Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

PREFACE

I owe a great deal to the wonderful people of Westchester, who have been willing to weigh my many inadequacies less diligently than they assess what they find commendable in my stewardship of their radio stations WVOX and WVIP.

I began my career in radio during the summer of 1957. And our listeners here in the Golden Apple and throughout the tri-state New York metropolitan area have somehow tolerated my enthusiasms and endured my pronouncements for a long, long time. I have been at this profession for more than fifty years.

Obviously, I never took John Gardner’s advice that one should change careers every four years or so. So I’m glad I stuck to my last, which has enabled me to amplify the sweet voices of some remarkable men and women whose goodness you’ll discover in these pages. Radio has also provided me with an enormously influential soapbox from which to confront and challenge some of the great societal and civic issues of my time.

Although I have been fortunate beyond anything I deserve in my career and professional endeavors, my life has also been attended by some sadness over the years. I’ve walked down center church aisles behind the coffins of my mother, Catherine Tucker O’Shaughnessy (1906–91); my father, William Mac O’Shaughnessy (1904– 74); and my only brother, John Thomas O’Shaughnessy (1940–98); I’ve stood in rural cemeteries in Friendship, Waverly, and Peekskill, New York, and watched as gravediggers threw dirt on them as they went back into the earth. And there was the untimely passing of my son Michael Pasquale (1982–2005). I also remember—and I’ve written of it in a previous book—the day some son of a bitch blew John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s brains out in Dallas. And the call from Joe Canzeri at 1:30 in the morning: “Billy, Nelson [Rockefeller] died last night.” And I saw Bobby Kennedy dying on a greasy kitchen floor in Los Angeles.

There was also a time, with Nancy, in the White Plains hospital, trying to save a baby I hoped would look like her. And the night Mario Cuomo lost his bid for a fourth term as governor of New York.

-xvii-

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