#7 Geo’s Media Blog (“The Hell With The Virus.”) New 11/02/20

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Day 1: It all began Oct 1st, 2020 when I finally had enough and said, “The hell with the virus” and boarded a flight to Burbank California.
Only after taking my aisle seat in the spacious seat exit row, (the poor man’s first-class) was I told that due to the Corona Virus there would be no dinner or beverage service.
What? Wait, let me off the plane, hey we’re talking a six-hour flight here with no booze. I need my happy hour man!

Upon my arrival in Burbank, I checked into the nearby Marriott, and then immediately hit the outdoor patio restaurant for a little dinner and a lot of wine.(see below)
Day 2: I spent most of the next day lying around the pool just catchin’ some rays.
Later on that afternoon, I was joined by my daughter Candis for our birthday dinner. (our birthdays are one day apart.) (see below)The dinner was supposed to be a semi gala affair attended by my son Curt from San Diego, my grandson Nathaniel and his mom from Sunland, and my friends Bob Christy and Jan Hall from Camarillo. Unfortunately, because of the virus, it was just me and Candis which was fine by me because I never get to spend any time with my firstborn anymore.
As the afternoon gave way to evening, the restaurant looked especially attractive, the fire pits were blazing, and the little white lights that were strung up in the bushes around the patio were sparkling.

Day 3: Bright and early the next morning I walked across the street to the rental place to pick up the cherry red Corvette I’d rented, popped the top, and headed over to Sunland to pick up my Grandson. (color him blown away when he saw the car)
After donning our face masks we drove over to Long Beach where we got on the PCH. What a great ride and not a cloud in the sky as we headed north past all the surfing places the Beach Boys sang about when I was Nathaniel’s age.
Eventually, we ended up in Malibu where after having an early dinner at a nice Italian restaurant we decided to check out Pepperdine University.
Now that ‘N’ is a sophomore he’s become very interested in seeing all the colleges possible.

What a great day, but unfortunately, as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” It was time to get Nathaniel back to Sunland, but there’s no reason we can’t take, the long way home, right?
The long way was through the beautiful hills of Malibu which the Vette just loved as we put her through her paces.

Day 4 5 & 6: Now it’s time to get my real adventure started as I board Amtrak and begin my 4000-mile journey all across America. Once on board, I quickly found my roomette and then just sit there for the next nine hours watching the gorgeous California Countryside, roll by.
My first stop was San Jose in Northern California where I got to spend a couple of days with my best friends, Jim and Barbara Hilliard.(see below)
Barb cooked up my favorite dogs while Jim and I watched a bunch of John Wick movies.
Day 7: Almost too soon it was time to get back on the train again for my overnight ride to Portland Oregon where I was going to get to reunite with K103 legends, Craig Walker and John Erickson at dinner.
I hadn’t seen either of them since the late ’80s when I owned the station. (see below)
What a fun evening, and we all agreed that Craig may have left the game a little too early. John had stayed on when Craig retired, working with Bruce Murdock but now they’re retired too.
However, while we were yucking it up at dinner, it was very apparent to me that they both still had their chops. Hey, even the Uber driver who drove me to my hotel not only was listening to K103 but also said that he missed Craig and John in the morning.
Hmmm, maybe it’s time to talk Craig and John into coming out of retirement and take out the #1 station again. However, this time we’d be taking out the station we’d created those many years ago.

Day 9 10 & 11: After getting a late check out at my hotel, I spent a leisurely morning looking out at downtown Portland. (see below) As I did so, I remembered how exciting it was to create K103 and some thirty years later it was still #1.Hey enough of all the nostalgia, it’s time to get back on the train again and experience the mountains of Washington and Montana as we roll through them on our way to Chicago.
My porter turned out to be a super Dude and upon hearing that he’d be on the same train as me when we left Chicago, (he was deadheading to New York, me to Syracuse) I invited him to pop by my compartment to share some of my Canadian Club.

>Just as I suspected, the scenery going through the mountains was spectacular what with the changing of the leaves and all. (see below)
A Couple of days later when we arrived in Chicago, the legendary John Gehron met my train so I got to spend a few hours with him trading old radio stories.How cool was that? (see below)
Later that night I was back on the train as we left Chicago for an overnight ride to Syracuse New York. Once in Syracuse, my buddy Big Bob Thomas and his wife Josie were there waiting to take me back to their home in Sayre, Pennsylvania.Bob and I hang out a lot at Duffy’s when he’s down here during the winter. (see Bob with me below)
I felt right at home in Sayre because it reminded me a lot of Transcona which like Sayre is an old railroad town.
Hell, even the people all looked familiar, they just used different names than those in Transcona. (see a few of them below)
Day 12 13 & 14: Even though I only spent a few days in Sayre, Somehow, Bob and I managed to hit eight bars. However, what amazed me most, no matter what bar we went into, the bartenders and the patrons alike, all knew his name. (see a few of the bars below)

Day 15: Luckily, just before I needed to be checked into a detox center, it was time to pack up and head for the train again and because Bob and Josie were going to visit their son in Atlantic City, they dropped me off at the 30th street station in Philadelphia.
While waiting for my train to Jacksonville I got to sit in the fancy Metropolitan lounge and surprisingly I was soon joined by Mrs. Pence who had some guys with her that looked an awful lot like the special agent guys you see in the movies. All I knew though was that I felt quite safe.
While just sitting there, another surprize showed up when André Gardner of WMGK gave me a very special shout-out on the radio. How nice was that? (Hear Andre on the link below)

When it finally came time for me and Mrs. Pence to board the train, I had a toddy or two before settling in for my overnight journey to the home of the Jaguars.

Day 16: In Jacksonville, I stayed at my Nephew Jamie Boychuck and his beautiful wife Lindsay’s home. Jamie like me is from Transcona and is not only a big deal at CSX Railway, but he’s also the proud father of five delightful daughters whom I adore. (See me with the girls below)

Day 17: Oh, and did I mention that they were adding a couple of wings to their already beautiful home which I got to tour when the workers were gone for the weekend? (See below)
Later that evening we all jumped into their family-sized SUV and made our way to the movie theater which Jamie had rented. After getting some popcorn and stuff, we saw a daughter appropriate movie called “War With Grandpa.” (see Jamie and me below)
Day 18: Time now for Jamie, me, and Lindsay to put Jacksonville in our rearview mirror and head to the Hardrock Casino in Tampa.
After checking in and freshening up, we did a little gambling before wrapping the night up with a delightful dinner in the Council Oak room. (see below)
Day 19: Now here I sit in Tampa’s beautiful Union Station awaiting the train that will bring my adventure to a close. (see below)
As I wait for my train, I can’t help but think about the spectacular scenery I got to see along the way, but also all the special folks who spent some time with me during my journey. They’re the best and I just want to thank them for participating in my bucket list adventure.
Hey, and as I board the train for the final leg of my journey back home to West Palm, I finally get to check another item off my bucket list and head to Duffy’s where I’ll plan my next adventure. (see Duffy’s below)


#4 Geo’s Media Blog (It’s About The Draft Stupid.) New 11/09/20

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During my recent trip across America, not only did the stuff listed below pop into my head, but so did the memory of my immigrating to the U.S.

It was the early ’70s when I crossed the border at Detroit where I was headed to Indianapolis to become the National Program Director of Fairbanks Broadcasting.
Richard Nixon was the president and the U.S. was in turmoil because the war in Viet Nam was raging out of control.

There were protesters were everywhere. Not only were kids dying in the jungle, but they were also dying back home at Kent State.

Ok, lets fast forward to today. The only protesting I see going on is about some bad white cops killing some bad black people. However, there’s very little being said about the hundreds of black people being shot in our streets every week. What’s up with that?

Hey, and where are all the protesters protesting about the never-ending war in the desert?We’ve been fighting there for over thirty years now, but you hardly hear about it anymore. I don’t think it even come up in this year’s presidential campaign. In fact, the last time a politician mentioned the war was when Obama claimed during his first run that he was going to bring our troops home.

As I said, we’ve been crawling around in the desert for over thirty years now which seems ridiculous when you consider that we were only involved in World War II for four.
Do we even know what we’re doing there, and is any of it worth dying for? Where the hell are all the protesters? I don’t believe saying, “Thank you for your service” is near enough.

Then it hit me, the reason there are no protesters or marchers against the war in the middle east is because the hippies and university students back then weren’t protesting the war, “They were protesting the draft.”


Oh, and I also figured out why a lot of politicians have the environmentle stuff on the top of their to do list. It’s because they can’t be held resplonsible for the results, they can’t fix it by themselves, they need the world’s cooperation.
However, they can get the homeless off the streets, bring our troops home, put America back to work, and also stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, why am I thinkin’ that Joe’s gonna be too busy working on the future to find time to fix the present?

Wow, just as pridicted, they announce that they have a cure for covid 19 right after Joe Biden was declared our new president!

Speaking of the election, the good news for Canadians is that none of those whiny celbrities who threatened to move to Canada if Trump won are coming. The bad news, Canada could have used the extra tax dollars.

It’s the artist who’s always wrong, not the critic.

RIP fellow Canadian, Alex Trebek. 

The only way to slow down father time is by speeding up your learning process.

Your integrity is the guidance system for your destiny.

The old days are much better talked about than you trying to relive them.

Great people are always controversial.

Wow, James Bond is gone.

Radio needs to understand what the song, “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About,” is all about.

I’m not sure what my daughters are into, but I know what they’re not into.

Advice givers aren’t usually good advice takers.

If no one is there to see you fail, did you fail?

If everything that was put off until tomorrow actually happens, you know it’s gonna be a busy f##king day.

Radio is no longer relevant because it’s politically correct. Unfortunately, the listeners ain’t.

You can never take back what you’ve said; all you can hope for is forgiveness.

Walt always claimed that the magic was in the details.

Real art is never finished; the artist stops working on it.

How boring would life be if you didn’t have a few regrets?

How did China escape having the Corona Virus named after them?

Just because most conspiracy theories seem a little far fetched doesn’t mean that a few of them aren’t true.

Second thoughts are good thoughts.

Greatness doesn’t necessarily lead to popularity.

Silence is golden; it’s how you learn.

Forgiveness is an attitude.

Dream about tomorrow but live today like there is no tomorrow.

Have you ever noticed how feminine computer geeks tend to be? They don’t take responsibility for anything.

What used to be deemed inappropriate now seems to be in.

Not having the pleasure of checking lately, does it still go …Women under 35,  bald, 45-55, landing strip, 55-65, trimmed, over 65, full bush?

Keeping with politically incorrect for a moment more, what with the amount of cleavage being displayed these days, I think it should be ok to honor those puppies with, “Hey toots, nice tits!”

Who wants anybody who hasn’t done some livin’ on the dark side guiding us anywhere?

Fear is a great motivator, but most of it is self-inflicted.

My friend Billy Bob Harris says, “The words spoken by those in love, mildly drunk, or politicians, can not be taken to the bank.”


George Thomas: Great on the road story……in the 1970’s I was the Ops Manager of the local AM/FM station in Sayre PA….the pix’s of the bars look very familiar! (“The Hell With The Virus”)
Geo: Without those bars, I don’t know what else there would be to do, George?

Buzz Barnett: Beloved RadioGeo, Format crafting aside, You now deserve credit & kudos for “bucket list lust”!! (The Hell With The Virus)
Just livin’ the dream thru Your adventures & imagination,
Buzz Barnett
Geo: You nailed it, Buzz, I’m definitely a “bucket list luster.”

Jed Duvall: When will you go on the road with a travelogue of your journey, complete with airchecks, inside radio stories, and drink offerings? Be certain to negotiate the music rights! (The Hell With The Virus)
Geo: 🙂

Art Vuolo: George after reading this travel log I was SO tired….I felt like going to bed. You ARE amazing! Did you stay safe and virus-free during this pilgrimage??? I hope so. Take care and be well. (The Hell With The Virus)
Geo: Thanks for the read, Art, it was a great trip. I think I was safer on the train than anywhere, there was no one there.

Bruce Murdock: Sorry I couldn’t be in Portland with you guys! Chasing your bucket list and getting the hell out there in the middle of 2020 was a typically George Johns “fuck it” decision in the face of all the advice you no doubt got for you to stay in your condo. Rage on Geo, rage on! Oh, and of the three of us, I am by far the most likely to come out of retirement.:-) “(The Hell With The Virus”)
Geo: Going against the flow has always worked well for me, Bruce.



Geo’s Media Blog (Are You Competent?) New 12/14/20

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When my friend Tim Moore recently wrote about the four levels of competency, it managed to take me back a couple of decades. (Damn I wish I could write like him)
At that time, I was spending some quality time studying with Mike Vance, the Dean of Walt Disney University (pictured above) which was where I first learned of it.

Before learning about the four levels of competency, I used the formula of, Talent + Science = Art.
If the air talent was gifted, I taught them the science part, or if they were too mechanical, I attempted to teach them creativity. However, when I added the competency test, it forced me to figure out just what I was dealing with.

Unconscious-Incompetence You’re stupid, but you don’t know it.(Tough to coach)
Conscious-Incompetence –You’re stupid but you know it.(very coachable)
Conscious-Competence You know you’re not stupid. (tough to coach) First, you have to get their permission and as they tend to be arrogant, you also have to appeal to their intellect by staying at least one new secret ahead of them.
Unconscious-Competence You don’t know why you can do stuff, you just can. (very tricky to coach) These folks are usually a little paranoid and spend a way too much time worrying about what they’ll do if they lose their talent seeing as they have no idea where it came from.
In fact, all of us have some unconscious competency in us, like knowing how to ride a bike or tying our shoelaces, but we have no idea how to describe it.

Unfortunately, many gifted people are in this category, so I try to push them towards the science part while teaching them creativity, which you can learn.


Was Lincoln the first President to lie when he said, “To help finance the Civil War, I’m implementing a temporary income tax? However, when the war is over, I’ll rescind it.

While America waits for FDA approval, Britain and Canada are already distributing the new vaccine to combat the Corona Virus. Meanwhile, the FDA managed to find the time to take a four day weekend over Thanksgiving, bless their hearts.

Hey ladies, no matter what your therapist says, sometimes it is your fault.

Speaking of the ladies, have you noticed that the latest words for no are, “Oh, that’s so sweet, or you’re sweet?” But then again, as they say, any words other than yes  mean no.

Do you find it as interesting as I do that the only people who are in favor of tax loopholes are the wealthy, the rich, and the government? What’s that you say grasshopper, “The reason the politicians don’t shut down the tax loopholes is because they use them too.”

We all can create new memories.

Hillary was much better at debating than Biden but she lost the election anyway.

Is it true that to have peace, we have to prepare for war?

In some situations like your family being in danger, sometimes the law is inadequate.

When you let pussy guide your career, pretty soon, both your career and the pussy are gone.

Winners wrote the history books, but now it appears as though some losers are trying to rewrite them.

The script is everything.

Your vision is clouded by what you already believe.

When you praise a performance, you make two people happy, you and the performer.

What counts is what you know, not what you think.

Once you buy their product shouldn’t you be exempt from their hounding?

Jed Duvall: George, I am not so certain that the U.S. is more divided than ever. In the early months after 09/11/2001, this country was remarkably united.
What has changed since the defeat of George H.W. Bush in November 1992 is that both political parties have polarized to an extent not seen since 1841-1876 and 1965-1976.
I think most Americans want to do the right thing most of the time, but instead, we focus on the truly evil (10 %) and the vocal who want to be loud in opposition to something, anything. That doesn’t mean that the remaining 80 % are sheep; it just means that the loudest and most visible mouthpieces in our society draw attention to bad news (and there is always a lot of it) rather than focus on the millions of random acts of kindness that happen every day.
Nobody will listen to “good news” talk radio in significant numbers (Remember Jim Hilliard’s favorite talk show host, Herb Jepko on KSL-AM and WIBC-AM in the mid-1970s after Bob Morrison died ?), and few people want to listen to “G”-rated rock music approved by Tipper Gore. (Interesting, WIBC was so strong then that even Herb Jepko and his snoring callers did not torpedo the ratings !)
I wonder if a political consultant would advise a national candidate today to be like Ronald Reagan: Be upbeat, be concise and memorable and look for the best.
Mr. Hilliard was always sending me quick notes to find for and get Gary Todd to do more positive SMILE stories to counter-point the hard-news that came out of Fred Heckman’s news department.
Then there was my favorite Jim Hilliard WIBC announcers meeting where he explained why Doris Day was America’s Sweetheart and why Johnny Mercer wrote the credo for WIBC: “You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between”!
Poor Nat Humphreys left the meeting wondering if “Que Sera Sera” was going to be in a Power rotation! (No Risk No Reward)
Geo: Well said, Jed, but then again, Mr. Humphreys had Sally Franklin waiting in the wings to comfort him.

Martin Taylor: George, I appreciate both stories, although Sandy’s is nearly heart-breaking. Being a native of the greater Philadelphia region, you caught my attention by mentioning WFIL.
BTW, I totally agree related to traveling … when you’re 85, it’s now or never, so – while I want to do the long-distance rail trip, we haven’t planned it yet – my “travel companion” and I have taken two multi-week road trips and looking to see where to head next.
Geo: Thanks for the read, Martin, and as the King sang, “It’s Now Or Never.”