Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Shaindlin Perspective

Herb Shaindlin’s talk radio program, which aired on AM 750 KFQD for most of my life and certainly all of my formative years, educated me in more ways than I have time to list on this post so I’ll give you just a few examples:

One is that Herb’s program introduced me to the works of Stephen King, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones, Robert Service, and many other artists. One taste of each of these artists led to exploring most of their works and works of similar artists. In this way he set my compass on the course I have taken ever since.

The second is that he told stories of his life. Many of these stories rattle around in my head to this day.

Last night I saw a helicopter fly past my house at relatively low altitude, creating a certain amount of noise in its wake. From its direction of travel (and the few helicopters that would have any reason to fly over my house) I could identify it as the LifeGuard Air Ambulance.

As I watched it pass I had to smile as I was reminded of one of Herb’s stories. If memory serves, the story goes like this:

When Herb was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he would constantly hear the wailing of all types of sirens: police sirens, ambulance sirens, fire engine sirens. He once asked his mother if the sirens bothered her or worried her because every siren meant that there had been a crime or an accident where someone was probably hurt.

Her response was a surprising “No.” She explained, “Every time I hear a siren I don’t get mad because it is interrupting my peace and quiet; rather I am happy because I know that someone is racing as fast as they can to help someone else. Sirens are a happy sound.”

Ever since hearing this story (at least 20 years ago) I have smiled a little when I hear a siren. And now I smile at helicopter noise too.

Thanks Herb, you are the very best.


Lindsey said...

Pretty cool that you have a personalized photo of him :)

That is a great story. My grandfather used to listen to him all the time, he LOVED listening to him. Unfortunatly I didn't grow up in Alaska, so I didn't have a clue who he was till I saw the letter on the back wall at work.

TheVoice said...

I worked at the same radio station (QD) as Herb for a while (different Shift), prior to his 1980's station re-location. Remember Desperate and Dateless? He truly is a character. He does have a point of view, and is not shy about telling you how he sees it. I have heard things that have made my blood boil, and others that make you laugh till you need stitches, and others that make you use the gray matter. Some times we need those little path of life check and balance thing. A friend of mine once said Perspectives are like (TV Re-word) Bellybuttons everyone has one.
- TV

J-bro said...

As Vitamin E will probably tell you, our great Aunt worked as Herb's secretary for many years.

Loved Desparate and Dateless. Herb also had lots of sex talk.

Very educational.

His nightly ranting editorials on Channel 13 news were always fun too.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »