“So where did you keep getting the guys to replace the guys who left?” Gypsy asked me. I explained that just as friends pass through your life, our DJs kept changing. The scene was surreal to me. We were at Gypsy’s apartment for a visit. Bouncing Billy had not seen him for forty years, Johnnie Walker and I for over twenty. The last recording he did (not including his call-in to our 45th Anniversary show) was with Bouncing Billy and me in 1974.
What was the shot of four of the original guys being together again? I always thought “zero”. And not for any nefarious reason, Gypsy lived in Texas and Johnnie and I had last seen Billy in 1985. He had been invited to my 60th birthday party but declined. He had sent Kathy an email suggesting that he and I get together for drinks. I didn’t contact him because I thought he was just being polite. It was 2011 and 1985 was a long time ago. The most of our post college era the most original WTIT DJs together photographed or recorded were three. Johnnie Walker and I have seen Galloping Gary over the years (most recently at my wedding to Kathy in 2012), but the last time the three of us recorded was in 1982. Now with Billy’s return, we have recorded with three of the original five since October of 2013.
But for some reason, last fall I did email Billy. We went to TGI Fridays and got pretty hammered. We realized how much we still enjoyed each other’s company. I suggested that Billy record with WTIT again, which he did. Since October of 2013 he has been to every session. When Gypsy retired he developed COPD stage four. He returned to the area and contacted me via Facebook and we chatted via its IM system quite a bit. He had invited me to a Young Rascals concert in October, but my back was out and I had arranged my 10th spine surgery.
Now that Billy was back he kept suggesting we go see Gypsy. The night of Friday night June 27, 2014 at his apartment was where we saw Gypsy once again. We sat and laughed; his food was excellent and only surpassed by his graciousness and hospitality. It was as though time had stood still and it was back in the day. Gypsy turned to me, “Remember all those nights chasing girls in cars?” as he let out a big laugh. He said he had told PGA golfers about our chases all over the country.
The time went way too quickly. He wrote me the next day to thank me for making it happened. On the way there, (Billy drove me) Billy thanked me too. I said “I just made phone calls…” Billy shook his head and stated, “You were always the ringleader. It happened then and now again because of you.” I smiled. To me friends was always what WTIT was about. We didn’t do it because we were great Tape Radio DJs, we did it as an excuse to get together. That was what happened in 1967 and it is what happened on that Friday night.