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Big Chuck

July 6, 2010

I Was Just Thinking: Time to check on the electronic mailbag

— Six months of doing this column. Boy, that went fast! You can’t say The Daily Star doesn’t reach far and wide. (The online readership is amazing!) I thought it would be fun, say twice a year, to take a sampling from the (e)mailbag.

From my second column, “Final Exits,” Gina Wilson of Hammondsport caught the name Millard Fuller. Gina shared with me a memory of actually working side-by-side with Mr. Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, in the early 1980s while building homes for the less fortunate in Georgia. She remembers Fuller as a warm, likable and passionate humanitarian who was a joy to work with.

The smoking column got a lot of attention. Many readers mentioned how they took up smoking at a very young age and recalled the commercials for it on TV before they were banned.

Ted from Garrattsville wrote me: “Hey Chuck, I got my first cigarette courtesy of ‘Uncle Sam.’ It was among the ‘goodies’ they gave me on my way off to war. They were Lucky Strike Greens if I recall, and they were the nastiest things I had ever tasted. Thanks, Uncle Sam. I smoked them for forty years!”

More e-mails came in from my Kate Smith column than any other. One from Susan in Schuyler Lake said, “I met Kate Smith once at a TV show taping of hers in New York City. She was just as warm and kind as you said she was. I will never forget this great lady.” Sentiments shared by many, Sue.

Rose, who lives at Goodyear Lake, mentioned how I write the same way as I speak (on my radio program).

Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely and very complimentary e-mail, but I guess those of us who communicate for a living never really think that we have a “style.” I mean, try to imagine Andy Rooney, Charles Osgood, Edward R. Murrow or Harry Reasoner trying to explain their style. I will wager that they would just shrug their shoulders and say, “I haven’t got a clue. I just write, I guess.” It is for smarter people than me to try to figure out what exactly my “style” is, but hey, thanks for noticing, Rose!

Ellis from Margaretville spent years volunteering in Haiti and had very nice words to say about my column regarding the Haiti earthquake. He wrote, “While it is correct that Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, just ask any person who has been there and they will tell you that the Haitians are indeed a very rich people. They are deeply religious and live the Good Word daily despite their hardships. They have strong generational family bonds and a rich, although under-appreciated, culture. Their history is one of oppression and renewal, and it is that sense of renewal that will guide them to a better day.” Well put, Ellis!

The “Sock Hop” column brought back a lot of memories to my readers. One e-mail in particular that I liked was from Jeanne C. of Oneonta. She wrote: “Wooo-ey! Loved, loved, loved your Sock Hop column, ‘Dancing Chuckie’! I don’t know how old you are but I know how old I am and the sock hop story gave me the biggest giggle I’ve had in a while!” It seems that all of Andes was roused to e-mail me to let me know that I left a very important local figure off my list of New York state lieutenant governors.

So I will mention him here ... loud and clear. Lt. Gov. M. Linn Bruce of Andes!

Dave, from Dallas, Texas, wrote: “As a man who has two relatives buried in Arlington Cemetery, your Memorial Day column was fitting and heartfelt. And you know what, Chuck? I never thought about it, but nobody really does know when Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays really are.

Thanks for the info!” Eagle-eyers Bob Cairns, Steve Rose, Dulcie Shaw and many other Delaware County readers caught my road-marking mistake for Tremperskill Road in my “Pepacton” column. You’re right, everybody. It is Delaware County Route 1 and not New York state Route 1.

Everyone agreed with my “Baggy Pants” column that we are seeing way too much of the young guys’ underwear on the streets of our hometowns.

But reader Janice put me up to a challenge. She wrote, “Hey Chuck. Loved your story on the guys with the saggy, baggy pants. Now, do you dare do one on women who wear those low-rider jeans?” Well, Janice, as I told you in a return e-mail, having four females in my family is enough for me to ignore that topic with the proverbial 10-foot-pole!” And so, as Dino used to say at the end of his show each week — ”Keep them cards and letters coming, folks.” Although, go ahead and use the e-mail. It’s free! I’ll catch you in two …

‘BIG CHUCK’ D’IMPERIO can be heard on weekdays beginning at 6 a.m. on WDOSAM 730 in Oneonta, and also on Thursday nights from 7-9 p.m. on WSRK-FM 103.9 for his “Oldies Jukebox Show.” You can find “Big Chuck” on Facebook under Upstate New York Books. He invites you to contact him at wdosbigchuck@aol.com. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/bigchuck. You can find “Big Chuck” on Facebook under Upstate New York Books.

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