Do you seem to hear a faint trace of laughter coming from somewhere in the sky? Listen closely. The more attuned you are to things spiritual, the clearer you will hear it.
One of Georgia’s truly happy and funny men has just passed through the pearly gates and Heaven will be laughing from now on. Ludlow Porch passed away last Friday.
Now some of you younger people may have never heard one of his radio broadcasts. If so, you missed a real treat. Ludlow Porch did not care much for politics. But he loved to talk with people, joke with people and always sought ways to make people happy. His was a talk show designed simply to have fun.
Porch, whose actual name was Bobby C. Hanson, was a stepbrother of the late AJC columnist Lewis Grizzard. He broadcast on WSB AM out of Atlanta for many years, and later organized his own radio network with stations around the southeast. He called it “The Funseekers Network.” He always ended his broadcast by saying: “Whatever else you do today, you find somebody to be nice to.”
Over the years, Ludlow accumulated a group of “wackos” who became regular callers to the show. Some of them even had their own introduction music. These people, and others, joined into the fun of the program, often instigating some of the more notorious jokes. And many of the routines became legendary.
For example, one day Ludlow opened his show with a story that the college athletic board had made a ruling that no two teams in the same conference could have the same mascot. So Georgia and Mississippi State got together and flipped a coin. Georgia lost and could no longer have the bulldog as their mascot. Ludlow asked his audience to call in suggestions for a new mascot for the University of Georgia sports teams. Most of his regulars quickly figured out the joke and joined in. But there were a few who became quite upset and their response was quick and angry.
Another time he announced the discovery that the state of Montana does not exist. It is actually a place where former spies and FBI agents can retire safely.
I was, for a while, one of the lesser known “wackos.” I was “Frank from Dogsboro” if any of you happened to hear one of those broadcasts. I am the guy that Ludlow threatened to slap my face!
It happened like this. Someone called in to ask for advice. She said her brother in law was suffering from bipedalism and she wanted to know what caused it and what could be done about it. I joined in that conversation suggesting that since baby chicks display bipedalism as soon as they break out of the shell, that perhaps it was caused by eating too many chickens.
Now, Ludlow Porch loved to eat. He especially loved to eat chicken. Therefore, he argued that anyone who would suggest that it was possible to eat too much chicken deserved a slap in the face!
I have about given up on talk radio. All you hear are people on either side of the political spectrum calling each other bad names. There’s just no fun in that! We need more fun and less anger on our radios.
Now the preachers and gospel singers all say that Heaven is a happy place. And I believe that to be true. But you can be sure that it is a fun place with Ludlow there.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.