Posts Tagged ‘Rick Wey’

Southern Exposure

April 11, 2014

Thursday April 10th, 2014 – Chicago, IL

The next time I say something to bash the South, someone needs to give me a swift kick in the hush puppies to shut my mouth. And while I am not necessarily a fan of the culture as a whole, I do know quite a few truly sweet people that are natives, and I need to keep quiet out of respect.

James Gregory is a proud Southerner for example, and he is anything but an idiot or inbred. He does not dip snuff at the dinner table, and always wears shoes. James could buy and sell me like a can of hominy. He does like pro wrestling – but so do I. That’s one Southern trait I do embrace.

Sammy Marten and John Marks are also comedian friends of mine that happen to be located in Memphis. I think John is from not far away, but Sammy is from New Orleans. I have always had a disdain for that horrific stench ridden city filled with drunkenness and debauchery, and I never liked their putrid cuisine as a rule either. But Sammy is a great guy, so my opinion is softened.

There are two more New Orleans area comedians I’ve worked with over the years named ‘Red Bean’ and ‘Mutzie’ respectively. No joke. There was also a guy that passed away by the name of John Schnauder aka ‘The Silver Fox’ who was as gentle of a human as I have ever encountered.

Out of respect to all these people, I don’t feel comfortable lighting into Southerners like I may have at one time. There are always exceptions to any rule, and I guess I am a shining one myself. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and I have never had a beer in my life. That’s rare, but true.

A shining example of a Southern gentleman is not only my friend Rick Wey, but his father too. Rick is a hilarious comedian from Nashville, but has a great corporate job that he has stayed with to feed his family. Rick is one of my favorite people, and I can see where he inherited his class.

I met Rick’s dad at a ball game years ago, and could instantly see how on the ball he was. He’s now 80, but I’d think twice about tangling with him mentally or physically. He would likely kick my ass quite thoroughly both in a scuffle and in Scrabble. I can only hope to be that with it at 80.

Rick had to come to Chicago for an annual meeting for his job and brought his dad with him so they could see a baseball game at Wrigley Field. They’re both rabid sports fans like I am, but the thought of being able to see a game like that with my dad is far beyond my realm of imagination.

That kind of treat was never in the cards for me, but seeing Rick and his dad have it put me in a terrific mood. That’s how life is supposed to be, and at least somebody was smart enough to pull it off correctly. Rick showed me the picture of them together and it almost made me shed tears.

Even though he’s a few years older than me, I could still see the kid in Rick’s eyes proud to be hanging out with his dad at a baseball game. I was happy for him, and flattered that his dad asked Rick to ask me to dinner with them. I happened to be off, and drove into the city to hang with the both of them. We had a lot of laughs, and just a spectacular evening of fun. Friends like that have a top spot in my heart no matter where they are from. The Wey family has solved life’s puzzle.

My friend Rick Wey happens to be from The South, but he would be a gentleman no matter where he's from. He learned it from his father.

My friend Rick Wey happens to be from the South, but he would be a gentleman no matter where he’s from. He learned it from his father.

James Gregory is another Southerner that is anything but stupid. He is one of my comedy and marketing heroes. MUCH respect.

James Gregory is another Southerner that is anything but stupid. He is one of my comedy and marketing heroes. MUCH respect. http://www.funniestman.com.

John Marks is another Southern comedian who breaks the stereotype. He's very funny, and a sharp business mind too. www.bigfunnyproductions.com

John Marks is another Southern comedian who breaks the stereotype. He’s very funny, and a sharp business mind too. http://www.bigfunnyproductions.com

John's partner is Sammy Marten from New Orleans. Not only is he a funny comedian, he's a world class chef. www.bigfunnyproductions.com.

John’s partner is Sammy Marten from New Orleans. Not only is he a funny comedian, he’s a world class chef. http://www.bigfunnyproductions.com.

I worked with Mutzie from New Orleans on Carnival Cruise Lines. He was wildly popular with the guests and fun to hang with off stage. www.mutzie.com

I worked with Mutzie from New Orleans on Carnival Cruise Lines. He was wildly popular with the guests and fun to hang with off stage. http://www.mutzie.com

'Red Bean' is another funny guy I worked with from New Orleans. I never liked the town itself, but the people from there have been really great in my experience. www.badboyredbean.com.

‘Red Bean’ is another funny guy I worked with from New Orleans. I never liked the town itself, but the people from there have been really great in my experience. http://www.badboyredbean.com.

Pleasure Over Business

June 29, 2013

Thursday June 27th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

   In a perfect world, I would have spent the entire day hard at work. I would have gotten up early and hit the ground running. I would have gotten a little bit done on a lot or projects or maybe put a big dent in just one. I have a lot of things that need a lot of work. Today was ideal to get to it.

   But alas, I totally didn’t. I didn’t lift one single finger to do anything I intended to, and it made today a total zilch as far as professional productivity goes. I guess I can’t complain that I am not getting anything done as it was me who chose to blow it off, so I have to live with my decision.

  What happened was, my friend Rick Wey was in town from Nashville and he invited me to go to a Milwaukee Brewers game with his company. It’s a trucking freight company, and they have terminals all over the country. Rick comes up about once a year to do what he does and that has usually been in the summer. It’s become a tradition he goes to a ball game, and has invited me.

   The people who work at the Milwaukee terminal couldn’t be any nicer, and they have taken me in as one of their own. It doesn’t hurt that I am from there, but they’ve totally treated me like one of their family. I feel like an employee, without having to do that annoying thing called ‘work’.

   There’s a super nice lady named Joyce Brainard who puts out a pre game spread of food fit for royalty, and today was no exception. There were Usinger’s brats, which are the very top as far as sausages go, along with all the trimmings any tailgate party could want. It was an amazing meal, and everyone who came to the party was friendly and laid back. I felt completely at home there.

   Rick also brought his dad along from Nashville. He came up a couple of years ago, and he’s an extremely interesting fellow. I don’t know how old he is, but Rick is a couple of years older than me and I ain’t no teeny bopper. His dad is a sharp fun guy, and I can tell he was a great father by the way Rick is when he’s around him. I can feel the love and respect, and it’s a beautiful thing.

   The Brewers ended up getting stomped by the Cubs of all teams, but nobody cared. That’s not what this was about. It was about hanging out with nice people and not only enjoying a baseball game, but life itself. Yes things are hectic all over, but for one afternoon everything was perfect.

   We had delicious food and plenty of it, and perfect weather to enjoy a game. There were some of the sweetest people I can think of to enjoy it with, and we had unbelievable seats right behind third base that I know cost a lot. They didn’t have to include me, but they did. That’s why I went.

   Did I have work to do? Yes, but missing one more day wasn’t going to turn my life around. It’s days like today I’ll look at in the end and smile, so this was the right choice for today. Rick Wey is also a comedian and a very funny one, but he chose to keep a stable career for his family and I couldn’t respect him any more. I’ll take solid friends like him over showbiz B.S. every last time.

   Tonight I had an invitation from Marc Schultz to go to his house and watch the NBA College Draft. We’ve come to make a tradition of watching sports drafts, and it’s another fun evening to hang with a good friend. His wife Audrey always makes another great spread of food and we can hang out and talk sports all night. Again, was it productive? Probably not in the big scheme of it all, but it sure was fun for tonight. It was baseball all day and basketball all night, but it was a lot more than just that. The real highlights were being able to spend time with some absolutely super people who were nice enough to invite me to join them. That’s a high honor, and I appreciate it.

Nashville funnyman Rick Wey - a class act onstage and off.

Nashville funnyman Rick Wey – a class act onstage and off.