Friday, November 29, 2013

the political Dr. is in...

way before there was Drudge...there was the Doc...

Dr. William Leavell...editor and publisher of the political newsletter The Washington Report...always printed on pink paper, and distributed to every politican in DC...the House, Senate, Administration and name it, they got it.
Doc first appeared on my local talk show in Tampa on WDAE.  He fast became a regular guest.
HE  with his devoted wife Patty, were winter residents in the Tampa Bay area and when I went national overnight...he went with me.  He was my guest so often that he might have been dubbed my “co-host”.
Doc had a lot to say and even though he was careful about revealing stuff he did not hesitate to answer my queries and give me just the facts as he knew them and my national audience loved him.
And I could always count on him to bring something up each time he appeared...most times something not known by the general press yet.  
There’s one way to confirm what a person is telling you is probably true and that is Doc, to my knowledge, was NEVER sued for anything he printed or said.  
Therefore you might disagree with him but give the man his due...he had insiders all over the place telling him stuff and he relayed it one way or another.
Doc loved to click on C-Span and count the number of congressman who were walking around with the pink sheet sticking out of their pockets. 
He actually worked for a Congressman many years before and rode the “tooterville trolley” from office to the Capital he had that insiders vantage as to the workings or lack thereof...our legislature.
He was conservative...possibly more so than a Rush or a even Pat Bucanan but he was very pro-Israel and I later found out a little about that from a personal letter he sent me some years after he began appearing on my show.
Doc’s gone now...passed on a few years ago in his native North Carolina home.
I feel I can reveal his letter now and I will in the next post...unless the Massoud silences me before I do the deed.
We survived broadcasting together on no less than six major radio networks over the 10-12 year span of the national “Stan Major Show”.
The total station count through that 12 years approached 500 stations...which ain't bad in anybody's book.
The political stuff was fun and interesting but the series that Bill Leavell and I did on the final network, National Radio Network, is what I remember most.
Doc loved political history and had a knack of responding to anything regardless of how long ago it happened or who was involved.
So I wanted to do a series where on each show he appeared we would dissect one President at a time.  We did and of course we started with George Washington and went right up the years until his last President...George Bush (the younger).
The series was so good it should have been placed in every library in America.  Not only did Doc lay out the actual historic highlights of each man in the White House...he also had dozens of tidbits that brought each First Family to life. 
Where did he find all that info?  Well he did and you can see why such a prestigious institution as Cambridge University in England would honor him and they did....and he flew there to take part and accept the honors.  He was most proud of that, I believe.
So was I.
God be with you Doc...we loved you!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mom on Thanksgiving

Mom...God love her. (re-post)

I’ve written alot about my Father and the war years.....but how about my Mother.
Mom was of Native American  ancestry...from Oklahoma and northern Texas and liked to remind us kids that her Grandmother was a full blooded Choctaw and spread among Mom’s relatives were names like “Barefoot”. 
I had an uncle who was named B.B. Barefoot and he was a big wheel judge on the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals. He had an office, over an oil well, at the state Capital building.  He had me sit in his chair and told me I was sitting on top of an actual producing oil well and you could see the rig just outside his window.  
     The Judge and I were walking down the corridor and the Governor came by and the Judge dutifully introduced me as his nephew from Illinois. I forget which Governor it was.  
Judge Barefoot took a one way street home everyday...the wrong way!  He said there were alot of stop signs but they were all backwards so he ignored them.  Safe to say no police officer would stop the Judge from doing that.
You may have read in an earlier post about my Peoria girlfriend, Sharon and I, having the run of a nice department store after hours and picking out stuff for free?
Well just happens that another Uncle Dwight was chief buyer for a big Oklahoma City department store chain, CR Anthony, and my sister Sallee and I would be given free reign to pick and choose stuff there. This was a kids delight!
I had a cousin named Barefoot Sanders who ran for the US Senate in Texas.  Despite his great bumper stickers which were just a red footprint on white...he lost.  But later he became a federal judge and very important.
My Mother, Claire Major, loved the Mount Prospect (Chicago) home.  She started a bridge club and the neighbors were all younger but very cordial.  I think when Dad decided to move lock stock and barrel to the small Stone House on one of our three farms her heart was broken.   He let her stay in the nice house in Mt. Prospect for sometime and my sisters (Jeanne and Sallee) wondered if a breakup was coming...but she relented and moved to the Stone House.
I took care of that problem unwittingly when I accidentally burned the place down.  Dad got a good insurance deal and designed a nice new house for us so it worked out well for Mom in the too!  
Mom and Dad had a house warming and a whole bunch of Mt. Prospect neighbors came all the way out (2 hour drive).  This was a kind tribute to my Mother and was not lost on me.
My Mother passed away a few years ago along with my sister Sallee and my daughter Kathy.  All three died too young...and I miss them.  
All...done too soon.
Jackie and her three sisters Debbie, Laurie and Liz (oldest) came with their parents Jean and Len.   That was the highlight for me, of course.  Just a few years ago Jackie IM’d me wanting directions to the Stone House farm.  She said she might take a ride out there for old times sake...
She liked it. 
        So did I, Jack, so did I.
       -A thousand kisses deep-

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Remember (re-post)

...Just a note of Remembrance....

To our friends in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia 
(and all of the former Soviet Union)

MY father...Colonel Ralph H. Major served you well.
   As a Major (Major-Major!) at the time...around 1943-44 he was in Persia and Iraq in charge of building the airfields for the Leningrad/Stalingrad lend lease shipments which would be transshipped to you and help in our mutual cause to defeat the Germans!
   He should be a “Hero” to those of you who remember and appreciate that effort.
   We all honor those efforts and...
.........we did prevail.

 Ralph H.Major: Colonel US Army Corp of Engineers
 (Dec 15, 1895--Nov 4, 1991)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

more wonders of Europe

On to more beauty in “Switzel”....

We really fell in love with Lucerne but after several days we had to move on.  We had Italy and France before us.

We stopped off in Lausanne overnight...then headed along the banks of Lake Geneva with two other short but memorable stops on the way to the high roads (and I do mean HIGH!) to Milan, Lake Como and of course Florence...Laurie’s favorite city.
We saw the Chillon Castle...a real castle and parked the car for a walk inside.  It was impressive.  We bought a lovely print of it and took off again.
Then...we saw a sign that said “Medieval Village” and of course we were intrigued and took the turn.  It was crowded with tourists...with great sidewalk eating and shops...and a church at the end of the street.  
A priest was standing outside greeting passersby...and we approached him.  He spoke no English but I pointed to Laurie’s midsection flowering with our baby and I made the sign of the cross and urged him to bless the baby and the mother.  He did.  And that was unforgettable.
I can’t help think now about the fine birth of the fine baby boy she had several months later and of what he’s nearly out of college and raring to go into the the depths of the workaday world. I often remind Chris and his mother of this blessing given by the Priest at the small old, really old village in Switzerland.  The blessing sure worked to the benefit of all. 
Next...the real Alps....and then down, down down into hot Italy.

We'll continue our travels in Europe later in this blog.
But now...back to the radio business.

Monday, November 25, 2013

We'll pause now...for some special stuff

We’ll be radio stuff in a bit...but after WINZ and all those ratings....we had this:
         Laurie and I had a wonderful flight on Swissair and a great time in what her daughter called “Switzel”.

Don’t go to Italy in August!

Milan was like a ghost city.  Seems everyone leaves in August for cooler parts.  Lake Como was fairly crowded and nice.
Laurie was expecting our first baby in December so we figured the trip would be okay.
Swissair did not have direct flights from Miami... so we had to take a hop to Atlanta where we caught the plane to Zurich.  We were either first class or business class...I forget but all we’d heard about Swissair was right.  The food was great...the crew also.
We landed in Zurich and got our first taste of anti-terrorism protection when we saw military types with really big guns in and outside the terminal.  Remember...Europe was a prime target for all the bad guys...Munich Olympics...Paris bombings...Carlos the Jackal so we got used to it.
We overnighted in Zurich...rented a car for the trip and next day headed for Lucerne...and our castle home for a few days...Chateau Gutsch.  I had found this marvelous hotel on the internet and made the reservations before we left.
It is called a chateau but it seems more like a castle and sits high on a mountain overlooking the beautiful city of Lucerne.

The meals were elegant and excellent and our room had a balcony which looked out on the city and the river and famous wooden bridge across it.  This was something to awaken too each the fine coffee and pastries served in abundance and devoured outside on that patio. Apparently they are closed for renovation so be sure to check ahead!  This place is a must for any European traveler!
We were able to drive to the mountains and even saw snow in August...and stopped at a couple of ski villages near Lucerne.  All in all it was cool...calming...and far from the crowded tourist areas and shops.
We were walking along the river near the famous covered bridge when Laurie opined
“Look at’s just like Epcot and Disneyworld!”
I laughed and said...
“No...Disneyworld is just like this!  This came first.”

Next...on to Lausanne, Switzerland and then Italy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

new cars & break in's


       On my first Miami talk program...before the Cuban invasion boatlift...I had one of the Watergate burglars on...Eugenio Martinez...also called Rolando Martinez.  
He came on with me because the former CIA officer, Grayston Lynch was on my Tampa show and Gray was like a god to the Miami Cubans.  
In addition to Watergate..Martinez was also on the Howard Hunt team that broke into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist office in Beverly Hills to find Ellesberg’s files.
He told the story of that break in on my show in detail and said they found nothing of significance on Ellsberg...the Pentagon Papers leaker.
However Martinez said Hunt, afterwards, was happy with the raid and even said something about celebrating later.
Martinez speculated that the break in was to coverup the fact that the White House actually had Ellsberg’s files...which could be illegal.  
He would say the same thing in his book published in later years. 

When I booked Martinez on my show he was reachable at a new car dealership in Miami.  Weeks after his interview I called to arrange an appointment to see some cars.  He was very congenial, but I didn’t find anything I wanted.
  This has spurred me to write a short commercial for the “Mad Men.”

“Buy your next new car from a REAL Watergate Burglar!
  Get it financed by Tricky Dick’s Key Biscayne Bank.
Just call the bank and ask for “Bebe!  Tell him "Dick" sent ya!
And drive away happy!"

E.Howard Hunt wanted me to cease talking about him in connection with the Kennedy assassination. He had his lawyer call and threaten me in no uncertain terms.
     That was 1979 before the Cuban boatlift.
On his deathbed in 2004 Hunt dictated a taped confession of sorts and you can read about it on JFK assassination investigator Mary Ferrell’s webpage here:

Before his death CIA master spy and convicted Watergate conspirator Howard Hunt confessed to being peripherally involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, and named several other participants.
In notes and conversations with his son Saint John, and in an audiotape he created in 2004 to be played after his death, Hunt described being invited into the "big event" at a Miami safehouse in 1963.”

And he names much for “non-involvement, right?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

so who REALLY killed Kennedy?(re-post)

Robert DePugh of the "Minutemen" has some thoughts

One of the radio stations I did “hometowner” interviews in Vietnam for was KMBC  in Kansas City. The General Manager there contacted me and offered me a nighttime talk show at the really good salary.  So I jumped at it.
I had never done a “talk” program before and the possibilities fascinated me.
It would be a nighttime show and the station’s coverage at those hours was excellent.  AM station signals traveled better at night than during the day.  It’s an atmospheric thing of which I’m aware but can’t explain.  
We jumped right into the bourgeoning subject of “who really killed President Kennedy in Dallas”.
Robert DePugh lived in the Kansas City area and was one of my first guests.        DePugh was leader of the radical right wing group known as “The Minutemen” and that group and DePugh were often mentioned as possibly being involved in the Kennedy assassination.
DePugh denied this...but enjoyed the publicity surrounding it.
He said that he had no advance knowledge of the attack in Dallas and in the days following, he told me, he had personally contacted his members in that area and said all disavowed any participation in the JFK murder.
However there was a very interesting story he told and whether or not there was any truth to it we’ll never really know.
DePugh said several days...maybe as much as a week after the shooting he got a large envelope in the mail from the Dallas area.   One of his members (he refused to identify the man) wrote Bob that several days after the assassination he was taking a slow walk around the plaza and happened upon a small circular piece of plastic in the grass at which he picked up, pocketed  and then walked case anyone was watching. 
Upon careful examination of this piece of plastic...the man decided it might be significant and he sent it off to Bob...writing that it could prove that there was a conspiracy and that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone.
As Robert explained it...the plastic cover would be used by a shooter to conceal the real type of bullet his rifle would fire.
This would complicate any proof the authorities might get on the shooter’s real ammo.  Oswald did not have anything like that...nothing like that was found in his killing nest.  
So...the second gunman, Bob said, used the concealed ammo and got off the third and decisive shot from the front...the grassy knoll would be Bob’s best bet. He said a second gunman would have to be a real expert...a concealed gunman...firing concealed bullets and be able to escape before anyone spotted him.  
   Bob said the proof of something like that was the Zapruder film which showed the President being hit from the front...not from Oswald who was above and behind the target.
Then DePugh went on to say that a few weeks after he received that mailing...the FBI came knocking on his door with a search warrant.  He said they forced everyone out of his house and were in there for hours.  When they left and Bob returned to his home there was only one thing missing:
You guessed it...the plastic ammo cover.
Take that for what it’s worth.  
Just one of the weird tales, of many, floating around about the killing of JFK.
In later years DePugh and some of his followers would be arrested and convicted of planning a terror like bombing and a robbery of some banks.
     So...who really killed Kennedy?

I’ll be writing alot about the Kennedy assassination in coming posts.  I dealt with that subject more over the ensuing years than any other broadcaster.
In New Orleans, Jim Garrison was my guest.  He and comedian Mort Sahl were on together for about three hours one night.
Jim Marrs wrote the “bible” of conspiracy books 
“Crossfire, The Plot To Kill Kennedy”... a book that Oliver Stone used for his blockbuster film “JFK” . Jim became a regular, once a week, (sometimes more) on my national all night talk show in beginning in 1992.
Grayston Lynch, former CIA officer and one of two (he said) American officials on board the command ship for the ill fated Bay Of Pigs invasion of Cuba. I would look Grayston in the eye and ask him if he shot President Kennedy.
 Eugenio R. Martinez..former CIA and a member of the Watergate break in team. 
I would ask him the same question.
There were several men who would not come on my show among them, G. Gordon Liddy (Watergate)....Santo Trafficante (Tampa Mafia boss) and others.
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Did you kill jfk?(re-post)

  on to Tampa...WDAE....1978-79 (RE-POST)
   "Did YOU kill President Kennedy?"
That was a legitimate question for my guest...
   Grayston Lynch former CIA agent who says he was one of two American agents on board the command ship for the ill fated “ Bay of Pigs” invasion.
Lynch had first hand knowledge of the consequences of President Kennedy’s refusing air cover for the invading forces.
I’d call that motive
Lynch was trained as a CIA operative....and I’d think he would have the capability of firing a kill shot from a grassy knoll. 
And he had been CIA....and questions persisted as to whether any agency in our own government might have conspired to kill JFK.
Just see the Oliver Stone movie about that and if Donald Sutherland doesn’t scare the hell out of you...he at least leaves unanswered questions in the film...JFK.  I’ll have lots of JFK assassination stuff in later posts...but Lynch’s one word answer to that question was “ridiculous”.
“Did you have any knowledge about the assassination?”
“None whatsoever”
"Did you work with or know of any men who hated Kennedy enough to kill him?"
Gary Lynch was one of my first guests on my new talk radio show on WDAE in Tampa Bay.
Here's a link for an excellent writeup on Lynch from the Miami Herald:
          Miami I would be asking another interesting individual the same question about killing Kennedy.
That was Watergate burglar Eugenio Martinez.
He basically answered the same way.
I ended up talking about the alleged conspiracies surrounding JFK so much that a friendly FBI agent in Tampa invited me out for coffee just to warn me about checking my car for bomb devices and telling me to leave the door wide open while starting the vehicle...a closed door is bad news. 
One alleged mobster most often mentioned in connection with the affairs in Dallas lived in Tampa.  
Santo Trafficanti probably listened to my show but he would not grant me an interview there or in Miami when I asked his lawyer.
“What’d want to talk to him about?” Was the response! 
Then there was New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello (Jim Garrison shied away from alleging any mob involvement in the assassination and many wondered “why”.)
A girl from a college in Tampa called my show one night and chastised my pronouncing of his last name.  I said how do you know about him.
“Oh...he’s my uncle!” never knows who’s listening.
Hollywood is bringing Carlos back to the big screen.  Robert DeNiro is slated to play the mobster who may or may not have actually admitted that he ordered the killing of JFK.  Filming is this year.  I Hope Marchello’s niece enjoys the flick.
One the personal side I found a nice new apartment complex in Clearwater...across the bridge from Tampa.  I moved in and the first night I headed for my car to drive into Tampa and the worst stench hit me as I stepped out the door. The next day I went into the complex office and asked the manager what the smell was.
She blushed and finally admitted there was a former trash dump a few blocks away.
Now I know why the rent was lower there than at other places.
I stuck it out....since it only smelled at night I reduced my excursions outside. 
Just like the lesson on “fire” a few posts should check any potential new location two or three times at different hours to avoid that kind of problem.
One strange thing happened at the radio station.
I was set to have Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson on my show one night.  he was running for President and making the talk show rounds.
I came in a bit early and the boss, Don Clark, one of the rare nice and intelligent managers in radio, stopped me before I entered the studio where there was a desk with locks for private stuff.
“You are not gonna believe what the Secret Service did.  They busted open all the draws on your desk to check them out.”
“Did they think the talk host was gonna shoot the Senator or something?” I said...bewildered by this blatant breach of my privacy.  “Or maybe they just needed some paper clips?”
        Don laughed and said he was sending them a bill for fixing the desk.
That night I ask the Senator on the air why the Secret Service would do something like that...”has there been some kind of threat against you?”
“Not that I know of” Jackson replied.
My guess is were over reacting to the events in Dallas.  The Secret Service had taken a lot of heat about lack of protection....losing a President means they failed on many levels.
The great thing about living in Clearwater/St. Petersburg is, of course, the beach.  If you don’t like one beach...just head further south...great beaches in Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island and down to Naples and to my favorite...Marco Island.
For years I would be driving south out of St. Petersburg and become nervous when going over “Sunshine Skyway Bridge”. 
I hate heights. 
Years 1980... a ship would crush a support column causing a portion of the span to collapse.  35 people would be killed when a bus drove into the open space and crashed into the water below. 
I would return to that area to initiate my new national all night call in show and I lived in Clearwater again (avoiding the trash heap this time).  
Each weekend I returned to our home in Ft. I would cross the NEW Sunshine Skyway Bridge and try to avoid looking down at the remaining portions of the old used a fishing piers. It’s still scary for me.

 email response from Tampa from a Tampa radio superstar:

You certainly turned this town on its head when 

 you worked here. Classic radio Bro, loved every 
minute of it.

Live it up
Tedd Webb.