There is proof that ex-WCCO-TV anchor John Reger misses me, but that’s boring compared with seeing Prince wearing something like a turban.
California’s KSBY-TV anchor left me a voice mail Friday that said he had nothing to report except for his regular paddle-boarding in the ocean near his home three hours north of LA.
“Just trying to catch up with people who I miss,” he said. “There’s nobody like you working in my market.”
Reger was in town for his dad’s birthday — “Mom and Dad [Billie and Al] are both healthy.” He also mentioned dropping in on a businesswoman friend of mine (psst, readers: an exceptionally beautiful woman I did my best to get handsome Reger to date) but wasn’t able to see her. Just as well — she’s married now and remains very much in love.
“I thought I would call to see if you were free. I’m downtown right now,” said Reger.
We never connected, but Reger said that when he dropped in on The Combo pals playing at Bunkers, guess who was sitting in a corner? Prince.
Reger, who was back in California on Wednesday, said Prince was in the company of two women believed to be 3rd Eye Girl band members.
“He had a turban on,” said Reger, “not a full-on turban but something wrapped around the top of his head? Is he wearing a ’fro these days? A puffy ’fro was sticking out. And nobody knew he was there. Nobody bothered him, nobody even noticed him.
“He had sunglasses on and nobody even recognized him — a little guy who came up to the band, his back was to the crowd. In the middle of the whole thing, at the end of a song, he walked to the band and handed two guys in the band something. After[wards] I asked, ‘What the heck was that?’ He gave them money, Brazilian money, for some reason. I didn’t realize it was money, I thought it was a card. He knows the guys in the band.”
Who needs to see me when there’s a Symbolina sighting to be had?
Seeing old ’CCO pals
John Reger has always appreciated the behind-the-scenes colleagues, as any smart anchor does.
He dropped by the station he left about six years ago “to see my favorite producer Jen Jimenez. She started at the lowest rung, now she’s an executive.”
But he also saw Amelia Santaniello, Frank Vascellaro, Chris Shaffer, Bill Hudson and Reg Chapman. Reger did not run into the person I understand is the only ’CCOer to take up him on his generous offer of a free place to stay near the ocean: Jason DeRusha.
Reger was selling me hard on a visit, talking about how he’s never run into any sharks but has seen the breathtaking surfacing of whales. I told Reger it won’t be long before he’s covering a news story about a surfer or paddle boarder getting swallowed whole by a whale surfacing with its mouth open while feeding, but it won’t be me who’s eaten.