Lynn, Long Beach, New York

Lynn, Long Beach, New York

I can contribute two anecdotes that really give a sense of the man and his "people" sense and values. When I was a grade school girl in Barrington, R.I., in the late '50s, the boy in the apartment upstairs, whose name was Henry, was accidentally hit and run over by a big road surfacing truck. With the tar ground into the terribly wounded and fractured leg, my small friend ended up losing the limb above the knee and was despondent. Salty somehow got word of it and came to visit, to show Henry his own leg, and give him encouragement to learn how to use his prosthetic. He also of course sent Henry good wishes and updates on his Shack show.

WPRO-TV promotional photo, undated.
Salty and Jeff share their love of ten flavors of Eclipse brand syrup in this undated WPRO-TV promotional photo. (Courtesy of Barry and Elaine Vaill, former owners of the The Christmas House in Exeter).

Later, when I was in High School and listening to Salty on WPRO radio, he did something that showed his principles and high standards for programming that would be listened to by a young audience. He had received a broadcast copy of a new song called "They're Coming to Take Me Away," which if you remember it, was humorous but kind of negative, and he put it on. About a minute into it he pulled it off the air and said, "Well, that's enough of that, we can do without a song like that." Funny or not, Salty found it was in poor taste and ridiculed the mentally challenged, not good listening for his very large young pop music audience, and he wouldn't give it exposure.

I'm seventy years old now, and I remember these two things about him with great clarity. Along with the Leo Laporte "Christmas Candlelight" readings on WPRO, Salty was one of the enduring voices of my childhood.

Received via email, March 2, 2021.

Thu, 09/08/2022 - 23:35