Is this mic on? Check one, check one

by Ogi Overman

Somewhere buried in one of my desk drawers lays my favorite button, the one that sums up my life. It reads: “I need more money and more power and less shit from you people.”

Haven’t you ever felt that way? Doesn’t it sometimes seem that you’re living in a world alone, that all your brilliant ideas fall on deaf ears, that you’re unappreciated, ignored, undervalued, anonymous? Borderline worthless, even?

I know I do. I continually have these flashes of inspiration, these bright ideas, these dazzling visions born of spiritual insight. And what do I get? Same thing as Barney. “Heartaches, nothing but heartaches.”

You’d think someone out there would be paying attention. After all, with a weekly column, a half-hour radio spot and a seven-minute TV gig to vent my spleen, somebody in this media market of over 2 million souls ought to at least occasionally find my rantings mildly meritorious.

But again, what do I get? Let me give you a clue: “Hello darkness, my old friend…”

I mean, the law of averages would seem to dictate that one of my ideas would find an audience. Just one. Some poor schlub out there would call or e-mail and tell me what a great idea I’d floated in my column or on Dusty’s radio show or on Longworth’s TV show.

Seriously, I’ve had some brilliant ideas over the years that have been picked up on by others, proving that I’m not a total flake. They’ve either tweaked them, stolen them, expanded upon them and/or used them for inspiration, either by coincidence or by design. But either way, I’m convinced that I’ve been right before and in what I’m about to propose, I’m right again.

Hey, who do you think came up with the notion of a downtown carousel?

No disrespect to Bernie Mann and his Rotary pals, but it was moi, thank you very much. When I wrote a column suggesting not only a Burlington-style carousel but a Ferris wheel down the block from the Depot, did I get written up in the N&R and hailed as a visionary? Hah.

Remember my World’s Largest Soda Bottle, downtown, overlooking the ballpark, spiral staircase, telescopes on the top floor, restaurant, etc.? Well, Billy Prim, owner of the Winston-Salem Warthogs, is planning a six-story Primo water (which he also owns) bottle overlooking his ballpark now under construction. Vengeance is mine.

And speaking of ballparks, who originally came up with the concept of a downtown ballpark? Okay, that wasn’t me, it was Bill Wardle, but I was the first to jump on the bandwagon. And, FYI, that was 20 years before it got built.

One of my best concoctions was the downtown pond with submerged hockey pipes, allowing it to be frozen in winter for ice skating. So happens, Jamestown may be more visionary than Greensboro, as at least two town councilmembers are intrigued with the idea.

Some of my best-laid plans have yet to gain any traction, such: as my Grand Prix de Greensboro track that I personally designed; Century Boulevard, a decade-by-decade stroll from one end of Elm Street to the other; a roller derby franchise, the Gate City Crashers (get it?); and a real electronic trolley system running throughout downtown. But just wait ’til I’m dead and see who claims them.

But this week I was reminded of the very best idea I’ve ever had, and am more convinced than ever it could work. While working on the 2008 All-Star game story for the Grasshoppers edition that will be out by the home opener, I came upon an item about the 2006 event that was hosted by the Lake County (Ohio) Captains. It was played in Eastlake, Ohio and, get this, it was televised.

Now, if there were a way under the sun to get our June 17 event televised, I guarantee you Donald Moore would have found it. But, alas, there is not. And why? Because Greensboro never listens to anything I say. I’ve been harping on the contention that Greensboro (and Winston-Salem and High Point) needs its own independent, non-affiliated, locally owned and operated television station since shortly after WGGT, the last of its breed, got bought by UPN 48 over 15 years ago. And while I applaud the efforts of News 14 Carolina, what we need is not an all-news station but an all-local, all-purpose station.

Great googa mooga, the possibilities are endless, only beginning with the All-Star game. It could broadcast hundreds of things that would serve the public interest and that the network affiliates wouldn’t be able to touch. Off the top of my head: Triad Stage, EMF concerts, Community Theatre of Greensboro, the Carolina Blues Festival, Carolina Theatre events, Fourth of July parades, A&T homecoming activities, high school playoff games, Little Four, any number of Bennett, Guilford, A&T and Greensboro College events, hockey games (oops, scratch that), a plethora of Greensboro Coliseum Complex events, and on and on and on.

And then you fill out the programming day by purchasing rights to evergreens such as “Laverne and Shirley,” “Star Trek,” “Who’s The Boss?” and the “Beverly Hillbillies.”

Wheeee doggies!

Ogi may be reached at, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.