Odds and Ends on a Tuesday afternoon.

“It is an ill wind that blows no good. ”  I must say that John Heywood  hit the proverbial nail on the head when he came up with that particular phrase.  I say that because I recently traveled to Bowling Green, KY for the visitation services of the engineer at the first radio station I worked at.  I posted on the passing of Dean Maggard previously.   I flew to BG,  and while I will admit I always dread going to funerals I’m always glad afterwards that I went.  I had not seen Mr. Maggard since I left WLBJ in 1979 or 1980.  At the visitation I ran into a couple of my former co-workers Jay Preston aka James Preston Swafford (now at WTVF-TV in Nashville and Rick DuBose (former GM at WLBJ) and now working with Western Kentucky University.  It seems we all had something in common: We had all lost hair and gained weight! Here’s the picture:

(L to R) Joe Larkins, Rick DuBose, Jay Preston, Otis Blanton

(L to R) Joe Larkins, Rick DuBose, Jay Preston, Otis Blanton

We stood around and swapped stories and caught up for the better part of an hour before we were joined by a fourth former employee from WLBJ (former DJ)  Otis Blanton.  I was told that former friend and co-worker Mike Green might be there but if he showed up it was after I left.   It was good seeing everyone despite the occasion.  Once I got home, I hoisted an adult beverage in honor of ALL my former co-workers and to Mr. Maggard.

I had to leave Bowling Green in somewhat of a hurry as nasty weather was bearing down on the area from the northwest and when a small plane like the one that I fly tangles with a bad storm, it usually means headlines and I didn’t much feel like making the news.  I managed to squeak through an opening in the line of storms.  That made me think about the poor guy who was flying (I was told) this plane for the first time on Father’s Day into Gaston’s Trout resort near Mountain Home, Arkansas.  Here are the pictures I took after landing there:

This will ruin your day!

This will ruin your day!

Hey, the prop is only bent on the ends!

Hey, the prop is only bent on the ends!

The best I could gather was that the nose gear collapsed which meant the prop was bent and that the engine will probably need to be torn down.  That’s not to mention the damage to the plane.  Then there’s the damage to the pride of the pilot.  Of course it’s better to bend the plane than to bend the pilot.   Hope this doesn’t turn him off from flying.

The chance to catch up with some former co-workers reminded me that I never did post pictures of me catching up with former KFVS’er Mike Schuh in Baltimore.  MS is a fixture these days in Baltimore as a reporter and it was good seeing him.  The picture isn’t very good but it’s the best I can do with a camera phone.

(L to R) Mike Schuh, Joe Larkins in Baltimore

(L to R) Mike Schuh, Joe Larkins in Baltimore

Finally,  I guess some of us kind of get used to the mind-numbing shennagins that pass for politics in the Bluff City.  I know I’ve heard from a few folks who have shared comments on this blog.  I will have to say that when I was out of town (both in Kentucky and in northcentral Arkansas, that when I mentioned that I lived in Memphis, folks really can’t get over the politics/antics that take place here.  The most common comments made reference to “what a joke the city has become” and “why would anyone want to live there”.   Wow.  Maybe it IS time for a reality check on the city.  I guess it IS a lot worse than even I thought.  I guess it’s time to do some soul-searching on the future.  We’ll see where that gets me.  I’ll keep you posted.

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8 Comments on “Odds and Ends on a Tuesday afternoon.”

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    Every time you post some small plane horror story, it makes me nervous knowing that you’re going to ask me to get into your plane again. Are you trying to see just how jittery I can get?

    It’s already nerve-wracking knowing that flying with you usually means a day surround by heavily-armed Larkins… with me having to wear the deer costume!

    Oh, by the way, I got proofs of that “Joe For Mayor” poster… it’s time we get your campaign off the ground!

  2. The GM Says:

    Regarding one not wanting to attend funerals. Rudy Giuliani responded when asked how he went to so many funerals after 09/11. “My father told me. Weddings are optional, funerals are mandatory.” Truer words have not been spoken. I remember who came to my dad’s funeral, I’m fuzzy on whom attended my wedding. Seeing them at his funeral meant more.

    The GM

  3. joelarkins Says:

    I agree with the assessment you offer, The GM. I too remember those who attended my father’s services and couldn’t tell you really who attended my wedding (first wedding anyway). I was deeply touched when a former co-worker of mine traveled almost two hours to stand in a long line at my father’s visitation for several hours just to give me a hug and tell me that was keeping my family and me in her prayers and then she left to drive back to her home north of Cape Girardeau. I remember talking to my (then) high school English teacher who told me that he never knew what to say to people at funerals. I do agree that attending funerals is a big deal and that’s why I continue to go.
    Doug, the pilot of that plane walked away from the landing…and the only thing bruised was his ego and perhaps his wallet had a large dent in it afterward.
    As for me running for mayor, the first thing I would do is name Doug Johnson as my “vice-mayor” not to be confused with “mayor of vice”, and then I’d step down and collect some retirement/pension money.

    • Doug Johnson Says:

      I know they say any crash you can walk away from is good. And I know the military likes to call them “hard landings,” to avoid using the word crash. I’m still nervous.

      So when you’re elected, I’ll just make sure your “resignation,” “retirement,” “I’m checking out” letter gets lost between 125 N. Main and the Election Commission. If I’m there, you’re going to be there too!

  4. Brad Says:

    Of course, that wouldn’t be the first time a resignation letter has been lost. 😉

  5. Joe,

    I feel the same abt funerals & visitations.
    I never know what to say…but just “being there” means a lot to the family.
    Kitty Maggard said to me…”Dean always talked abt you (Jay Preston) & the good ol’ days @ WLBJ”.

    And dont forget…you were a part of those “Good Ol’ DAYS”.

    your old radio pal,

    Jay Preston Swafford

    • Rick DuBose Says:


      Thanks for the pic and the kind words, although I don’t think “some” of us have gained all that much weight or lost that much hair. Now, it has changed color drastically. As Jay said, it is kind of cool being a part of the “Good Old Days,” and I think we all were. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything but wouldn’t do it again either! I learned a lot from all the great people and characters that passed through the studios of WLBJ. Dean gave me my first real job and in radio, non the less, when I started writing news for LBJ right after high school. I worked my way through college and hung around that ratty old station building for 12 years, six as GM. It is a wonder we all haven’t died from drinking the water they delivered and put in our underground tank. Who knows what was swimming down there! Dean and I shared a lot of life and experiences over those twelve years and I learned a lot from him. I would say I actually grew up there. He was a very good man!

  6. the tall tv guy Says:

    You’re right, Joe. For years, I would try to think of something unique to say to family members at a funeral or visitation. Since I’ve lost parents recently, it doesn’t matter. A handshake and a hug means a lot without saying a word.

    Looking back, some work experiences are more special because of the people you got to know there. The cold, impersonal atmosphere in a corporate environment seems to becoming more common in this here today, gone tomorrow world.

    Good thoughts, Joe…gives us something to think about.

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