Bucks County Herald

Charles Meredith:

An opinionated talk show host

Dear Friends,

Good morning. Where will you be this Saturday, June 9, at 1 p.m.? I will be at Michael Smerconish’s book signing at the Doylestown Bookshop, 16 S. Main St.

I’ve known Michael since his radio career began, 15 years ago. His Mother, Florence, is an active Realtor in the Doylestown area.

The book, “Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right” is his seventh. Michael is a Doylestown native who graduated from Central Bucks before heading off to college and law school (Lehigh and Penn). I just bought the book.

Like me, Michael used to be a Republican. He has become an Independent. While I continue to be a Republican, most of my readers believe that I’m a RINO (Republican in name only).

Because Michael is a registered Independent, he can’t vote in the Pennsylvania primaries. That’s an interesting topic for another day. Michael and I believe that Independents are purposely excluded from the primaries because both the Democratic and Republican parties prefer it that way. It’s easier to control outcomes.

The book cover says:

“Opinionated talk show host and columnist Michael Smerconish has been chronicling local, state, and national events for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News for more than 15 years. He has sounded off on topics as diverse as the hunt for Osama bin Laden and what the color of your Christmas lights say about you.

“In this collection of 100 of his most memorable columns, Smerconish reflects on American political life with his characteristic feistiness. A new Afterword for each column provides updates on both facts and feelings, indicating how the author has evolved over the years, moving from a reliable Republican voter to a political Independent.

“Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right” covers the post-9/11 years, Barack Obama’s ascension, and the rise of Donald Trump. Smerconish describes meeting Ronald Reagan, having dinner with Fidel Castro, barbecuing with the band Yes in his backyard, spending the same night with Pete Rose and Ted Nugent, drinking champagne from the Stanley Cup, and conducting Bill Cosby’s only pretrial interview.

Smerconish also writes about local Philadelphia culture, from Sid Mark to the Rizzo statue.

“Smerconish’s outlook as expressed in these impassioned opinion pieces goes beyond ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative.’ His thought process continues to evolve and change, and as it does, he aims to provoke readers to do the same.”

That last graph is precisely why I’m an admirer.

Michael selected those 100 columns from the 1,047 that he wrote for the Inquirer and Daily News between 2011-16. He’s giving 100 percent of all author proceeds to the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC) where his wife, Lavinia, serves on the board.

Today, CCTC serves over 3,000 children, and their families annually, as a private nonprofit agency that specializes in delivering behavioral health services to Philadelphia’s children and their families.

“CCTC is dedicated to addressing the impact of child abuse, neglect, traumatic events and other challenges to early childhood development and to assisting children in reaching their full potential within their homes, community and society.”

So friends, I look forward to Michael Smerconish’s book signing on Saturday – and seeing you there.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith

By the way, Mighty Betsy and I received the summer schedule of the Quakertown Band. Founded in 1877, it is one of America’s oldest bands. During the summer season, the Quakertown Band plays 14 concerts in the Bucks and Montgomery county areas.

Prior to World War I, the Quakertown Band was called the Germania Band because most of its musicians were Pennsylvania Germans. War with Germany made that identification unpopular, hence the name change.

One of its performances will be at the QNB Bank at Third and Broad streets in Quakertown. QNB was founded in the same year as the band, 1877. You can access the band’s history and performance schedule on its website, QuakertownBand.org.




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