Saturday, June 07, 2008

Herb Shaindlin, re-mix

Evidently when you search "Herb Shaindlin" on Google, you get my blog as the number one match.

On one hand, yay me!

On the other hand, two people have recently emailed me to ask if my post was a eulogy.

update October 4, 2008 - It is with great sadness I report that Herb Shaindlin has indeed passed away. His family has set up a MySpace site for people to share stories and wishes at

Here's the original item I wrote plus several pictures of a plaque I sent him via one of his daughters whom I am lucky to have as a coworker.

It's nice to have heard from so many people about how much they enjoyed the Public Opinion Hotline but I have to point out that I'm just a fan.

the following was originally posted October 2, 2005:

Herb Shaindlin’s talk radio program "The Public Opinion Hotline," 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.

the plaque was completed June of 2007

1 comment:

Jas said...

Ahhh, I do still love the Herb man.

I'm sure my original comments were close to this:

I remember growing up being exposed to smart comedy (Tom Lehrer) and extreme commentary from Herb.

He had 'sex talk' on the radio long before love-line.
He hosted desperate and dateless, which would seem tame by today's standards.

I am today still a talk radio listener, and I really think it is because Herb planted the thought in my head that listening to people interact in many ways was a way to enlighten me.

I wish that Herb had some of his old shows on pod-casts from the KFQD days........