Sonny Eliot passed away this morning, he was 91. Sonny was much more than a funny TV Weatherman. He was a man of many unique talents, and was even a World War II Hero. The B-24 bomber that he was piloting over Germany was shot down and he was captured and spent 14 months in the Stalag 1 POW Camp, all the while hiding his Jewish heritage from the Nazis.
There were countless dinners and appearances that Sonny and I both attended where I would tell everyone the story of how he’d been shot down. Only I would change the year to 1975 and say it happened while Sonny was on vacation.
When I first came to Detroit in the mid-60’s to work at WKNR - Keener 13 - Sonny invited me and Howie Young, a player with the Red Wings, to lunch downtown at the Lindell AC followed by a matinee at the Empress Burlesque. We sat in the front row for an afternoon of comedians and girls with tassles. The “featured entertainer” seemed to direct her entire “act” to Howie, who was a very good looking guy. The male comedians played to Sonny and me. Go figure.
Sonny and I were together a number of times over the years…but for some reason, that memory is the one that really sticks with me.
The two Grand Old Men of Detroit Media are gone now (and yes…that’s Ernie Harwell sitting in the front row behind Sonny in the photo). There’ll never be any others like them.
We recorded my latest Podcast (#64) on Thursday evening, before Sonny passed away. Obviously, that is why he’s not mentioned! But Jackie and I do talk about just about everything else under the Sun… From the bizarre twists and turns of the Petraeus Sex Scandal (which could very well lead to a new soap opera “Generals’ Hospital”) to People Magazine’s pick for the Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 (surprisingly NOT General Petraeus).
And with the military front and center this week, I take the opportunity to share my personal stories of the eight years I spent on Active Duty and in the Army Reserve.
We also touch on the demise of the Twinkie, Donald Trump (which strikes me as repetitive), and the tragic break-up of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Plus… get ready to hit your “Like” button! Pope Benedict has announced that he’s launching a private Facebook page. (The only problem is, his profile picture is going to cut off the top of his hat!) We’ve got the 411 on the Pontiff - and we debate a new study that says human beings are becoming “less smart”. (Two words: The Kardashians).
So put down your copy of General Petraeus’s biography “All In” and “Tune In” to Podcast #64.
Have a great weekend!