by: Ellen Gurley
I remember Boozer in the Mornings like it was yesterday. It was my childhood. We always tuned into Charlotte’s hot EZ-104 in the ‘80’s. We didn’t just want to hear the Top 40 that we so craved (Michael Jackson, Culture Club, Tears for Fears) we wanted to know what Chuck was going to say next.
Radio was different in the ‘80’s; heck, everything was. People weren’t as soft and as easily offended. Sensationalism sold and we were all happy to be a part of it. I came up to Chuck’s knees back then. I knew he was “famous” and I literally looked up to him. I started collecting records and I wanted to be on the air. (I eventually used those records to DJ and thought of him every time I played an ‘80’s set.)
He worked with my father. The both of them have been in radio for forty years. I hadn’t seen Chuck since I was six years old. Then one day, my love affair with him (that I shared with Charlotte) came to a screeching halt. No one could really pinpoint what happened and rumours were ablaze but one thing I do know is that he had to leave the spotlight. Unbeknownst to myself, Chuck never put the mic down. Though he sold cars for many years (I can imagine him having done well with that), he still remained a public figure who gave back and emceed many local charity events.
Some three years ago, Chuck came back to the booth. He’s on the air in South Carolina. It’s now called Palmetto Mornings. He no longer has the records or brings the controversy, but he’s still Chuck; grayer but still handsome. During our reunion, he only had one outburst (slamming his fists on the table telling an exciting story). He no longer has angry callers or a rap sheet (look for it yourself), but he’s still just as fun (and wild) to me as he ever was.
With children almost my age, he leads a boring life of doing news with Freddie Hammer (I kid) and following his wife, Lindy, around with his social media chronicles he’s entitled “Miss America at Walmart”. He’s still a personality to follow. While he’s preparing for the days of (hopefully) becoming a grandfather, he’s still my idol. I can be the one boozing in the morning now (tune into My City Magazine on WFNZ 610AM first Saturdays of every month from 10am to 11am) (another joke). He is just a spunky as I remembered him. I had always wanted to see him again after thirty plus years and I wasn’t disappointed.
If I really want to be like Chuck, I’d have to see him for the dedicated parent (to Kristina and Ryan) and partner that he is (in addition to the entertainer I grew to admire). Even I wouldn’t be able to pry him away from the love of his life. In fact, she gave him ‘an out’ after a stroke a few years back. He didn’t take it. It was a lot of work at first and, humbled, she looked at him and said, “I can’t believe you’re helping me.” Just like Chuck, he turned to her and said, “Who else?” And to anyone who asks me why Chuck was my first mentor, I say, “Who else?”
Palmetto Mornings is on the air each weekday morning from 5:30-10 a.m.
AM 1340 / FM 94.3 Rock Hill www.WRHI.com
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