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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My immediate reaction was, “Who cares?” That is a legitimate question when deciding what stories to cover and which ones to ignore on any given day. I did not care…but plenty of people did.
“In the midst of life, we are in death.”
My first TV segment called, “Mouth-Off to Montone,” consisted of some street interviews during which the camera was trained on the person I was interviewing.
Just when you think you know your audience. Well, think again.
Having covered the Super Bowl from Sunday afternoon into Sunday night and not wrapping up until the wee hours of Monday morning, my clock radio did not call out to me at 3:20 a.m. I had the day off.
And it snowed.
The MTA took some commonsense steps to make its Metro North trains and tracks safer — one week too late.
The red Schwinn’s fenders were so shiny they reflected the lights on our Christmas tree. I was 9 years old, and that bicycle represented freedom to me.
Six seconds in Dallas. A half century later
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.