Dave Richards for January 16th…………….
--Cigarette smoking in America is at an all-time low since we started paying attention to such things. New laws over the past 50 years, plus the passing away of smokers from previous generations have contributed to this. There are still many who are addicted to nicotine. Some smoke. But more of them have adopted the e-cigarette, which doesn’t deliver the nicotine in smoke, but rather a vapor, hence the nickname “Vaping”.
Most public places you go Vaping and Smoking are treated as one in the same. In restaurants and stores they don’t differentiate.
But now researchers at New York University have announced that, while complete abstanance is best, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges are a worthwhile replacement, because, while they are not harmless themselves, they all cause LESS harm than smoking does.
The numbers they give are impressive. They say that if all smoking ceased and was replaced by one of the above, more than six and-a-half million early deaths would be avoided. That’s a lot of people.
I bring this up because there is still some controversy over vaping. I think this study may serve to quiet the controversy somewhat.
--I received word this past weekend that Mr. Joseph G. Hyder has passed away. I last saw Joe this past fall at the breakfast to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the Par-X Club. Joe seemed a bit frail to me at that time. Weeks later, I was informed that Joe was in a nursing home, but he didn’t want it known by the general public. I honored that wish and kept my information to myself.
Joe was a remarkable man. Not just because he had shaken Danny Thomas’ hand, or even that Mr. Thomas, the patron of St. Jude’s Hospital, personally asked Joe to serve on its board of directors. From that time on Joe Hyder dedicated himself to conducting fundraisers to help St. Jude’s fight childhood cancers. So it is somewhat fitting, now that I think of it, that the last time I would see him would be at such a fundraiser.
In over forty years of broadcasting, Joe’s resume was equally remarkable. Though he chose to spend the last part of his career here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he spent an equal number of years as a radio personality in Boston and on stations coast-to-coast as one of the friendly voices of the Monitor program heard over hundreds of NBC radio network stations.
With all that notable success, Joe Hyder didn’t wear it on his sleeve. He just quietly went about his business and lived a life with purpose, helping people he will never meet. Can any man ask for more?
--I also learned this past weekend of the passing of a man who didn’t have a national career, as Joe Hyder had, but he was a remarkably talented and funny man who cared for other people nonetheless. He spent mostly all his years locally and he was my closest friend in the radio and TV business ever.
Mike McInnis was born in North Sydney, Cape Bretton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada in August of 1951. In the early 1960s his family moved south to Bellingham, Massachusetts. When we met each other in June of 1972, a magic which will happen to a lucky man perhaps twice of three times in his entire lifetime happened to me that day. We just hit it off perfectly and became truly close friends.
Mike was responsible for the first time I ever appeared on a live stage. It was community theater. He had been cast in a character part, Mike was great at playing characters. He told me I’d be perfect for the male lead and bugged me until I tried out for the part. I still cannot believe they cast me, a complete novice, in the main role, but Michael was right it worked. He and I and a handful of other very talented amateurs pulled off a great show. Boy, that was fun.
There were many other times. Over the years Mike got into directing and writing and producing theater. The radio and TV work continued and we spent many happy years working together. When we couldn’t work together, Mike would seek out and help others be their best. One such already talented person was Gloria Jean “The Radio Queen” Roy. Listening to the two of them on the radio was pure joy.
I’m going to miss him terribly. We were just beginning work on a new project when he passed. It would be natural to feel a sense of loss, but I choose to be grateful instead for the time we did have together and the special gift of his friendship.
Mike McInnis had a special talent of being able to enhance the talents of other people. I can honestly say I doubt I would have had the success I’ve had in my career if I hadn’t met him all those years ago.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.