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2014 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2015 Hall of Fame Announcement October 21, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Video, Weather.
6 comments

Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my Homecoming Weekend show and behind-the-scenes pictures from the prerecord.

I was at LIU Post on Saturday for their annual Homecoming Day. Most of my time was spent at WCWP’s barbecue and the announcement of 2015 inductees to their Hall of Fame.

I arrived at WCWP at about 2:30 PM. After setting my equipment down in Studio 3, I walked to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to watch part of the 3rd quarter of the LIU Post Pioneers’ Homecoming game against the Saint Anselm Hawks.

Before taking pics by Bronko Pearsall Field, I grabbed a few shots of the carnival:
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The press box:
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WCWP alumni Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks called the game from the lower booth. Included to their right (screen left) were, from left to right, Joel Feltman, Zach Parker (facing away), and Phil Lebowitz.

Last year was going to be the press box’s last year, but it turned out not to be.

Unlike last year, I didn’t capture a Pioneers touchdown, but I did capture a kickoff return for Saint Anselm
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…and a run by Pioneers quarterback Steven Laurino:
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The Pioneers went on to beat the Hawks by the score of 49-21.

I took the scenic route back to WCWP, which began at Post Hall:
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It is home to ARP, or the Academic Resource Program, located on the lower level. It was the Academic Resource Center (ARC) while I was a student, from Fall 1999 to Fall 2003, and was one level higher.

My 35mm photo rescanning project recently included pictures from ARC events. And as I work my way through pics between the rest of 2000 and 2003, there will be many more. Without ARC/ARP, I would have had a tougher road to graduation.

The opposite side of Post Hall:
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Riggs Hall:
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Humanities Hall:
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Humanities was home to many of my Media Arts classes. I also took English Composition, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, and Math for Elementary Education there.

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The Winnick House:
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The combined building of Life Science and Pell Hall:
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I took Study Strategies on the Life Science side, and Human Geography and Earth Science on the Pell side.

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Eventually, I made my way back to WCWP.

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With the Homecoming game ending early, Maura “Bernie” Bernard had to start her show a half hour earlier than expected:
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The same thing happened to me in 2008.

Let the show begin:
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Steven Acevedo was one of many guests to drop in on Bernie’s show:
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David Kaplan was another:
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Moments before the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame announcement, I video recorded the following aircheck from Bernie’s show, synced to my recording of the Internet stream:

As Ted David noted above, at 5PM, he announced the 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. Ted is himself an inductee, part of the 2014 HOF class.

The 2015 inductees are Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio. Yesterday was not only the 53rd anniversary of WCWP, but Bobby’s “53rd” birthday, as well. What better birthday present than induction into the WCWP Hall of Fame?

Here is the announcement:

After that, it was time to pose for pictures.

Here are Pete Bellotti, Dan Cox, Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, Mike Riccio, and Ted David:
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Next is all the Hall of Famers that were present at Homecoming:
Frank D’Elia (2014), Ted (2014), Bobby G. (2015), Mike (2015), Bernie Bernard (2013), Jeff (2015), Bruce (2015):
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One of two pictures of Ted and me:
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Joel Feltman and Ted David:
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The barbecue outside WCWP wouldn’t have been possible without Ryan Attard, Director of Alumni Relations and the LIU Post Alumni Association. After the HOF announcement, Ryan spoke with Bernie:
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Here is how that looked and sounded:

Phil Lebowitz (center) with two current students: Deandre Wilson and Mike Nicosia:
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After the above picture, I was Bernie’s next guest:

Two comments:
1) I probably shouldn’t have bitten the smooth jazz hand that could potentially feed me in the future.
2) I was nervously playing with one of the WCWP bracelets that Bernie’s sister Melissa made.

Steven Acevedo and Jett Lightning took turns reading the WCWP Rock Show concert calendar:
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Here’s how that sounded:

Hearing Bernie play “Fire” by Arthur Brown in previous years made that song one of my favorites. When she played it this year, as heard above, after “I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you…!,” I jumped up and down excitedly for the first few bars before composing myself.

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6PM marked the middle of WCWP’s Homecoming Weekend:
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It began Friday at noon and ended Sunday night (yesterday morning) at midnight.

Thanks to Pat Kroll for bringing over this personalized Waldbaum’s sheet cake:
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Pat cut the first slice:
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The WCWP 53rd anniversary/birthday cake was acknowledged on the air:

John Zoni, Pat Kroll, Jeff Kroll, Zach Parker:
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Bernie’s last aircheck of the night:
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…looked and sounded like this:

Next up was Rev. John Commins:
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It was his first Homecoming show in a decade.

Bruce and Jeff ran the board:
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Steven Acevedo stuck around for John’s show:
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Here are select airchecks from John’s show:

Mike Phillips, Frank D’Elia, and Phil Lebowitz:
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After becoming friends with Joe Honerkamp on Facebook, we finally met in person Saturday night:
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Ted David took this picture of me:
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Then, we posed for our second pic of the day:
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I took one last shot before I left:
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I had to take it from Studio 2 because it was too crowded in Studio 1 and at the door to Studio 1.

I had such a blast at Homecoming. It was great to catch up with alumni I’ve met before and with those I met in person for the first time.

Hours later, at 2AM, it was time for my Homecoming show, CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri. As I noted two weeks ago, I prerecorded the show. Here are pictures from that session in Studio 2:
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Direct from the Studio 2 console are my airchecks from that show:

And here is the playlist with a retroactive correction I added in Photoshop on Sunday night:
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Some of the notes I wrote on the playlist didn’t make it to the final cut.

I loved Ted David’s liners so much that I made a compilation of how those liners sounded between songs:

The first transition was from the console while the rest were from the Internet stream.

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WCWP Homecoming Weekend show to air October 19 October 6, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Phone, Radio.
1 comment so far

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I was on the campus of LIU Post on Friday to record my annual Homecoming Weekend radio show for WCWP, the campus radio station which I was originally part of from October 2001 to May 2004. CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri will air very early on Sunday, October 19, at 2AM Eastern (Saturday, October 18, at 11PM Pacific) on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org. If you are outside of the signal range, choose the latter (WCWP.org) or browse for WCWP on the TuneIn mobile app.

In the two hours of CJazzPlus, I’ll be playing The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Brian Culbertson, and many more, including one of my favorites by the recently departed Joe Sample. The show took just over two hours to record and an extra hour to edit, plus additional time editing at home on Saturday.

The name CJazzPlus comes from a short-lived Live365 station of mine from late 2010. It’s short for “contemporary jazz plus.” The “plus” refers to various sub-genres of jazz and instrumentals from other genres. I try to go beyond what you’d hear on a typical smooth jazz station, such as SiriusXM’s Watercolors.

Hours before the show airs, on Saturday, October 18, I’ll be at for Post for their Homecoming festivities, as well as for WCWP’s. The latter of those includes the announcement of 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. I look forward to that announcement as much as I look forward to the annual announcements of National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees. My guess is as good as yours. You’ll have to listen that afternoon to find out who got in this time.

“Weird Al” Yankovic, Mandatory Fun July 24, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Media, Music, Personal, Technology, Video.
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Album cover scan

My CD copy of Mandatory Fun by “Weird Al” Yankovic arrived in the mail on Wednesday afternoon.  After ripping the tracks to my computer, I listened intently to all of them, following along with the lyrics in the liner notes.   There are 12 songs on the album: a mix of parodies, original compositions, and a medley.

I usually listen to contemporary jazz and jazz fusion, especially if there aren’t vocals.  So, you may be wondering why I would own a “Weird Al” Yankovic album.  I’ve admired “Weird Al” for years, dating back to Bad Hair Day, which my sister Lauren received back in 1996.  And since I’m not into mainstream pop and rock, Al’s parodies are as close I choose to get.

Here are my three favorite original compositions on Mandatory Fun:

  • “Mission Statement,” a Crosby, Stills and Nash pastiche a la “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Carry On,” filled with corporate gobbledygook and cliches (i.e. “synergy!”)
  • “Lame Claim to Fame,” an homage to Southern Culture on the Skids, wherein a man shares his tangential connections to celebrities

I can relate to the line about having the same birthday.  I share my birthday with several public figures.  Off the top of my head, there’s Lorne Michaels, Danny DeVito, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).  There are others.  I don’t consider this my lame claim to fame.  It’s a series of prideful coincidences.  My lame claims to fame are my radio shows, photo recaps of events I attend, and occasional reviews like this.  (That was self-deprecation.)

  • “Sports Song,” a deeply honest fight song that lays out what the opponent is in for

As for the parodies, my three favorites are:

  • “Word Crimes,” a parody of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, which includes verses on the misuse of “I couldn’t care less” and “it’s”

Listen for the intentionally-placed split infinitive.  I loved the time-compressed definition of “contraction.”

  • “Handy,” which parodies “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, a nearly three-minute handyman commercial

What can’t he do?

  • “Foil,” a parody of “Royals” by Lorde, which describes two uses for aluminum foil: to store leftover food and as a hat for conspiracy theorists to block governmental mind control

I laughed my way through the conspiracy theory part.

There are video equivalents to each of my favorites:

“Mission Statement”:

“Lame Claim to Fame”:

“Sports Song”

“Word Crimes”:

“Handy”

“Foil”:

A “Weird Al” album wouldn’t be complete without an accordion-driven polka medley.  The one on Mandatory Fun – “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” – was superb.  These medleys are the second way I prefer to hear mainstream pop and rock.  (The third way is through covers by jazz artists.)  The segues between lyrical excerpts were seamless.  And I got a kick out of the sound effects and spoken interjections.

Facebook deserves credit for motivating me into buying Mandatory Fun.  If the first video from the album, “Tacky,” hadn’t been trending last Monday, I wouldn’t have seen that video or the seven videos that followed.  I wouldn’t have listened to excerpts on Amazon.  I wouldn’t have bought the album at all.  But I bought it, I listened to it at least once, and I’ve shared my review.

I hope I haven’t written “like a spastic,” and that you’ll forgive my Oxford commas.

Bill Heller, “Find the Way” July 21, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Keyboardist Bill Heller makes his solo debut with Find the Way, available now at CD Baby and iTunes.

Bill’s Rippingtons and Jazzaphonic bandmates are peppered throughout the album, in addition to Carl Fischer, Luis Bonilla, and Ronnie Gutierrez.  Except where noted, Joel Rosenblatt played drums and Dave Anderson was on bass.

Tracks:
1. Guaraldi (5:19)
This is a tribute to the late jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi.  Jeff Kashiwa, Bill’s Rippingtons bandmate, plays soprano saxophone and flute.

2. Down & Loaded (5:32)
This has a Les McCann “Compared to What” feel to it.  I first heard Bill perform this at Eric Marienthal’s Boulton Center show (and masterclass) in March 2011.  Eric, who was also with the Rippingtons, is featured on three other Find the Way tracks, but Jeff Kashiwa handled tenor sax on “Down & Loaded.”  Jeff can also be heard on tenor on “Blackbird on a Fence” and soprano on the title track.  This is one of three songs to feature Frank Bellucci on drums and Jim Cammack on bass, Bill’s Jazzaphonic bandmates.

3. Bill’s Bop (4:34)
This is the second song with Bellucci and Cammack, but the only one of the three where Jim plays electric bass.  Eric Marienthal plays lead alto sax along with backing saxes and flutes.  This bop made me swing from side to side in my chair as I listened to it.

4. Blackbird on a Fence (4:22)

5. Find the Way (5:06)

6. Hanna (4:51)
Eric Marienthal returns on soprano sax and flute in this song that takes me back to when I regularly saw Bill perform with drummer John Favicchia‘s Dharma All Stars.

7. Alone (5:28)

8. Latinesque (5:53)
This wild Latin tune features Carl Fischer on trumpet, Luis Bonilla on trombone, and percussion from Ronnie Gutierrez.  It’s the first of three tracks with Dave Karasony on drums and Rico Belled on bass.  This also reminds me of the Dharma All Stars.

9. 5 for 1 (5:34)
This is the last song to feature Eric Marienthal, who plays alto sax here, as well as for Frank Bellucci and Jim Cammack.

10. Afrikaan (4:40)
This South African homage is the second to feature Dave Karasony and Rico Belled.

11. My Thing (4:56)
Karasony and Belled’s last track.  Each part of the song is played in a different keyboard setting.

12. Trottoir du Musette (1:05)
Bill shows off his accordion on the final track.  The translated title is “Sidewalk Musette,” and it makes you feel like you’re walking the streets of Paris, albeit with drum programming.

In the two weeks since Find the Way arrived, I’ve listened to it at least five times.  “Down & Loaded” is my favorite, with “Bill’s Bop” and “5 for 1″ close behind.  I love Find the Way, and I hope you do, too.  Pick up a copy today at CD Baby or iTunes.

Planting Fields Arboretum pictures July 3, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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I didn’t say anything about it here, but last August, a few days before the Spyro Gyra Smooth Cruise, my girlfriend Kelly and I went up to Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay.  It was the first time either of us had been to the park in over a decade, years before we met.  We only went there for concerts, not touring the sights.  This time, we went solely to look around.

Here are select pictures from our sightseeing:
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I hope this has inspired you to visit Planting Fields Arboretum.  As long as the weather is dry when you go, you won’t be disappointed.

The Jeff Lorber Fusion at Blue Note June 14, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather.
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Monday evening marked my first trip to the famous Blue Note Jazz Club in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan.

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Blue Note is not far from Zinc Bar, which I was at in June 2011 for Lisa Hilton.

The band I saw at Blue Note on Monday was the Jeff Lorber Fusion, who were originally scheduled to appear on April 7.  It’s a good thing the show was moved because I would have had to deal with moderate to heavy rain on the original night.  The sky was equally overcast on this rescheduled night, but it didn’t rain, at least not while I was outside.

My girlfriend Kelly and I arrived nearly two hours before showtime, 15 minutes after doors opened.  Our early arrival paid off as we were seated at a table right next to center stage!  It was great.

The Jeff Lorber Fusion was made up of Jeff on keyboard:
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…and piano (seen here playing both):
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Eric Marienthal on soprano sax:
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…and alto sax:
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Jimmy Haslip on bass:
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…and Lionel Cordew on drums:
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There were two shows that night: 8PM and 10:30 PM.  Kelly and I chose the early show.  The set list was as follows:

8PM SET LIST
1. Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Originally heard on: “The Jeff Lorber Fusion,” 1977; “Now is the Time,” 2010

2. Hacienda
Originally heard on: “Hacienda,” 2013

3. He Had a Hat
Originally heard on: “He Had a Hat,” 2007

4. Singaraja
Originally heard on: “Galaxy,” 2012

5. Montserrat
Originally heard on: “Galaxy,” 2012

6. Horace
Originally heard on: “Galaxy,” 2012

7. Rain Dance
Originally heard on: “Water Sign,” 1979; “Now is the Time,” 2010

8. King Kong (Frank Zappa cover)
Originally heard on: “Hacienda,” 2013

9. Surreptitious
Originally heard on: “He Had a Hat,” 2007

NOTE: Eric Marienthal played soprano sax on #1, 4, and 7, but alto otherwise.

With flash photography disallowed, and fearing that my camera’s AF-Assist light would be mistaken for a flash, I didn’t take that many pictures.  But it was an exhilarating show with wild solos by each member of the band.  This was my first Jeff Lorber concert, and I doubt it will be my last.  Thank you to Jeff, Eric, Jimmy, and Lionel.

I’ll leave you with pictures from two solos.

First, Lionel Cordew’s “Chinese Medicinal Herbs” solo:
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And Jimmy Haslip’s “Hacienda” solo:
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I suggest a Triple Crown retool June 8, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Music, Personal, Sports, Thoroughbred, TV.
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After what transpired at yesterday’s Belmont Stakes, next year will mark 37 years since the last Triple Crown winner – Affirmed.  Since then, thoroughbred racing has had close call after close call after close call, as three-year-old horses will win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but fall short at Belmont.  It doesn’t happen every year, but it’s still heartbreaking and frustrating.  I suggest the Triple Crown format be retooled.  Before I explain how, there is a backstory.

I first became aware of the Triple Crown races in 1997.  That year, Silver Charm was the unlucky horse to lose at Belmont Park in Elmont.  Then there was Real Quiet a year later.  He barely lost to Victory Gallop.  The year after that, Charismatic fell short.  Three years later, there was another three-year stretch of horses to win the first two legs and fall short: War Emblem, Funny Cide, and Smarty Jones.  In 2008, there was Big Brown.  He came up far short at Belmont.  In 2012, I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the race!

That brings us to this year and California Chrome.  I was at a second birthday party and watched the Kentucky Derby on TV, like I always do.  His win gave me an opportunity to allude to the Mamas and the Papas hit, “California Dreamin’.”  The announcers on TV did the same.  Two weeks later, I was in an Italian restaurant as the Preakness Stakes was run.  The sound was off on the TV ahead of my booth, but the closed-captioning was on.  When California Chrome won that, I knew we were in for another three weeks of hype that would only be followed by heartbreak.  When you see the same thing play out over many years, you know what to expect.

On Facebook, I floated a ridiculous idea:

If California Chrome wins the Belmont Stakes, thereby winning the Triple Crown, NBC should send a check for $36 to each Nielsen household tuned to them during the race. That would be one dollar for each year since the last Triple Crown winner: Affirmed in 1978.

In the comment thread, I amended that to $3.60, but perhaps 36 cents would have made even more sense.

I floated that idea because I knew California Chrome would lose.  I would have loved for him to win, which turned into thinking he actually would win.  So, as I watched the Belmont Stakes on my iPhone yesterday at another restaurant, I closed the NBC Sports Live Extra app in frustration after Larry Collmus said in the home stretch that there wouldn’t be a Triple Crown winner this year.  I don’t even know who won and don’t care.

Now for my suggestion: Horses that win the Kentucky Derby should not be allowed to run the Preakness Stakes.  That will avoid future heartbreaking Belmont Stakes.  If they can’t run in the Preakness, they can’t possibly win it to set up Triple Crown talk.

It’s another ridiculous suggestion, I’m sure, and one that is born out of sour grapes, but I would love to see it happen.  The days of Triple Crown winners ended in 1978.  I don’t see it ever happening again.

6/9 UPDATE: A rebuttal by Jeff Kroll:

These ideas for change are generally coming from the generation that has not seen a “Triple Crown” win.  Those of us who were around in the ’70s and saw 3 of them know it’s special, and that it can happen.  It will take a very special horse and a lot of luck.  The winning time yesterday on a fast track was still 4 1/2 seconds slower than Secratariat’s world-record 2.24 Flat in 1973.  This group of horses is just not that “special.”

They’re certainly special enough to win two legs, but unfortunately not all three.  I wish I was alive to see Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed win.  Archived video is all I’ve had to go on, particularly of Secretariat’s dominant Belmont win that Jeff mentioned.

SJFS 2014 Night 2 recap April 24, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1

Jay Rowe‘s twelfth annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert resumed on Saturday night with a packed house.  They were in for a wild night.

Kevin McCabe welcomed the house, or audience, at approximately 8PM:
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The first song of the night was by select members of the West Shore Middle School Band.  Twelve hours earlier on Facebook, the band’s teacher, Bob Nunno, let me know that some of his students would be opening the show.  I told him that was great and I looked forward to seeing them.  Pictures from their song can be found in the set list below.

The band for the rest of the night consisted of Jay Rowe on keyboards:
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Dave Anderson on bass:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Steve Scales on percussion:
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SET LIST
1.
Clocks (Coldplay cover)
Musicians: Select members of the West Shore Middle School Band, under the direction of Mr. Bob Nunno (who also played keyboard)

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Applause:
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Like the previous night, Kevin returned to the stage to introduce Jay and his band.  Jay welcomed the audience…:
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…then played the first song of the main show, the second song overall:

2. Pleasure Island (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Laugh Out Loud,” 2001
Featured musician: Jay Rowe (keyboards)

3. George Can’t Dance (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: “Catwalk,” 1994 (Special EFX album)
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

4. Till the End of Time (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013 (Chieli Minucci & Special EFX album)
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

5. Point of Departure (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: “Red and Blue” (upcoming album)
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

6. Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from The Godfather)*/Slammin’ (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: “Influences,” 2014
Featured musician: Nick Colionne (electric guitar)
*-Jay’s intro tune for Nick

7. Melting Into You (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: “No Limits,” 2008
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (vocals/electric guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax) (walked on mid-song)

8. The Lift (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Body Rhythm,” 1995
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)
Marion and Jay co-wrote this song, the last track on “Body Rhythm,” which featured both them and Dave Anderson.

9. My Cherie Amour (Marion Meadows; Stevie Wonder cover)
Originally heard on: “Body Rhythm,” 1995
Featured musicians: Timmy Maia (vocals), Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

10. Blue Lagoon (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013 (Chieli Minucci & Special EFX album)
Featured musician: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

11. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Featured musicians: Caitlin Kalafus (drums), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

12. Children’s Games (Nelson Rangell; Antonio Carlos Jobim cover)
Originally heard on: “Red and Blue” (upcoming album)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (whistling/piccolo/vocals/claps), Musician (acoustic guitar)
When I spoke to Jay in February, I wondered what Nelson’s whistle song would be this year.  This was a pleasant surprise, and the second year in a row where Nelson covered a Jobim tune.

13. Rainbow Seeker (Nelson Rangell; Joe Sample cover)
Originally heard on: “Far Away Day,” 2000
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell (flute)

14 (Finale). James Brown Tribute
Featured musicians: Everyone, led by Nick Colionne (vocals)

Now for various pictures of each musician, beginning with Jay Rowe:
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Dave Anderson:
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Trever Somerville:
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Steve Scales:
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Chieli Minucci:
Electric guitar:
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Acoustic guitar on “Children’s Games”:
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Nelson Rangell:
Alto sax:
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Flute:
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Piccolo:
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Percussion via Steve’s chimes:
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Vocals and claps:
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Whistling:
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“Nelson Rangell, ladies and gentlemen!”:
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Nick Colionne:
Guitar:
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Vocals:
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Marion Meadows:
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Timmy Maia:
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Caitlin Kalafus:
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This was Caitlin’s first appearance at SJFS in six years.

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To be blunt, she rocked!

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The audience agreed.

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On to wide shots.  First up, “George Can’t Dance”:
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“Till the End of Time”:
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During “Melting Into You”…:
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…and after:
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“The Lift”:
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During “My Cherie Amour”…:
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…and after:
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“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”:
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“Children’s Games”:
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Steve and Trever’s “Rainbow Seeker” duet:
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The wild finale (isn’t it always?): Nick’s tribute to James Brown:
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“Yeah!”:
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“Ha-haaaa!”:
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Nick: “Here we go!  Can I count it off?!”  Nelson: “Count it off!”
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“1, 2, 3, ‘ey!”

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Time to go into the audience:
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(singing): “What about you?!”: (4/27 UPDATE: Or as it’s spelled on “Influences,” “Whatta ‘Bout You?”)
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What about Jay’s mother-in-law?:
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Meanwhile, back on stage:
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Caitlin briefly returned to drums…:
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…and Timmy took over percussion:
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No tribute to James Brown would be complete without the cape routine:
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Jay wrapped it up:
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“See you all next year!”

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Bob Nunno was sitting near where I set up.  So, we spoke for a few minutes after the show.  Then, I had my girlfriend Kelly take our picture:
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Putting together these recaps is a labor of love.  From capturing to editing to uploading to writing, it’s a long and trying process.  When I left the Parsons Complex on Saturday night, I contemplated not going again.  But that would be crazy.  I love Smooth Jazz for Scholars.  For two days out of the year, Milford is my home.  I am grateful to Jay and everyone involved each year for putting on what I consider the Super Bowl of contemporary jazz.

I’ll be back, and I hope you, the reader (if you’re into this genre), make plans to come, too.  Thank you for reading, and to quote Jay, see you all next year!

SJFS 2014 Night 1 recap April 23, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
2 comments

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 2 (link coming soon)

For eight years, I’ve traveled to Milford, Connecticut, for Jay Rowe‘s Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert.  This is the first year that has taken place on Easter weekend.  My original plan was to only come to this first night – Friday, April 18.  But when I spoke to Jay between sets at Jeff Kashiwa’s Houndstooth Pub show in February, he convinced me to come to both nights.  I’m glad I did.  I’ll recap the second night in a separate post, but let’s focus on the first night.

The night began just after 8PM with an introduction from Kevin McCabe:
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The first song of the night was by select members of the Foran High School Jazz Ensemble.  Pictures from that song can be found in the set list below.

As for the main band, you had SJFS founder Jay Rowe on keyboards:
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Dave Anderson on bass:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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Steve Scales on percussion:
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…and for nine songs, Rohn Lawrence on guitar:
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SET LIST
1.
Pick Up the Pieces (Average White Band cover)
Featured musicians: Foran “Average High School Ensemble,” as they called themselves
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Applause:
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After the ensemble performed, Kevin McCabe returned to the stage to resume his introduction, then he tossed to Jay Rowe:
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2. Rosemary’s Tune (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Live at Daniel Street,” 2011
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

3. Just a Natural Thang (Steve Cole)
Originally heard on: “True,” 2006
Featured musicians: Steve Cole (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

4. Going in Circles (Steve Cole; The Friends of Distinction cover)
Originally heard on: “Pulse,” 2013
Featured musicians: Steve Cole (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

5. The Music Inside (Chuck Loeb)
Originally heard on: “The Music Inside,” 1996
Featured musicians: Chuck Loeb (guitar)

6. Hacienda (Jeff Lorber)
Originally heard on: “Hacienda,” 2013 (Jeff Lorber Fusion album)
Featured musicians: Jeff Lorber (keyboard), Steve Cole (tenor sax), Chuck Loeb (guitar)

7. Tune 88 (Jeff Lorber)
Originally heard on: “Water Sign,” 1979 (Jeff Lorber Fusion album)
Featured musicians: Jeff Lorber (keyboard), Chuck Loeb (guitar), Rohn Lawrence (guitar), Kim Waters (alto sax)

8. Waterfall (Kim Waters)
Originally heard on: “Someone to Love You,” 2002
Featured musicians: Kim Waters (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

9. In the House (Kim Waters)
Originally heard on: “From the Heart,” 2001
Featured musicians: Kim Waters (alto sax), Chuck Loeb (guitar), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

10. With You All the Way/All ‘n All (Steve Cole)
Originally heard on: “Pulse,” 2013
Featured musicians: Steve Cole (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

11. Silver Lining (Chuck Loeb)
Originally heard on: “Silhouette,” 2013
Featured musicians: Chuck Loeb (guitar), Jeff Lorber (keyboard)

12. Silhouette (Chuck Loeb)
Originally heard on: “Silhouette,” 2013
Featured musicians: Chuck Loeb (guitar), Jeff Lorber (keyboard)

13. Red Wine and You (Kim Waters)
Originally heard on: “My Loves,” 2013
Featured musicians: Kim Waters (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (guitar)

14. Confirmation (Charlie Parker cover)
Keyboard duet: Jay Rowe, Jeff Lorber

15 (Finale). Toad’s Place (Jeff Lorber)
Originally heard on: “Water Sign,” 1979 (Jeff Lorber Fusion album)
Featured musicians: Everyone

Let’s move on to various pictures of each musician.

We start with Jay Rowe:
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A call and response with Chuck Loeb on “The Music Inside”:
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Dave Anderson:
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Trever Somerville:
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Steve Scales:
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Prompting the audience to clap during “Waterfall”:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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I love when he creeps up the fingerboard.

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I love this, too:
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Steve Cole:
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Chuck Loeb:
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Chuck worked scat into his “In the House” solo:
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Kim Waters:
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Kim briefly switched to keyboard – Jeff Lorber’s keyboard – during his “In the House” solo:
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Jeff Lorber:
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On to wide shots, beginning with “Rosemary’s Tune”:
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“Going in Circles”:
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“Hacienda”:
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“Tune 88″:
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“In the House”:
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“Confirmation,” a duet by Jay and Jeff:
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The finale – “Toad’s Place”:
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The first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars was in the books.  Jay gave it up one more time for all performers.

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Afterward, I had brief conversations with Steve Cole, Chuck Loeb, Kim Waters, and Jeff Lorber.  I also got pictures with three of them, starting with Jeff:
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Then Kim:
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And Chuck:
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There were more musical thrills on the second night.  Click here to see.

2014 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 12, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in DVD, Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
3 comments

Previous Hall of Fame ceremonies: 2012, 2013

Last Saturday, the WCWP Hall of Fame welcomed four new inductees in a ceremony in the Goldsmith Atrium at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.  This year’s inductees were Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Ted David, and the late Bill Epperhart.

You can see videos of the ceremony at the end, but first, the pictures:

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Pete Bellotti welcomed the audience shortly after 1PM:
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Images from the intro video, voiced by Jim Cutler:
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The ceremony was hosted by Jeff Kroll:
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Bill Mozer assumed the co-host position:
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Rita Sands could not make it to the ceremony, and instead pre-recorded an interview with Bernie Bernard:
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Bernie:
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Bernie and Jeff posed with Rita’s plaque:
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The second inductee of the day was Frank D’Elia:
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The view from my camcorder:
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Frank receives his plaque:
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Like Rita, Ted David was unable to attend the ceremony.  But he did record an acceptance speech:
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Dan Cox, WCWP station manager, spoke next:
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Dan brought up ceremony audio engineer Zach Parker to share the news of a generous donation to WCWP by Zach’s father:
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Then, reflections of Bill Epperhart began.  Dan shared his memories first, then Frank, Bill Mozer, and Jeff joined in.

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Dan Epperhart, Bill’s son, accepted his father’s plaque:
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And gave an eloquent, emotional speech:
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Then, Jeff Kroll and Bill Mozer tossed to other alumni in the audience to share their memories:
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Phil Lebowitz was first:
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Then, Mike Phillips:
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Neil Marks:
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Bruce Leonard:
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Roberta Epperhart O’Neil, widow of Bill’s brother Mike:
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Pete Vogel, Bill’s cousin:
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The last stroll down memory was provided by Jay Elzweig:
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Jeff wrapped it up:
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The only thing left to do was pose for pictures:
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Ceremony Part 1:

Ceremony Part 2:

As you can see, this year’s WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony ended up running for a little over two hours.  Memories were shared and praise was heaped.  It was a day I won’t soon forget.  Congratulations to Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Ted David, and Bill Epperhart.

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