Sunday, February 10, 2008

Going Underground

I have no clue how to post this today, so I'm just gonna do it. Please bear with me on this. The payoff is the incriminating photo below. Don't EVEN look at it until you read what I have to say.

On Wednesday, I got an emaill from my good freind Bob Ruggerio, who's a freelance writer outside of Austin, Texas. We've been up and down the road for a long time and keep in touch as often as possibe. However, the headline for the email stated,"Underground Savannah DVD series ships next week!" The inside read,"HOLY SHIT! You will not believe seeing this stuff again! I was instantly 15 years younger!!!! The sets should be ready to mail on Monday or Tuesday."

I very quietly had an anxiety attack from there.

From 1990 to 1996, I created, hosted, wrote for, directed, produced, and sometimes catered what would be the most strangest time in my life, a cable access show called "Underground Savannah". There was music, cartoons, and comedy. Mind you I never said it was good comedy, but it was something to do on the air for thirty minutes a week.

There were many folks involved to help me put together this madness. Folks like Bob Ruggerio, Andy Pena, Jeff McDermott, Kenny Jenkins, Bob Wiley, Joe Kleon, Brad Tatum, Ray Ranson, Beth Proctor, LaShawn Stevens (R.I.P.), among others who came in a lent a hand or two. Sometimes a bady part if the script called for it.

Some of the things I can recall from the show were sketches like, "Cape Pooler" (based on "Cape Fear"), "Abbott & Costello Meet Jesus Christ", "Papa Pope's Pawn Shop", "Manly Mayonaise", "Geriactric Park" and the time we had the first female mayor of Savannah, Susan V. Wiener, assasinated by a spitball. We called it "S.V.W." based on Oliver Stone's "J.F.K.". I think we were funnier by a hair.

I was even beaten up by a wrestler on the air and had a 12 year old kid roundhouse kick me in the face and I lost two teeth afterwards. It's all true.

There was so much that happened to me during that time that it is all a blur. I was married then, I was a great job programming my first real radio station and the show was a local, if secret hit from all the complaints from viewers wtith ten cats and no life saying that how dare we mock the fair city of Savannah and it's people. We should not make fun of a person like Ricky Givens, even though he was a drug kingpin in the town at the time allegedy and that he did not get his start as a candy runner on his school playground as a kid. By the way, I played Lil' Ricky Givens, King of The Schoolyard.

If I did leave one name out of those I gave, it's because his was the most important next to mine on the credits. Ronnie Faust was the Co-executive producer, technical director, writer, and man responsibe for keepking me and eveyrone else in line. Actually, he made sure I never climbed the walls during a taping. Still, we all called him "Akira" for his directing skills even though he had never worked in television like the rest of the before. He would wind up even directing the News on WSAV in town for a bit. He was and is my bestest, BESTEST friend in the world and I love that guy like my brother. After all, only brothers would put up with the stuff we did on the show.

I'm kinda writing this with a few tears in my eyes because it was a great time that I know will never happen again. We were a local force that would not be waivered and we were damn proud of it and damn proud of the team I got to work with. I knew and I suspect the others knew that what we had on the air wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but we were doing it and no one else has been able or has been able to do it since. If I die tomorrow, I know I left my mark in the city of Savannah and it is a big black treamark of donuts and smoke.

One more thing. I got this email from Beth just this morning, which promted me to write this post...

Then the letter stated, "Thought you would get a giggle out of it. :) Believe it or not, I finally got the disk ready. I'll get it out this week along with the pictures."

Satchel Paige be dammed. This is not over, reader. I promise.

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