(Dear Reader, have you missed any earlier scenes? Catch up with this link: Stalker)
In the Summer of 2009, Stalker tells Baby a Story
I was living with my parents.
No shame there, even though I was nearly 29.
I was glad that both my parents were still alive and healthy.
I was finally a senior in college — actually I had been a college senior three times before in different majors, acing all major courses from Organic Chemistry to Differential Equations to Scenic Design. But, now, I was The Stalker, on FUV, Fordham University’s radio station. I had found my true calling. Once I got on the air, there was no going back.
I was the late night guru of the airwaves . . . from Asbury Park to Albany, New York . . .
After eight years of wonderful, renaissance learning, I was one philosophy term paper away from a degree.
I went to the Fordham Library. I took out books. I was ready to write that paper!
It was December 8, 1980.
I had probably been on the air, all night, the night before . . .
I slept all day . . . that was what serious FUVer’s did in those days.
I was ready to write that Philosophy paper and claim a sheepskin!
I felt so good . . . that before writing some boring crap about Thales . . . I decided to watch a football game . . .
It was Monday Night Football on ABC.
It was The Miami Dolphins versus The Houston Oilers!
I only intended to watch the first half . . . but, Earl Campbell was having the game of a lifetime . . .
I wuz gonna do my term paper . . . I really wuz!
Then they started that stupid song that I will never get out of my head . . .
“Miami Dolphins” or “Houston Oilers, we’re Houston Oilers!”
Dandy Don argued with no-one about who that song belonged to . . .
But, it was a sweet, pleasant evening . . .
At approximately 10:50 p.m. — we heard the voice of Howard Cosell —
“EXcuse me, but we must interrupt this broadcast of a football game for breaking news from the desk of ABC News in New York!” It appears there has been a shooting on West 72nd Street in New York City . . . and the apparent victim of that shooting is . . . former Beatle, John Lennon!”
“WHAAAATTT!” “What the fuck does that mean?”
About twelve minutes later, Cosell came on again — JOHN LENNON IS DEAD!
I immediately called Sean (Luke Skywalker to my Darth Vader) the greatest Beatles historian on planet Earth — he screamed: “Why is everybody calling me? Leave me alone!”
Then my phone rang . . . my parents phone . . . it was Gail.
Such a sweet little girl . . .
She was crying and screaming . . .
“Stalker! I can’t do this! We need you, now!”
I said: “No, I have to write a philosophy paper and get my degree.”
Then I sat and smoked a cigarette . . .
I REALIZED THAT PAPER WOULD NEVER BE WRITTEN!
I called the station. “I am on the way . . . pull every Beatles album and John solo. If there is an engineer with you — tell him to patch the phone lines into the board, with or without seven second delay, I will be there in 30 minutes.”
I walked from Van Cortlandt Manor, past Bronx Science, across Bedford.
It was a very crisp and clear night.
I can’t remember what I was thinking.
When I entered the studio . . . It was very Darth Vader, in the bestest sense . . .
Gail stopped crying . . . she leaped out of the chair . . .
“Do you have the records that I need?”
She nodded yes.
“Are the phone lines patched?”
I took out my headphones and plugged in . . .
I started simple . . . time and temp and call letters . . .
I told “The People” that the phone lines were open . . .
“You can say anything that you want . . . just keep it clean!”
For the next six hours, interspersed with a little music, I heard the greatest stories of real Noo Yawkahs about random collisions with John Lennon.
I believe every one of them — it’s not the kind of thing that you lie about!
“CAUSE WE ALL SHINE ON!”
“LIKE THE MOON AND THE STARS AND THE SUN!” (Instant Karma, John Lennon)
. . . While the little girls on the Ed Sullivan Show were screaming for the “cute one,” on the left, they were missing the real genius on the right. Later, they figured it out.
. . . to be continued
Also — Stalker, the Soundtrack
© Barbara E. Berger, 2011, all rights reserved. “Stalker” is a work of fiction.