You never know where John Montone will spend his morning.
It may be in midtown interviewing irate cabbies and truckers about the latest ticket blitz. Or at a noisy diner chatting up patrons about taxes, Bloomberg or baseball. Or in the bowels of the subways shouting to strap-hangers as the A-train roars by.
Montone is 1010 WINS morning street reporter. His tape recorder is like a giant stethoscope taking the pulse of the city and its suburbs. Too much snow? Not enough sex? The President is coming to town? The LIRR can’t make it into town? Trump said what? Excuse me sir, do you use Viagra?
When buildings burn, Montone is there. When a serial rapist is on the loose, Montone is there. When editor Maloney barks, “Bed-sty,” Montone doesn’t ask why.
At 4 A.M. when the wind-chill is 30-below he’s talking to homeless men around a trash can fire. When the snow drifts across the BQE he’s in the 1010 WINS Mobile Unit jumping out to get the sound of cars spinning their wheels and drivers cursing their fate.
He can be sarcastic or outrageous, solemn or angry. His tongue is never far from his cheek and he pours his heart into his notebook. To Montone news and life are one and the same. He writes movies to play in the listener’s mind.
And once in a while Montone even wails on his harmonica.
But as a blues man, he’s a pretty good news man.
Wonder where he’ll be tomorrow morning?
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The first snowflake of the season touched down the other day and 1010 WINS was ready for it.
November 24th, 1963. The basement of the Dallas city jail. Enter Lee Harvey Oswald. Enter Jack Ruby. Exit common sense.
“You give me 22-minutes and I’ll give you reasonable doubt.”
“I’m from Jersey,” she said, “I love the water.”
Puig’s bat-tossing, finger-pointing self-adulation after his line drive to right field in game 3 of the NLCS crystallized the rise of the individual over the team — in team sports.
It confounds me to hear trite phrases or hyperbolic headlines in news stories. The other day an online headline read, “Tom Hanks Reveals Startling Health News.” He’s dying, I thought. Oh, no not Tom Hanks! I love him.
In this city that never sleeps, some people actually do.
TV has pictures. Radio has sound. One morning many years ago I decided to emphasize sound where there wasn’t any.
Unlike many news organization which fill their pages and air with politicians, public officials and self-serving lawyers, 1010 WINS has always gone out of its way to give voice to the people of the metropolitan area.
Have the city council and the courts handcuffed the NYPD by ruling and voting to curtail the police tactic known as “stop and frisk,?” That will take years to answer, but by then…we’ll…listen up.
A dozen years have passed and yet, all those firefighters — young guys most of them…I can still see them marching in as the rest of us were running away — marching in and then in a matter of minutes it was over. We must never forget.
When I think of this final summer holiday, it reminds me of the men and women I see and often talk to on the streets and in the subways of our city early in the morning.
He grew up in what was called a cold water flat in West New York, N.J., and like a lot of other first generation immigrants, my father, John Louis Montone, had a lot of brothers and sisters – about half of whom survived infancy.
December will be here before you know it and the must-have toy list for kids is already here.
It’s called the Maspeth Bypass but some locals are calling the traffic scheme the “Maspeth Mess.”