Getting Personal: 'Popeye's Circus' host Ed Mason
Now that you're retired, how do you spend your time?
Enjoying golfing, fishing, bowling, reading and playing piano/keyboard professionally.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
Arise usually around 6 a.m. Enjoy a cup of coffee while reading newspaper and watching news on TV.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? Who with?
Bacon, eggs, grits, toast, coffee and a glass of V-8. At home with my wife, Vivian.
What is your best high school memory?
Meeting and "hanging" out with a wonderful group of guys and gals who are still some my best friends.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
Florsheim penny loafers. It started in high school when we all wore blue jeans, white T-shirts and black leather jackets.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Relaxing at the TV after a round of golf.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
"The Zane Grey Frontier trilogy: Betty Zane, Spirit of The Border, and The Last Trail." Lost the original but recently ordered another copy from Amazon.
If you could invite three people (all living) to your home for the weekend, who would it be?
Our three sons, Patrick, Bobby and Carl.
Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?
Bakersfield, Calif. Home of two of our best friends, Bud and Barbara Irle.
Tell me about your favorite pet(s).
A great little poodle named Samantha (Sa). Now deceased.
Have you discovered as you matured that you became like one of your parents? Which one and how?
My father, Edward W. Mason (deceased). We both retired from the military, loved to hunt and fish together and believe it or not ... were both die-hard Cub and Bear fans.
What would you order for your last meal?
Swiss steak, REAL mashed potatoes and gravy, the way only my wife, Vivian, can prepare it.
What can you NOT live without?
Music, books, TV, sports and my wife, Vivian.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
The day I married my wife, Vivian. Our 50th anniversay was celebrated on March 15, 2009.
What are you reading right now?
"Serpent" by Clive Cussler.
If you could host a dinner party with anyone in the world, living or dead, what five people would you host for dinner?
Bob Flewelling, Jerry Davis, Jim Freeman, Bob Canaday and Gerald Hutchcraft, who are all deceased. These are all old high school and Army buddies.
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
"Don't sweat the small stuff!"
What is your best piece of advice?
"Don't sweat the small stuff!"
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
Working (during high school) on weekends for Osage Archery in Urbana. Cut Osage (using two-man crosscut saw), feathered arrows, etc., for 50 cents an hour.
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
Following active duty during the Korean War, I came back to Urbana. I got a job as a fireman on the Illinois Central Railroad. However, the day before I was to start my "trial runs," I was informed by the trainmaster in Champaign that they could not hire me since I was still active in the National Guard. Evidently they'd been having problems with Guardsmen who were not available to make their runs due to weekly Guard meetings (at that time) and the two-week summer camps. A cousin, Harold Mason, was the business manager of a new TV station in Champaign, WCIA. He suggested I apply there. I did and the rest is history.
Do you have a bad habit? What?
Procrastination and I smoke. Both are bad habits, but procrastination is certainly the lesser of two evils. And, too, I'm trying to quit ... AGAIN!