Rocco talk, history chat and feeding the unfortunate
We started off the hour with Rocco Castellano, owner of askROCCO Media LLC, and also a local fitness expert, radio personality and newspaper columnist. Though it was admittedly early in day - even a little too early for the host (looking a little tired in the photos posted below) and his trusty producer, Heather - Rocco made it in (barely) and gave us a little hint into who he is and what he does now. Though we had planned to talk more about fitness and health issues, the most interesting part of the interview turned out to be Rocco's talk about his past. That included a year in jail after he "beat up a guy," he said. He said he got off light. He had been sentenced to five years in the clink, but got out early. We never really got around to talking about what we were planning to talk about. Save that for another time, I guess.
Rocco's year away gave him enough time to reconsider his mafioso lifestyle (though he said he was never really in the Mob - but ran with some who were). He said he walked away from that life and has never looked back. It was an interesting, albeit short, interview with Rocco, but a marveling glimpse into his life.
Here's a link to the Cincinnati Enquirer story that I referred to throughout the interview. And, I just have to add, despite his suggestions, it wasn't the only thing I read about Rocco prior to his appearance. But it was definitely the most telling of his personality, I thought. He's a rare breed of person to meet - especially in the Midwest. Regardless of where you're from, I suspect, few leave a conversation with Mr. Castellano without being more curious about who this person really is.
Next up, Rebecca Goodman and Barrett J. Brunsman, authors of "This Day In Ohio History", stopped in to share tales and anecdotes from writing their book. The book is available, at a discount, on Amazon.com. Or, as Brunsman pointed out, available for loan - and free - at your local library.
During the interview, the duo shared how they came up with the idea to publish the book. The two Cincinnati Enquirer staffers took a daily feature Goodman researched and Brunsman edited for the paper in conjunction with Ohio's 2003 bicentennial and thought it might make a good book.
So, they took the once-a-day snippets featured in the Enquirer, which were date-relevant and ran them as a "Today in History" feature in the paper. At the end of the year the two realized they had amassed an impressive collection of historical data and decided to expand it with photographs and additional information. Enquirer editors agreed, gave permission to use photos and the book was published.
I received a copy of the book the day before the broadcast and admittedly did not, nor could have conceivably, read the entire book. But the neat thing about it? You don't have to. Each page of the book is a different date of the year. It's easy to flip through the book and read entries and get a glimpse into Ohio's - and as I said on the show - surprisingly diverse and robust history.
People, places and events make this state - this supposedly sleepy Midwestern bastion of boredom - into a colorful, diverse and exciting who's who and what's what that has so many ties to the most important events in this country and the world's history. Some of it is just fun. Like reliving the 1982 Bengals versus Chargers "Freezer Bowl" game at Riverfront Stadium that lead to the Bengals first Super Bowl berth. Pretty neat to read and remember.
During our interview both authors shared their favorite Ohioans and a few of their favorite events from Ohio's history. Brunsman also shared his revelation that he wound up knowing more about Ohio's history at the end of researching this book than he knew about his own lineage. That realization prompted him to begin studying his family's genealogy, discovering he was actually related to one of the people featured in his book. But I'll let you listen to the interview to hear that tidbit, plus you'll get to hear Brunsman read an entry from the book.
Finally, we spoke with John Young during our "Advancing Cincinnati" segment that focuses on the good work of one organization or person each week - out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people and groups working to move the Cincinnati region forward.
Young is the president and CEO of Cincinnati's largest provider of food to the underprivileged, the Freestore/FoodBank. Though the segment was short, we got a glimpse into what the charity does - especially during this critical time of year.
Particularly interesting was Young's telling of how the organization not only provides food to those who need it, but also works as a full-service agency helping those they give food to find a steady job, get health services and fulfilling other needs to help prevent them from becoming dependent on the Freestore/FoodBank. I think that information goes against some common thinking that they simply hand out food to the needy and then that's it.
It's worth noting that the organization is in the midst of a $1.38 million fundraising campaign to help them continue their work. They're also in need of canned good donations this time of year. If you'd like to help, call (513) 482-FOOD or visit their Web site.
Audio is now posted from today's show...
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Our next show will be at 1 p.m. Friday, December 2. We'll broadcast from the WAIF studios as a live Internet stream and have the Podcast available later that day.
Thank you for tuning in, clicking on or downloading the show. And from all of us (all both of us) at Cincinnati Advance Radio, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
But for now, Keep Advancing Cincinnati!