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Love As Only Crash Could

Updated on June 14, 2011

I've Always Been Weird About Valentine's Day

For whatever reason, it always seemed like, before I met my wife, I was always unattached at Valentine's Day. So I had some weird ways of celebrating the holiday for lovers.

For example, one year, when I was an undergraduate in college, I was scheduled to be on the radio on Valentine's Day, doing my old tacky seventies comedy show called Crash's Clambake. I knew the likelihood was that almost no one would be listening to my show that night, since they would probably be doing unmentionable things with their significant others.

At the time, The Only Clambake You Can Hear was a whopping five hours long, as the station directors had decided to venture into the uncharted waters by having "Experimental Radio" from midnight until 2 a.m., sort of testing the FCC on how far they would let us go. I was already scheduled to do the Clambake from 9 to midnight, so being a crazy college student, I volunteered to extend it for another couple of hours.

This meant that I had two more hours to fill with meager attempts at humor, and I wasn't feeling terribly inspired the week of Valentine's Day that year, so I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day in a most unique fashion.

My mom had given me a copy of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 1975-1985 as a Christmas gift. Bruce Springsteen was then, still is, and forever shall be one of my favorite artists. So I rationalized, "I love Bruce Springsteen, Valentine's Day is about love, and I've got lots of time to kill."

So in 1987, I celebrated Valentine's Day by playing the full box set of "Live Bruce Juice," as I liked to call it. I have no how many people actually listened, but I sure had a hell of a time that night!

In addition to being known as Crash Cromwell, host of Crash's Clambake, I was also known as James F. Henry, editor in chief of the St. Joseph's College newspaper, the Spectrum. I considered it my mission in life to ruffle as many habits as I could on the pages of The Spectrum (St. Joseph's College is owned by the Sisters of Mercy, many of whom held important administrative and teaching positions on campus). So I used to like to take little jabs at the nuns on the pages of the newspaper, like the time I quoted Billy Joel's tune "Only The Good Die Young," with the line "....The stain glass curtain you're hiding behind never lets in the Sun...Darlin' only the good die young!" I put that quote right in the middle of the staff box on the editorial page.

But for Valentine's Day, I had extra special ways to traumatize the nuns. Like, instead of wishing my readers Happy Valentine's Day, I used a headline that read, "Happy V.D." When the nuns called me on this slur, I said it was an editorial decision based on space limitations (a fact that none of them bought for a second since I had to blow up that headline to like 120 point type to fill the space above the article.

Another year, I got some really cool clip art for Valentine's Day, including one that showed an artist's rendering of an actual human heart. Complete with veins and arteries, and even some blood dripping out. Rip your heart out sisters!

These are just a few of the wonderful memories I have about Valentine's Day. Now I'm married, I've got a few kids (a fact that many nuns probably live in fear of....I'm betting they've already blackisted my kids in the Admissions Office, just in case any of them should think about applying to go to the Mistake By The Lake, as I liked to call it), and I haven't got much of a clue what to do for Valentine's Day. I like to think of myself as a romantic guy, but really that's just a pipe dream, as my wife loves to remind me on a highly regular basis.

So I'm thinking it might be time to put on the old thinking hat and try to find some way that I can surprise the puss out of my darling wife. Something tells me that five hours of Bruce Springsteen while reading old faded copies of the Spectrum probably won't do too much for her, or for my chances of making some Valentine's Day memories of our own. Anyone got any suggestions? I'm all ears!


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    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida

      Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the comment!

      Jim Henry, aka Crash Cromwell

    • Didge profile image


      6 years ago from Southern England

      Brilliant hub crashcromwell, love it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Students questioning authority at colleges is definitely a rite of passage. I recall providing the entertainment for the anti-visitation-policy rallies at SJC. Moreover, I remember you and I having multiple rap sessions over how best to buck the system.

      On the other hand, eleven years teaching at an expensive liberal arts college have helped me appreciate the sisters sacrifices that made it possible to provide a wonderful environment for us at such low tuition. You will always be my pal, but I have to admit that it makes me wince to see you ridicule SJC and the sisters in a public forum.

      It's your show, of course, and I will continue to enjoy your writing, but I would be perfectly happy to never read the term "Mistake on the Lake" again.

    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Florida

      Yeah, she's not much into the Boss, but maybe Kenny Chesney....We're always switching the radio between the classic rock station I like and the redneck radio station she likes.

      Thanks for the note ProCW, and happy VD to you too!

    • ProCW profile image


      9 years ago from South Carolina

      :) Hmm... how to surprise her...

      Full day at the spa for the two of you?

      Romantic dinner?

      Take a few ballroom lessons and then take her dancing?


      Buy a new car for her... :)

      I dunno...

      Whatever you choose, I wish you and your wife the best!

      I think you're right... Springsteen ain't gonna cut it... :)

      Happy Valentine's Day!


    • crashcromwell profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Florida

      Laught until you cry Sir Dent, that's probably the best. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am not sure whether to laugh or cry at this one. I'll just laugh at it and be done with it. It seems you used to have a great time in college.

    • Lgali profile image


      9 years ago

      nice hub

    • Dottie1 profile image


      9 years ago from MA, USA

      I loved the stroll down crash's memory lane and I bet if you read all of the Hubmobs this week you will not come up short of ways to make new crash valentine memories. Thumbs up to you and Bruce!


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