Letter 1

Well hello there, welcome, welcome to my world. Bruce Williams here. I’m really looking forward to having a one-way conversation with you and perhaps having it turn into a two-way very quickly.

I am often asked, “do I miss doing the show?” and the answer is yes and no. I don’t miss having to be at a specific place every evening at 7 for three hours. Now I can book a flight not having to plan to be somewhere near a microphone at 7 each evening and yet there are things happening in our world that frustrate me. Things that are absurd. Government actions, ridiculous things that happen on the local and national scene. I sure miss having someone to share these things with. For example, the TSA determined that a 95 year old “terrorist suspect” had to have her diaper removed before she could clear security. Maybe a threat, but I’m willing to chance it. Casey Anthony? Enough said! Many of you guys have suggested that I do some type of an IPOD show and I’m giving it some serious consideration. In the meantime if it’s ok with you, I’ll send a letter of this kind once a month more or less and you tell me if you enjoy it and should continue.

There is so much to discuss. Common day-to-day issues, the examples are many. The relatively high cost to be sandwiched into an airplane built for 150 passengers but meeting the challenge of the owners to cram in 175. Security? An ongoing issue. A couple of days ago I got behind a couple with one little rug rat. They had four, count em FOUR, carryon’s; a stroller, car seat and assorted paraphernalia including mom’s milk in a bottle (no liquid allowed) it finally passed. It took that couple 10 minutes to clear security and of course I was right behind them running late.

I find a frustrating policy of most publications that accept letters from the public. They insist on having their writers give their name and address. There are lots of occasions when folks would like to express an opinion but for a variety of valid reasons are not going to sign their name. For example, someone wants to defend hiring illegal aliens because they do. Perhaps another feels that if they obey certain government taxes or rules, they’ll be out of business. Will they sign their name? Never. Others are afraid to express a politically incorrect perspective. I invite people to send us a brief expression of those thoughts. Please no liable or profanity.

In short, my letters will be eclectic, not pre-programmed to a specific format and hopefully of interest to you. When I say something, express an idea that’s controversial or publish something, not everyone will agree, its expected. When that happens, I will always publish at least one or two thoughts expressed by those in disagreement. You may not agree with me but I hope you will find me fair. There is so much going on in our screwball world, I have no fear of lack of things that you and I might discuss. Another area we could get into that my observation that many talk presentations have a lack of civility as well as a lack of substance. I will try to address this in a positive way and your comments are always welcome.

You may rightly observe that this type of commentary is available from a variety of sources. Search the Internet, airwaves and columns you will find these approaches in one form or another. This is just another way of saying there is very little new on this earth. This having been said, I believe I can present these with a little different twist. There is so much happening in the world that there no question of the material but a question of editing to find out which is most interesting. Some of the very little things in our lives I find extremely interesting. I noticed in the news a short time ago something on the order of 16 governors, attorneys general and other highly placed officials in many states that border on the Great Lakes, petitioned to have some controls placed on an invasive foreign species of fish. The closing of locks and canals to prevent the fish from coming into the lakes is an example. You’ve all seen the pictures of one monster that eats everything in sight and then if it hears an outboard motor, it literally jumps into the boat and sometimes damages the passengers. Obviously, fish of this kind creates all sorts of havoc in both the commercial and sports interests in the lakes. Understandably, these officials want to try and keep these fish out of the Great Lakes. It’s very hard to argue with that but there may be legitimate objections. In the meantime these foreign species are doing a great deal of damage. The officials were told by our government that the Army Corps of Engineers was making a study of the problem. So far so good. The thing that blew my mind was when the officials asked when the study would be completed it would be at least four years away. Perhaps someone could explain to me why it would take four years to study anything. These are the kinds of things that attract my attention and I believe are worthy of conversation. Another example of why I would like to be back in action in some fashion or another.

If we do an IPOD show I’ve worked out a lot of things we can offer. We could take callers at various times of the week and day for rebroadcasts that will be available 24/7. I’ve even considered doing something that I haven’t done for over 30 years and that is invite guests. One thing you can take right to the bank, I’ll not be getting into show business personalities and pop music. These things have been worked to death. One of the things that I will not do is answer letters similar to the ones I receive for my Smart Money column. If you wish to write me here I will be sure that all of those letters are turned over to the producer of my column and will be considered for publication there. If we elect to do the IPOD show I will follow a format in terms of questions and answers that will be very close to the one we began 30 years ago. Speaking of that November 2nd will be the anniversary date 30 years ago in 1981 when we did our first Talknet show from NBC.

You know that I love to go on cruises. Thousands of you have gone on cruises with us and perhaps we could put together a cruise that we all could enjoy. I’d like to hear your thoughts, no promises, just looking for information. Places, time of the year, how much time on the boat (a week, 10 days or even more?), what kind of a budget are you looking at? How about going with limited groups? 20 or 30 or what size would you suggest? Just a group of people where we can get together and exchange ideas and have a lot of time socializing. Guest speakers? Group activities? I would like to know what you enjoy.

Many years ago I did a great deal of after dinner speaking and a lot of stage shows. You may know of an organization seeking someone to do the after dinner gig. I’d like to hear from you. No obligation. I’m simply looking for ideas of things that I would enjoy doing where we can offer you something that isn’t on every cable show, etc.

Another issue that must be addressed. If we do this on a regular basis, after a few months, the activity must be able to generate enough income to get production done without having to be subsidized. It may appear to some that I am out of work and desperately need income. Mercifully, that is not the case. No Food Stamps in my future yet. I have sold some of my business interests and more sales are closing in the very near future. I no longer serve on the Board of Directors of the bank. I don’t play golf, don’t like to ride around in boats, I’m not a sportsman and I’m not especially interested in professional sports. That said, I must be in action of some kind and I genuinely missed the interchange between you guys. Working has always been my hobby. I don’t know how to not be productive. Another purpose is to maintain a marriage. If I hang around the house and drive my wife crazy, I’m afraid I’d lose my wife and the dogs. Maybe you have ideas that we could implement to generate a modest amount of income. I would be very interested in hearing from you. It may well be that you say, “hey dummy, you had your day, let it rest”. If you feel that way, tell me. I’d be very happy to call you and talk to you on the phone if you provide a number. If you’d like your name off our mailing list, just ask. If you have friends, neighbors, etc., that would like to be included on our mailing list, simply send us an email to that affect with their email address and we’ll get the deed done. Here is a little exercise to see if you pick up on little things in the news as do I. Some years ago when the Taliban was running Kabul, and they passed Draconian laws concerning women walking with shoes that clicked. The Taliban’s notion was that the clicking of the women’s heels on the floor or sidewalk would be sexually stimulating to men who hear it and therefore they were banned. Crazy? That’s my opinion. How about this? Recently in a large American city, laws were passed that are currently in effect that many common sounds, nothing sexual, nothing off color, just everyday sounds that you can hear anywhere in America millions of times a day, have been outlawed. Hint: A commercial activity that may not be performed in that city where anyone from the public can hear these “stimulating” sounds. Where do you suppose that is and what were the sounds? If you can figure that one out, I’d sure like to hear what you’d have to say. Did you miss this major news development? Are you interested? Do you care?

Alright my friends, that’s my opening blast. Next move is yours. Our email address is askbruce@brucewilliams.com. That’s simple enough. I would be grateful if you would drop me an email and let me know what you think of any or all of the ideas enclosed and any contributions you would like to make. The next move is yours.

I do wish you well my friends.