Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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Harry Bartell

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:26 pm

Ok, I have an explanation to make. In fact, I’ve already made it about five times already, so one more isn’t going to matter. When Terry Salomonson presented me with the Parley Baer Award which was actually awarded but not presented a few years ago, I wasn’t exactly certain what to say other than “Thank you.” But I realized there were three people from the Golden Age of Radio I always wanted to meet but never did; Parley Baer, Larry Dobkin, and Harry Bartell. As many of you know, Harry was a friend of mine, yet we were never in the same room at the same time. We talked by email, and telephone, but never had the drink we promised each other we’d enjoy together.

I don’t know why I got vapor-locked, but it was absolutely impossible for me to speak his name. I tried a few times, and then finally gave up before I, as Steve Jansen (the dirty noir rat) suggested, “cried like a dame.” Fleeing seemed like a reasonable solution at the time, in fact the only solution available to me, but it left a bit of confusion in everyone’s mind.

You see, a lot of folks there assumed I was choked-up about my pal Hal Stone, and I have to admit that wasn’t the case. I did meet Hal, lots of times, and am thrilled to tell you the two of us enjoyed many drinks, and arguments, together. In fact, Hal bought my daughter her first Shirley Temple, and if you haven’t read that story, follow the link there and read it now along with the other stories I told after he passed…go ahead, I’ll wait until you come back to finish this.

Anyway, Harry and I never met face-to-face and one of my lifetime regrets is that we never did. Hal and I did, and while of course I wish we had spent more time with him, I have no other regrets when it comes to Hal. But if you’re interested, I can tell you exactly what Hal Stone would have said tonight if he were alive, twinkle in his eye and right before buying me a drink to celebrate my award.

“Ah, c’mon, Curley…I won that award before you did, and the Stone-Waterman Award, too. Beat that, kid.”

Tonight I’ll drink to all my friends…those no longer with us like Hal and Harry, and those who still enrich my life and hug my daughter like Bob and Eddie. Then I’ll get a few more photo published, and grab some sleep for the big drive home tomorrow.

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