Tube City Almanac

August 29, 2008

Me 'n Lynn

Category: Events, General Nonsense || By

Speaking of Lynn Cullen and 1360: Toward the end of my mediocre career at the Tribune-Review, I had irritated the upper management sufficiently so that I wasn't bringing any green bananas to work.

One incident in particular made me a marked man. In the midst of doing a hatchet job on the newspaper's publisher, a now-defunct journalism magazine named me in connection with an unpleasant incident.

I warned the managing editor that it was about to hit the fan. He called me into his office the next day to tell me "your employment status is being evaluated."

Translation: "Better find a cardboard box and pack your desk, dummy."

That afternoon, I got a call from a friend. "Holy crap," he said, "Lynn Cullen is talking about you on her show."

"Why me?" I said. During my brief (like 15 minutes) stint as the Trib's radio-TV writer, I was a guest on her show, but I hadn't talked to Lynn for at least two years.

"She says you got in trouble because you're named in some magazine article, and it's really unfair, and now they want to fire you," he said.

Great. It wasn't bad enough to be the office outcast. Now, everyone listening to 1360 also knew I was a pain-in-the-neck. (Luckily, that wasn't many people.)

But a funny thing happened. They didn't fire me (unfortunately, because I could have used the unemployment).

I heard that the publisher's attorneys had talked him out of canning me, for fear of the bad publicity and possibility of a wrongful-termination suit. I eventually left under my own steam.

Fast-forward a few months. Cullen was a guest on a PCNC talk show and said of one of the Tribune-Review's editors, "I'd like to punch that guy in the nose."

The Trib, showing the sense of comedy for which it's duly famed, sent PCNC a letter demanding a copy of the videotape and threatening criminal or civil charges against Cullen.

I was in the car the next day when Cullen began talking about the cartooney threat from the Trib, so I pulled over and called the station during a commercial break. "If you need a character witness, I'm available," I said. She got a good laugh out of that.

Thanks, Lynn, for keeping me off the unemployment line, and while you don't need my recommendation for any other jobs, I'm still available as a character witness.

. . .

In Other Business: If you still haven't ordered those Terry Lee CDs, and you're a McKeesporter or a radio buff, well ... what are you waiting for?

They're full of choice morsels, like this jingle, which I haven't heard in 30 years, and thought I'd never hear again:

When I was a kid, Devie was still using this jingle, and we had a Chevie from Devie ... Deveraux Chevrolet on Eden Park Boulevard, also known as "Devy's Chevyland."

Deveraux moved all of its operations up to Freeport in the mid-1980s. The Eden Park dealership became Babe Charapp Ford, then Pro Bowl Ford, and then Tri-Star Ford. That dealership has moved up to the old Zayre Department Store in Olympia Shopping Center.

Someone has an application before the city Planning Commission to turn "Chevyland" into a self-storage warehouse. They probably won't have any singing radio commercials, unfortunately.

Singing radio commercials still work, by the way. If you remember that Devie jingle, you probably also remember that "happiest drivers in the world" don't say Olds (they say "Bendik Olds") and that "red coats save you greenbacks, the Eager Eger way."

And now all of those jingles are stuck in your head for the weekend. Bwa-ha-ha! You're welcome.

. . .

To Do This Weekend: The seventh-annual Renzie BBQ Cook Off will be held in Renziehausen Park this Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 2 to 10 p.m. Many vendors from around the tri-state area will be competing for the title of "Best 'Q in the 'Port."

Live entertainment will include on Saturday, the Mad Hatters at 2 p.m., Mahajibee Blues Band at 5 p.m., and Soft Winds at 8 p.m.; on Sunday, Mimes and Music from Rainbow Temple Church from 2 to 6 p.m. and the Marcels at 7 p.m.

A DJ will spin records from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, while Lee Alverson will present his "Legends of Rock 'n Roll Tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John" at 7 p.m.

I don't know; the way Billy's career is going these days, we could have gotten the real thing. Fireworks go off at 9 p.m. Monday.

In addition to barbecue, french fries, shaved ice, ice cream and other desserts will be on sale.

Your Comments are Welcome!

To comment on any story at Tube City Almanac, email, send a tweet to, visit our Facebook page, or write to Tube City Almanac, P.O. Box 94, McKeesport, PA 15134.