A What from a Long-Ago When

My father, bless him, was cleaning files out of an an old computer (“my father was de-filing an old computer” sounds perverted and gross), and he found a file called “Tom’s Writings.”

In those “Tom’s Writings” days–long before I began my real blogging career at Vox–basically I’d get completely munted and write an e-mail which I’d send to a large number of people. I was sorta-blogging, but not quite. There was no home port, like Vox or WordPress, and no permanent record. I wrote a bunch of stuff that I have no copies of.  Nothing. Nada. Some of those things were brilliant; most were shite. That’s how it worked with my email list back then. If you deleted the email, it was gone. If you forwarded it?

Some of them were forwarded around the world, especially following 9/11, and I received positive and negative replies from people in countries I’d never heard of. I acted like I wasn’t happy about people forwarding my emails, but you know damned well I did. “Can you believe Edie forwarded that email to her friend in Ireland? What was she thinking??”

Today, I have people I love all over the world, people who are even living in a world that is not their own. I know that one of the most beautiful songs ever was written and sung in Tagalog, and I followed Cori and Ryan on their incredible seven-month interplanetary honeymoon. (I don’t think I mentioned that I really hurt my back, and was given really good, enjoyable meds (which have been gone for over a week…blech))

Ironically, the benefit of this email my dad found is that you can see how I wrote when I drank. Out of all these kabillion posts I’ve written on WP or Vox, I’ve had a 0.0 blood alcohol level. I can’t say that my brain was always chemical free. When I wrote  from my hospital bed, I was connected to a Dilaudid pump, and there were a few times since where I’ve been on one pain med or another, and who, among my long time friends, can forget my occasional NyQuil posts (okay, maybe I got up to a .000001 BAC from the NyQuil)? Plus, sweet Jesus, I’m on a lot of psych meds now, and even writing this stupid paragraph has damn about drained everything out of me. So, herewith, is a sample of what your narrator was doing back around the turn of the millennium. I take credit for all the good parts–and I was one of the correct
“The New Millenium begins at a second past midnight on 01/01/01” people)–and blame Larry effin King for everything wrong. 😉 Happy Thursday: 


Subj:      Happy New Year from the Tom Zone

Date:      1/1/00 11:18:08 PM Eastern Standard Time

From:     tsanche1@123456789.com (Tom Sanchez)

To:          tomzone@987654321.com (tom sanchez)


I’ve spent much of my New Millennium’s Eve driving around the Tampa Bay


listening to “The Larry King Show Millennium Special,” featuring interviews

from King’s radio show on Mutual.  As it happens, I used to run “The Larry

King Show” at a tiny Mutual affiliate in Sarasota, WKXY.  On radio, Larry

King was a great interviewer, and the guest list on this special read like a

who’s who of the Twentieth Century: Sinatra, Henny Youngman, Jonathan

Winters, John Erlichman, Presidents Carter, Bush, and Clinton.  The list

goes on.


Larry King missed one of the greats.


In this week’s National “Enquirer,” there’s an article about Grover

Washington, Jr, entitled “Jazz Great’s Amazing Legacy of Love.”  The theme

of the article is that Grover–who passed away two weeks ago–was one of the

nicest people ever to walk the earth, and that he was about to celebrate his

33rd wedding anniversary.


Happily, I had the opportunity to hang-out with Grover one Sunday afternoon.

He was, indeed, the nicest guy on earth: gracious, kind, modest, funny.  Not

only is Grover’s “Winelight” my all-time favorite jazz album, he turned out

to be every bit the cool guy I’d hoped he’d be.


Hearing all of Larry King’s interviews, combined with losing Grover, led me

to think about my career in radio.  I’ve had the opportunity to interview

some pretty incredible people along my ride.  Maybe you recognize some of

the names: The Beach Boys, Dion, Little Richard, Garry Shandling, Richard

Jeni, Al Stewart, Len Dawson, Joe Theisman, Newt Gingrich’s mom, Peter

Noone, Bobby “The Tenor in the Righteous Brothers” Hatfield, Tommy James of

the Shondells, and zillions of Smooth Jazz artists.  I’ve spent three hours

producing a show with Dick Clark, and I’ve served Paula Zahn lasagna (which

she SORELY needed!).  I even asked Art Garfunkel about NAFTA, during an

hour-long interview that was only supposed to last five minutes.


Thinking about all those opportunities made me realize how fortunate and

blessed I’ve been to have this career.  It also made me realize how sad a

year this was for our industry in this market.  I’ve seen some very good

friends lose their jobs, just in the name of “the bottom line.”  Big

corporations have eaten these poor folks alive.


I thank God CBS picked up my station, for we’ve suffered no losses.


That said, I’d like to grant you one blessing for the New Millennium! I

understand that it’s not my place to confer blessings, but I think God would

allow me this one, for I shall try and live by it: Anything bad that

happened to you last millennium?


Let go of it! It was last millennium!


For example, if your cholesterol is too high? Don’t beat yourself up for all

the country-fried steak you’ve eaten in your life, for they were in the last

millennium! THIS millennium, eat more wisely.


If you’ve suffered through bad relationships? LET THEM GO! Those pains

occurred in the last millennium! THIS millennium, work harder on your

relationships so that they may prove to be relatively painless.


If you messed around and never accomplished your dreams? Relax! That failure

was last millennium!! THIS millennium, work to achieve them!


If you were aloof and distant, and you didn’t spend enough time with your

friends and relatives? Abandon any guilt you might feel, for you have a

phone here, today, in THIS millennium! USE IT!


If you have gotten out of shape? Don’t sit around worrying about it.  Go out

and take a walk, here through THIS millennium!


It was cool to hear all those Larry King interviews on New Millennium Eve,

for it showed how many things we’ve endured.  But what’s more important is

that we are all here NOW! And it’s a new millennium!


Everything that has gone wrong in your life, my friend, was last millennium!

LET THEM ALL GO! And may we all work to improve our lives THIS millennium!

It’s a fresh start; let’s take advantage of it.




4 Responses to “A What from a Long-Ago When”

  1. You have done some incredible things, Tom!

  2. I wish I had archived more of my thoughts — or thoughtlessness — from the past. I would love to see how the world — and my skewed view of it, has changed.

    Sadly, you know, since we count one-to-ten, not zero-to-nine, the new Millennium started in 2001. But that’s cool.

  3. I think you write better without the demon rum. Or at least more interestingly, which is the same.

  4. Kudos to your father for saving your writings. Back in the prehistoric times (Before Internet) I used to keep a journal in spiral notebooks, from the time I was in junior high school through college. Eventually someone threw them away after I moved out of the house: I’m kind of glad, since I was profoundly depressed back in those days, and my moods went from grandiose Rebel Without a Cause to O Why Me? Still, I sometimes want to see that strange creature that was me, morose, rebellious, angry, but weepy and weird too.

    You know, you could edit some of your past writing so that they flow together as a stream of consciousness story. That would make a great novel!

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