Friday, August 29, 1997
Concert, coach, couple prompt
flood of mail

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Be careful when you open your voice mail. There might be a long line waiting to get in.

A recent column questioning Riverbend's pre-concert search procedures drew a crowd.

At an Allman Brothers Band concert, people were asked to lift their shirts and turn around before entering the amphitheater. Riverbend security employees said at the time they were looking for contraband drugs, alcohol and weapons. People in line were just looking for a good time. So, some found the frisking heavy-handed. Riverbend officials told me the shirt lift was "overzealous" and "wrong," and not standard policy.

Robin Barber has her doubts. The Norwood woman went to see John Michael Montgomery at Riverbend "the very next night after the Allmans. Not only did they ask us to lift our shirts and show our bellies and turn around - they patted down the front and back pockets of our jeans. They said they were checking for cameras and recording devices."

"These searches make you feel like a criminal," said Glenn Allen Mason of Covedale.

"Bet they don't search the rich people at the symphony concerts," said Sue Sawyer of New Richmond.

Becke Davis of Summerside has been to a symphony concert at Riverbend and says she was not frisked. She questions how well they search for drugs at the livelier shows. When she took her teen-age daughter to the Lilith Fair, plenty of people were smoking pot right next to her.

"My daughter had quite an education," she said, "as she watched people light up marijuana cigarettes and pass them around while sitting on the main walkway in plain sight.

"Riverbend needs to sort out its priorities," Becke added. "These policies seem to change from concert to concert, and they just don't make sense."

A reference to bikers also ticked off one reader, who thought it conjured a stereotype she doesn't fit.

Cheryl Seckel of Indian Springs said she wears leather, drives a loud Harley with her husband, "and we are both professionals who love biker rock and ballet and opera." She says they would never smuggle booze into a concert.

"Wanna know who sneaks in drinks at concerts?" growled Ed Whalters of Loveland. "It's not us bikers. It's little pencil-necked geeks like you."

Perfect couple

This week's Lunch with Cliff" column on Wayne and Ginnie Gasper - who have been married for 50 years and consider being together their greatest blessing - brought many additional blessings.

"They know the secret of life," said Jill Alexson of Fort Thomas.

"The affection they showed - the look in her eyes when she saw him, the way he patted her back when he pulled out the chair for her - proved that a couple's love can last for 50 years," said Alf Douglas of Green Township.

"They sound like newlyweds," said Nancy McDonald of Symmes Township. "I hope my husband and I are still that much in love after we've celebrated our 50th anniversary."

"My parents have been married 52 years," said Chris Lemmon of Mount Repose. "Sometimes they're not the golden years that you expected. But like the Gaspers, they are together - and that's what counts."

Coach's memorial

Now they won't have to carve his name in a tree trunk.

A column about Vincent "Tubby" Berry, the Avondale football coach who was gunned down at his team's fund-raising car wash, noted how his grieving players hoped to memorialize the man who was their mentor on the field and in life.

They wanted to put up a plaque. But they didn't have any money. So, they figured on just carving his name in the tree where Coach Tubby's team - the Warriors of the Fleischmann Boys & Girls Club - used to meet at Avondale's Rockdale Play Area.

After the column, enough donations came in to pay for a $350 bronze plaque, 13-by-10 inches inscribed with the coach's name and the dates of his birth and death. Plans are under consideration to place the plaque on a concrete base near the tall, old oak the kids still call Coach Tubby's tree.

Cliff Radel's column appears in The Enquirer Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Available to speak to groups. Tips and comments most welcome. Call 768-8379 or fax 768-8340.