On a day that his fans and those close to Glen knew was coming, Glen Campbell passed away quietly today in a Tennessee long-term care facility for Alzheimer’s patients. Glen Campbell was one of those voices that transcended all music genres and put smiles in people’s hearts.
With the help of his talented kids in the band, in 2012 he played his final live concert in none other than Napa, California to an adoring crowd at the Uptown Theater.
In 2014 Glen Released the Movie “I’ll Be Me” which chronicled his battle with Alzheimer’s and a behind the scenes look at his farewell tour. Below is the trailer.
And here is an excerpt from this inspirational film. His vulnerability and courage in fighting it head on are amazing. “I kept going into the kitchen and then forgetting what I came in there for. So I solved the problem; I stopped going into the kitchen!
The Alzheimer’s Association has said what Glen is doing is unprecedented and his humble courage has been an inspiration to both families and patients of the dreaded disease.
Glen began his career dropping out of high school at 14 and eventually becoming a great studio musician in Los Angeles playing for some of the great performers in the music industry like Waylon Jennings, Elvis Pressley, The Beach Boys and Johnny Cash. He broke out in 1967 winning 4 Grammy’s.
Included in his legion of fans are The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and President Bill Clinton. Tom Petty once said, “Glen’s songs really weren’t hip enough for the 60’s but then you’d listen to how good they were and how great he played and you soon loved it.”
Not everything was peaches and cream for Glen. There were public battles with drugs and alcohol along with arrests and the ups and downs of the music industry. He was front page fodder with his controversial cocaine induced relationship with Tanya Tucker who was 22 years his junior. He had a variety show from 1969 to 1972 but that was cancelled. He had 3 failed marriages until he got clean during his 4th marriage with his present wife Kim. He ended up having 8 kids.
It was hard to let go of Glen even during his worst times. His personality, kindness and charm were hard to let go of. A writer on his variety show; future star Steve Martin; said that Glen was fun and easy going and never took himself too seriously. “He was up for anything and he was so much fun to work with”, said Martin.
In 2011 Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As a way to say goodbye to his fans and to tell them that was going to be ok through this journey, he went on tour. In a People magazine interview, Glen and his 4th wife Kim said that they wanted to come out and talk about the Alzheimer’s so fans would not be alarmed when he occasionally forgot words or lost his place in a song. With social media and online publications, they did not want rumors of drugs or alcohol to tarnish his new good name. Below are some amazing performances with Glen and many of the giants in the music industry that are sadly gone as well.
Here is Glen Campbell on the Johnny Carson show in 1985.
Glen Campbell talking about the loss of his good friend John Denver.
John Denver and Glen Campbell singing on John’s Variety Show in 1977.
Elvis Presley and Glen Campbell sing a duet.
Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash just having fun.
A goodbye interview with Glen Campbell and his wife and daughter.
I would like to thank Glen’s social media team who have always been so kind to me whenever I brought Glen’s name up online. They have been very supportive and pro active with all of his fans and they are a reflection of his fighting spirit and positive attitude. I hope that even with Glen being gone, that they work harder than ever to help his fans celebrate his talents and his life.
And finally thanks to Glen and his family for their kindness, truthfulness and vulnerability. Glen’s music will live on forever and the bond between he and his fans will never be broken because of the way you handled this terrible situation. Rest in Peace Glen. And thanks for sharing so much.
On a cool winter day about 5 years ago, I had to make a house call to Mr. S (no name for healthcare privacy). Mr. S was in his late 60’s and he was not doing well. He had just lost his wife. He was getting ready to move back east to live with his daughter with the hopes his grandchildren could spark life into him.
As I sat in his home with his daughter, they got me a snack and I gave Mr. S a breathing treatment. He was a small, frail Japanese man who was obviously in a lot of emotional pain to go along with his poor health. He barely spoke.
I looked around the room to see if there was something I could talk to him about to try and cheer him up; an old salesman’s trick. His bookshelf was filled with books mostly in Japanese, the country he grew up in. About 25 years ago his company asked him to move to America to work for their San Francisco Bay Area branch and he agreed.
I looked and saw some wrestling magazines. He saw that I was reading them and all of a sudden a wry smile came to Mr. S and he took the nebulizer out of his mouth and said, HUSS, HUSS!
I smiled and asked his daughter what the heck that meant and she said that her father was a big wrestling fan and that was Bruiser Brody’s famous yell when he entered the ring. Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen were his favorite wrestlers. He slowly began to open up and he began to talk about Bruiser and Stan’s amazing entrances and their great skill. Wrestling in Japan in those days was very serious business and the respectful fans of the orient had an amazing passion for it. He said that his family and friends often went to the matches together and he was very fond of those memories.
We sat and talked for a couple of hours. I had to come back the next day so I went home and went on Youtube. I looked at every video I could on Bruiser Brody and I ordered the book “Brody; The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel” on Amazon. It was written by his wife Barbara, and Wrestling Promoter and friend Larry Matysik. Once I saw Bruiser Brody’s first entrance in Japan, my mouth was wide open. Here they were playing Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song and he’s swinging a chain over his head while fans and ring workers alike ran for their lives. I thought, “my God this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” I was a huge wrestling fan back in the day but I long since dumped it since it became the after school special type product of today. I was not into sports entertainment; I liked wrestling.
(below is a great Facebook group honoring Bruiser Brody)
I stayed up for hours probably watching nearly 50 more videos on Frank Goodish, AKA Bruiser Brody. The next day I went to Mr. S’s again and showed he and his daughter the Youtube videos, both in English and Japanese. He was euphoric! He wouldn’t stop talking saying that he was even at a few of the matches we watched. I stayed for hours and listened to them laugh and have an amazing time reminiscing about the “intelligent monster” and the amazing fun their family had going to the matches.
When I left, Mr. S grabbed both of my hands and bowed saying he was so glad that I came by. His daughter gave me some snacks to take home and thanked me as well. I wished them well in their move and told them to get a hold of me if they needed anything. That night I ate the snacks and drank Guinness watching Youtube videos of Frank doing leap frogs, drop kicks, and his classic move where standing still he would bring his leg straight up and smash his opponents face. My jaw dropped. I never saw anything like it. To end it he jumped high in the air and busted his opponent with a knee.
The Myth of Bruiser Brody:
Frank Goodish was the greatest Independent Wrestler of all time and one of the greats period. He was a spiritual, complicated man, and the stories of him are of legend. From his physicality and his “stiff” or “strong style” form of wrestling, to him carrying cans of tuna and green beans on the road. He was mostly loved by wrestlers and hated by promoters. I heard many positive and sometimes negative things about him but I had to find the truth.
I first watched several matches with him and Stan Hansen. It didn’t matter if the opponents were the Funk’s or whoever else, Stan and Frank ran through them like buzz saws. There wasn’t a wasted movement and they were like a tidal wave. They just kept coming. After every tag team match their opponents looked like they were about ready to pass out from exhaustion, while Stan and Frank looked like they were out for a Sunday morning stroll. These guys were like machines that never tired. I always thought the Road Warriors or a younger Steiner Brothers were the best tag teams ever, but Stan and Bruiser Brody are the best in my mind. I’ll bring them to the ring against anyone in history and smile while doing it.
I also heard negative stories about Frank. I wanted to know the truth and let’s face it; other than politics, there is no arena with more lies and falsehoods than the wrestling business. It seemed that few really knew the truth or wanted to know it for that matter. I took about 6 months to devour anything on Bruiser Brody so I could answer these questions.
I’ve seen various online articles saying what a huge steroid user Bruiser Brody was, especially from younger wrestling fans and writers. Well that is false. Bruiser did use steroids for a short time in the late 70’s when they were NOT illegal and they didn’t know the long term ramifications of their use. Well Frank found out quickly they made him very sick.
On a trip home from Japan Larry Matysik explains in his book that Frank crumpled and collapsed on the airplane saying that he thought he was dying. The doctors didn’t have a definitive answer to his illness but Frank did. He felt that steroids were destroying his body so he stopped cold turkey in 1979. He never used steroids again and he was never that ill. What’s funny is that in the book the promotional posters of his upcoming match was a photo of him recovering in the hospital.
The Lex Luger “no sell” incident:
Boy does Brody get destroyed online for this one. At the time Lex Luger was still learning how to wrestle but he had that amazing physique that was becoming a big deal in the steroid era of the 80’s. Not even 2 years into his career, he was given a steel cage match with Bruiser Brody. It was hard for wrestlers to watch because Luger had the reputation for being pretty self-absorbed and some thought his push was not fair.
Bobby Heenan explained that Luger went up to Brody and started telling him how the match should be played out. Several others have said that Bruiser told promoters that he was not going to put up with any of Luger’s bulls**t. Heenan explained that Brody said nothing but it was obvious he was pretty upset. He told Luger they would just call the match in the ring. When he went into the ring Brody never “sold” (acted like he was hurt by punches) and the match was uncomfortable to watch as Brody did nothing. Luger looked like he legitimately got scared and left the ring; quickly; and immediately left the arena. This story has also been backed up in interviews and podcast’s by the referee of the match, Bill Alfonso. When Bruiser said nothing about it, the media and fans said Bruiser was just being a selfish jerk. The problem was though that Luger was terrible at selling; and that’s if he sold at all; and Bruiser did not tolerate anyone that was disrespectful to him or who didn’t sell to him. To tell a legend like Frank how the match was going to go was extremely disrespectful in his mind.
MANY wrestling fans go by rumors and do little research. That’s why I hate going on some social media sites and articles that say Brody was a jerk and was selfish. I looked up Brody’s matches (site seen above) during this career. It doesn’t have all of his matches but most of them. There is a pattern. Bruiser lost only to people that were on his level. He even lost to Brian Blair once when he was leaving a territory and no offense to Brian but does anyone think Brian could beat Brody? Brody lost to the likes of Baba, Bruno Sammartino, Dick the Bruiser, Big John Stud, Paul Orndorff, Ted Dibiase, & Abdullah the Butcher just to name a few. They all have one thing in common; IT’S BELIEVABLE they could beat him. Brody is a HUGE draw world-wide and if he’s losing all the time, you lose that big draw, especially in Japan! How many times did Hulk Hogan lose? Not many. Why? Because he had full control over his matches AND if he lost more often, it would kill his character. Brody knew if he kept up his huge persona and didn’t lose, the fans kept coming.
Many said Frank was loved by wrestlers but hated by promoters. Jim Cornette once said that most promoters whose territories were doing good back in the day were millionaires, and they weren’t exactly givers. In one story he told, after seeing Jerry Jarrett’s amazing mansion at a party, Memphis icon Jerry Lawler demanded more of a stake in the Memphis territory profits from him. Cornette said, “the promoters usually took the sacks of money and threw it into the air. What stuck to the ceiling was given to the boys and what came down was there’s. And that was after their unique counting techniques”.
Bruiser knew what he was worth and he had power. Everywhere he went he packed the houses and he made a ton of money for a lot of people. He had power and of course he used it. Few other wrestlers were as popular as he was or had the courage to stand up to promoters like he did.
It cracks me up that when corporations or companies wield that power, no one says a word. If the little guy tries to wield some power though, they are selfish. NFL teams rarely honor a players contract, many times cutting players before their contract runs out. No one says a word. If a player is playing fantastic and wants a raise though, fans tell the player to honor the contract and stop being greedy. In wrestling, WWE is a billion dollar company who has corporate jets and helicopters and buses, but they still can’t “afford” to pay $800/month to give their wrestlers healthcare?
I heard a few podcasts from wrestlers that ripped on Brody for being selfish by not losing matches or selling. Are you kidding me? I just watched matches where Rick Rude, Blackjack Mulligan, Abdullah the Butcher, The Funks and Von Erich’s and many others were kicking the crap out of Frank. Problem is it’s easier to take in rumors than do some research. Time also enhances these rumors. Funny how after ripping on Brody they all would add, “but I knew when Brody was around we made a lot more money because he was such a huge draw”. Steve Austin often clashed with WWE about the direction of his character. Once he just went home. No one today says he’s selfish. Frank was just way ahead of his time.
If Brody was so nasty to deal with, why were the promoters lined up to get him to come wrestle and why were wrestlers glad that he was around? Because he made them more money! Also, why did he get along with other promoters like Baba, Sam Muchnick and Larry Matysik? The reason was that they were fair and professional and they paid him properly.
The stories of Frank’s kindness haven’t exactly hit the front pages either because he didn’t promote that part of himself. That was just who he was. Some celebs and athletes need cameras around any time they do anything nice, but not Frank. He loved kids and they loved him, and he was very gracious to his fans. He supported many wrestlers and taught them the ropes. As long as you respected him and the business, and you sold for him when needed, you were cool. Disrespect him or the business and it could get ugly quick. There are stories in the Larry Matysik’s book where Frank helped out the underdog wrestler who he could help get over. In some matches that he won, he also at times let the other wrestler beat the heck out of him to help get him over too. He was far from an angel though. He could bully you if you were on his bad side that is for sure. Isn’t that attitude what most promoters have? Was he looking out for himself? Sure he was. I’m not naïve. But, in reality he was so popular that if he was on top, everyone got paid. Just like iconic names like Hogan, Flair and Andre, few wrestlers at the time could draw world wide like Frank could.
Spring forward 2 years. I saw the daughter of Mr. S at the Corte Madera, Ca Safeway. We were both excited to see each other. She sadly told me that her father had died recently and she was selling his house. She saw that I was upset about that but she smiled and said don’t be sad at all. “My father and our family appreciated you lighting a fire inside him. He loved wrestling so much and he and his friends reconnected. He watched so many matches on the internet and was so happy to regain memories that he cherished. My children also helped so much. His last two years were very happy.”
That night I was relieved and glad to hear Mr. S had some happy times and was out of pain. I thought of him running to Bruiser with his wife and friends like kids as Brody entered the ring, and I laughed out loud. Bruiser Brody was still making people smile and touching lives almost 30 years after he’s passed. And for a new fan like me, I found out that Frank Goodish; one of the greatest wrestlers of all time; was also a great man in and out of the ring. This is something that his wife Barbara and his son Geoff; along with loyal fans from around the world; have already known for a very long time. HUSS, HUSS!
For me the internet has been a blessing and a curse. In my previous article (found above), you can see the nightmares that I’ve endured being naïve about my internet activity. From dating, to business to every day life; the internet is like riding down the Amazon river. It’s beautiful but there are a lot of things around you that can hurt you. One of the dangers are the internet Trolls. These trolls can hover around the internet like Dementors in the Harry Potter series hovering overhead just waiting to be offended or angered.
What a Troll IS and ISN’T:
Society has changed a lot. People in general are much less into facts or what is really happening. Some people in general are much more insecure as well. They are into their own biases and want to be around those that feed that bias. They don’t want to debate; they want to hear what they want to hear and they want to be followed. That’s why people watch certain news channels. Preaching to the choir.
Television producers have seen how the new generation LOVES drama. Reality shows; even though they are staged (I know some reality show participants and all of them say this) some people treat them like they are fact. Will anyone watch a show of kind people loving one another? No way. They want fighting, arrogance, selfishness, yelling and insanity. Usually the nastiest people are the most popular. Well, that is the desire of an internet troll; to create drama and feed off of it.
A troll is someone that goes onto forums or social media posts and likes to stir it up anyway they can. Most go way off topic and they try to entice others to challenge them. They want chaos, anger, dramatics and any other kind of conflict. They are outraged at pretty much everything people say, and they have the victim mentality. They want to ruin reputations and are often wrong but never in doubt.
Not everyone is a troll. Some call people a troll if they don’t agree with them. That’s NOT a troll. If someone brings up facts or a reason why they disagree with a person without saying something offensive, they are not trolling. They are debating and disagreeing. There is a huge difference. Some people just like the sound of their own voice and spew nonsense and then get mad when people call them out on it. They are not being trolled.
I experience this on Youtube all the time. Some of the insane conspiracy theory videos from people like Alex Jones and others are scary. Like the crazy idea that all of these mass shootings are staged and faked. Or that lizards and shape shifters are living among us and they are marrying regular people to become a part of our society to take it over. Some of you are shaking your head and smiling but what’s not funny is that they have THOUSANDS of followers, and they believe these are facts. Some will even post photos saying here is the person that supposedly died in a mass shooting and they are now married with kids so the shooting was fake.
I went on one of the videos forums and all I asked is where is the proof? I said, “so all of these families are acting and not really grieving? All of these funerals are fake?”
OMG you would have thought I killed puppies. Literally dozens of people started attacking me. They ripped me to shreds, found my email and began to pummel me with “proof”. I literally had to block several dozen people. In this case I was not being a troll. I wanted to know why they thought like they did. Instead of sending real facts, they attacked me. Insecure people tend to do that.
How to Handle Facebook Trolls:
Facebook is used more by middle aged people than the younger generation. It’s a different type of animal. When I go on Facebook I know I’m going to see the same posts from the same people pretty much every day. The political posts will be extremely close minded and based mostly on biased opinion. Even though some adults are still learning and evolving like you should, for the most part a middle aged person is NOT going to change their mind on things. Thus it’s pointless debating them. If the person is open minded and will think about things, then it’s fun to debate. For the most part though, I try to avoid political comments all together. It’s also sad to like people and then find out how extreme and bad their points of views are on politics or society.
To combat trolls, personally I would stay away from political comment unless you like wars. Trolls love political posts and you will almost for sure be attacked. If you are, just stop commenting. If they email you or try to egg you on, just ignore or even block them. If you are still going to post, then remember that just because someone disagrees doesn’t mean they are attacking you.
I remember one lady from Texas (always Texas) started emailing me on Facebook every morning telling me what posts she liked and didn’t like. She would also leave comments in my posts. She then started to demand I take some of my posts down or she’d report me to Facebook. Huh? She was a friend’s mom so I didn’t want to block her but I finally had to. She once demanded I take a dog’s photo down because a dog had once attacked her cat and that it was inappropriate.
Another important part is some employers SCOUR Facebook to see comments on their employees. I know many HR people and don’t think for a second that this isn’t happening. I know one guy that was flat out told that his sexual posts on Facebook were the reasons he didn’t get a job. Don’t be naïve.
How to Handle Twitter Trolls:
Twitter is fun. It is more hip and used by the younger generation a lot. Usually half of the top 10 trends on Twitter are based on young people’s topics.
That being said, you have to be careful on Twitter. Before you get the hang of Twitter, start slow. Be positive in your comments and don’t be too confrontational. If someone says something really stupid or crazy, it’s not a rule that you have to respond. People with big ego’s or who love to give their opinion all the time can struggle on Twitter.
Remember trolls want to get a rise out of you; they want you to get mad. The key to Twitter? NEVER get mad. I never tweet something when I’m really emotional or angry. I remember posting something on a kid that had cancer. A troll literally started laughing saying one less ^^^%%. The child was an American but they were of Mexican descent. All of a sudden the troll flooded my post with anti-Hispanic tweets that were extremely racist while calling himself a patriot. I didn’t battle him. I said, get some help; good luck to you; and in 30 seconds I blocked him. He got my message and now he can never see or react to my posts. No 20 minute battle; no anger; no stress. Just get some help and that’s it. So if a troll tries to hijack your post, don’t argue; don’t stress; and don’t battle! JUST BLOCK.
How to Handle Sexual Trolls:
This is a tough one because so many young women are addicted to the attention they get from strangers when they post photos of themselves or “selfies”. I know one middle aged woman who is really pretty and she posts photos of herself just about every post. Not all attention is good.
Read the news and you will see some of the most horrendous things done to young women these days. It’s scary how perverted so many people are, especially young men. Sexual assault is a huge problem in our country and so is sexual trolling. There have been many deaths and assaults where the first meeting was on social media.
My friend had his college aged daughter do a video for his business explaining an accounting program that she had set up for him. They put it on Youtube because other companies had asked her to, because she really explained it well. Bad idea. His daughter isn’t a vixen, but she’s cute and did the pervs come out. By the time they handled the problem, he counted over 189 sexual comments written by men on her video; 99% young men. They didn’t care about this program, the just saw a cute girl. Some were EXTREMELY vulgar.
He asked me what to do. I said turn in the real sick posters to Youtube and block the comments sections. People can still see the video and you don’t have to worry about all of the nasty comments below. If it’s on Instagram, do the same thing. Block, Block and Block. Don’t be afraid to turn people into the site either if they are very aggressive. It’s unacceptable to be that nasty. That’s why I tell some young women to be more secure in yourself as a person in real life, and don’t rely on pervert strangers liking your looks for your confidence.
How to Handle a Super Troll:
I got a super troll on my Twitter account last year that wouldn’t let up. He trolled many of my posts. I would block him and then he’d make another account. He finally made an account that said @Ihatejimjax. Now to be honest I think it’s kind of funny but what wasn’t funny is that his 36 followers were being fueled by him. The lies that were spread were of legend. He then asked for the followers to find out where I lived. That was it. I contacted Twitter; gave them all his accounts, and tweets and they deleted his URL from twitter and closed all of his accounts.
If you take care of trolls early, then you will have little issues with them. Blocking or ignoring are your best tools. Debating is fine but fighting with people that just want turmoil and drama is counter productive and a waste of time. Don’t be a victim; be pro active and if people are harassing you, then erase them from your social media life. If you follow this advice, worrying about trolls will be a thing of the past.
I’M AN OPEN BOOK! Some even brag about it like it’s a badge of honor. I learned the hard way how naive a statement that is.
I remember one time I was out with friends and one of them said how they admired that I was the type of person that was the first to try new things or to do something new instead of just following what others think or did. Another friend laughed, “yea, Jim is the dumb one that does it first and finds out all the mistakes so the rest of us don’t have to go through it”. They both were probably right.
I have always wanted to think that everyone has good in them. In reality our culture has changed though and not for the better. Class, morals and character are harder to find and the evil that we see in the news is pretty scary. People hurt others without a conscious. And at times sites don’t do enough to protect us.
(one billion people lose their identity in Yahoo security breach)
How Social Media & The Internet Has Changed Our Communication:
The internet and social media is fun and has a lot of great rewards, but it also has serious issues. It has made many people dysfunctional communicators. Some people in business and in personal relationships are like Hemmingway in emails, texts and chats. Get them in person and their communication skills are as good as one of the Teletubbies. If I see one more person staring at their phone with their mouth slightly open like a zombie I think I’ll lose it. Look at people on dates; many don’t even talk to their partner. They are texting others, looking at videos or even flirting while checking their dating site profile or tinder page. Go to a movie theater and try to find people that aren’t texting someone. We have the attention spans of puppies on espresso and as a culture, we seem to use guesses, mind reading skills or jedi mind tricks to communicate with each other instead of just talking directly. Put the phones down!
My Crazy Experiences While Being An Open Book While Online Dating:
Psychologists say it takes a good year to get to know someone, but we think we know someone in minutes. I remember being an open book on Facebook for 5 years while in the dating scene when I became single. After a while people would show up uninvited to my house and work. I had one girl that I chatted with a couple of times do a search on me and found my business. We had coffee once and I knew she was not the person for me plus she looked too young. One day I came into my office to see patients in the afternoon and my secretary said, “you’re girlfriend is here”. Well that was strange because at the time I didn’t have one. I walked in and of course it was this young girl. I asked her what was going on. I talked to her long enough to make sure she didn’t have an ax or Lizzie Borden tattoo, but I still wasn’t comfortable. I eventually got rid of her.
The worst situation I had was a girl I met online and we started to talk. She lived near me and asked to meet. We met a couple of times and would text and talk on the phone but she told me she slept around some and that there was no such thing as cheating. I told her we we’re not a match & that we should be friends or just go our separate ways. I didn’t’ know at my age saying you wanted to just be friends was still bad.
She went crazy. She started freaking out telling me who did I think I was and that she could get guys 100 times better than me. She then said I was messing with her and that no one messed with her and got away with it.
At about 12:30 am I began to get texts. It was from girls asking to meet and have sex. These girls began to talk about things that we can do that I’m not quite sure are physically possible. I texted back saying they had the wrong guy and told them to stop texting me. I found out that this angry woman had put an ad with all of my information on a sex ad on Craigslist. Craigslist emailed me & said to call the police. I warned her and she took the ad down. Instead of taking my time and being careful, I met her quickly and was an open book with all of my personal information on Facebook and LinkedIn and I let my walls down. I have many more stories like this.
The Scary Stories Of Anger & Wierdness:
One night when I was coming home from work, a man was sitting on my porch. It ended up being a patient; a pretty scary guy. He found my information from LinkedIn and Facebook and did a search on me and found my home address. It was 11:30 pm and he asked if we could talk and if he could come in. I actually saw my neighbor looking at him and I talked him into leaving. I slept with a loaded gun next to my bed just in case.
I wrote articles online at times for political sites and I was Mr. Open Book then too. Unfortunately I said something some people didn’t like and I started getting death threats. Someone emailed me a photo of my front yard saying he was watching me. I called the police but I was stressed out and for a while I didn’t let anyone come over.
You want to talk about open books, just go on Twitter or Instagram. People put up or share naked or sexual photos literally potentially ruining their reputation. I’ve seen 12-13 year olds trying to put up post sex selfies on Twitter. (How irresponsible parents are if they are not hovering over their teens computer use). I’ve blocked so many people I can’t count them.
It just blows me away how people can send near strangers naked photos of themselves and even videos. I’d talk to someone and the next thing I know I’m getting photos and occasionally naked photos or the famous naked strip tease on video. Friends wouldn’t believe me until I showed them.
First off it’s both dumb and risky at the same time and it lacks class. I know many are insecure these days needing lots of attention but come on. I had one pretty friend who loved attention. Well her cute and sexy Facebook & Instagram pics were used by scammers to set up fake accounts on dating sites trying to get money from men. When she spoke to the sites, they told her they would not take the photos down. Also; especially men; are you that dumb that you think those sexy pics this girl is ONLY sending you (wink wink) is a special way for her to say she wants you? WHO IS TAKING THE PHOTOS? Their grandma’s? No; the guys they are sleeping with that’s who!
Take Back Your Privacy:
I realized then that between big business pimping out our web surfing habits, locations, purchasing habits, and all of our social media information, I was not going to be used or exposed. Google just recently said they would stop reading peoples emails. And former Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer; one of the most evil of all CEO’s; admitted for years she gave our communications to the Fed’s all while losing over 1 billion peoples information to hackers! Now Samsung admits to recording us through some of their smart tv’s, and appliances are the next to hook us up online. Well’s Fargo STEALS OUR IDENTITIES but it’s biz as usual. As long as we can watch Big Brother or the Bachelor I guess it’s all good.
For those of us who want to protect our identity, unfortunately there is only so much we can do to protect our information. There is no law though that states you have to put the correct birthday or exact spelling of your name on any social media websites unless you are buying something.
After all of the security breaches & drama I went though, I said “enough”. I started over. I protected myself and also stopped posting up family photos and giving personal information. I closed all of my social media sites and started over. I told my 3000 Facebook followers that I was moving on and that it had gotten too weird for me. Magically all of the drama ended shortly after.
A New Lease on MY Online Life:
I started to write again and it felt good to not be weighed down by internet drama. I’ve now restarted and I’ve been much less open online. Even though I have over 47k followers on my two Twitter accounts, I’m more careful. I’ve slowly created safe, fun and healthy online relationships with some turning into friendships. I’ve used Google voice for a contact phone number and I feel much safer.
Social media and technology has created a high level of trust in the latest generation and I worry about them because they are very naïve. Corporations have slowly eroded their sense of privacy and their respect for it. It’s even a risk with our money. When I met with my banker once he spoke under his breath and told me not to use the banking app because financial apps in his opinion were not safe.
It used to drive one of my ex girlfriends insane when every where we went; or even if I was online; people would tell me their life stories. I’ve talked to people at times who will tell me their innermost secrets and I barely know them. I guess I’m an O.K. guy but maybe people are just lonely and with all of the dysfunctional communications of today, they just need a human being to actually talk to in person. This is what we used to do when people had problems. Be it family or friends or a psychiatrist; talk to someone on how to handle situations and how to cope with the stresses of life and get the pain out. We need to put down the phones sometimes and talk to each other and really listen and get to know each other. Social media has made us talk too much, and listen far too little.
The Moral of The Story:
For our jobs some of us are forced to be as open as possible but on our personal accounts it’s our choice. The world isn’t as safe a place anymore and people need to be much more careful. You shouldn’t be a fearful hermit, but you also shouldn’t be Shirley Temple. It takes one identity theft, one bad thing said online, or one sleazy picture to ruin a reputation and cause years of headaches. Sorry Steve Zuckerberg, Apple, Google & Yahoo; I’m not trusting you any more. Learn from my mistakes friends; I always make them before everyone else does.
Charlie Chaplin once said our greatest enemy is time.
As time goes on, more and more of the great people that we’ve come to know and love in our lives are leaving us. The sting of loss hit again yesterday with the passing of an all time great Raider fan, Raider Gloria. She had struggled with an infection with complications from a recent knee surgery. Gloria Malvaez was quite a character that no one will ever forget.
Gloria began dressing up as Raider Gloria in 1987. She became quite well known and was always ready with a quick wit and a willingness to take pictures with anyone who wanted a photo opportunity. She was feisty, but kind and passionate and loved by all.
In 2013 she was asked by ESPN to be a part of their ESPN magazine spread with other iconic fans being featured. Eventually she was told that she was not only going to be in it, she was going to be featured on the cover. Below is her story on ESPN.com. She was also mentioned in People magazine in 2003.
She often told people that it took 2 ½ hours to get ready to become Gloria Raider; but only 90 if she wasn’t drinking. Even though he did not dress up, her beloved husband Gabriel would go to the games to represent his Raiders as a regular fan without ever asking her to tone it down. “He let me be myself”. She dressed up and he didn’t and they were a great pair. She was married to him for 21 years until he passed away in 2010. There were some close to her that said she never really got over the loss. They are now together once again.
Gloria was a character with many funny stories. She often talked about going to the Raider games as a kid before the Oakland Coliseum was built. She talked about her father and godfather being huge fans and they took her to the games. At 14 y/o they would bring pillows for her to sit on and she often would drive home because they would be “blitzed” and couldn’t drive. She would wear a hat and they were never pulled over.
In probably the biggest Raider fan wedding in history, she was a part of the over 1000 people who attended the wedding of Gorilla Rilla. Super fans Marc (Gorilla Rilla) and Marilyn (Jungle Jane) Acasio had a wedding with famous Raider fans in full makeup and Raider dress. Gloria proudly was a part of her friends Marc’s nuptials which even the Raiders themselves covered.
As with many of the “characters” that dress up, they have very warm hearts. Gloria was quick to help others and was an encouraging force in many peoples lives. Here she is below feeding the homeless without much fanfare. A selfless, kind soul who’s actions were often for the benefit of others.
In the last few years that I’ve gotten back into writing it’s been both rewarding and heartbreaking. I’ve written about several amazing people and triumphs but all and all the tragedies are hard to take. One fan said I was their memory. I guess I just don’t like us to forget good people. The losses lately have been great.
Other Raider fans like Social Media Raider Icon Tim Casto was lost in a tragic house fire at 49.
I hope that no one forgets these great people and their love and contributions to so many. The friendships we create through meeting such unique people are more important than any win or record.
So again sadly we have to say goodbye to another amazing person who represented her team so well, but more importantly represented humanity even better. In a country so divided and angry and lost, remember the spirit of people like Gloria. Have fun, enjoy life, help others and don’t take yourself too seriously. Live life with a wink in one eye and a twinkle in the other. And don’t worry Gloria. It’s ok to wear full Raider gear when you get to heaven. God and Gabriel will totally understand.
I’d like to thank all of the families associated with YukonMen who have shown me nothing but patience and kindness in our interactions. I hope that all who read this will support them in all of their projects and passions, including Stan’s amazing book above!
I hope that everyone that has enjoyed the show and read my articles will feel the great sense of family that these fine people show us week after week. I hope that it also teaches us that even though we all have different backgrounds, races and beliefs, what truly makes us a great nation is the respect and sense of kindness that we show one another. We all count, and our importance in our families and social circles are most felt when we are giving of ourselves unconditionally with a pure heart and an open mind.
Jim Jax: What is the coldest temperature you’ve been in and what did it physically feel like?
The coldest temperature recorded in Tanana was -76 F on January 27, 1989. From my memory I have experienced -60 F in the month of January. I was getting ready to drive somewhere in my car and it would not start even though it was plugged in. I didn’t want to push the car’s limit so I just let it sit until it warmed up and then the car started. My friend didn’t turn his car off, and just let it run for a whole week. Yes, even during the night, because he knew it wouldn’t start again if he turned it off.
I walked outside to take an iPhone picture of the frozen frosted trees and my phone immediately shut off and froze. It physically starts to cause pain and your skin starts to hurt and you run back inside. I basically wear ski pants for the entire month of January even when I’m inside because I like to dress up and keep myself warm. During this time you don’t go outside often unless you really have to, like to go get water from the Laundromat. You spend a lot of time inside with friends and family when it’s this cold.
Jim Jax: How difficult was it to go from living in Alaska and then all of a sudden being in the public eye?
I don’t consider myself being in the public eye; now Joey and Stan; my brother and dad are more in the public eye. When my dad leaves Tanana and goes to any city, he constantly has people coming up to him wanting a picture or just to meet the Yukon Man. If someone knows who I am, I’ll say “wow you must be a very big fan”. My name Zuray is more recognizable than my face, which is completely okay with me though. For example, if I go to the post office and they see my name on the mail they know who I am and usually ask “how’s your dad doing?” or “I love Joey”. I kind of got scared during season 1 of YukonMen. I remember going on my Facebook and I had 500 friend requests in just a couple days. It kind of scared me and I ended up deleting my Facebook for 3 years or more. But I love when people come up to me and talk to me about my family or the show. I’m always friendly and open to conversation.
Jim Jax: What part of your life living in Alaska isn’t shown on the show?
So much isn’t on the show, we do a lot of cool fun things as a family and with friends. However it shouldn’t be on TV, because it wouldn’t be entertaining or shocking enough. I’m presently a student. I have been a water treatment operator for the past three years. I am an activist for subsistence hunting & fishing and attend meetings about the health of the salmon run on the Yukon River, I’ll be going to Canada soon to learn about the salmon communities on the upper Yukon River. I am a member of the Tanana Traditional Dance group where we wear our native regalia and sing traditional Athabascan songs. It was filmed a couple times but never went on the episodes, which is fine. I totally get that the viewers want to see guns and wild game.
Jim Jax: I’ve enjoyed watching your brother mature on the show; what type of relationship do you have with him?
Joey and I are very close. We are two years and two days apart in age, so we spent a lot of time growing up side by side together. I sometimes say when he is happy I’m happy and when he is sad I’m sad. We always text and keep up with happenings in each other’s lives. We have similar personalities, beliefs and political views so sometimes I’ll just speak to him about frustrating things and we back each other up because we think the same.
As children I was the boss, but as adults he has acted like an older brother to me and even corrected some mistakes I’ve made. Once he even heard I was dating a certain person and put a stop to it because he didn’t believe the person deserved me and I’m thanking him now. Joey is courageous and I learned this through hard times in our family. Sometimes I will keep my mouth shut and not tell people to be better because I don’t like confrontation, but if Joey loves you, he will tell you to be better and to stop bad habits, be a better parent, and to me that’s courage.
He will also stick up for himself or his family at any time. He has taught me to be stronger and not just hide in the dark when things get hard.
It seems like many people in the show have very deep relationships with their family. It must feel good knowing what a familial bond you have especially in times of trouble and need. I’m a very independent person and I like to spend time by myself, but I need my family and I appreciate their support & love.
My parents did a lot of things to keep us close. A simple thing was, we always ate dinner together sitting down at the table every night. It takes a lot of work to make any relationship or family unit work though. It’s not always perfect and we have disagreements but work through them. Another way we stay close is communication. We are always contacting each other to see how everything is going and we tell each other I love you. I’m very grateful for my family and I have to remind myself to not take them for granted. In Tanana, everyone belongs to a family, and if you don’t have a family, someone will adopt you into their family.
Jim Jax: What would you like people to know about you that isn’t portrayed on the show?
That I’m a happy fun outgoing person who loves to laugh with my family and make jokes. We are not constantly in turmoil and pain. Yes it’s a hard life, but it’s also healthy and a lifestyle we choose to live. I’m really excited for summer because we all head up to camp and in the morning we make a huge pancake breakfast while talking about our ancestor’s oral history and traditions. We will work all day and then eat a big salad from our many gardens and a salmon dinner, usually grilled by Joey.
Jim Jax: What are some of your future aspirations?
I haven’t filmed a lot because I’ve been going to school and working. I’ve been very focused on my goals. It didn’t happen over night and its been many years of staying motivated and I want to continue reaching my goals. I recently got a great job that will allow me to be in Tanana more so that’s really exciting. I want to repair our fish camp, because a lot of things are aging. I also want to build a huge kitchen shack, and eventually build my own house in Tanana. I feel like it’s been so much hard work to get where I am today and now I just want to start enjoying life, doing things that make me happy. I want to do things like buying a four wheeler, boat & motor and spending time on the river and mountains. Some hobbies/aspirations I am interested in is film and continue concentration of the health of the salmon run in the rivers.
Jim Jax: What are you most proud of in regards to your family being on Yukon Men.
When this show first came out there was a lot of backlash and jealousy. I even told my dad that I didn’t want to associate myself with the name, but we learned to not let that bother us and just kept working & filming. When people come up to me and tell me “your dad is my hero” or “you’re brother is an amazing young man who takes care of his family”, it almost brings me to tears because everyone is seeing what I’ve seen all my life. I’m so proud to be their sister/daughter. So I’m most proud of the strong family values that people can see because it’s something we work hard on to have.
Part 2 will be released next Friday. Thank you so much for reading! Please like & Share & Subscribe to follow my articles here as well as my Twitter!
Last week during an interview I did on a Podcast, someone asked me what I thought of today’s television shows. I told them I didn’t watch much television anymore due to the lack of quality, but that I did like a handful of shows. Of course one of those was Yukon Men on the Discovery Channel.
I wrote about Stan (above) and I so have enjoyed him showing his points of view and his talents. The two people though that interested me was Stan’s wife Kathleen and his daughter Kate. Most of us growing up know that the grunt work often is done by our fathers, but the glue to the families are usually the mom’s. Kathleen is the glue of the Zuray’s plus being an Alaskan woman, she is a tireless worker as well. She is not a big fan of all of the attention or fame and I respect that. As most of us can attest, Kathleen is the classic mother who’s strength and heart solidify what a great family is all about. Another person has shown that same kind of familial spirit that solidifies and guides Alaskan families such as the Zuray’s and that person is Kathleen & Stan’s daughter Kate. In the few times that we get to see her, Kate has shown that same kind of passion for family. Her maturity and kind nature was easy to see. I asked if Kate would do an interview with me and she graciously accepted. Here is part 1. I hope you enjoy her comments as much as I have.
Jim Jax: What are your first memories as a child growing up in Alaska?
One of my first memories was during winter time being bundled in a sleeping bag very early in the morning before daylight. My dad put a long cardboard box in his dog sled, where I would lay there for hours while we drove 40 miles to my dad’s trapping cabin. I would sleep and then wake up and I could hear the dogs mushing while my dad whistled or hummed a song. I feel like I was a good passenger.
Jim Jax: As a kid was there ever a chance that you thought what it would be like to live somewhere else?
Being hidden from the world, I didn’t know we were a poor family living in a small village. I was happy with my family and life as it was. When I became 12 years old I began watching music videos and MTV and I learned quickly that we were very different from people in the lower 48 states. The fast busy lifestyle wasn’t very desirable to me as a child, but I think I was mostly attracted to the ocean and sea life, so living near the warm ocean was desirable to me.
Jim Jax: As you got older did you ever think of leaving Alaska?
Yes! I was like, “I’m out of here!” I felt so ready to leave the village life behind and explore the world. I wanted to move to NYC or LA; typical small town dreams; I would talk all the time about how I was going to leave. I did live in Hawaii and Boise Idaho for a short time, but what I learned while living out of Alaska was that I’m actually a family person and it’s hard for me to leave them. I didn’t know how much I needed my families support. Also, people in Alaska are very nice and genuine people who would help you out if you needed it. It’s a great state to live in and I also missed the big green mountainside.
Jim Jax: As a teen how with a small population, how hard is it to socialize or date?
In Tanana or any small village, you have the same classmates from preschool to 12th grade. My classmates were more siblings to me and we would even argue like siblings. You didn’t want to date your classmate you’ve known since preschool. You almost have to be strategic and take advantage of your time when you traveled to other villages or cities. There was no going to the mall and accidentally meeting the love of your life. A good example was my cousin. She had no romantic prospects in Tanana. She is related to most everyone so she moved to Fairbanks in order to find a boyfriend which is really common for people here. It was just like Charlie Wright who went to the next village to find a girlfriend. As far as socializing and dating for me, I was able to become more social and meet new people once I went to the University of Alaska.
Jim Jax: What was the scariest event you experienced so far in Alaska?
My brother Joey was a wild kid. Once at fish camp, he built plane wings that attached to his back and jumped off a cliff to fly. So there were those scary moments when someone would get hurt and were 40 miles away from the nearest clinic. Once at camp, I was maybe 10 years old when a spooked dog bit my dad’s wrist which tore off his skin and he started bleeding heavily. I remember thinking can I drive the boat? What if he dies and it’s just Joey and I with no help. If you get seriously injured out in rural Alaska it would take half a day to get to a doctor. Afterwards my dad Stan taught me what to do if he died suddenly and it was just us kids alone. He taught me how to grab the rifle, and fire three shots at the bank of the river, and hopefully a nearby fish camp would hear the shots and then come help us. I remember he made me load the gun then unload the gun over and over until I got it right.
Jim Jax: You help your dad out with some of his social media activities; what are some of the things that you do to help him?
He handles his Facebook all by himself. I’ve never helped with that. I do help him with his twitter and Instagram pages though, and recently we have been making some YouTube videos. He has been making YouTube videos for years all by himself. All of the pictures we post from his social media, he actually took himself. He reads every single tweet or message and comment that is sent to him. With Twitter I’ll make sure the YukonMen promos are retweeted or sent out. Instagram was iffy and I wasn’t sure if I should make him a page. However what I learned is we get more likes and comments on IG than Twitter so I want to put more focus into that. I assist him, give him tips, sometimes he’ll call me and we will just discuss social media, Twitter vs. Facebook and how the fans/followers differ. It’s really fascinating to us and we have seen changes and tried to adapt to those demands.
We put a lot of effort and thought into what we post and we genuinely love the connections we make with people. I still talk to people that followed me on Twitter from season one. We remember people and even have become legitimate friends. One time I got a twitter message from a women asking to meet me for lunch. I was really hesitant but just went for it and it was one of the most fun lunch dates I’ve ever had. We talked and laughed the whole time! She and her husband & kids moved to Alaska for a better job and life. I would call her my friend today and I’m excited for them when they visit Tanana. This winter I made a few Youtube videos with my dad, and it was so much fun. We filmed for hours one day and it was just a blast! I really loved it and I hope to continue making videos. Maybe I’ll even be in some!
Jim Jax: You don’t see your mom much on Yukon Men; what type of a person is she?
She’s the strongest women I know, and so beautiful. She just wants her family to be happy and healthy. She doesn’t want fame or attention, but I think she’s so funny and makes everyone feel welcomed. If I introduced her to my friends she would hug them and welcome them to the family. Filming can be so awkward especially when you don’t know what they want from you. She doesn’t get that everyone wants to meet Stan’s wife and get to know her. She’s like “I support you filming but I’ll stay behind the lens”. She is an excellent salmon cutter, and puts so much work into it. At fish camp she’ll cut fish from morning till midnight, it will be dark and I’m getting cold watching her work, and we just have to force her to finish up for the day. Filming isn’t for everyone and you just have to respect that.
Part 2 will be released next Friday. Thank you so much for reading! Please like & Share!