Got a phone call last night from Don Welch, long-time local television personality with the ABC affiliate. He wants me to do an interview next Monday for their mid-day show, which is sure to be an absolute hoot.
[:: Insert Wayne's World wobbledy weedley-woot time shift here ::]
Many years ago, back when I was a wee teenager who was new to the Tennessee Valley, some of my friendly idiot friends used to make a hobby of pestering Don. Mind you, Don is a perfectly nice man, bearing a faint but reassuring resemblance to Santa Claus; and there was no good reason whatsoever for the pestering which took place.
Generally speaking, it went as follows: Don was a morning host who sometimes took his show on the road – he’d show up at a Hardee’s, or a Waffle House, or a gas station, and just set up shop for early a.m. television. My goofy friends would then hijack this location and trying to sneak onto camera — purely for the joy of making silly faces and yelling, with a drawn-out set of vowels, “FREEEAAAAAAKKKKK!”
Sometimes this was augmented to “Don is a FREEEEEAAAAKKK!” or “Let’s hear it for the FREEEAAAAKKKKKSS!” If they were to spot Don in a crowd, it was the same thing. “FREEEEAAAAAKKKK!” They’d spy him in the mall. “FREEEEAAAKKKKK!” They’d see him in a grocery store. “FREEEEEAAAAKKKK!” They’d spy him at a park. “FREEEEAAAAAAAKKKK!” They veritably haunted this poor man. It was completely stupid, but it amused them no end. I’m not sure why they ever gave it up, except maybe they just got bored with it after awhile.
I’m sure Don was deeply relieved.
Anyway. I have since lost touch with my old punk buddies, but wherever they are — if they learn that I’m doing an interview with Don next week, I’m sure we’ll be able to hear (somewhere off the stage), the distant and familiar cry of the old Chattanooga punk scene.
[/and thus endeth a particularly pointless but nostalgic entry]