Thursday, September 13, 2012

SPEAKING OF OBITUARIES...


SPEAKING OF OBITUARIES...
I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT MY FRIEND, 'THE DOC!'   (Nicknames were in back then!)
Only the older ones will remember, James B. Feeney, a Notre Dame graduate, like Ohlmeyer, he (both actually) were great in their own way.  There must be some truth about N.D. being a good school!  
I went to the University of Arizona, where I learned how to chase women and drink beer.  
Then the Vietnam War with the wild and crazy Sixties!  
All of the Sixties' Era P.A.s (Mason and Martin, the Navy boys, included) -- we were all too 'hot!'  By that I mean overly excited by 'Sex, Drugs, Rock N Roll!'  (Note, last night in Calama, Chile, I watched a Concert DVD of John Fogerty/'Credence Clearwater Revival!' That was the Sixties, when we danced on the hoods of rental cars, famous for just abandoning them, discarding them like so much trash.  I remember, late for a flight out of Manchester, England, driving up to the 'Departing' door, leaving the engine running, rushing in to catch a flight to London where I had a date with a Playboy Bunny…  
Anyway, 'setting the scene' as we did back then.
James B. Feeney, he was before me, and had started in another department (like me), I forget what though…? This was on the 28th floor at 1330 Sixth Avenue, across from the N.Y. HIlton.  I was introduced to Jim (being given a tour by Jack Fitzgerald) outside of Dick Kirchner's office.  
'The Doc' was the Associate Producer of NCAA Football, the team of Howard, Aceti, Goodman (maybe? -- all of this over 40 years ago.  We began as drinking partners.  James saved me from much trouble, as I was a bad Irish drunk (picked fights).  We'd start with one drink down at 'Channel Seven,' end up in a limo, winding up at 0300 in some Mafia after hours place in the Meat Packing District (west teens, 'Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island too.' )
To make a long story short Jim and I became close, as somehow were on the same wavelength.  I was up at their house in Pleasantville (home of 'Readers Digest') many times with his wife Barbara having a wonderful meal (we would laugh until we cried -- so many stories coming out of that era).  Same with 'The Whale,' (Joe Aceti) speaking of nicknames, and his wife, Barbara?  Anyway… James B. and his Barbara, had a baby girl at the time, also named Barbara (getting confusing).  I remember the baby Barbara was a close call at a Hospital, but she survived, and she's now one of my 'adopted' daughters.  All grown and a job in the N.Y.C. area, we communicate via email.  I think mom still lives in the same house on that Cul de Sac?
Both James and I, being Irish, celebrated St. Patrick's Day.  Patty McGlades!'  Do any of you remember how we'd go in there at 1100 in the morning, and half the place would be wildly drunk!  Erin go Brau!  I send a message to the Barbaras every, March 17th, no matter where I am in the world!  Thank God for the Internet!
Anyway… Jim died prematurely of cancer (he was a smoker)!  Way too young, I think in his early sixties.  I was out of the country and was unable to go to the funeral, but I pay homage to my old friend everyday!  
Jim had a heart!  I can remember many 'heads,' on the 28th Floor, but not too many 'hearts!'  Jim was one!
I was in N.Y.C., in 1999, and made a point of cycling up to Pleasantville from Williamsburg, not every far, but a little tricky with so many roads, highways, traffic, Harlem, and Westchester County.  Note, many of the crew in those days lived up in Westchester Country, Chuck as I remember 'Upper Saddle River' (or is that New Jersey where Forte and his mother lived?).  I think Doug Wilson?   Now, Jim J., and Jackie somewhere up there…?  I remember Roone lived in Manhattan (South Park Place), Cosell for sure (Second Ave./63rd St.)!
Anyway…  Arriving in Pleasantville alive, I had to call Barbara from the town center.  I'd forgotten exactly how to get to their house (it'd been years).  But, she came down, and I cranked up following her.  She was amazed I hadn't been killed.  After lunch, and many stories, I had to depart (takes more time on a bicycle).  In their garage, she gave me the present of Jim's old Bell bicycle helmet (fearing for my head).  I wear it every time I get on 'Mr. Fetes' (my bicycle), and have for the past 13 years and over 100,000KM!  He's with me everywhere we go -- still!
F.A. Hutchison
www.cyclingpeace.org
spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety…
P.S.  I forget how James B., got the nickname 'The Doc,' maybe because they were alluding to the PH.D. kind of 'Doc.'  Jim was very dignified concomitantly  erudite!   And, the snappiest J. Press kind of suits on the 28th Floor, maybe the entire 40 (floors at 1330).   I'll never forget his tie collar!  'Here's to ya, James B.!'  I remember!  
  

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