Monday, September 28, 2009


I can't remember where I read a description of someone walking into a room, and just by their presence, the room went silent.

I have witnessed this three times.

ONE: A crowded bar in Pittsburgh. I worked at KQV Radio, where the executives (separated from and far above the mere mortals on the ground floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building) had a sexy secretary/assistant, who had some sort of sexual charisma. She was like Joan in Mad Men, but not as busty.

Rumor was she was a 'possession' of one of the group VPs in NYC.

I distinctly remember watching this young woman go to the rest room in the crowded bar in which I found myself, and telling my table companion that he was about to experience something unusual. When she emerged, the crowded, noisy room, suddenly went quiet. Not dead quiet but it was like an audio eclipse. Amazing.

I befriended Louie, a new salesman at CJFM in Montreal, who, at the time (1975) looked a lot like Robert Redford in his Butch Cassidy days. We'd go to lunch when our schedules permitted. Into a crowded (packed!) Brasserie we'd stroll in downtown Montreal, and the place would drop into a hush as every woman with a view stopped talking. It was dramatic, and since it never happened to me alone, well, ahem. This was not a one-time thing, either.

Nina, the then-wife of Robert Rich (Rich Products, then-Rich Stadium where the Buffalo Bills played) was an account exec at a local Buffalo Ad Agency which represented our radio stations, WBEN and ROCK 102. I was the product guy so we'd have meetings. One winter day I took her to lunch, (or maybe she took me - yeah - that's the ticket!) and, as this good looking blonde in a full length fox coat walked into the restaurant, the place went quiet. The eyes were upon us.

Her son played a young Robert Redford in the movie The Natural which was filmed in Buffalo. There's some degrees-of-separation thing going in this post.

Once, on a snowy night, while we had much liquor with dinner at a steak house on my birthday, I told Louie how much I envied him. His response, as was typical for Louie, came straight from the heart, and surprised me. He said, "I know how I look. But I envy YOU. Women see me and think my mind is as good as my looks. I envy YOU who can go on the air and know what to say." Point made, Louie.

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