I reckon this is my week to stroll down memory lane. It’s lunch time at my house and I had to call in sick from work today. Something made me think I’d like some chili-cheese fries.
I knew I had a can of Kelly’s chili in the pantry. As I was preparing to open it, I asked myself if I needed to add water to it. It was as if I had heard it only yesterday; Joe Rumore’s voice popped into my head saying, “All you gotta do is just heat it up and eat it up!”. Well, there you go. Joe is still influencing me, at least, after all these years.
I think about Joe a lot. If I hear Skeeter Davis singing “The End of the World” my mind races back to the late 50s and through the 60s. Seems like every morning when I woke up, Joe was playing that record. Mother turned on the radio every morning when she got up. The dial was always set to WVOK.
Rumore had a sidekick on his show for as long as I can remember. Curly Fagan was a native of my hometown, Piedmont. As I entered adulthood I worked with his sister, Edith, at the local nursing home. She was full of stories about “Walter”. It took some time for me to realize that “Walter” was, in fact, “Curly”. Edith was just inordinately proud of her brother.
Mentioning records, the first 45 rpm record I ever bought was Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. That must have been around 1969 or 70. I got it from Rumore’s Record Rack in Homewood, Alabama. My first experience with mail order! I wore the grooves off that record!
If you mention Bruno’s supermarket, I hear Joe saying, “Your dollar is worth more, at your Bruno’s store!” He was a champion of local businesses.
I bet lots of you of a “certain age” from this part of the world remember Joe. He was on every morning from nine to noon. His down-home, folksy way of talking made him an instant friend of everyone who heard him. I can still hear him announcing that we were hearing him from “WVOK, the Mighty 690, with 50,000 watts of power!”
Do you have any special memories of Joe and his radio show? Share them with me, please and thank you!