Monday, February 22, 2021

Confessions of a night person

 

The U.S. Army once had a recruiting slogan that proclaimed, “We do more by 9:00 in the morning than most people do all day!” Excuse me, but… that’s an incentive? By 9:00 in the morning I’m hopefully still sleeping.

I must admit I’m a night person. Always have been. Practically every job I’ve ever had since high school was a night job. Of course, now that I think about it, I bet I would have sold more Amway products door to door if I didn’t start out every night at midnight.

I know a lot of writers who are morning people. They get up at dawn, go right to work, and get as much done as the Army without cleaning toilets. Notice in that Army slogan they never specify exactly what they do? The truth is, a lot of potatoes get peeled, floors get buffed, and trenches get dug before 9.

But I prefer working late at night. It’s quiet for one thing, and when I write during the day I’m always wondering – what’s going on out there that I’m missing? I never feel that way when the option is watching "A Little Late with Lilly Singh."

Morning writers contend that they can enjoy the day more knowing they’ve already done their allotted work. That makes great sense to me. Until the alarm clock sounds. Then I’m thinking, “What the fuck?! I don’t get up this early to go to the goddamn Rose Parade. I’m going to drag myself out of bed to write five pages for this play when there's no theatre until maybe the fall?”

Back when I was hosting Dodger Talk on XTRA 1150, I filled in on the morning show for about a month. The program director then offered me the position full-time. I graciously declined. He asked why? I’d be done at 9:00 and then have the whole rest of the day to write and direct. I said, “Yes, but see, here’s the thing: by 9:00 I’M FUCKING DEAD!!!” I don’t know how morning men do it.  I’m just now catching up on the sleep I lost.

There’s also a practical reason why I like to write during the wee hours. Lots of writers feel they have to finish a scene before they can put it down for the day. So they’ll sit for as long as it takes to wrestle that bad boy to the ground.

I’m the opposite. If I’m stuck on a tough story point or a long character speech I just stop – in the middle of a sentence even. I find that it’s much easier to solve story problems when I’m relaxed. So I’ll go to sleep and let my subconscious work on it awhile. Invariably, in the morning, after just mulling it over in bed or taking a shower, the solution will present itself. Then I’ll return to the script to finish the scene.

So maybe I don’t get that much done before 9:00 but from 9:15-9:25 I kick ass!

How about you? Are you a morning or night person, and why?

55 comments :

Michael Hagerty said...

I've done mornings a few times in my radio career, with alarm times as early as 1:30, and never later than 3:45.

I'm with you, Ken---I don't know how the guys (and women) who do it for decades manage. Unless you can go to bed (and to sleep) at 6:00 p.m., sleep deprivation becomes an issue. I ended up sleeping a lot of perfectly good weekends away.

Right now, I work afternoons---don't have to be in until 1:00 p.m. And somehow my body clock says 5:30-6:00 a.m. is the right time to get up. As brutal as that probably sounds to you, there's a massive difference between 1:30 (or even 3:45) and 5:30. I'll take it.

Anonymous said...

From the guy who wrote a book about Cook County Hospital ER:
"the day shift was rap music, the evening shift was easy listening, and the overnight shift was jazz."

Nate L. said...

I'm an evening person. Work the evening shift for 15 years now. Main reason is close to yours. The alarm clock is the enemy. I used to lie awake waiting for it go off. Lots of tossing and turning. Now, I'm out of work at Midnight, in bed at 2 and have all morning to do anything or nothing. Low stress indeed.

Paul Duca said...

Did you ever get to ask Robert W. Morgan about that?

Jeff Boice said...

Morning person. The commute did it. The normal 9 to 5 routine meant being stuck in traffic twice a day every day. So the choice was leave home early or come home late. Leaving at 5:30AM seemed better than arriving home at 8PM.

Dave Creek said...

I always loved the phrase you mentioned about "having the whole rest of the day" to spend with their family or whatever. For some people it works, but for others who take the morning shift it doesn't occur to them that to do their job properly they have to get to bed by six or seven p.m. So they don't actually gain more time with their family, who has to sneak around quietly so they don't wake up the early riser.

On the other hand, I know some people who work morning newscasts because it lets them get home in time to take care of their children before the spouse get home after a "normal" 9-5 shift. Good for them.

Jeff P said...

I worked morning drive radio for about 35--years...
In my heyday...I'd watch Johnny's monologue & desk bit...hit the rack at about midnight...get up at 4:40....and usually always have a good show!
Retired for 15-years....I still wake up at 5.......(I need help)!

Moot said...

If I wanted a job that required no weekends, it seemed I would have to get used to early weekday mornings. Now I've come to embrace them, going to sleep by 9pm on Friday and rising early on Saturdays. This is what they train us for in grade school, which I never understood, the majority of my former classmates work second or third shift jobs, or swing shifts. Even though I'm up early, many of my 8-9 am appointments are no shows, because they're still sleeping. Which I'm grateful for, just because I'm up doesn't mean I want to deal with people. I feel like I'll be one of those ancient morning barflies in a Charles Bukowski novel, after 30 years of waking up at 6am, after retirement they still can't sleep past 7am so they head to the local bar every morning.

Unknown said...

I always referred to the U.S. army as the world's largest janitorial service.

slgc said...

I'm a night person, for sure. I'm useless in the mornings.

Paul Dushkind said...

FQ: From time to time, you remark that you used true anecdotes from the Korean war on M*A*S*H, but that some stories were too rough to use on TV. Can you share any of them now? Or are they too rough to write about on your blog?

I feel that the movie versions of Trapper and Hawkeye are not the kind of people I would want operating on me. Too flippant and hostile. For TV, did you find you had to soften reality to make the characters likable?

Were some of the veterans you interviewed more like Frank Burns and Colonel Flagg than like B.J. and Hawkeye?

Covarr said...

I'm... kinda both? I'm not great at waking up, but once I have my coffee I'm usually pretty good. Sometimes on the weekends I get up early to watch the sunrise, and that's always wonderful. My natural mode is to go to bed around 9, which is pretty early, but if I'm working on something I can easily lose track of the time and stay up 'til 2am.

Kirk Chritton said...

Back in the 90s, I was the ad rep for a local pizza place that had famously jokey ads. One of my favorites of their headlines was, "We do more by 9:00 AM than most people do by 9:15 AM.”

Mibbitmaker said...

Night person here. Started 1969 or '70 with a late(r) night male version of "The Judy Miller Show" one night, though there was a progression towards my adult, regular experience not going to bed yet. That began with the siren call of Laugh-In till 8:30 (compromise with my parents - I was 6 at the time) in 1968, then the Carol Burnett Show till 11PM in 1973 (parents separated, living with mom, Sundays with dad), then SNL in 1976 (divorced, mom's every other weekend - sister still lived with mom) then 1978 at my place (dad & step-mom), somewhere in there Johnny's Tonight Show, then Late Night with David Letterman (adult), etc. Also, late, late nights with radio (snuck as a teen, continuing into adulthood).

Yes, I actually missed a few SNLs (favorite show) between Buck Henry/Bill Withers/Toni Basil and Steve Martin/Blues Brothers back then.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

I'm a night person by far when it comes to anything creative, usually music in my case. I sometimes get stuck staying up too late when I'm really focused on something, which can be a problem. But it's worth it.

The odd thing is, I'm also a morning person. I like the energy of the morning, getting things done and moving a lot. But the activity is at a lower pay grade, as it were. Morning is when I do tasks like errands, work around the house, rubbing a few ones out (oops, forget about that last one).

The afternoon is the part of the day that I can never really hit in stride. It's long and boring, and when I can I just want to take nap. I wish the hours between 4 and 7 p.m. were abolished.

Roseann said...

For every who can't sleep - try 10mg of melatonin. I take one before I put the light out and if I wake 'too early' I take another 10mg. It's like a miracle. Good, honest sleep.

marka said...

When in college I couldn't get up before 11 am. Just couldn't. Now I can't sleep in past 6, even if I want to.

I prefer working early (I work for myself so set my own hours) because there are fewer distractions. If I start at 6 I feel I can stop at 3 and not feel any guilt. Then I can get the things that would distract me taken care of.

Michael said...

My answer is yes. I can function either way.

I'm reminded of a couple of legendary newscasters. Mike Wallace anchored the CBS Morning News at 10 a.m. for two years and then at 7 a.m. for more than a year, and said it took him YEARS before he got back his normal sleep habits. One of his successors in that job was Hughes Rudd, who was asked about having to get up at 1:30 a.m. to go to work. He said that when you're a man of my age, you're getting up at that hour anyway for other reasons, so it isn't that big a deal to stay awake.

Steve Bailey said...

If it's any consolation, Buster Keaton was a night person. He and his peers would fix hamburgers at work on story ideas all night. And you said that when you hit a snag in your writing, you just stop writing. When Keaton hit a story problem he couldn't resolve, he and his crew would go play baseball. If Keaton thought of a solution in the middle of a play, baseball was over and they'd go back to work.

Tim W. said...

Most DEFINITELY a night person. And thankfully, every job I’ve had nearly my entire adult life, despite being day jobs, usually didn’t require me to be in before 10 AM, which barely acceptable to me. One of the nice thing about working from home during the pandemic is I haven’t even had to set my alarm once. I just wake up when I feel like it.

Unknown said...

I worked tech support on a trading desk in Chicago, early shift at 6:30am, meant getting up at 4am to get train. They needed help in our San Fran office, which meant being there at 4am. The month I did it, almost every morning getting up at 2:47 (get that extra 2 minutes of sleep!!) I said to myself, how many times did I go to get at this hour. I was lucky as hotel was 2 blocks away, local employees had to drive in.
I don't like being tired, so I would go to bed 9pm, and I think it was the most rested I've been, even getting up at 4am. Now doing 9-5 I get to bed 'whenever'. But now in lockdown, I no longer use an alarm clock, I get up, when I get up. I still think if the suns not up, no reason for me.
But I still believe nothing good happens after midnight, so I have this mental block of being awake after midnight. But when I have to work after midnight on projects or problems, I think how great I am that I am working this late. I'm not a robot!

Troy McClure said...

I'm a night person. But I can work during the day if I can take my laptop to a cafe. I can't work at home in the daytime. I need to be surrounded by noise and people.

By the way, the Cheers theme song was featured in a dream sequence in the latest episode of Resident Alien (episode 4). It's such a fun show.

AJ's Blog said...

Nope, have always been a night person. In college, i'd go out to study at 10 pm. Go to the local steak and shake, have a cup of coffee and start reading.

Cheryl Marks said...

Late night - very detrimental to my comprehension of organic chemistry which I attempted to take at 8:00 am. Also resented that the business world on the West Coast had to start way too early in the morning because of the "center of the universe" back East.

BUT a big advantage - discovering SCTV on late night broadcasts of CBUT. Pure comedy gold.

Kevin FitzMaurice said...

Night owl here, too--I love the peace, quiet, and solitude. Recently, I've been watching "Friends" reruns after midnight on Nick at Nite. I never saw the show much during its original run on NBC--it struck me as adolescent, although I'm roughly the same age as the cast. I was more "Frasier" than "Friends." But it is a funnier and better written and acted show than I've given it credit for, and I've enjoyed it.

The former Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene once profiled a St. Louis radio executive named Robert Hyland, who would show up for work at KMOX at 2:30 in the morning. Hyland not only ran a major station, but he was one of those civic-minded guys who served on a million boards. He said by arriving for work in the middle of the night, he was more productive without the phone ringing and other interruptions and was prepared when the rest of the staff showed up at a conventional hour. And Hyland still put in a full day--not going home until 5 o'clock.

thomas tucker said...

My mother always said that nothing good ever happened after midnight, and in my experience, she was right.

McAlvie said...

Not a morning person, although I had to fake t for many years. Just getting to work was an achievement, and unlike the army, that was about the only thing that happened before 9 a.m. Who am I kidding - before 10 a.m.! Not having to drag myself out of bed at o’dark 30, I have rediscovered the joy of late night reading. The world is quiet and there are no distractions or interruptions. Heaven!

D McEwan said...

I am SUCH a night person! My freshman year in college I got a job producing a radio show at KEZY that was an hour comedy show at midnight. That did it. Night person ever since. I never took a class in college earlier than 11 am. I never even ever set foot in KEZY during daylight hours and few there even knew who I was. Our star (Jerry Harms), who hired me, didn't show up one night so the engineer suggested I just do the show. I did. There was a stink the next day as the station manager had no idea who this guy who broadcast an hour on his station even was. (Also, I was not yet in AFTRA. Bad boy!)

Later, when I was writing and producing for Dick Whittington at KGIL, a morning show, I had to get up at 5 am every day and that was torture. I loved everything about that job but the hours, and though I did that job far longer than I did the KEZY job, it never made a day person of me. Instead, I'd catch up on sleep on the weekends. Saturdays it was not unusual for me to sleep 18 hours straight.

My dad, who got up at 4:30 am every day for decades, was disgusted by my "Sleeping away the best part of the day." I told him the best part of the day should be more conveniently scheduled. He literally thought it was obscene to sleep in like I did. Never mind that I tended to go to bed about the time he got up.

I told Dad that it was healthier. I said, "Pop, most people are up all day, sleep at night. They live what? 80, 90 years? Count Dracula slept all day and was up all night, and he lived for 500 years!" My father did not accept this logic.

90% of my novels were written between the hours of 10 pm and dawn. It's the BEST time to write. No one calls you. No one knocks at the door. You're left alone.

And that army slogan always made me crazy for the same reason, even without the fact that what they were doing were things I vociferously did not want ever to do.

Ever read Dr. Carl Sagan's Pulitzer Prize book The Dragons of Eden? In it, he theorizes that mammals evolved sleep as a survival mechanism. 70 million years ago, cold-blooded dinosaurs were active ONLY in daylight. "Sleep" allowed mammals to sleep DURING THE DAY while tyrannosaurs hunted them, and be active at night when the dinosaurs were dormant. Mankind, according to Professor Sagan, is SUPPOSED be nocturnal! So it is Day People who are unnatural and wrong, and night people who are living as we're supposed to. How I wish I'd read that book before my dad died so I could have rubbed his nose in it.

D McEwan said...

"thomas tucker said...
My mother always said that nothing good ever happened after midnight, and in my experience, she was right."


Your mother was so, so, so very, very, very wrong.

YEKIMI said...

I was born at 5:12 AM and have been trying to catch up on my sleep ever since. I am a late evening/night person, always have been. My mom says I'm part vampire. It was hell during school years [even elementary] because I could NEVER fall asleep before 3 AM but have to get up at 6 AM to get ready for school. In the morning I was a zombie. Always wanted the overnights at the radio stations I worked at. Got to avoid most of the bullshit from the higher ups that way. Sleeping pills have never worked on me, in fact some of them tend to do the exact opposite of what they're intended to do. Only if I'm super sick [bad cold, flu, heart surgery, heebee-jeebees] can I sleep at night. I can go to bed at 2 AM but I'll toss and turn till 6 or 7 in the morning before I fall asleep. Sometimes I can read something and fall asleep quicker but most of the time I end up finishing the damn book I was reading.

KB said...

I hate mornings and I hate chipper morning people more. I don't feel put together until after lunch.

Anthony said...

I feel like I’m a morning person but only by default. When I was regularly going to work pre-Covid, I had to commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan and arrive by 8am...and that meant I had to be up early enough to get ready and walk the dog first.

That schedule makes it hard to break...even while being home due to Covid.

The latest I’ve ever slept til in the last year or so is 9am and that has been the latest I’ve ever liked sleeping to. I feel like I’ve always felt a little off when I’ve slept in. I tend to have more of a drive to do things in the morning and then by the time late afternoon/early evening hits, I want to drop everything and do as little as possible.

So I guess I’m sort of trapped in something of a 9-5 mentality.

Cap'n Bob said...

I've worked every shift and all hours but have only felt comfortable on graves. I get a second wind around 11 p.m. and have a lot more energy in the wee hours. Maybe because I was born just before midnight I'm a creature of the night.

Jahn Ghalt said...


Yiu have often said that you were "the world's worst soldier" ( and detailed in a podcast ) your musical parody of West Side Story - but what about the grunt work?

Maybe you already said it: " a lot of potatoes get peeled, floors get buffed, and trenches get dug before 9"

If not too traumatic (or just boring to you) this could be a FRIDAY QUESTION ??

JED said...

When I worked on a research ship (for about 10 years) I always took the 12 - 4 shift (midnight to 4 am and noon to 4 pm). If I assigned the new people to that shift, something always went wrong between midnight and 4 am and they'd wake me up to figure it out and I'd be up then anyway.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I had been a morning person when I was younger. Mostly because I had to get up early for school and work. However, my first paid job in radio changed all that. I was an overnight board-op. Having never worked a night shift before I needed some help staying awake. So I bought a sixpack of JOLT Cola. "All the sugar and twice the caffeine." This, of course, was before they had invented RED BULL. It worked. I was able to get through my shift. Since then I have been an any time guy once I get into the habit of certain hours. My favorite shift was morning drive because you did have the rest of the day to get things done.
Outside of radio I've been an up at sunrise guy, an up at noon guy, a still awake at 4 a.m. guy, etc.
As for creativity, I agree with Ken. There are fewer distractions at night. Not that that has helped me get anything written during the pandemic.

As of this writing I'm sort of a "split shift" guy. I'm up late at night, but my 60+ year old body requires a nap to do it.

M.B.

Jahn Ghalt said...

@Cheryl Marks who wrote:

detrimental to my comprehension of organic chemistry which I attempted to take at 8:00 am.

At my small school the 3rd and last unit of Calculus was held at 8:05 - "attempted" was NOT an option for that required course.

IT was worse for a dorm mate - like good little nerds we sat in the front row. Every morning at 0830 - Mason, off to the right, well within Dr. _____'s eyeshot was Mason, head back, eyes closed, mouth fully open.

One day, about 0835, Dr. _____ stopped the lecture - said:

"look at THAT! Mason's AWAKE!"

Kevin In Choconut Center said...

I am a night person all the way. I get it from my dad, who was one. Going back as far as high school, I've been able to schedule easier things in the morning. Senior year my classes were, in this order, Physics Lab, Gym Class, Physics, Home Economics, English, study hall, and Social Studies.

Night people do make a lot more money in certain fields. I was making $7.50 an hour with benefits as a fast food closer when the minimum wage was 3.25 an hour.

Having the night all to yourself is wonderful, if you're a night person.

Angela said...

I'm a total night owl sort as well. Apparently I've been like that since I was a baby-my parents talked about how I was always up all night as a baby and slept during the day.

I haven't had night jobs thus far, though, but maybe that's something to look into. It just feels weird to go to a job at, like, midnight, though, but I guess it depends on the job one's doing.

But yeah, I do like being up late at night because it's quiet and I can focus on doing whatever stuff I want to do and there's no distractions or anything of that sort. It's my alone time, and I like that.

Call Me Mike said...

Night owl here. I've heard a theory about creative people having "creative insomnia" and I can attest to that. Oh sure, I can make an effort getting to bed like a normal person, but then I'll get an idea while trying to go to sleep. I'll get up, do some sketches, make some notes. Repeat a few more times and pretty soon it's four in the morning.

And... I wouldn't have it any other way.

VincentS said...

Definitely a life-long morning person. I can remember as a small child going into my parents' bedroom having conversations with my mother - when she was still asleep! A fact that never seemed to bother me. I always seemed to wake up before the alarm clock and for years I awoke at exactly 6:35 a.m. Don't ask me why or how. And you're right, Ken: We early risers revel in getting all our stuff done early to have the rest of the day free and since most people work during the day I never felt I was missing out on anything. I've also noticed that early birds can be annoying to you night owls - "What the hell are you so zip-a-dee-do-dah for at this our of the morning?"

Troy McClure said...

Just caught up with the first episode of Allen v Farrow. Yikes. If Allen thought his career was salvageable, he can forget it. He's finished after this. And there are still three more episodes to come.

jenmoon said...

As a night owl: early birds never, ever get how we feel. I have been trying to figure out for years how to translate it for them. Here we go:

(a) It's 4:30 a.m. You wake up, bouncing with energy. You're hungry, you're dying to go out for a jog! But no! Instead you are tied to the bed while someone lectures you about how you need to go back to sleep for the next five hours and you need to be sleepy and tired NOW and hey, why don't you try some melatonin and a dark bedroom? You are BURSTING WITH ENERGY right when you are being told to be at your lowest and tiredest. You spend the next three hours trying to force yourself to be tired when you absolutely are not.

(b) It's eight p.m. You're tired and brain dead and can't wait to go to bed for a solid 8 hours. Nope! You need to have a Very Important Work Meeting right now1 You need to be On! and Smiling! and Problem Solving! You literally need to go do the hardest thinking of your day Right Now! While pretending to be happy about it!

As you see, I'm resentful of people giving me shit for not having any energy in the morning till about 11. And I second whoever said above that waking up too early fucked up their sleep. I've still never recovered from a job of mine requiring me to work 7-4 for four months. And my entire industry is chirpy early birds.

Anonymous said...

I've had 3 jobs in my life that started before 6 AM and I always hated it. Now, and I'm in the Ken Levine age group, I get up at 5:30 and love it. The difference it that I don't have to shave or get dressed beyond pulling on my Levis. I don't have to fight the 101 Freeway for an hour. The coffee maker comes on before I wake up and my office window at home faces east, at the sunrise coming up over snowy mountains. The world is quiet and peaceful and I won't be bothered by calls from the IRS/Amazon/Microsoft/Visa/Medicare/Social Security/Publishers Clearinghouse or the Federal Reserve for at least 2 hours. (Oddly, they only seem to hire people with Indian accents.) I play with the stock market a little starting at 6:30, wearing a T-shirt and bare feet. Since I go to bed after midnight, I make up for it by sleeping 2 hours in the afternoon, to me the most boring part of the day.

-30-

Pat Reeder said...

This sounds exactly like me. I've always been as nocturnal as Dracula. I work all night at the computer, when it's dead quiet (a rare time in a house shared with 12 rescued parrots and cockatoos) and get to bed between 10 a.m. and noon. The two major reasons I set out to be self-employed and work out of the house were to avoid 9-5 office hours and commuter traffic. To me, one of the biggest inconveniences of the lockdowns was stores that were normally open 24 hours a day shutting down at 8 p.m. The best time to shop is around 3 a.m.

Fortunately, it all works out: writing for radio and the Internet, I work all night to create the freshest material, then get it out as morning DJs are coming to work and the sites I write for are posting the morning content.

Jay Moriarty said...

Identify totally! Like Sky Masterson: "My Time of Day is the Dark Time..." Typing this at midnight.

Marcel K. said...

Software developer here that has always preferred nights. In fact it was the one demand I always had on my jobs that I don't have to come in at 9 like all the others. Usually checked what's to eat in the canteen and then decided whether to come in at 12pm for breakfast or 1pm. Most people joked that I lived in the New York time zone while located in Germany. Lived 15 years without an alarm before my daughter was born, now getting up early to get her to school is killing me. Not my most productive years either...

Barry Traylor said...

Like you Ken I am also a night person (perhaps I am a vampire?) I worked 2nd shift at a printing firm for 40 years and I loved it. For one thing the "suits" were all gone and I could get my work done w/o someone looking over my shoulder all the time.

Paul Duca said...

"You mean you have to eat at 6 and be in bed by 9? Nine o'clock--that's when life begins!"--GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES

Paul Duca said...

TV commercial from 1967


https://youtu.be/X9vuo5ocCNo?t=5

Cedricstudio said...

I'm a professional illustrator. In my bachelor days I would work until I was tired, then sleep until I woke up, then work until I was tired again. Instead of it being a 24-hour cycle my body fell into about a 28- to 30-hour rhythm. I would sleep about eight hours and then be up working/living life for about 20-22 hours. That meant that for a couple of weeks I'd be working days and then gradually cycle through to working nights, and then back around to days again. It was glorious. Although during the second week of working nights I did find the loneliness got to me. Other than that I loved it.

Betty said...

Neither. I hate getting up, but I can't stay up late. Happiest when I get a solid 9 hours of sleep every night (including one potty break in the middle somewhere).

Mike Bloodworth said...

D. Lucky you. I did my internship at KGIL, but it was after "Sweet Dick" left.
M.B.

Brandon in Virginia said...

I've always been a night owl, going back to weekends during my pre-teen years. When I had to be at an office at 9 am, I usually gave myself a midnight bedtime, which always turned into 1:30 or 2 am. When I started freelancing a few years ago, I tried to never set any appointment before 10 am, so that I could justify going to bed at 1 or 2. My girlfriend has managed to get me to bed by 11:30, but I'm still a work in progress there.

D. McEwan said...

"Blogger Mike Bloodworth said...
D. Lucky you. I did my internship at KGIL, but it was after "Sweet Dick" left.
M.B."


I started writing for Sweet Dick at KABC, so I went to KGIL with him and left when he did to KFI. He's still a close friend, and still just as sharp as ever at 91.