In Sunday's Gasoline Alley comic strip Skeezix finds an antique radio in the attic and begins to reminisce about old radio shows. As he does visions of the old characters, Jack Benny, The Shadow, Ma Perkins, The Lone Ranger, Amos N' Andy and, I think, Fibber McGee and Molly float in the background.
Interestingly, Amos N' Andy look just like their television counterparts, but the two characters who portrayed them on the radio were both white. On the other hand, the guy playing the Lone Ranger on the radio probably wasn't wearing a cowboy hat and a mask.
Showing my age, when I was going to grade-school I used to run home for lunch so I could listen to Ma Perkins every day. And listening to Inner Sanctum in the evening with my dad was an early treat as well. Oh, and Bobby Benson and the B Bar B Riders was another favorite. I had a Bobby Benson alarm clock with little Bobby Benson riding a horse that rocked back and forth as the seconds were ticking off.
Ah, how many miles Bobby must have ridden to get me to where I am today.
Also in Sunday's Daily News, Errol Louis wrote a column about Dr. Laura's outburst on her radio show. He compared her to others such as Michael Richards, Don Imus and Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder all of whom he said also "blurted out offensive words before a nation."
I take strong exception to Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder being included in this group. Here is what Snyder said while being video-taped by a reporter for WRC-TV as he was eating lunch in a restaurant:
"The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way — because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. This goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trading, the owner — the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid."
Now that may have been inappropriate, but it can hardly be considered blurting out offensive words before a nation. He didn't use any racial epithets, nor was he really saying anything particularly disparaging. It was WRC who chose to show the video-tape on Martin Luther King's birthday during a piece on blacks' progress in society, making the proverbial mountain out of what was, indeed, a molehill.
I think Mr. Louis owes the late Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos, aka Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, an apology.