How to Go?
What: 5k for Kelli Run/Walk
When: August 18, 2018 at 9am
How to Go?
What: 5k for Kelli Run/Walk
When: August 18, 2018 at 9am
On September 21, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Hearing the words, ‘cancer’ felt so terminal. Teresa and I were shocked, terrified and overwhelmed. So let me step back a few weeks before continuing.
Annual physicals are no fun. My annual physical has been in July for several years. It would start with a blood test, and then a visit with the doctor a couple weeks later. July 2017 was no different. At the appropriate time during the physical, the doctor became by best buddy, but this time was different. He had a very serious and preplexed look on his face. He said, “Your prostate has a different texture and does not feel the same”.
That alone may not have been reason for concern, but he noticed that my PSA results had jumped from the normal 1.6 – 1.8 to 3.6. We talked about waiting for a few months, or taking additional steps immediately. In the end, he suggested I see a urologist right away.
It took nearly a month. I meet with a urologist in August. He took my history and then did an exam. He said it was nothing to worry about yet, but that it was not normal. He said it could be a calcium deposit, but he would do an ultrasound and then if necessary a biopsy at our next visit.
Grab lunch, dinner, or a snack at Piada Centerville (1047 Miamisburg Centerville Rd, Washington Township, OH 45459) and mention “Free to Breathe” to the cashier on anytime on Wednesday, October 11, and the restaurant will donate 50% of the sale to Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fighting to double lung cancer survival by 2022.
Did you know lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined?!? Join us for a great meal and be Free to Breathe for those who can’t.
A poker run is coming of Epic proportions. Yes, it is true….
We are calling all local bikers and motorcyle enthusiasts. Here is an excuse for you to put the rubber to the road.
It is called the SUBMARINE HOUSE POKER RUN and proceeds go to the Pink Ribbon Girls whose mission statement is “No one travels this road alone.”
WHY: BENEFITTING PINK RIBBON GIRLS
WHEN: SATURDAY AUGUST 19th
WHERE: You can start at any Submarine House location
The Submarine House poker run – 5 locations
Vandalia Submarine House-
8807 N Dixie Dr, Dayton, OH 45414
Troy Submarine House-
14 N Market St, Troy, OH 45373
Beavercreek Submarine House-
3195 Dayton Xenia Rd, Beavercreek, OH 45434
Centerville Submarine House-
503 Miamisburg Centerville Rd, Washington Township, OH 45459
Huber Heights Submarine House-
5376 Taylorsville Rd, Huber Heights, OH 45424
Check in 11am , so register where you would like to start
Ride goes noon – 4pm
COST: $15 per bike, or $20 if you have a passenger
AFTER PARTY: 6pm at Centerville Location for prizes and raffles
503 Miaimisburg Centerville Rd.
Featuring BEER TENT:
LIVE BAND 7-9pm “The Carli Short Band”
Big Ticket raffle, you do not have to be present to win the Stella Artois Popcorn Maker
Restaurants will be open for drinks and food inside as regular business days for those not in the poker run , who want to to come watch the event and support Pink Ribbon Girls.
50/50 all day ticket sales – winner picked Saturday approx. 6:30pm all tickets will be brought to the Centerville location for the big drawing of 50/50! MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN THE
HOW TO REGISTER:
You have to register in person only.
So make sure you get to your local Submarine House and sign up for this event. Payment is due upon registration. You can register up to the day of the event, August 19th.
Please support this cause, we are looking to draw a huge crowd of bikes.
What better way to support charity than with a nice bike ride around town, ending with some good eats?
SUBMARINE HOUSE HAS TEMPORALITY EXPANDED THEIR MENU with a “Limited Time” insert with new dishes. Some of those are …
Pecan Chicken Salad
Here is a story you won’t soon forget. This is Steve Milano aka The Big Ragu. Typically I write about local restaurants and local eats. No Food Adventures today. Today, instead we give you some food for thought.
While most people are making plans and new year’s promises, others are making very simple ones. Their new year’s resolutions are to continue the fight, to live, to survive. This article is not only about a lifelong Dayton resident, it is about every person right now who is in a life and death battle with an illness. It is a lesson for all of us to remember.
Flashback 30 years ago, to August, 1987. The Centerville football team locker room empties as the players trot down the gravel to the practice field. It has been a long 8 months of weight lifting and conditioning. The original crowd in January of 100 perspective players has dwindled down to about 50. The ones who are left are preparing for their first game. One of those who persevered is a sophomore named Craig Jolly. Craig was strong, and motivated. Even then he was a fighter and a survivor in every sense of the word. I know. I was a senior playing offensive line too, and he was right there every practice, every step of the way.
Today, Craig has a family. He has a local home with his wife Kim and two young daughters. Unfortunately, Craig has something else. He has a battle to fight. But that is ok, because to his family, he is Superman. On July 14th, 2016 Craig was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblostoma tumor, the most deadly and aggressive form of brain cancer there is. He was told then that the median life expectancy was 16 months.
Ironically this being the holiday season, jolly is a word used quite often in songs, holiday movies and tv shows. Their whole life, they lived with this name, Jolly. They are straining to hold onto that faith and their namesake.
His sister, Heather summed up the situation best on his DONATION PAGE:
Craig doesn’t live like he is dying. Craig lives like he is living.
And he always has. My brother has an enthusiasm for life, like I’ve never known. He effortlessly fills a room. He’s not just a piece of a part, he’s the whole show. He tells the jokes, and then he laughs at them too. And once you’ve heard his laugh you’ll remember it all your life. It bounces off walls and echoes down halls and it is unbelievably and undeniably infectious.
Craig isn’t just living, Craig is life.
He is the pulse of our family. The heartbeat of our home. And the first love of my life.
I have watched Craig fight, everyday these last 5 months. Everyday he fights. But he’s not just fighting cancer he’s fighting all the sadness and headache that comes with its demons.
That come with dying. But you’d never know. If he gets down, he gets back up.
Every. Single. Day. He fights.
He fights for happiness, for love and for joy. He fights for laughing and smiling and living out loud. He fights for Kim and for Evan and for Anne.
And everyday he wins.
I will be in awe of his strength, determination, and optimism for the rest of my life. I will be devoted, admire and respect him, for the rest his.
Craig has decided not return to work. His wife Kim has taken an immediate indefinite leave of absence from her work to devote herself to his round the clock care. They have spent money investigating countless studies, trials and equipment in pursuit of any glimpse of hope. But it doesn’t matter. Their commitment to each other is endless. .
Craig’s sister Heather describes Kim and Craig’s interaction:
Kim’s look is one of unconditional, unwavering, endless love. She has been our rock. Craig’s is one of a man completely still smitten, 20 years later. I see gratitude in his embrace and the hardest part is, I see an apology in his eyes.
I’m sorry we didn’t get forever. I’m sorry you’ll raise our children alone.
A PLAN OF ATTACK:
Heather goes on to explain that in late November/early December, doctors learned that Craig’s tumor despite being cut out, despite being radiated, despite being starved with a ketogenic diet, despite being poisoned with chemotherapy, is back, and has very aggressively grown and spread throughout his brain. But here’s the thing, you’d never know that either. Craig’s entire brain is swollen, shifted past midline, and infected with tumor. And yet he’s still just laughing, loving, living Craig. Is it sheer willpower? Or is it a miracle?
Surgery: Craig had decided to go forward on December 29th, with a very involved tenuous second craniotomy where they will remove all areas of tumor, a significant part of his brain and then inject a trial vaccine into the cavity to try to eradicate it. Craig fully understood the risks and possible outcomes. But you see, Craig is a fighter. He wants to go down swinging.
He wants to live life… living, as his family says.
Craig knew that regardless of the outcome, the knowledge gained from this trial will eventually help others.
The family asked Craig the week of his diagnosis 5 months ago if his sister could make him a “Go Fund Me” page, knowing very well
the catastrophic cost that come with terminal diagnosis’s. His pride just smiled, shook his head and declined.
“We’re okay he said, we don’t need it now.”
This time Heather didn’t ask him. This time she is asking anyone to help. He needs it now.
Heather wanted to raise money so Craig could enjoy these moments free of financial worry. So he can have some relief to spend time with his family stress free. So he can continue to spend his time living his life living, for all the days of his life.
Heather writes: “And I would be absolutely grateful beyond measure, if you would help me. #oursuperman”
UPDATE DECEMBER 28th – THE POWER OF POSITIVITY, PERSEVERANCE and PRAYER:
The family has been holding onto hope this holiday season. Again, Craig’s little sister writes on her Facebook page:
“Hope has been a word that’s hard to get close to these days. Hope has an electric fence wrapped and entangled around it; you can only get shocked by it so many times before you stop trying to get near it. There’s been so many times along this journey that we’ve gotten too close to Hope only to be jolted, thrown back in the air, and dropped to the ground.
But that wasn’t today. Today Hope knocked one out of the park.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” Not exactly the words you expect to hear from your neurosurgeon the night before brain surgery. My pre-operative MRI was significantly improved to the point that he had to double-check to be sure it was still mine. Mid-line shift was gone, swelling was down, and new lesions are now imperceptible. The main tumor that was 5.7 (and too large for me to qualify for the Tocogen trial) was now at 4.3cm. They’ve already submitted paperwork to see if I can re-qualify for the Toca trial, but for now we are standing down – no surgery tomorrow!!
And. . . exhale. This punctuates a couple day stretch where both car
batteries died, our dishwasher and sink broke, our basement flooded and we had to rush to the hospital to get a platelet draw again to see if I could even do surgery. Seriously, what a roller coaster.I’m gonna curl up in a warm bed and sleep well tonight. Or maybe now. Now feels good. . . “
It is great news heading into the new year and we wish Craig continued improvements. We hope this story is an inspiration and lesson to many. Please note as you ring in the new year. Some have resolutions that may be way different than yours. Take a lesson from perseverance and never giving up.
We wish a fantastic new year to Craig and his family and everyone who took time to read this article.
In 2017, you never know who will step out and be a superhero, but the Jolly family definitely has a #Superman.
If you would like to help donate to Craig’s cause, click the Go fund me links above or go to his Caring Bridge site HERE.
Local artist Tom Watson III has experienced more in all his years than most people will live in a lifetime. Tom is a stroke survivor, a cancer survivor and a man who keeps fighting to live a full life. Food Adventures recently sat down with Tom at Christopher’s in Kettering, a restaurant that is showcasing his art through July 30th.
Christopher’s Art Show Closing Reception and live painting session is Saturday, July 30, from 2:30 to 4:30pm.
Tom’s paintings adorn the walls of the far dining room, and if you didnt know better, you would think the place was purposely decorated that way. His art blends well with the warm scene at Christopher’s Restaurant. Tom explained the toll that having a stroke has taken on his life, and how art and painting, helped him rehabilitate in so many ways. With a lovely wife and 2 healthy, happy boys, he has so much to live for, and has accompished so much.
HERE’S THE SKINNY on LOCAL ARTIST TOM WATSON III:
— In the 90’s Tom had recently graduated high school. He became a fixture on the local art and music scene. He was known around Dayton as a scenester and a zinester. As the millenium passed he concentrated on college.
— March 17th, 2005 – Tom Watson’s life changes forever as he suffers a brain-stem embolism, a severe stroke, while in class at the University of Dayton. He was 34 years old.
Against the odds, he survived the stroke, but he had to learn to walk and write again.
— Tom Watson III used art to fuel his recovery. In the coming years, his strength returns and his motor skills improve and he graduates college. His art is well received and his story hits local media outlets. His art was featured at Ha Ha Pizza, where Big Ragu did a Food Adventure with Tom. His art was also displayed at Emporium Wines in Yellow Springs, and the Dayton Art Institute as well as others. Many of his paintings of this era feature a prominent artery map of his stroke, taken from an x-ray.
— In 2011, Tom was awarded the first annual RAISE Award from the National Stroke Association. The RAISE Awards highlight individuals and groups who have impacted the lives of others through stroke advocacy and education. He was presented the award by iconic 70’s celebrity, Henry Winkler, who played “the Fonz” on the “Happy Days” TV Show. “Fonz” has a painting of tom’s that hangs in his home ’til this day.
— Things were looking up for Tom, he now had 2 sons and his health had improved tremendously. As fate would have it, on Valentines Day 2014, he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. He went forward with aggressive treatment. After some surgeries, he is currently cancer free.
— Saturday July 30, 2016 – 2:30 to 4:30pm Tom will be be at Christopher’s Restaurant in person making some more of his unique paintings. Here’s more info on this event.
As we sat there having lunch with Tom, we talked about everything from the local music of Boxcar Suite to the favorite restaurants of Dayton. We talked about his art, about how depressed his stroke and cancer had him. He talked about his beautiful painting “The Vagueness of Youth,” explaining, we all dont know who we are yet at that young point in our lives.
Tom has come full circle. These days he is very pensive and thoughtful. He appreciates
life. He knows what is means to stare death in the face. It has given him a new appreciation on everything. He is grateful for friends and family. He is thankful for his health. He even told us about how he is a true foodie and just appreciates good food. Tom gifted us a piece of his artwork, and the Food Adventures crew will display it proudly at home.
Tom’s story is a tale of perseverance. It is the story of succeeding in life, the will to live and what to learn from life’s experiences. His art was the tool that brought him back from the brink. It is a story of an artist, but it is really the story of a rugged survivor.
VISIT CHRISTOPHER’S FOR GREAT FOOD, MEET TOM WATSON, and HIS ART – restaurant is at the corner of Woodman and Dorothy Lane.
MUST EATS at CHRISTOPHERS:
— MEAT CHILI: Always a top vote getter at the local chili cook offs, this version is insanely god when served with onions, sour cream and cheese.
— MUSHROOM BISQUE: You have never had something so creamy and good. Be a fun guy, and try the fungi.
— THE GROUND BEEF BURGER : Local meat is the secret and so is the grain bun. Get
cheese and all the trimmings. See why this made the list of one of the top burgers in Dayton.
— BUFFALO CHICKEN SOUP: Phenomenal homemade soup with a kick better than Pelé. Eat some and become a Buffalo Soldier like The Big Ragu.
— RASPBERRY PIE: With 2 bakers on staff you know their desserts are stellar. This pie tops the list!
— CARROT CAKE: Some say it is the best in the world….. we think they may have a point !
— BREAKFAST: We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the entire breakfast menu is a must eat at Christopher’s. Butter Pecan Pancakes will start you in the right direction. … and they serve breakfast every day until 1pm
Want a fresh serving of foodie fun every day? Then click here and join the thousands of Dayton area foodies that follow Food Adventures on Facebook! The Big Ragu, Hungry Jax and Chef House will see you at the restaurants !
My story so far has been one of survival and struggle… one of love and pain… one of family and emptiness… my story so far is only that- a story. When I tell it, it feels like I am telling it about someone else. The only part that has always felt real was the destruction and deconstruction of the life I knew and the person I was. Survival is only half the battle.
I battled Stage IV NHL for 6 months through 6 rounds of chemo and 3 rounds of a clinical trial. As the cancer waged a war on my body and the medicine waged a war on my cancer, my soul was caught in the crossfire. Within months of being diagnosed, 3 other people (friends & acquaintances) around my age were also fighting cancer. Today, I am the only one still alive. It is this that has immobilized me, frozen me in a state of oblivion. I am not driven. I stopped dreaming. I have become so painfully aware that I was not the one worth saving, and it hurts me every day.
But here I am now, with this opportunity for redemption. With this chance to earn the wonderful things people have said about me and be as strong as they think I am… and to believe for the first time that maybe my purpose in this world is one worthy of a second chance.
I am not the “woman of the year”, but perhaps I could be.
It wasn’t until 2013, after I recovered from my last of 10+ post-cancer surgeries to repair a bile duct in my chest that had been crushed by a tumor, that the hardest part of my journey began. The people around me couldn’t understand why I was unable to function now that I was “better”. How could I be so strong for those brutal two years only to fall apart now? How could I be so sad when I had every reason to be happy? I was broken. I was drained.
In 2015, some might say that I found myself again, but that wasn’t the case at all. I was finally able to put together the remnants of my world crashing down and create something new. As I look ahead , I am anxious and excited for what’s to come- it’s been years since I could say that. Maybe this is my year- my year to stop being all talk- my year to fall in love with the world again- my year to dream and achieve- my year to make a difference and earn this second life I have been given that so many others were not.
I say that I am grateful all the time- for the support, the love, the medicine. But when I look into my 3 year old nephews eyes and think about how close I came to never knowing him, I feel like the luckiest person on the planet. I hope what we are doing here will allow so many others to feel that same way.
I am not the “woman of the year”, but perhaps I could be.
If you’d like to help Robyn in her run for Woman of the Year, you can donate now
Even pacifists agree that cancer needs its butt kicked. More and more people realize how cancer affects family members, friends, co-workers etc. It’s hard to find someone that cancer hasn’t touched in one way or another. So we are asking you to help us Pick a Fight with Cancer.
This Thursday, May 5th at the Engineers Club of Dayton, Mike Nichols will be hosting the Pick a Fight with Cancer Wine tasting from 6 – 9 pm.
This great event is to celebrate those who have survived cancer, those angels cheering on from heaven and to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Mike Nichols states: “Wine tasting event honoring the FIGHTERS. What better venue to lead the charge to support blood cancer research than the historic Engineers Club of Dayton. This historic venue was founded by innovators such as Edward Deeds and Charles Kettering whose inventions changed our world. We ask you to join us for an evening of hope to help render this disease powerless. With every sunrise there is hope and a world of possibilities.”
Along with food and delicious wines to sample, craft beer will also join the party. Giveaways and auction items will attend as well to help round out this wonderful soirée. Dr. James Budde from the Rahn Dental Group has provided a zoom whitening gift for one of our attendees. Square One Salon has graciously donated an Aveda Gift basket, Elsa’s South will provide several treats, dance lessons from Arthur Murray, skin creams from Tel Aviv, Israel and gifts from Rodin and Fields have been donated as well.
Tickets are available at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pick-a-fight-with-cancer-tickets-22797351492 or if you would rather pay at the door, tickets are $30 for one person or $50 for couple (couple meaning significant other, family member or bring a friend!)
So come out, join us and the FIGHTERS as we celebrate their triumphs and lend our support in picking a fight with cancer!
Some Food Adventures are inspiring. Take the case of local artist, scenester and zinester, Tom Watson III. In March 2005, he survived a brain stem stroke. What did he do next? He used art to recover his motor skills and heal his mind. Today some of his collection adorns the walls of Ha Ha Pizza in Yellow Springs for a limited art showing. Tom’s art show, titled “Entropy & Reclamation” will be running though March 2014. The event is named for his initial decay and chaos from the stroke, and his eventual reclaiming of a normal life.
We have actually eaten with Tom at HaHa Pizza a couple of times, since his first art show in 2007. We will get into the pizza in a bit, but first some history.
Tom’s story is one of overcoming obstacles, and never giving up. Since his stroke, his life has changed. He used the artwork not only to recover, he finished his degree, he married a loving wife, and has two wonderful sons. Again, an inspiration and not bad for someone who wasn’t expected to live through the massive stroke. He not only lived, he turned the entire ordeal into a learning experience. He tackled his nightmare head-on, using scans of his brain stroke in many of his paintings.
Tom exhibits his art locally from time to time but in 2011, it received NATIONAL attention, when Tom was awarded the first annual RAISE Award from the National Stroke Association. Watson received the Outstanding Individual Award in recognition of his efforts to advocate for stroke awareness and prevention through his artwork. The awards ceremony was held at the Denver Natural History museum in Denver, Colorado, and Watson was honored with the award by Henry “The Fonz” Winkler of Happy Days fame.
Tom’s art is unique and takes you through his mind and recovery. We asked why he uses cardboard instead of canvas for his paintings. His answer was that it all about recycling. Tom had to learn how to recycle certain uses of his brain and muscles, so the cardboard is a message passed down from his struggle. Today, Tom announced he is facing another hardship, as he was diagnosed with cancer in his tongue. With his positive attitude, he is certain to conquer this challenge as well.
So if you want to support an incredible story of a local man beating the odds, please take some time to visit Ha Ha Pizza this Friday or visit TOM’S WEBSITE HERE. You may find a piece you like. It is more than art, it is a symbol of perseverance.
WHAT: Art Reception Event “Entropy & Reclamation” at Ha Ha Pizza at 108 Xenia Ave in Yellow Springs
WHEN: Feb 21st, 5:30pm – 10pm
WHY: Showcasing local artist and stroke survivor Tom Watson’s artwork.
MORE INFO: http://www.facebook.com/tomwatson3rd.art
UPCOMING ART: Tom will also be the featured artist for April 2014 at North South Studios in Wilmington, Ohio.
Want to support Tom? Then check out the art show or buy some hand-printed, silk-screened T-shirts, available at Urban Handmade store in downtown Yellow Springs.
Now about our FOOD ADVENTURES to HA HA PIZZA with Mr Watson…………
******HA HA PIZZA******
HERE’S THE SKINNY:
— Iconic pizza joint located in Yellow Springs since 1971
— An Urban Legend says the name “Ha Ha” Pizza came from the sprinkling of a certain wacky weed on the pizza and the effects on customers. Other rumors swirl about “magic mushrooms” being used on 70’s pizzas.
— All pizza dough is made daily from scratch. Crusts choices include a Whole Wheat Crust option or a Traditional Flour Crust in 9 inch, 12 inch or 16 inch pies
— Causal atmosphere, also offering Calzones, Subs and a Full Salad Bar
— THE SALAD BAR: We recommend the one trip salad bar deal, it will fill you up for sure ! No iceberg lettuce here, just some fresh Romaine Greens. Grab some of the many toppings including Tofu and Garbonzo Beans ! Ohh did we mention incredible in-house dressings too ??? Yeah … they got that.
— THE LUNCH SPECIAL: Your choice of a slice of pizza with 2 toppings and one trip to the salad bar for $5.99. Tasty and filling!
— THE EGGPLANT SUB: Perfectly broiled slices of Eggplant, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Ha Ha pizza sauce. Served with Mikesells Groovy chips, how appropriate !
— THE FALAFEL CALZONE:An interesting Garbonzo Bean mix, with green peppers, onions, HaHa Pizza Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. This has to be a one of a kind, right?
— ARTICHOKE, SPINACH, PESTO, GARLIC and TURKEY SAUSAGE PIZZA: Want to try a delicious flavor combo? Try these 5 toppings on your pizza pie.
The bottom line, is this place is not a legend for nothing. Want a real Food Adventure? Try unique topping choices like bananas, water chestnuts, zucchini and falafel.
The Big Ragu and Crew are gonna try an anchovy and smoked oyster topping pizza next time for sure! Won’t you join us for a bite and a laugh at HA HA PIZZA???
Remember, we are not food critics, we are just 2 guys that love to eat. Want more from FOOD ADVENTURES? Then check out these “Miami Valley Foodies” and like them on Facebook HERE !
Check out our photo gallery below, showing off some of the numerous tasty meals we have had at Ha Ha Pizza. Have you been to Ha Ha? What is your take on local artist Tom Watson’s journey? Please comment below and be heard.
If you are interested in his artwork or a T-shirt feel free to contact the man, the myth, the legend, Tom Watson HERE ON FACEBOOK
I prepared for my upcoming interview with comedic storyteller Ron Shock in the same manner that I approached all of my subjects. I researched reviews of his performances from across the country. I listened to all of the stage material of his that I could find. I read all of the somewhat vitriolic rants on his web blog. I collated and compressed all of my thoughts down into a series of poignant, thought provoking questions, took a deep breath and dialed his telephone number. As soon as I heard his raspy, whiskey soaked voice answer the phone and he launched unceremoniously into a review of his day, I did what any professional interviewer would do; I threw my notes right the fuck out. I realized instantly that there was absolutely no way in hell I was going to be able to force this interview to follow any semblance of order.
Ron immediately put me at ease with his laid back, conversational tone; the hallmark of a true storyteller. He makes you feel as if you were sitting on the back porch, listening to stories being spun by your favorite grandfather. Not the one who used to whack you with his cane and tell you that you’d never amount to anything, just like your father. No, not him. The other one; the nice one. Ron Shock would reminded you of that grandfather, spinning stories about his life, making them all seem so funny and fanciful. Well, maybe “grandfather” is not the right depiction to use. Maybe a grandfather after he’s smoked quite a bit of “medicinal marijuana” for his “glaucoma.” A cross between Garrison Keillor and Ken Kesey, really.
Our hour-long conversation ranged hither and yon, touching on topic after topic, such as politics, poker, religion and bowel movements, shifting between these subjects seamlessly. Now I realized why the man, one of the Original Texas Outlaws who sprang from the same scene as Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks and Brett Butler, was known as The Greatest American Storyteller.
J.T.: You’re performing at Wiley’s Comedy Club on June 21st through the 24th. You wrote to me saying that you really liked playing that club. Is it the area’s ambiance? The type of crowds?
Shock: You know what it is? The owner is a comic. The previous owner, Wiley himself, while not a comic, loved comedy and there is that love of comedy and Wiley’s isn’t like other clubs because they’re (the other clubs) are in it for the money. Wiley’s is actually in it for the comedy.
Shock: I had a little consulting firm at the time, but it pretty much ran itself. The service I provided was done by computer and it was easy for me to have time off. I went to college. I’d take six hours a week out of my not-so-busy-fucking-schedule. Just to take courses that interested me and I didn’t know anything about the theater, so I took ‘Introduction to Theater.’ Well, Hayden Rorke, who played Col. Bellows on ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, was friend of my professor. He comes on a day when we had to do a skit that we had written ourselves. I performed my skit and afterwards, he said ‘That was pretty funny! Let’s go have lunch.’ We had lunch and he asked me what I was doing in college at my age. I told him that I had been a success in business and had made money and now I was bored beyond belief. He told me ‘You ought to do stand up comedy.’ The following Tuesday, I went to a local comedy club and it was like a light shone on me, like ‘This is what you’re supposed to do.’ I went on stage that Sunday, amateur night…and I bombed. Horribly. A fight breaks out between the comics and spills into the room while I’m on stage. It can’t get any worse. Monday morning, I put my business up for sale and I’ve been a stand-up comic ever since.
J.T.: How would you describe your show to the uninitiated? Is it a political or controversial type of show?
Shock: No, I don’t do political stuff much. I will go after certain controversial figures, I don’t go after groups, I name names…individuals…like Oral Roberts or Pat Robertson. I’ll take something ludicrous that they’ve said and from there go into a rant from there. My show has no point. I make people laugh. That’s what I do. There are things that I feel very deeply about in life, but I can’t make them funny, and I don’t want to preach without making it funny. My calling seems to be as a stand-up comic, not as a comedic philosopher. So, no…I don’t have a point, other than there’s a lot of funny shot out there if you can start to look at it from a funny point of view. I do a lot of long stories, I mean, I’ve led a very interesting life.