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Re: Charles Laquidera's Last day is August 4

When I became a Morning Mattress listener in the early '70s, I certainly
never would have guessed that on July 31, 2000, Charles Laquidara would
be honored by--and receive a standing ovation from--the Massachusetts
House of Representatives for his radio work and social causes (that's
what Dean Johnson reported in the Herald Tuesday).

Please allow me to recall a few features I remember from before there
was Mattress Mishegas, before there was the Cosmic Muffin, long before
there was Tank or Eddie Gorodetsky or Billy West or any of the many
other voices who hopped onto the Mattress over the years.

The shift used to begin with a classical piece of 15 or 20 minutes
duration.  I always figured that was to buy Charles a little time to
plan the morning.  Around 7:15 or so came Mattress Matinee, which
brought listeners 15 minutes of old-time radio each day.  At some point
in the morning Charles would pick up the phone and wake somebody up.
The first "regular" I remember Charles bantering with was Stu Siroka,
the hippest weather guy around (I'm not sure if he was on Channel 7 yet
when he became a Mattress fixture).  Charles would call Stu at the
seashore and they'd chat about the birds and whatever before getting
around to the forecast.

Then there were the "closet songs."  Charles used this term for music
that held a special place in the heart although one wouldn't necessarily
admit to it.  One of his favorites--and also one of mine--was "So Much
in Love" by the Tymes (from 1963).  I'd love to hear him work that into
the last show.

Robin Young had a 10-minute chat with Charles at the end of Tuesday's
(8/1) Hear and Now.  There were just a few bites from his salad days.
There was frank talk of drug use.  And there was discussion of music
that Charles never, never, ever wants to hear again (Bad Company tops
the list).  The program is archived at
<http://www.here-now.org/archive/2000/08/hn_archive_0801.shtml> but I
think you have to listen to the whole show.