My story is typical. I was born a poor, Black child. I survived the mean streets of the Buffalo suburbs and four straight losses in the Super Bowl, grew into a mature adult and pillar of the community, and made my parents proud. OK, well, part of that is true. I was indeed raised in the Buffalo 'burbs...North Tonawanda, to be exact. The rest? Well, can't a guy dream?
Here's some highlights. I was a big baby. Like, 20 lbs. Maybe a few less. Mom always reminds me of the pain. The guilt ensures she gets great birthday presents. I have a brother two years older, and he used to make my life a living Hell, like any good brother should. That stopped when I turned 12, and was bigger than him. I spent most of my formative years annoying my elders. That includes parents, teachers, and the police. If I wasn't in after-school detention, I was being questioned for the latest neighborhood "incident". Looking back, it a was all pretty harmless. Well, maybe not the thing we did to our Spanish Teacher. But that's a story for another time. Sports helped keep me out of any serious trouble. Get suspended...and you were kicked off the team. So that only happened once. Maybe twice. With hopes and dreams, and a suitcase filled with Molson Canadian Lager, I headed off to college. Less than a year later, and a plea agreement with a reduced sentence (like I said...never convicted), my college experience wasn't exactly going as planned. But, with threats of bodily harm from Mom solidly in my back pocket, I managed to graduate from Gannon University in Erie, PA, and looked forward to a lucrative career in broadcasting. Soooooooo...I've bounced around from station to station in such vacation hot spots as Clearfield, PA, Joplin, MO, Evansville, IN, and Fayetteville, NC. In February of 1999, I took the job that I have now (more or less).
I never did find that pot of gold, but I've had a lot of fun along the way. And moving here was the best thing that ever happened to me. I met my beautiful wife, Stacy, while watching a Bills game at what used to be Damon's on Tunnel Road, and we were married in September of 2001. I lost my wedding ring in a bizarre chicken wing incident (true story), so I really have no proof. But I think she'll vouch for me. We don't have any children, but we do have cats...lots and lots of cats. I'd love to tell you exactly how many, but I lost track. Seriously, I started counting them the other night, but had to stop after I'd used all my fingers and toes. I was plum out of digits.
So that's my story. Of course, some of the sordid details have been left out due to pending legal action. But, Judge...I swear I had no idea that pig was your pet!
Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters headlined Thursday night's annual Stand Up for Heroes event at New York's Beacon Theatre. The show, a benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps returning veterans and their families, also featured appearances by Max Weinberg and his Big Band, John Mayer and comedians Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams, as it is held during the New York Comedy Festival.
Springsteen closed the show with a four-song acoustic set of "We Take Care of Our Own," "Working on the Highway," and, with the help of his wife, Patti Scialfa, "Tougher Than the Rest," before closing it out with "Land of Hope and Dreams." He also worked in a funny golf joke and auctioned off a personal backstage tour and his harmonica for a total of 110-grand.
Perhaps the most moving performance came from Roger Waters, who was backed by 14 wounded soldiers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He first rehearsed with them at the hospital, followed by more sessions in New York. With some of them on acoustic guitars and vocals they did Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Waters is no stranger to the heartache of war, having lost both his grandfather in World War One and dad in World War Two.
Here's the entire show, worth watching in its entirety. Or, just skip to the parts you want to watch. And with Sunday being Veteran's Day, it wouldn't be a bad thing to make a donation.