Posts from 2018-12-11

Dave Richards for December 11th

Dave Richards for December 11th…………….


--Today begins another of my favorite times of the year.  Tonight is the first of the High School Holiday Concerts we will record for broadcast on Christmas Day.  We begin tonight at Burrillville High School, where I attended my very first Holiday Concert in 1970, as a member of the band.  Then, this Thursday, for the 39th consecutive year we will be at Woonsocket High School, then continuing on to Mount St. Charles Academy on Sunday afternoon and concluding with a visit to North Smithfield High a week from today to see our old friend, Mr. Kevin Plouffe, who has returned to the Blackstone Valley at the helm of the NSHS Band. 

  Anyone who knows me even a little knows I am a big supporter of music in our schools.  The broadcast of the Holiday Concerts of our local schools offers me the opportunity to showcase the work of many hundreds of students in one great day of broadcasts.  It’s really remarkable what they can do.  Yes, we also broadcast high school sports, and that’s important, too.  But the music department in school seldom gets the headlines, so this is their “front page” day.  I hope you’ll attend the concert in your home town.


--The Annual Milk Fund Appeal continues until December 24th.  Last Friday the members of Cercle Laurier held a Beer and Dynamite event.  If you’re reading your paper early enough today, tune in to the daily Milk Fund Auction at about 8:30am as representatives bring Appeal Chair Lisa Carcifero a check for the proceeds.  As I write this, I don’t know the amount myself, but I’ve been told it’s amazing.

  Also, if you need an official Milk Fund plastic bottle to pass around at your party, phone the radio station at 762-1240 and we’ll give you one.


--Yesterday was “Green Monday”.  I like to think I am fairly well-informed.  That is, I know all about “Black Friday”, “Small-Business Saturday”, “Cyber-Monday”, “Giving Tuesday” and all the other ‘manufactured holidays’.  But not only did nobody tell me before yesterday that yesterday was going to be “Green Monday”, but they also forgot to tell me what it was supposed to be about.  I hope they had a nice day.


--I know you needed just one more rant about political correctness and intolerance, so here it is………

  If there’s one thing Americans have gotten really good at, it’s finding someone to blame for whatever in making them unhappy.  Or, if not making them unhappy, someone who is failing to make them happy.  Either one seems to be a crime these days.

  From the news wire comes word of a woman in Massachusetts who is blaming Amazon for her daughter being bullied.  Her daughter’s name is “Alexa”.  The woman wrote to the president of the company asking them to stop making devices named after females.  She said her daughter’s friends are taunting her by telling her to turn on their TV or lights, actions which the smart-speaker is supposed to be able to do.  The letter didn’t make it to the president before it was diverted to “inside teams” to be addressed.  Gee, my mom and dad never wrote to Walt Disney to ask him to stop producing the TV series “Davy Crockett”.  And yes, I got ribbed a lot about that growing up and have heard the song more than my share of times.  But I know they didn’t do it to antagonize me.  So we let it pass.  Not so in this century.


--The radio station in Ohio, WDOK, which refuses to play the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because they got one complaint about the lyrics has been having a very tough time I am told.  They are the butt of jokes on local TV, newspapers, and other radio stations and also the subject of a boycott by listeners and advertisers. 

   I know you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.  I’ve taken the unpopular positions.  But I try use common sense when I do.  Just because someone who has a lot of hurt in their heart and wants to spread it around is also a member of a group or movement doesn’t mean that the whole group is intolerant.  There is too much love and caring in the members of the #ME TOO movement for me to believe they will act like bullies and terrorists simply because a radio station plays a popular 60 year-old song.  No, I don’t believe that any more than I believe that all Republicans support our president or that all Democrats hate Mr. Trump.  It’s just not reality.  One member does not a movement make.  But it was one person who told the radio station they would bring the wrath of the entire movement down upon the station that bullied the station into that regrettable decision and caused them to become a laughing stock of the industry. 

   I think we’re too ready to over-react to intolerance, folks, I really do.  Yes, there’s always going to be someone who wants to bully others into doing something.  But that’s not everybody, and I can’t believe a group of caring people will allow one person to make them do things which is out of character and against their better judgement.

   I am quite content to refrain from judging others and to hire professionals to do the judging which must be done for me in this life.  In the next life, it’s not even my decision.  And, for my activist friends who just aren’t happy unless they are making someone else unhappy………I wish you peace.


 --That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 Thanks for reading.  And thank you for remembering The Milk Fund.










Dave Richards for December 4th...........

Dave Richards for December 4th…………….


--From our Public Service Department, The 2018 Milk Fund Appeal is well under way.  In addition to our daily radio auctions, this Friday the folks at The Cercle Laurier Club on East School Street are holding a good old-fashioned Beer & Dynamite Fundraiser from 6pm to 9pm.  There’ll be music and games and plenty friends there as in the past.  Gary Lapierre and Steve Aucoin are in charge, and you can call 401-230-9880 for tickets.


--Nobody is 100% perfect.  That is a well and universally accepted fact.  But some come closer than others.  Let’s face it, if you show up and do your best work every day you will succeed most of the time, but once in a while, no matter how good and no matter how well-meaning you are, things will go wrong or you’ll be surprised by a circumstance.  Or you’ll take on a big project and no matter how convinced you are it will work out as you planned, life will step in and you will fail. 

  Of course, we all know that the most important thing then is what you do next.  If you are an exceptional person you will bind your proverbial wounds and move on to win another day.  I admire men like that. 

  President George H.W. Bush was such a man.  To see the outpouring of respect and affection he has received since leaving office, and now at the time of his death tells you that though he was a man and was not perfect……..he came admirably close.  Close enough to win the respect of the majority of the people.  Of course, it is customary for people to say complimentary things when someone dies.  But the genuineness of this affection we are seeing for Mr. Bush is uncommon, and I think deservedly so.


--I am lucky to know others who, although not as accomplished as the former president, go about their lives with a quiet and sincere dedication to doing their best every day.  These people earn the admiration of those around them.  One of these people is R. I. Senator Marc Cote.  In less than a month Marc will be replaced in his senate seat by Woonsocket City Councilor Mellissa Murray, who will be replaced in her council seat by her successor at the Woonsocket Inauguration Ceremonies tonight at the Stadium Theatre.  All are invited.    

  Marc decided it was time to step down earlier this year.  But his sense of community pride and spirit has never dipped, not one bit.  Marc wasn’t compelled to leave political life.  He just thought it was time to pass the torch on to someone else and he has done so, very much like he has done everything else.  Deliberately.  Quietly.  And with good humor.  A successful man and a man to be admired, I say.  And I wish him many more years of success.  


--Another man who is going about his business quietly is Bob Billington, President of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.  Now, I’ve known Bob for probably 30 plus years.  I am frequently amazed at the projects he’s been able to organize and make work.  I remember how nuts I thought he was when he sold me a golden hammer pin to help fund a passenger boat for use on the Blackstone River.  You must remember that when I grew up, you could find the river with your nose sometimes. 

  The Blackstone Valley Explorer river boat was just the beginning, of course and that was 25 years ago.  Then there was the Samuel Slater Bed and Breakfast river boat.  And then there was this movie called The Polar Express which Warner Brothers made about the book written by Bob’s friend Chris Von Allsburg.  Bob said he’d like to take a real train and tell the story as it rode along real railroad tracks in the Blackstone Valley.  He said people would come from far and wide to ride such a train. 

  Of course, by this time I had learned not to doubt any idea that Bob Billington embraced, and, sure enough, The Polar Express Train Ride has taken its place next to Autumnfest as one of Woonsocket’s largest and most successful tourism events each year. 

  Bob was short-handed this past weekend as a mutual friend who is a regular cast member was away on travel, so I was asked to fill in.  Let me tell you, friend, I have always admired what Bob Billington can do when he engages the enthusiasm of others in a project.  But after seeing seven Polar Express train trips, each averaging nearly 400 passengers, the term “admiration” is no longer adequate.  I am in awe.

  The sheer scope of staging a production with hundreds of volunteers, including elves dancing under a huge Christmas tree at the “North Pole”, and the sheer expense of hiring an honest-to-goodness locomotive, to say nothing of the licensing of the movie’s musical recordings and all the rights fees WB requires would make a lesser man blanch.  But Bob does it, every weekend each November and December, adding at least one “something new” to the show each year.  So, if you haven’t taken the ride recently, you really need to go again.

  I have said many times that making good memories is the most important work of life, because when we die the good memories live on and are all that’s left of us in the end.  The good memories and happy faces I saw last weekend at Woonsocket’s Historic Train Station will live on for generations.


--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 


Thanks for reading.  And thank you for remembering The Milk Fund.