Memories of James

From Becca: December 2nd, 2009 – 8:23 am

LOL! Amy told me about this site and I can’t believe your letting us post stories! Anyway, me and James dated for a whole month in high school! We were at my grandmas and she gave him some banana bread. Grandma is talking away and he stops chewing and pulls a fingernail out of his mouth. It was my grandmas and must have fallen into the bread! She didn’t notice because he did it quietly but I almost died trying not to laugh in front of Granmda! Too funny! Happy Birthday James!

From A Former CoWorker: December 2nd, 2009 – 11:04 am

I used to work with James in Petoskey. First, Happy Birthday James! And second, one time his song was running out, but he was out in the lobby talking to the receptionist. I was in the back room and hollered that his song was ending and he came tearing down the hall, turned a sharp left to get in the studio, slipped and spun around so that he went flying into the wall, pulling almost all the CD’s down with him. I went in there to see if he was alright and he was a lump on the ground covered in CD’s.

From John Rabe: December 2nd, 2009 – 4:07 pm

I have some great stories about James. Here’s one of them.

James was the 15th President of the United States and the last to be born in the 18th century. To date he is the only President from the state of Pennsylvania and the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor.

A popular and experienced politician prior to his presidency, James represented Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Secretary of State. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as Minister to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the inflammatory Ostend Manifesto, which suggested the U.S. should declare war if Spain refused to sell Cuba. The Ostend Manifesto was never acted upon.

Despite unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic presidential nomination several times, James’s nomination was a compromise between the two sides of the slavery issue and occurred while he was away on business. His subsequent election was largely due to the even more divided state of the opposition. As President he was a “doughface”, a Northerner with Southern sympathies who battled for the control of the Democratic Party. James’s efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and as the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War, James’s opinion was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal; hence, he remained inactive.

By the time he left office, popular opinion had turned against him, and the Democratic Party had split in two. His handling of the crisis preceding the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents in American history.

Admins note: John, James’ brother, is correct. The handling of the crisis preceding the Civil War has unfairly tarnished James as one of the worst POTUS. What history forgets is that no single President ever gave more puppies, ponies and hard candy to more children than he did.

From Dave Dahl: December 3rd, 2009 – 11:47 am

If it’s funny the first time, it’s funny every time. That’s how it is with James. And with me.

It’s funny to boil names, phrases, whatever, down to initials. If you feel like saying, “Oh, my !!”, for example, you could shorten it to “O. M.” and later shorted it to “O.”

In any event, many of us were gathering at 414 Waukazoo when She Who Shall Not Be Named (SWSNBN) tired of this talk and bolted.

James (NMI) ran into the street after her shouting:

“C. B.!! C. B.!!”

From Liz: December 3rd, 2009 – 4:44 pm

Back in 2009, my friend James set up a website to celebrate the entire month of his birthday! LOL
My memories of James:
- My first dinner with you was at your townhouse in Rochester. Lamb, Tina, Dave and a young tenant(?). You had recently met Dave as he was a frequent caller. I don’t eat lamb.
- (many)Movies and debriefing at Whistle Binkies.
- Bloody Mary bar and Packer games at our house.
- The commercial…still love that.
- Your deep love for my dogs. :)
Happy Birthday James – I hope a great month is the kick-off of a great year.

From Andy: December 5th, 2009 – 11:32 am

Back in the day, I did a weather bit on a sister station of KROC in Rochester. Anyway, my family is at the Rochester Relay for Life one year and my mom sees James, and he’s like “You’re Andy’s mom, right?” She couldn’t believe it (and that one of the “other” morning shows in town knew who I was :) ).

From Doreen: December 10th, 2009 – 10:08 pm

I heart James….I am hungover just thinking about him. :)

We do like the fun. Especially when we discuss recipes at the Northern. When we are talking food and there are ta-ta’s dancing around us…we know it is time to go.

From Kate Rabe Forgach: December 20th, 2009 – 3:31 pm

Our late Dad’s alarm-clock radio still sits by my bed with Dad’s tape markings of frequencies for each station he used to enjoy.

One tape mark reads “James N.M.I.,” indicating James first full time radio station in Petoskey, Mich. For some reason the radio won’t tune in that station in Colorado.

James was a natural, but his family constantly reminded him to slow down when talking. He seems to have mastered that skill on-air but still talks faster than a New Yorker on the phone.

From Cori: December 21st, 2009 – 6:51 pm

I wouldn’t dare call it my favorite James memory, but it is a fun one.

James and I did a show together for nearly 9 years so we reached the point of treating one another like were an old married couple. (i.e. finishing each others sentences, knowing how the other takes their hash browns, and interpreting James’ fast talking for people) I speak fluent James.

Which is why I’m sure James and I had a field trip assignment together one warm spring day. We went to speak to an elementary class for career day or some such thing and had dressed appropriately. Me in business attire and James in a long sleeve button down shirt and a pair of plaid seersucker type shorts. [attire notes relevant to later part of story] Seriously. Here we were in front of a bunch of third graders fielding questions. A. LOT. OF. QUESTIONS.

‘Do you get to go to any concert you want?’
‘How do you pick the songs you play on the radio?’
‘Where do you go to school to become a D.J.?’
‘Have you ever met someone famous?’
‘Are you two, married?……..’

Hold up, excuse me? (I was blushing and instantly embarrassed by an 8 year olds question) James….without skipping a beat.

“BLECK [insert knarled up face and spitting noise here]…that’d be like being married to my sister. Next question.”

“Are you Scottish?”

“No.  Next question.”

From Tracy McCray: December 29th, 2009 – 8:42 am

James and I had been morning show partners for about five years when the opportunity to leave FM for KROC-AM was offered to me. I wanted to give talk radio a try, but didn’t want to ‘leave’ my partnership with James.


I suggested a trip to Brother’s to have a burger basket and to give me the chance to tell James about my problem. I told him about the offer, ending the story with, “but I don’t want to leave you.”

Without skipping a beat he said, “I’d leave you behind in a second.”

Some might have their delicate feelings hurt, but I knew better. He was obviously threatened by my immense talent.

As the Month of James winds down, I wish you all a wonderful 2010.


The Icon

From Brent: December 31st, 2009 – 6:41 am

Having been James’ boss for 17 years, I obviously have about 10,000 James stories, however my favorite memory can be summed up in just two words: “Beach Party”.

This was something James tried his first week on the morning show. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say the bit was killer radio! (Or should I say the bit almost killed radio).

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if I did the right thing by putting ‘The Lord of the Night’ on the morning show, but then I thought “well, it can only go up from here”. And it certainly did.

You are an original my friend. Best wishes!

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