It’s still so flattering that so many people ask about the Rouse & Company Show, which ran from 1989 to 2005 on the legendary WQSR. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask about Steve, Mike, Tom, Kristie or Linda, and some folks were big enough fans to ask about our traffic reporters and other characters, too. So I thought that I’d step away from ticking everyone off for a moment and give a rundown on everyone’s whereabouts – and maybe reveal the truth behind a few long-held Rouse & Co. secrets.
Mike Thomas is doing very well. He and his family live near Westminster. He has three children who were all born during the show’s run, and the oldest is on her way to college next year. He works for a specialized construction company in Carroll County, and is generally glad to be out of radio.
Tommy D is still behind the mic and on TV. You can catch him doing O’s pre-games on 105.7 The Fan…you know, the station that fired me. He also has a show on MASN, check your local listings. Still as busy as ever, Tom is one of the few people who hasn’t given up on the Orioles.
I haven’t had a chance to talk to Linda in a while, though I hear she is doing well. After leaving the show, she began working for the Department of Labor and as far as I know she’s still there. A lot of people over the years have asked why she left the show. Here’s the best answer I can give: it kinda depends on who you ask. As far as the rest of us knew, she and management could not get together in terms of a contract. They negotiated for a long time and I think after a while management just decided to let her go.
“Special K,” or “SK” as I called her, still lives in Towson with her family and works at 107.3 in Washington, D.C., doing weekends and fills-in during the week. She has her own voiceover business (Kvoice.com) and you can hear her on lots of commercials. Everyone once in a while she’ll show up at a Mobtown Saints show. If you ever hear me dedicate an Aerosmith song (our shared favorite) to an old friend, then she’s there.
Traffic, News and Other Voices
Joy Pons, our traffic girl who ended up in Playboy, now has 4 little ones. She helps manage a family business and you can catch her doing traffic on Channel 2 from time-to-time. Chuck Lawrence, aka Charles Gishlar, works now as a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Highways. If you listen during blizzards, you will hear him occasionally doing interviews about the roads. Scott Parker, is still doing traffic on the radio, to the best of my knowledge. He’s all over, but I haven’t seen him in a while.
Dick Nixon, aka Matt Tacka, is also doing traffic locally. Why did we make him change his name to Dick Nixon? Honest to God, I don’t remember. I will always remember September 11, 2001 when Matt and I stayed on the air from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m., when everyone else had gone home.
Our old boss Billy Bob is the no. 2 guy at Entercom radio, one of the five largest broadcasting companies in the country. But, they don’t own anything locally. He lives in Dallas and loves it there. I think he still secretly hates me.
The man, the myth, the legend, and my mentor and one of my best friends: Steve Rouse. If you’re driving north along Route 152, you will pass “Rousedale Farm.” That’s what Steve is doing now – he is an honest to God, full-time, overalls-wearing farmer running a community support agriculture farm. Basically, you pay a few hundred dollars at the beginning of the year and then for 24 weeks during harvest season you get fresh organic vegetables each week, as well as farm-fresh eggs, pork and other items. It’s really pretty interesting how it works, and you can check out all the details at www.rousedalefarm.com.
I’ve known this guy my entire adult life and really, I don’t think I have ever heard him happier. Steve gets up and does what he wants, which is to farm. I told him I think he’s crazy, but really and truly he’s happy. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s pretty much hung up the mic and headphones for good, but I’m calling B.S. I bet we hear him again on the radio. Maybe not full-time, but he’ll be on again somewhere, sometime.
So many secrets, so little time…I’ll bust through some of the FAQ’s.
“How’s G-Bob?” My son Griffin, born on the show, is 5 years old now and has a little sister named Willa. G-Bob LOVES being on stage and will very occasionally rock a tambourine with the Mobtown Saints. He wants to play guitar, but I’m making him wait just a little longer.
“Did Steve really drive his tractor to work?” Yes, mostly. He cheated a little, but not much. And it was a set-up. The station van was right behind him the whole way.
“Did he really play bass for KC and the Sunshine Band?” Yes.
Did I really steal the tags off of a station vehicle? Yes, when I was 18. And I got caught. They really should have fired me. I can’t repeat it here, but I will NEVER forget what Steve said when he called me that night. Ask me in person, I’ll tell you.
“Is the Farnsworth house really haunted?” YES. Go there, I do every year. Still creepy. All that happened on those shows was legit. If you recall a broadcast from the “Dulaney House,” vaguely described as “the big white house on Jarrettsville Pike,” THAT show was totally made up by yours truly. That show was so scary and so real, we actually scared Downtown Diane and my mother, neither of whom were in on the joke (we had a ghost nearly kill Kristie).
“Who’s voice was…?” We each did a few character voices, and some people still wonder who played who. Our book pretty much cleared all this up, but here you go, as best I can remember:
Steve: Rodney, Great Stevinski, Mert, Larry Love and Fuzzy Matress
Mike: Geoff with a G, Bobby the Neighbor and Izzy Matress
Me: Elvis P. Anderson, Billy Wong, Morty the Hotel Clerk
“Did you really sing a pedal boat in the bay live on air?” Yes. Not one of my better ideas.
We did really send poop to Paul Tagliabue.
We did send tons of crazy things to our friend’s hotel rooms when they were on vacation.
Okay, fire away…I’m sure I have left something out. Ask whatever you want and I’ll answer as best I can.
Next week: How would you like to give up your citizenship? It’ll cost you. I’ll tell you about the new fee and why I think it should be free.
Don’t forget, the Mobtown Saints are at Half-Pints, aka the old Torinos, on Saturday night.