When I married in the Catholic Church, I asked Ralph Renick to be one of my Godparents

Ralph Renick and I met as students in the Radio Script Writing class at U-M in my freshman year. It was held at North Campus, ultimately torn down to make room for the Coral Gables Youth Center.

Two of our classmates became Hollywood movie stars. Gene Carey, who married well and became Phil Carey in "B" movies. And Richard Horton, who was turned into a leading man. Dr. Sydney Head, chairman of the Radio department taught the class. At the time he was still skinny, Ralph became the main man at Channel 4, WTVJ, with the 6 p.m. news.

His parting shot was "Good Night amd May The Good News be Yours." When I got a $5000 loan from Suzie Oakes Linden to start the Good News Publishing Company in 1982, I asked Ralph's permission to use his farewell words. I didn't want to intrude on his fame. Later, down the road, I learned that "good news" means gospel. I would get a lot of phone calls for the Salvation Army because they used Good News also.
 I paid Suzie back. Just because someone is a millionaire doesn't mean they give it away. She didn't charge me interest, bless her heart. Her debutante granddaughter was our first cover girl for "The Good News." Our motto was: "the glamour, the glitter, the glad tidings." The Miami Herald had abandoned social reportage so we covered Miami like a blanket. I learned to take my own photos.
Ralph Renick and his wife Bane were godparents for daughter Emily. The priest said she should have a Christian name. Since her middle name was my maiden name, I said jokingly, "Wait till she grows up." Bill's brother Ed and wife Peggy were godparents for my first-born son Billy. Bill's aunt and uncle, who lived in New York City, came down for Lisa's christening, and John and Emily Dyer were godparents for baby daughter Dorothy at St. Theresa's Church.

Ralph and Bane, Alice and Tom Carney, Ed and Peg McHale also joined the summer Bal Harbour Beach Club where we did weekend outings around the pool. I called the place "the home of the miraculous medal" because most of the members were young Catholics with station wagons full of look-a-likes.

At parties at Ralph and Bane's home, we played games like Charades and laughed ourselves silly. Despite what rumors persist, Bane did not die of inhaling hair spray. Her unexpected death -- a cave-in of her lungs -- came when their sixth child was six months old. They had been married 15 years.

After the funeral, Ralph and his children came to my house on San Domingo St. in Coral Gables for lunch, before heading out on a plane to spend a week in seclusion on a beach.Ruth Sperling ran Ralph's show at WTVJ, making it possible for him to do speeches, attend luncheons and emcee numerous fancy dress spectaculars. Ruth was like an office wife, took care of Ralph's schedule, on and off the air. A better friend I never had. They enjoyed my humor. I couldn't resist tetlling jokes.

With a new station manager, he had an idea. Maybe I could be Channel 4's Andy Rooney with a short segment. At first I said no because I knew Ann Bishop had to have her hair done at J. Baldi's first thing every morning in order to be ready for her 6 p.m. broadcast on Channel 10. I didn't have that kind of time. Being a writer, I didn't have to worry about how I looked.


I had a "trial" at WTVJ after hours. Little did I know that I coughed between sentences. I was such a smoker, that I paid no attention to the little interruptions. So I wasn't disappointed when Ruth told me my  coughing segment told them to find another candidate. It was not to be.
The main good thing that happened is that I finally quit the weed. I thank the Lord that x-rays show my lungs are clean. I owe Him everything. Thank the good Lord. I do it every time I think about taking a clean breath.