Even though I’m not much for Horoscopes, Tea leaves, Palm Readers, Fortune Tellers, or Psychics, but I do find them somewhat entertaining and sometimes even scary. In fact, a couple of incidents that I had with them, still give me pause.
One day while walking around the San Diego Fair with my friend Jamie, we decided for giggles, to visit a Palm Reader. I don’t remember what she told Jamie, but when she looked at my palm and said, “I see a new child in your future,” Jamie said, “Don’t look at me, I’m not having kids.” I, of course, laughed it off and forgot about it until I became the proud father of Camera Anne Johns Summerfield, ten years later.
As weird as that was with the Palm Reader, it wasn’t the first time strange things happened. The first of them was when I was living in Ottawa and my wife Lana and I decided to adopt a baby boy and the reason we were going the adoption route, was because Lana had a tough time giving birth to our daughter Candis, and the Doctor strongly advised against her having any more. Hey, but a man has to have a son right?
Now in Canada, unlike the States, you have to go through a government agency to adopt a child and the way it works is the agency does a lot of research on both we and the biological parents so that they can match the child as closely as possible to the new parent’s, so we were prepared for a long wait. After filling out the reams and reams of paperwork and knowing that it would be quite a while before we heard anything, we decided to take a little vacation and go see our friends the Hilliard’s in Indianapolis.
As soon as we arrived, Barb excitedly says, “Hey, hope you’re hungry because we’re leaving right now for dinner at a fabulous new restaurant that features a Sand Reader. “A Sand Reader,” I say to myself, “I wonder what that is?”
Sure enough, after we finish our dinner, a guy comes over to our table, carrying what looked like a breakfast tray with a layer of sand in it. He tells Lana to sign her name in the sand with her finger and after she does so, he looks at her strangely. Then he says, “I know this is going to sound very weird, but I have to tell you what I see. It’s pretty obvious that you’re not pregnant, but the sand tells me that you’re about to become a new mother.”
Whew! (pictured on top with me, and below with his mother, Lana, and Candis)
The only perfect person you will ever meet will be the one that you love.
I learned early on that it’s the words that follow the word ‘but’ that count. Like when Jim Hilliard would say, “Hey Johns, nice book, but! I knew enough to yell down the hall, Hey … Ya’ll better hold the Champagne!”
Paul Cavenaugh: Hey George, forgive me for disagreeing with you. As per Ken Leman’s comments regarding creativity, he’s right. Who says you can’t translate that deadpan look on the radio? Kenny did that every day; you just weren’t paying attention. (Guitar Man)
Geo: I think I said that it was tough, Paul. Ken Lemann and Bill Gardner were the best mid-day guys I’ve ever heard, and I was lucky enough to have worked with them both. Hey, and the reason that they were so good was simple; they did a hell of a lot of show prep.
Jim Harper: Regarding your idea of Radio doing “product placements” instead of just spots…we did that at Magic in Detroit and with great success. It’s tricky…it makes the lawyers very nervous (we did disclaimers at the end of every hour to indicate we’d been paid for mentions), but it CAN be done! The salespeople created a whole new item on the rate card for it, and it appeared on the log as a unit (we called them Poz-Mens for positive mentions), and the morning show figured out a way to bring a product or service up in natural conversation. Just like on TV shows or movies, but it’s more challenging since it can’t have been seen sitting on a desk or in someone’s hand. Be glad to explain it in detail if anyone’s interested. Clients loved it, and it was added revenue. It did NOT impact the spot load per hour. So once again, George, you’re onto another great idea. Close-minded/nothing should impact the product-people/ won’t get it. But it’s as old as showbiz itself. And it makes the talent very sharp. (Radio Royalty)