Unfortunately, jazz is as heteronormative as the classical music genre. (Related: Will straight soft porn save classical music?) Jazz also promotes breeder brainwashing. Such as when I heard one of the presenters announce a piece he had just played, “When a woman loves a man.” There are countless other examples I could give of this where references to “him and her” are made, as if they are the only couples en el mundo/in the world and the only gender arrangement of where two people can have love for each other.
Update 6 September 2020: I used to like Chuy, but these days I have to turn him off. I can’t take him anymore. It’s as if he’s on automatic pilot and just mindlessly says the same thing after each piece of music or each set he plays. After every piece he plays, he says “What a beautiful, beautiful, great, great, wonderful, wonderful piece.” Or a version of that but two adjectives (“beautiful, beautiful”) are always together. And when one says the same thing about every piece that’s played, it all loses its meaning because not all pieces are “beautiful, beautiful” or “great, great.” The same goes for the musicians or ensemble which Chuy insists on referring to as “An all-star cast” as if he’s talking about a sports team. Ugh. He’s too much for me. The word cast is of the theatre. The cast of actors. The musical term he should be using is ensemble, but I guess that doesn’t have enough hype for Chuy. I don’t know why he feels he needs to constantly “sell the music.” The music speaks for itself and listeners are intelligent enough to know what they like and whether it’s “beautiful, beautiful” or “great, great” or “wonderful, wonderful” or “extraordinaire” and all the other adjectives Chuy drags out. I think I’ve said all of this somewhere else but it bears repeating. End of Update.
I used to look forward to his Latin Jazz programme or his time on the air, but now I don’t. Maybe he did this hype stuff when I enjoyed him and I didn’t noticed it initially — or maybe I didn’t have the volume up high enough — but I can’t take his incessant hyping of all the music he plays with an overuse and repetition of the same adjectives over and over and over as if on auto-pilot. And he still plays music during the Latin Jazz programme which doesn’t remotely have anything to do with Latin Jazz. It’s the last 2 hours of his programme where you’ll more likely hear genuine Latin Jazz music. I’m not sure why — during the first two hours — he often plays music that he would play any other time of the week. Does he forget that he’s doing the Latin Jazz show? Anyway, this afternoon I had to turn him off. Even mi amigo/my friend who casually listens to Chuy when I have him on said, “Yeah, he’s a bit much.” I don’t understand what Chuy gets out of gushing over every piece he plays and the artists with “wonderful, beautiful, great, great, great, phenomenal, extraordinaire and great, great, great.” Related: KCSM’s Latin Jazz Programme.
Hola a todos. I overheard some of the jazz students in the Conservatory talking about a piece they had heard on KCSM-Jazz 91 in the Bay Area. I heard them say the name Pedro Aznar. Oh yeah, Pedro from Argentina who joined the Pat Metheny Group (PMG). That was one of the best choices Pat Metheny ever made by bringing Pedro into the PMG. Pedro first appeared on The First Circle CD. I’d never heard anything like that before. Wonderful! Then I later heard the PMG perform live at UC-Berkeley with Pedro doing the vocals. He also played a couple of instruments in the Group when he wasn’t doing the vocals. Later, Pedro left the Group and other musicians sang the vocals for him, but it wasn’t the same. Oh it was still good, but they weren’t Pedro Aznar. He’s still singing and recording mostly solo pieces.
KCSM-Jazz 91 is a good station — one of the few 24-hour jazz stations in the non-United States — and they have an excellent Music Director, Jesse “Chuy” Varela who, I believe, used to be at KPFA in Berkeley years ago during the days of Mama O’Shea. I don’t think Chuy ever has a day off and Chris Cortez’s days off are in short supply too. I enjoy the Pat Metheny Group (PMG) tracks they play from time-to-time. I’ve noticed those mostly from Chris. I enjoy Chris’s voice and repertoire selections. It’s a shame the PMG is no longer around. Who would have ever thought that the Pat Metheny Group would disband? Hard to believe. Lyle Mays — Pat’s iconic and talented keyboardist with his signature sounds — left the Group and started doing his own thing and today Pat, I think, mainly performs solo repertoire or maybe with one other musician.
They play quite a variety on KCSM, and they’re member-supported. I also enjoy “Ooooooh, yeah” (isn’t that Chuy’s signature expression?) Chuy’s Latin Jazz programme on Domingo/Sunday from 2-6PM, and enjoy the español he speaks occasionally. He’s multi-lingual in some world languages — good to hear that — with music being the international language that speaks to all of us. Well, except for the demented, orange-faced current White House occupant which from my understanding has no interest in music of any kind. There are “people” like that — they’re rather dead inside — with no interest or ear for music. (Shaking head in disgust with eye rolls) Hard for me to imagine. That explains, in part, why the current WH occupant has never invited any musicians to perform at la casa blanca/at the White House, not that any self-respecting musician would even consider playing for him anyway. I know I wouldn’t. Why waste one’s time performing for chronically lying basura?
“What a beautiful, beautiful piece. Just great, great. Excellent, excellent with the great [name of artist]. Yes that’s just beautiful, beautiful.”—Jesse “Chuy” Varela
Chuy serves as a cheer-leader for every piece he plays. He does this to the extreme, with the excessive overuse of adjectives. (“The wonderful birthday today of the great Wayne Shorter.”) Has anyone else noticed this? How could you not if you listen closely? Then at the end of the next piece he says another version of, “What a beautiful, beautiful piece. Just wonderful, wonderful. Just great, great. Excellent, excellent with the great [name of artist]. Yes that’s just beautiful, beautiful. What a great tune.” But the adjectives he uses are typically: beautiful, wonderful, excellent, and great. Over and over. The thing is: Not all pieces are beautiful, wonderful, great or excellent or a “great tune.” Some music is just average, especially music with repetitive passages (which causes me to turn the radio off). Things lose their specialness when every piece is gushed over as if it’s the most beautiful piece in the world. That’s what Chuy does and I’ve come to think that he does it mindlessly on automatic pilot, out of habit. Is there really a need to cheer lead or gush over every single piece of music that he plays? It’s as if he’s the Marketing Director for all CD companies trying to sell CDs. When I’ve listened to other radio stations they just tell you the name of the piece and the artists. They don’t usually give their opinion of a performance or seemingly try to sell it by saying, “what a beautiful, beautiful piece.” The listener can determine that on his/her own. And most of what Chuy plays he describes as “what a wonderful, wonderful piece of music” or “beautiful, beautiful piece of music.” He’s very predictable in that regard almost as if he does that on automatic pilot. He reminds me of the late Ray Taliaferro who would do the same thing on his jazz programme. He would sit in the studio with Vernon Ailey and gush over every single piece played. I wouldn’t mind it on occasion, but not after every piece played. I haven’t counted them, but if I had to take a guess I’d say that Chuy overuses the word “great, wonderful, beautiful” and other adjectives hundreds of times in the four hours he’s on air each time. And when words are overused to the extreme, they lose their meaning and specialness. Every piece he plays is not “great, wonderful and beautiful.” Nor is every composer “great.” Someone reading this might ask: Why don’t you change the station and listen to something else, especially when Mr Adjective (Chuy) is on. Well, I’m considering that. Chuy reminds me of the late Ray Taliferro in that Ray was full of adjectives and overusing them and often seem to be speaking on automatic pilot. I eventually turned Ray off after listening to him for decades, in part, because he became a “broken record” every night, saying the same thing every night, similar to Chuy’s “beautiful, great, wonderful” et al. I remember saying about Ray: These days, if you’ve heard one of his shows, you’ve heard them all. It’s as if he comes into the studio and sit down on automatic pilot. And he was also a cultist for the “Democratic” Party Cult. From my understanding, Ray had advanced dementia when he died, so maybe Ray was in some form of dementia when I was still listening to him. He certainly did repeat himself a lot.
It’s an “ensemble,” Chuy. Not a “cast.”
Chuy also often refers to the “cast” of performers. A cast? I think the word he’s searching for is ensemble. That’s what it’s called in music when you have a group of musicians together. It’s an ensemble. It’s not called a cast. A “cast” is a group of actors in a play or television programme or in the theatre, although I have unfortunately heard some classical music performances promoted where the ignorant announcer hyped and gushed over “the outstanding cast of soloists” (meaning vocal screamers from the screaming opera genre). I’ve heard that on some classical music stations. Again, it’s a marketing gimmick. And to what purpose does that serve KCSM? Do they somehow get money from the sales of CDs that listeners might buy from having heard something on the station heavily promoted as “wonderful” or “beautiful” or “excellent, excellent.” I don’t think he’s ever played anything that wasn’t described as such. It would be interesting to hear him say, “That performance you just heard is okay, but it’s not the best performance of the piece that I’ve heard, which I’ll be playing later on.” No, I don’t think you’re likely to hear him say that.
Chuy also gave listeners his political views. Clearly he’s an Obamabot, an Obama cultist from what he said. And I suspect an uninformed one at that. They usually are from my experience. I guess Chuy is unaware that Saint Obama greatly expanded the neocon agenda of the illegitimate Bush/Cheney regime and their agenda. Saint Obama left office with between 11-13 wars — some of which he started — after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Oh the hypocrisy! Most of Saint Obama’s policies were to the right of those of George W Bush. Does Chuy gush over Bush? No, because that’s the other cult. Is Chuy aware that today the Bush and Obama families are close friends? See these images of George and Michelle holding hands and being all close. But I suspect Chuy is like most Democrats. None of this matters to them. They are all about the party-cult (the team mentality) and not what they do. Then when Kamala Harris was named VP pick, Chuy was gushing over her and referred to her as “the feather in the cap….and she was born here in the Bay Area” he said. What does that have to do with anything, where she was born or lives? Right-wing Dianne Feinstein — a closet case Republican — was born here in the Bay Area too and we all know what she is. So again, I suspect Chuy is unaware of how conservative Ms Harris is. Like most political cultists, they go to any length to make excuses for whatever their cult does with a blinders-on approach. So they don’t pay close attention to policies or voting records because in the end it doesn’t matter to them. It’s all about the team/cult. They will support their cult-party no matter what it does.
During a recent KCSM-Jazz 91 pledge drive I perked up when I heard something about npr. I thought: npr? Why are they talking about npr on KCSM-Jazz 91? They’re not an npr member station. (Spoiler: Oh yes they are). Then I heard them partially play the funding credits required by the network (npr) for the npr jazz programme they had just played hosted by Nancy Wilson. I thought: Hmmmm? How are they able to play that npr programme without being an npr member station? I perked up because other than at pledge time once or twice where they aired a special jazz “documentary” type programme produced by npr, I’ve never heard any npr programming at all on KCSM. I asked myself: So KCSM-Jazz 91 is a npr member station? Why is that? That’s news to me. Why are they paying an expensive npr membership fee when they don’t air any npr programming except for one or more of npr’s jazz-content programmes during pledge time every few months? It wouldn’t seem to make it worth it.
I used to listen to npr until around the time that Cokie Roberts1 (ugh) was droning on and on one morning about George W Bush and how “He’s a very attractive candidate.” Listening to my radio I thought: What the fuck drugs is she on this morning? What is wrong with the woman that she finds George W Bush “a very attractive candidate?” And what did that mean? (Bob didn’t ask her). That she found him hot to look at or his conservative politics were “attractive?” I don’t know what she meant but it’s not what I had expected to hear on npr. Or had she and Bob Edwards been hitting the hooch in the backroom so early in the morning (3AM East Coast time for the first feed of Morning Edition from the network)? Although I think Cokie was at home and talking with Bob in the studio by phone. I think that’s the way that worked. Politically with npr, things went downhill after that as far as I was concerned. Most of npr’s on-air “celebrities” (such as Mara Liasson) became mouthpieces for the conservative, pro-war Establishment. And in my opinion, Cokie became more conservative after she began working for corporate ABC News. Some npr listeners accused her and others of selling out to corporate for the money, something we’ve seen time after time.
Up until then, I had been a very dedicated listener to npr and I already knew how npr worked with their member stations and their programming, unless they’ve changed something since, which doesn’t seem to have been the case.
Mi amigo/My friend and I had even taken a pre-arranged tour of npr when we were visiting the District of Columbia. This was when they were in their former network headquarters over in the NW section of the District, not their new headquarters in North East DC. We observed the production of All Things Considered one afternoon and saw Ann Taylor read the news in her booth — whom we had heard countless times with her signature sound, “From National Public Radio News in Washington, I’m Ann Taylor” — and all of the other booths in the studio. It was quite a production. Very interesting to watch. We talked briefly with the ATC Producer whose name I believe was Bob Boilen. He’s a really nice guy. He was very nice to us. Everyone was welcoming. Had a nice time, meaning we just sat quietly in the back behind Bob not wanting to be any problem to anyone, in part, since they were broadcasting live the first feed of ATC to the npr member stations. It was interesting watching Bob’s time counter throughout the programme for when everything throughout the programme was supposed to start on the second, such as npr’s bumper music, the news headlines and the segments of the programme, so that the programme ended exactly on time, then the funding credits began from the network. Then I think the next afternoon I tuned into npr member station WAMU in the District and listened to ATC remembering our experience from the day before.
I suppose someone might want to know: Did you see Cokie Roberts or any of the other npr “celebrities?” No, we didn’t see any of them. We didn’t really think about that to tell you the truth. We were not there to see “celebrities.” It was not something I even thought about. We were more interested in the production aspects of the programme. We arrived at the npr reception area and they phoned up to the ATC Studio and told them we were there and we were escorted up to the ATC Studio. We saw the two ATC show hosts, Robert Siegel and Linda Wertheimer, sitting in their booth. So I guess in that case we saw “celebrities,” and then Ann Taylor of npr news arrived at — what seemed like — about 10 seconds before she was supposed to go on to read the newscast at the top of the hour. We watched her. Even though we had never seen her before we knew who she was. She started her sign on in her signature voice, “From National Public Radio News in Washington, I’m Ann Taylor” into the microphone while standing as we both remember it, and then, plop. Plop was her butt hitting the seat of the chair in the news booth after she said “…I’m Ann Taylor.” Then she read the news. Then later at about 19 after the hour, she read the news headlines followed by the bumper music.
The following is for people who are into bumper music: I don’t know how it works now since I don’t listen to npr, but they played good music during the programmes, both for ME (Morning Edition) and ATC. It was part of the reason why I listened. I really enjoyed their bumper music. The producer had a good taste in music. For their bumper music of each programme they had a set of pieces — I think it was about ten pieces of about 10-15 seconds in length each in the set — that the producer chose and the programme used that set for about a year or so before they changed to a new set of music. So these bumper music pieces rotated throughout the programme during the year and were played after the news headlines. Depending upon how much time remaining between the news headlines and the next segment of the programme, the listener got to hear varying parts of each piece, or on occasion (if the news headlines were longer) we heard hardly any of it as it was fading out in the background. Other times, there would be more time available (shorter news headlines) so the producer backed the tape up (or whatever they were using) because they needed more music to fill the time so we got to hear a part of the music that we’d not heard before — that was always interesting — and then would come the familiar part that we’d heard many times before. Regular listeners, if they were paying attention, got to learn the bumper music quite well because we kept hearing it over and over; these ten little short pieces of 10-15 seconds each. I enjoyed nearly everything they chose. Also, the producer chose the best parts of each piece, I noticed. On occasion, I found out what they were playing (meaning the artist and title) and bought it and listened to it and I said, “Yes, he chose the best part of that. The rest of that doesn’t do much for me.” The same was true on Weekend Edition. One of their short bumper music pieces in one of their sets was a piece by Bruce Hornsby that started out with rich piano chords, it sort of had a gospel feel to it. I always listened for that one. Most of the bumper music was in the jazz category. Over the years, I think there was only one piece in one set that they selected that I really didn’t like the first time I heard it (on ME) and it didn’t grow on me over time and I thought: You mean we have to listen to that every-other-morning or so for the next year? That’s because they only used 4 pieces from the full set during the 2 hours of the programme on one day since there were 4 news headlines segments during the 2 hours of the programme. Initially when a new set of bumper music appeared (roughly every year), they played one group of 4 pieces from the full set on one morning and then another group of 4 pieces from the full set on the next morning, then over time they mixed them all up along with the two extras from the set of about 10 pieces, so it became unpredictable. I hope all that makes sense to you. It seems the best way to explain it. But I’m sure some people liked that piece that I didn’t care much for. All the rest I liked.
From my current research, a npr member station pays a general fee to npr, and in addition they also pay a fee for each programme they take/air from the network and play over their local npr member station. In KCSM’s case, that would seem to be quite a bit of wasted money I should think. Paying a lot of dinero/money for something they rarely use, except for a couple of times at pledge time. Or does KCSM’s npr membership go way back when they used to play some npr programming — before becoming a 24-hour jazz station — and they don’t want to cancel their npr membership thinking they might need it in the future? Nevertheless, I just found it odd. And when they do air the npr jazz programme(s) or part of it during pledge drives — they seem to interrupt the npr programme they’re airing to encourage listeners to call — they don’t allow the required npr funding credits to play at all or in their entirety from what I’ve heard over the air. But isn’t that part of the npr contract with the member station to credit npr for that programme? I think so. That’s why when I was listening to sanitised npr — “National Pentagon Radio,” as some refer to it, or “Nice Polite Republicans” as others refer to it where npr never wants to offend anyone, especially the conservatives as if the conservatives would even be listening to them! — the member station played the funding credits from the network which went like this (it was always the same, very-skilled and enunciating guy who read them, usually at a brisk speed):
“Support for this programme is provided by this and other npr member stations and the npr news and information fund. Contributors include The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, _____________. This is npr. National Public Radio.”
If that is not played from the network with the npr programme being aired over the npr member station, the station (KCSM-Jazz 91) is supposed to read that over the air in its entirety per their contract with npr. Is KCSM doing that each time they broadcast a npr programme during pledge drives? I don’t think so. Well, you couldn’t prove it by me and I was listening for it. And I bring all this up because I was waiting to hear the npr funding credits which would tell me that they are a npr member station. I heard part of a npr funding credit once when they were airing the Nancy Wilson hosted npr programme, but that was the only time. I haven’t heard anything since. The point is: npr does not want the local stations taking credit for their content or being lax about airing the funding credits. Personally, I always preferred to hear it from the network rather than to hear the local guy slur and mumble his way though it — loose dentures? — as they did on KQED-FM. I never did understand why KQED cut it off from the network and had Norm read it instead. KALW played the network version, which sounded far superior and professional.
KCSM-Jazz 91 Radio could have less pledge drives if they got rid of their needless npr membership fee(s) they’re paying. They don’t need it. Why pay for something you don’t use, except on the odd occasion? Occasionally during a pledge drive. At least to me, that seems like a waste of money. And a npr membership fee is not cheap. Then, again, there’s the additional fee for the npr programme they take during pledge time. KCSM-Jazz 91 could easily pay a lot less by buying jazz CDs or the like of a similar nature to npr’s jazz programmes and play those on the odd occasion during pledge time. Mi amigo/My friend had these speculative thoughts on this: He says that KCSM is probably keeping their npr membership for safe-keeping because if they were to cancel it and then later want to air npr programming and reapply to npr, their application might not be approved because of too many npr member stations in the Bay Area market. That makes sense to me. From the list I saw, there are already 4 npr member stations in the Bay Area, including KCSM-Jazz 91. And there are over 1,000 npr member stations in the non-United States. UPDATE: They’re using their npr member station fee for the npr jazz programming they buy/broadcast from the network (npr) in the District of Columbia, my former home city.
Or they could re-air all or part of some of Chuy’s in-studio interviews that I’ve heard in the afternoons with jazz artists visiting the Bay Area. It would be so much cheaper than a npr membership/fees with no funding credits to play or read. It would give KCSM-Jazz 91 more air time, and Chuy’s interviews are KCSM’s own locally-produced programming. Something to consider.
Some of their guest use rather outdated language: I heard Dick Conte on air with one guest who referred to his “Oriental girlfriend.” (roll eyes) Oh dear. I haven’t heard the word “Oriental” used in decades. The word Asian has been used for decades. I was hoping Dick would politely correct him by saying something about his ASIAN girlfriend, but he didn’t. I suppose this is expected as — in many ways — we’re rushing back to the 1940s and 1950s. I also heard Dick wish someone “god bless you” which assumes that one believes in the same Floating Cloud Being that Dick supposedly believes in. Why do people make such an assumption about others and what they believe? Well, I think that Dick is of the generation that often makes assumptions about others, assuming that everyone thinks just like them. I never assume anyone thinks as I do or agrees with me on anything.
Breeder Sexuality in our faces
Most people at microphones are usually quite careful and rightly so at what personal information they reveal about themselves. But it seems that some people are quite comfortable revealing to the audience that he’s a breeder and has a wife. Does anyone in the audience care? So one hears “My wife and I….” That’s intended to tell the audience that the guy is supposedly of the preferred societal sexual orientation (straight). I say supposedly because there are thousands of closet cases worldwide married to females and with kids. I don’t know why it’s important for a guy at a microphone to tell us what “My wife and I” did. He could just say, “A friend of mine and I” since the audience really doesn’t need to know specifically who it was that one did something with, do we? But that’s the way breeders are. They love to shove their breeder sexuality in our faces, the same thing the straights whinged about Queer people doing many years ago. It’s okay when straights do it, it’s just not okay when Queers do it is the thinking. Breeders love to say, “My wife and I” and “My hubby and I.” Ugh. One wonders are there any openly Queer people at KCSM Radio’s microphone these days? I should think that the Queers on the campus don’t appreciate hearing this heteronormative societal brainwashing. We get enough of that from the corporate media. We certainly don’t need it from a jazz station.
Oh I wanted to mention this: Was I the only one who cringed the other morning when John Hill on KCSM-Jazz 91 mangled the name: Rubén Blades (who’s full name is Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna). Apparently John didn’t see that accent mark over the second syllable of Rubén (not that it would mean anything to him! no disrespect intended), but which means that the second syllable is emphasied and that it should be pronounced Ru-BÉN and not “Ruben” as John pronounced it, as if it were English. It’s not. It’s español. He also pronounced the surname Blades as if he were talking about blades on a shaver. Instead of: ruˈβem ˈbla ðes. “Blades” has two syllables en español. It’s not pronounced “blades.” John’s español is, well, really, non-existent frankly. His español reminds me of Lucy when she was trying to learn some basic español from Ricky on I Love Lucy. I think we all remember how that went. Choppy and broken. Not fluent and smooth. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the name Rubén Blades pronounced the way John pronounced it the other morning. Has he never heard it pronounced correctly on his own station or anywhere else? He does try, “bless him” (as that expression goes and I’m not religious), but I suggest he run it by Chuy or someone else fluent en español at the station who can pronounce it correctly for him. I don’t know how many international/world languages John speaks and this is not directed at him, but my problem with people who speak only US-English is that English is so disrespect of other world languages by trying to put other world languages into English. Most inappropriate. The words of other world languages are of other world languages. They’re not English words nor should an attempt be made to make them “English.” That disrespects them. They are of their native world language. But the English language disrespects other world languages constantly by stripping them of their accent marks and umlauts for example, such as the word Über. That is not an English word. Yet the San Francisco-based corporation by that name for some reason chose to disrespect Deutsch/German by sanitising/removing the umlauts from the Deutsch word Über. Either that or they are ignorant of the Deutsch/German language. Typical of the US and the many proudly and willfully ignorant USians. But the incorrect word “Uber” seems to have stuck so they are responsible for helping to ruin a Deutsch language word because I saw a sports team on television wearing shirts that said “Uber” without the required umlauts. And unfortunately, most US-English language speakers who are parked at corporate microphones — and who probably only speak US-English — seem to take great pride and find humour in and find it funny when they (deliberately?) mangle words of other international languages. Quite an infantile approach. I remember when Whoopie Goldberg found it funny when she couldn’t pronounce Univisión correctly to introduce her guest who worked at Univisión. Whoopie smiled and laughed after mangling the name of the network. The appearance it gave is that she had not prepared properly for the interview — couldn’t even pronounce the name of the network where her guest worked — and was “winging it.” I also remember when the ignoramus in the White House — who has trouble with US-English — told Jorge Ramos of Univisión to “go back to You-nah-vision.” Of course there is no such network name. Jorge should have responded, “the name of my network is Univisión (pronounced: uniβiˈsjon), pendejo.” Chau.—el barrio rosa
Related: KCSM’s Latin Jazz Programme
CORRECTION: I’ve not heard the programme since I’m not usually listening at that hour, but every Lunes/Monday at 9.00pm for an hour KCSM-Jazz 91 airs npr’s “Jazz Night in America” programme. So other than at pledge time, that’s still only one hour per week of programming from npr. But my point in the article remains true, the mainstay programmes from npr that I was thinking of that they don’t air are: Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and npr news.
1 Since I mentioned her up above, mi amigo and I were rather shocked to hear that Cokie Roberts had died of complications from breast cancer. Never expected that. She was 75 and was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2002. From what I read, she kept it to herself as she didn’t want anyone to know that she was sick. Even with severe pain and not eating (because of her chemotherapy making her too sick to feel like eating) she kept doing what she would usually do as best as she could. Cokie’s good friend, Linda Wertheimer at npr, went to see her just before she died. Linda said she didn’t know if Cokie knew she was there but Linda told her that she’d see her on the other side in that big studio and Cokie would be a star there. To Cokie: Have a nice trip on your next journey.