needless to say, he got that kiss and today they’ve been married for 34 years with three beautiful daughters living in Mullica Hill. 
And guess what?  It wasn’t Mike’s birthday.

Scott & Gabrielle
SCOTT & GABRIELLE 

 Scott’s living in Westmont and working for Sears security at the Deptford Mall.  He’s 22.  Gabrielle’s eighteen and wrapping up her senior year at Washington Township High.  She’s also working in the Deptford Mall at the Sears portrait studio.
Scott, while making his rounds, notices her and let’s just say maybe spends a little extra time hanging around.  “She was really hot,” says Scott.  (Shoplifting was probably at an all-time high)
They casually chat to each other and one shift Gab says “so what are you up to this weekend?”  “It was a meaningless, polite comment” remembers Gabrielle, “like talking about the weather.”  But Scott replies, “I’m taking you out.”
And unbeknownst to Scott, Gabrielle’s current boyfriend was also hanging around the portrait studio and was sitting right there.  Well, Scott must have made an impression on Gabrielle because she broke up with that boyfriend an hour later on the car ride home.
Four days later, their first date is “Flight of the Intruders” at the Deptford AMC 8.  They hate the movie, but there is a funny moment during the flick and Scott lets out a huge laugh, which Gabrielle takes notice of.  (See that guys?  A sense of humor always works.) 
They kiss in the car when he drops her off and Gabrielle tells her Mother “I’m going to marry that guy” and today they’ve been hitched for 22 years and living with their daughter Julia in Mickleton.

MARIA AND DARREN

Darren & MariaI’m going to lead with my favorite part of their story.  Darren and Maria lived around the corner from each other in Olney and never meet.  Then their parents move to Marlton four blocks from each other and nobody knows anybody.  Now that blows me away right there.  They even go to the same high school (Cherokee) and still don’t meet.
Now they’re both in their young 20’s and Darren’s working out at the gym when he sees Maria.  “She’s drop dead gorgeous” thinks Darren and he asks around about her.  It turns out that he knows her brother a little and he uses that little crack in the window to introduce himself.  She’s not interested.
The next summer Darren’s driving down Landis in Sea Isle when he sees Maria walking with some girlfriends. He offers to give them a ride and he gets out to open the car door for them.  “Ordinarily this would have impressed me, but there was one little problem” remembers Maria.  “He had to crawl out the drivers side window because the door wouldn’t open.  That should have been a warning to me right there.”  Geez, and this is your writer talking, who hasn’t “been there, done that?”
They kiss throughout the summer and today they have been married almost 14 years and are parents to two adorable daughters, Dani and Ally.  (Geez, doesn’t anyone have boys anymore?)
By the way, they have no plans on moving back to Olney.

 

Greg and Jill with LoganGREG & JILL

Finally, a true high school romance as both meet at Clearview High and start dating while still attending.  They’re both on the lacrosse team and here’s my favorite part of their tale.
They are now in that flirting stage, but no definitive move has been made yet.  Greg drives her to a party.  At the party’s end, Greg pretends (at least that’s what he says) to be a little too inebriated to get behind the wheel so he can sit in the backseat with Jill and make out with her.  Nice move, Greg. 
Today, after a ten-year engagement, they are married with a bouncing baby boy (finally!), named Logan.

Happy Valentine’s Day and I have decided to write this type of article for every February issue, so send your stories to me at bigdaddy295@aol.com

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/11

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey  Mag

MY 2019 WISH

I HATE TOLLS!
big daddy dinerWhile I would love to wish for world peace, we know that ain’t happening.  Wouldit be dynamite for Mullica Hill to have a 24-hour a day swinging nightclub?  Fat chance.  How about my wife telling me I can spend the weekend with Sofia Vergara?  (Actually, she might not mind just to get rid of me for a couple of days.)
No, my wish for 2019 is pretty much the same wish I have every year.  To rid South Jersey of it’s annoying tolls.  I hate their guts and I have my entire life. 
My first memory of tolls was my old man complaining about them.  And we didn’t even have a car!  Is that hilarious?  I guess it was his way of sticking up for the workingman.  (I can only guess what he would have thought of beach tags)
My Pop would sit in the kitchen all night drinking Ballentine beer and listen to KYW.  Whenever there was a traffic report warning you of a “backup at the tolls,” he’d go nuts.  He had once read that when the Benjamin Franklin Bridge first opened up in 1926, the public was told that the five-cent toll was only going to be collected until the bridge was paid for.  Where he heard this I have no idea, but if I heard him exclaim it once I heard him say it a million times. 
I guess he just looked at tolls as another extension of the government reaching into your pocket and stealing money.  I have to give my old man credit.  He despised the government before it became fashionable.  (To be fair to “City Hall,” my old man pretty much hated everything.)
When the DRPA would occasionally announce they were raising a toll, he would go completely ballistic.  I’m old enough to remember when the bridges added “exact change” lanes and this completely drove Dad over the edge.  “That’s taking a job away from the working man!”  And remember he never owned a car!
When my boys and I began driving down the shore on our own, we not only had to pool our dough for gas money, we quickly mapped out how to get down there using back roads so we could avoid the Atlantic City Expressway and Garden State Parkway tolls.  And not just because of the cost, but because they were always backed up.  Remember, there was no EZ-Pass then. 
bdg armen pink caddy smallSpeaking of the EZ-Pass, anyone remember when they actually saved you money?  They don’t any longer.  They haven’t for years.  Yet (and I know this because of trivia nights that I host), you would be surprised how many folks still think they do save you money.  I guess there are riders out there who don’t read the fine print of your bill.  That’s because the entire EZ Pass bill is fine print.  You go blind trying to read it. 
I HATE TOLLS!
The EZ Pass is nothing but a public relations scam.  The DRPA wants you to think they care about the commuter and they want to make life easier on you.  Baloney.  If they really cared, they would occasionally shut them down.  Connecticut used to do that.  If a toll got backed up a certain length, they would allow people to actually drive through without paying.  In a couple minutes, the toll would be back to it’s normal, annoying (but not outlandish) crawl, and they would charge again.  Alas, they stopped this practice years ago.
But why couldn’t the DRPA occasionally look for moments to do this?  To say, “thank you” to its customers.  How about shutting the tolls down for ten Sundays during the summer between 5 and 11pm when they know beachgoers are returning home and it’s going to be backed up the length of the bridge?  Do they have to make every conceivable dime?  And please don’t tell me the tolls are needed for the bridge’s upkeep because I’m telling you that’s a lie.  It’s bad enough these tolls ruin your Monday through Friday rush hours, do they have to wreck our weekends also?
How about when the DRPA knows there’s going to be a huge crowd at one of the stadiums?  Say the Eagles are playing at 1pm.  They can’t shut the tolls down between 1030am and 1230pm?  Cut us a break for once in our lives
I HATE TOLLS!
Ibill matz remember going into WIP a few years ago in the middle of an insane blizzard.  Radio and TV news and talk personalities do everything in their power to perform their duties in a snowstorm.  Believe it or not, your fellow on-air employees consider you a weakling if you don’t make it in.
Well, I’m on in the middle of the night so it ordinarily takes me only about 28 minutes to get from my house to the station.  There’s no traffic whatsoever.  But for this whopper of a storm, I left a full two hours before my shift was to begin and believe you me it took every minute of it to get there.  It was treacherous.  322, 55, 42, 676, were all disasters.
But when I got to the entrance of the Ben Frank?  There was the toll collector sticking his hand out for a five-dollar bill.  They must have helicoptered him in.  They should have been handing me a medal for the insanity of even leaving the house.  But god forbid, they don’t get every stinkin’ dollar!
I HATE TOLLS!
I’m telling you the first politician to run on some sort of anti-toll platform will win in a landslide.  Maybe it’ll be me.  What if I somehow organized a “No Toll” day.  A day where no one stops to pay.  A day where everyone just drives on through.  They couldn’t arrest us all, could they?
So there it is.  My 2019 wish.  The same wish I had last year.  The same wish I had ten years ago.  Thirty years ago.  A wish that will never come true. 
Oh well, Happy New Year,  and do me a favor?  Tweet out when you’re leaving the house to drive over one of our bridges.  If I get enough of them, it might cause me to leave the house a little earlier.  Or later.  It’ll make for a happier South Jersey.

This is the street that I grew up on and I used to sell newspapers at that newspaper stand and my house I grew up in is up on the right hand side past the factory.

 



HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...



ray ovation

Click on Ray to hear the amazing ovation he got at the Pitman's Broadway Theatre on
Saturday, February 10th, which was the first Saturday of our Super Bowl!

 

 


NewYorkSkyline2

 

There is this amazing talent in the New York area by the name of Rachelle Garniez.  She's an versatile singer who accompanies herself on piano, guitar, and, yes, accordion.  She's a gifted songwriter with a tremendous sense of humor.  She often performs at a really cool Village venue Pangea that seats maybe fifty that itself is worth checking out.  Go to these sites for more info: www.rachellegarniezcom.virb.com & www.pangeanyc.com

You can take an inexpensive tour  of RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL that's well worth it.

Check out MASH ARMY & NAVY on 8th Ave between 45 & 46th streets.  A blast from the past!

Folks are always asking me about piano bars in Manhattan.  There's two I would recommend and they couldn't be any bit different.  DON'T TELL MAMA is on 46th St between 8 & 9th Avenues.  It's a comfortable narrow long bar where you either sit at thee bar or at a table.  They have a singing piano player and every fourth song or so a member of the bar or serving staff will get up and sing a three song set.  And sometimes a member of the audience will get up at the mic and sing. And they have awesome food also. It's a really fun joint, but completely different from MARIE'S CRISIS CAFE which is at 59 Grove St in the Village.  (Make sure you have the address handy before you get in the cab.)  MARIE'S is a tiny hole in the wall basement club where there is a piano player but no professional singer.  YOU are the singer.  It's insane.  People (like my nutty wife) go there TO sing.  There's no microphone and literally 150 people or so will be singing at the top of their lungs to some Broadway tune  Which, by the way, IS ALL Marie's does.  They don't mix in pop tunes like MAMA does.  The two couldn't be any different from each other and any more fun if a piano bar is your bag.

A HOTEL TO STAY AT?   We always use some hotel site and often stay at one of these two hotels which I would both recommend.  THE BELVEDERE on West 48th St is clean with a nice lobby and it's very convenient to Broadway and many clubs and bars.  THE WARWICK is pricier, but still affordable when you go through Expedia.  It's at 54th & 6th and many famous folks (like the Beatles and Liz Taylor have stayed there.

As obvious as this sounds, you can spend a couple hours exploring Central Park and never get bored.

LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP on Lexington between 82 & 83rd St. has been opened since 1925 and is a don't miss trip.

BIG ONION WALKING TOURS are a lot of fun and reasonably priced.  I have taken many of them and they never disappoint.

54 BELOW on 54th St. is literally the basement of the famous Studio 54 disco. It's a terrific place to see anybody. Top notch club.

Finally made it to BIRDLAND for one of those CAST PARTY shows. What a great time and the sight lines are excellent.  Legendary jazz artists perform there and if you ever thought about seeing one of them at BIRDLAND, do it.

You can get a really good cheese steak at 99 MILES TO PHILLY at 94 3rd Avenue.  The owner is from Philly.

 

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