Friday, September 15, 2023

Self Help Radio 091423: Howard Gently Year One Continued

Yes, I'm reusing the terrible graphic. There aren't a lot of pictures of Howard Gently out there!

Also this should be called "Howard Gently Year One Concluded" as we did get through the first year of Howard Gently on Self Help Radio. The show is mainly bits from Self Help Radio that aired on WRFL in Lexington, Kentucky, in the period between July 2014 & March 2015. My dear friend Russell improvised all of it & it came so easy to us because we made cassette tapes when we were kids doing this very thing. There's almost certainly a part of me that doesn't really think I'm on the radio - just pretending.

In-between segments, I play songs from the shows that I thought Russ would approve us. & I started the show with one of his original compositions. Later in the year I'll start Howard Gently Year Two. I miss him so but am so grateful I have so many recordings of him being funny. He really was the funniest person I ever knew.

Show at the Self Help Radio website. Username SHR password selfhelp required. Tracklist below.

Howard Gently Year One Continued
"Because She's Beautiful" Russell Miles _Six Tunes By "Russ"_

"Up The Hill Backwards" David Bowie _Scary Monsters_
Howard Gently on the theme "Backwards"
"The House Of The Rising Sun" Nina Simone _Nina Simone Sings The Blues_
Howard Gently on the theme "Sunrise"
"Watch Out For The Normal People" The Boomtown Rats _A Tonic For The Troops_
Howard Gently on the theme "Normal"

"Panic" The Smiths _Louder Than Bombs_
Howard Gently announces his new magazine
"Heaven" Talking Heads _The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads_
Howard Gently on the theme "Heaven"
"My Daddy Is A Mummy" Richard Thompson _The Life & Music Of Richard Thompson_
Howard Gently on the theme "Mummies"

"Seasons In The Sun" Black Box Recorder _The Worst Of Black Box Recorder_
Howard Gently on the theme "Seasons"
Howard Gently on the Christmas holidays
"Party Girl" Elvis Costello & The Attractions _Armed Forces_
Howard Gently calls the show 1/16/15

"Jerkin' Back 'N' Forth" Devo _New Traditionalists_
Howard Gently calls the show 1/30/15
"Razor Edge" Ranee & Raj _Don't Tell Me I Must Go_
Howard Gently calls the show 2/20/15

Howard Gently calls the show 3/6/15

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Whither Howard Gently Year One Continued?

It made my friend Russell so happy when I found that picture of that stranger who became Howard Gently. I added the pince-nez glasses & the Hawaiian shirt & beach background. Maybe even the moustache? I've probably mentioned this before. Anyway. It's nice to have a memory of making someone for whom I cared so very much so happy.

Words cannot express how grateful I am he spent so much time being my friend, talking to me, & of course being my spiritual mentor on Self Help Radio. Sitting with him improvising his segments was always one of the joys of my week. We did it on Skype. It often lasted more than ten minutes. It was difficult but exciting to edit them down to five. I would cut as much of my part as possible to maximize the Gently.

We started in 2014, & today on Self Help Radio, I'll finish the bits he did that year. You can listen to the previous installment here. Like on that show, I'll preface each bit with a song from the original show - & all these aired when I was on WRFL in Lexington - & I am picking a song from the show that I hope Russell would approve of.

Listen for lots of Howard Gently today from noon to 2pm on 90.3+98.3fm & online at freeform portland dot org. He may well make you a believer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Preface To Howard Gently Year One Continued: I Miss My Friend

(A picture of the Gently Command Center from the now-defunct Howard Gently Facebook page.)

On this day three years ago, my mother died. I wrote about it at the time. I woke today feeling a little off, like there was something I was supposed to do. When I napped this afternoon, I dreamed I kept losing my wallet. When I woke I remembered weird advice my mother gave me about keeping my wallet in my front pocket, which I do to this day. My little brother wrote on Facebook about the anniversary of her death - which I know I would've eventually remembered.

It was extra strange because I spent the day listening to bits created by my friend Russell, who died in June. I wrote about that too.  As I hope you know, Russell played a character for nine years on my radio show, my spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently. I will play more of his appearances on the show tomorrow.

Russell lost his mother early, she had a rare form of dementia that took her from him when she was still quite young. His mother was very kind. She seemed to me like a housewife in an old sitcom, one who is mock-stern but smiles ridiculously when her kooky son does something goofy. Russell loved her dearly, & he went to live with her after his father died in the mid-1990s.

There are so many stories to tell about our mothers & our friends. I am so grateful I have recordings of Russell being funny because although he & I went through some tough times, the things which initially bonded us - our love of music & our sense of humor - are there in the radio shows I made which he guested on. So many people love Russell's prank calls that I am a little shocked they haven't all become massive fans of Howard Gently. Maybe Gently is too subtle for them. Maybe he isn't making fun of religious people so directly.

Maybe you'll enjoy more of him. Having spent all day with him, I am glad to say I do. & I miss him so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Outdoor Cats Of September 12th

Here are three pictures, the first one taken in Kentucky on September 12, 2014, & the other two taken in Portland on September 12, 2021+2022. It seems like September 12 is (sometimes) a day for taking pictures of kittens allowed outdoors.

For whatever reason, I don't remember the cats in the top & bottom pictures, but the one on the sofa in the middle was a regular sight on our dogwalks for a time. I haven't seen it lately, though. We have dogs with us so I don't approach the cats (especially if they're on someone's porch or property), which means I never really get to know them. But that cat, with a cute black spot on its head as if it had a 1930s slick-backed haircut, is quite memorable. I hope it's all right.

We get coyotes around here & it's the best reason not to let your cats wander around outside. So many kitties go missing & people lament their loss on social media. I have no data about how many might have been carried away by predators at night, but my own paranoia suggests it's somewhere between all & nearly all. I would be beside myself if one of my dear felines disappeared in such circumstances.

Now I'm trying to think if I took a picture of a cat on a porch today. I don't think I did. Darn it.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Invitation To The Movies

(image from the IMDb)

You were invited to last week's Self Help Radio, a show about invitations - you are still invited & can listen at the Self Help Radio website - & I invited as well our resident cinephile Chuck to talk about movies featuring invitations. After you've listened, please follow the following links Chuck has provided:

Here is his YouTube playlist of films & trailers.

Here is his Letterboxd list.

& remember Chuck is on Twitter, on Bluesky, & on Substack.

Thanks Chuck! Glad you accepted the invitation to be on the show!