Archive for October 2019

Episode 41 is HatRadio!'s first year birthday celebration.

I love milestones and embracing the opportunity to celebrate an accomplishment. So, this episode is metaphorically the blowing out of 40 candles and expressing gratitude all over the place, for this gift, my freedom to actualize my creativity and share the bounty of HatRadio! with others. Hopefully, you consider this a gift as well. How lucky we are!!!  

So, episode 41 is 1 hour and 40 minutes of my thoughts on each and every show we've broadcast since day 1. A lot has happened over this time, including: 

  1. Of course the show was launched. That was a tad daunting as any decent podcast requires good equipment, and an ability to use it. I'm a slow learner, but I sort of figured it out.
  2. I worked closely with Howard Pasternack, my post-production guy, on tweaking here and there to ensure a great sounding show. I believe we've mostly achieved clarity and a pleasurable listening experience. Listeners have told me that. Of course, I still have to work on keeping my hands off the table and occasionally hitting the microphone, so Howard doesn't have to clip out some crazy-ass noises. 
  3. And then there are the shows. 40 of them. That is a decent body of work. I am deeply proud of this accomplishment. Remember, each show is about 1 hour and 30 minutes long, without pauses. While that is long according to some, most comments reflect the belief, it's just right. Apparently, it's a good drive-home show. I like that. It's been good. Not yet my magnum opus but getting there.
  4. And most importantly, the thing I hear a lot from HatRadio! listeners is that schmoozes with my guests feel safe, warm and inviting. Out of this, the beginnings of a community has developed, one which embraces openness, authenticity, passion, one which is inspiring. It's the HatRadio! community, one I think, is refeshing. 

So have a listen to episode 41. I break up the 40 shows into groups of five, by order of calendar date. I talk about each one and then focus on 1 particular show in that group, with some deeper thoughts. My choice to concentrate on specific shows was mostly arbitrary. I love them all! I really do.

At the 14:00 minute mark please have a l listen to a piece about the JEWISH PEOPLE and the stereotype that we are PENNY PINCHERS. I explain, vociferously, how that is the furthest thing from the truth. Hopefully, some people will listen and adjust any negative thoughts they have about the JEWISH PEOPLE. It's an important piece.    

Thank you to Jimmy Bensimon who is a huge social-media professional and supporter. Jimmy's encouragement makes me move forward even in the toughest times. And there are tough times. Hugs to David Nefesh, a friend since we're 8, for the HatRadio! song. It is a blues piece which I adore. David is a brilliant singer/songwriter and he gifted us with this gems. Thanks to Howard Pasternack for our Thursdays together and the professional work he's done on editing the show and bringing it up to broadcast speed. We became pretty close during the year. Yashar Koach (Yiddish for 'well done') to all my guests who had the nuts to let people into their souls, answer my questions no matter how I positioned them, and essentially, sometime anyway, made me look like an okay interviewer. A special shout out to Gary and Paula, Vic and my nephew Yechiel - all of whom get what I'm trying to do on HatRadio!, are loyal listeners and compel me to get better. One needs such supporters. Thanks too, to Joan and Joseph for subscribing to HatRadio! They are my two subscribers and I am so humbled by their generosity and kindness. They are podcast soulmates. And of course,  a huge embrace to my boy who inspires me to wonder about life and to see truth, when I frequently miss it.

Broadcasting is my dream. It is my passion and I couldn't have loved year 1 more. God willing year 2 should rock our pants off and this entire frickin thing should go viral. :)  (Watch what you hope for, dear! Ya, you're right. Thanks. No problem).

Happy birthday to everyone. We are all a year wiser, hopefully. Let's hope and pray all good people, everywhere, have the ability in the coming year to actualize their dreams, to be free, to be joyful...just like we have. Man, we're blessed.

HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.    



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This is a big one folks, an important show!  Episode 40 of HatRadio! features JOSEPH PUSUMA, a Hungarian Roma, who spent three years in sanctuary, in two different Toronto churches, together with his wife and child, Lulu. They were locked up. They could not leave. They were denied their freedom by Immigration Canada, until they were freed. With that in mind, at the core of this show then, is one courageous man's true and clear appreciation of FREEDOM to go where he wants, and live life the way he determines. It's riveting.  


In 2009, Joseph was a human rights investigator, travelling throughout Europe documenting terrible abuse levied at his fellow Roma, such as the stabbing death of a 16-year old boy by a cashier in a food store, 'because he didn't like the Roma'.

Local neo-Nazis didn't appreciate Joseph's work and decided one day beat the shit out of him and his wife, Timea. Lulu, their toddler, at the time, was saved because Joseph lay across her while the thugs beat him with a bat. 

A short while later, the Pusumas came to Toronto claiming refugee status. After having experienced hell back in Hungary, they were scammed here by an immigration lawyer, whose shoddy work ensured the Pusumas would be deported.

Luck! When does it come, and too whom? 

The Pusumas, were offered and accepted sanctuary in two different churches. Their 18-month stay at Windermere Church, through the generosity of Minister Alexa (Episode 4, HatRadio!), and congregation, was the most significant time however. It was there, the Pusuma story really took on a life of its own, within the church, through the media and across the nation.

Throughout this interview, Joseph shares his narrative with us including what it was like to live in one room with his family, and be without a shower for the first three months. He says his life was "abnormal". It was painful watching free Canadians walk past the church, people who were unaware of the Pusumas within its walls. Joseph tells us about the challenge of having to repeat his story over and over to visitors to their room, essentially being in a fish bowl. At one point however, Joseph states how important it was, to be visited by a Holocaust survivor who had been hidden throughout the war as well. "She understood", Joseph said. 

The Pusumas had many people of all religions and backgrounds fighting for their freedom. Ultimately, they secured it and became residents of Toronto. Joseph said, today he is ordinary man, with an apartment, a car, a job. He is someone, like you and I, who  visits Niagara Falls, walks through parks --all of this with his family, all of whom embrace their freedom.

And, Joseph is an awesome chef hoping to open his own Canadian-Gypsy restaurant. I know he will.

Joseph Pusuma says he loves life and wants to enjoy every day. About Timea, Joseph says she is an amazing woman who helped him through their ordeal. He loves her dearly. About Lulu: she is acing school, is wise beyond her years and is now teaching her parents English instead of the other way around. 

For a special treat listen to Joseph's mesmerizing, almost mystical Gypsy music, which he plays beautifully on his Fender acoustic guitar. The songs can be heard at: 32:56, 36:47, 1:02:58.  

"I would like to forget," Joseph told me, "but I cannot". How does one forget such a difficult personal history. So instead, Joseph moves forward with those memories, strengthening himself, and his family, knowing that the freedom they now have is the most significant gift of their lives. This episode is a story about a courageous and inspirational family man who fought for his fellow Roma, Timea, Lulu and himself so that one day he could be a regular guy, walking the streets of Toronto, tilting his head toward the daylight, and loving every day,  every minute, every second. Have a listen. You will love Joseph and his story and so appreciate what it means to be free. 

HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.  





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Welcome to Episode 39 of HatRadio! with radio legend, Steve Kowch

Anyone who knows anything about talk radio has heard of Steve Kowch or knows his work. Steve spent close to a half century in media, most of it in radio. He oversaw programming on major stations in Quebec, Ontario and nationally, and the kicker was, he hired Marty Galin and I, to be the Food Guys on CFRB1010, one of the highlights of our lives. 

Steve was born in Montreal, Quebec. Like many people who evolve into superstars, his childhood was difficult. Steve was bullied at school, a lot. His dad was an alcoholic and his  mom was unhappy and not encouraging of Steve. "My parents taught me what not to be," Steve said. At times his mom would send him to bed without dinner because he was 'a bad boy'. Really there was no food for in the house. "We were poor", Steve stated. The family was on welfare. (55:02 mark) His bed was in the kitchen. 


One day, 17-year-old Steve answered an ad for an 'office boy' with the Montreal Star newspaper. He sat on a wooden bench, ready to get on-air folk a coffee and do what was ever required in that crazy Quebec media world. His pay? $50 a week, enough to help out at home, and eventually to buy a Bulova watch. Steve was a star even then and his bosses saw that glitter in his eye and willingness to fly. Soon enough, at 18 years old, the young man was on the crime beat hanging out with cops, pimps and crooks.

Well, his mom didn't like that, not one bit, and asked the editor to take him off that beat and put him on entertainment. That didn't happen. Soon enough Steve was covering riots and the FLQ crisis (11:25 mark of show). He was bonked in the head by a rioter and had a shot gun stuck in his face by a soldier with a threat to shoot him if he didn't retreat his position. He moved.

Steve's career was beginning to take off.      

At some point my guest switched over to radio and ultimately took charge of news and programming at two of Canada's largest talk radio stations: CJAD in Montreal and CRFB1010 in Toronto. He was also the national director of the news talk format for Astral Media's six talk stations. He loved it and spent forty years as a program director mentoring Canadian radio icons like John MooreBill Carroll, Mark Elliot and Jim Richards.  

Steve was a professor at The School of Media Studies & Information Technology at Humber College and The School of Communications Arts, Seneca at York. To his class he'd stressed the 25% rule - the importance of being among the 25% of media people who work hard, are diligent, shoot for greatness and have an unending drive to find something special within each story they cover. The other 75% watch the clock. 

Today, Steve is retired and can take three hours shopping for groceries, because he's a storyteller at heart and therefore finds a yarn to weave wherever he goes, including the check-out line. He's the author of 'Making it Big in the Media'. And Steve is nuts about his wife, Liz and their two daughters.  

Have a listen to Episode 39 with Steve Kowch. He puts himself out there, unabashedly, so that you get a real true sense of this man's character, pockmarks and all. Steve Kowch is a beautiful human being who has always been intent on helping others grow and rising above the challenge’s life has presented him with. Enjoy!  Share the link and consider subscribing

HatRadio! The show that schmoozes. 








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