Makes the world go 'round.
The Friendly's regulars include a Mexican guitar player, a playwright, a professional piano tuner, two freelance reporters, an aspiring novelist, a cartoonist, a salon manager, a photographer and a painter. The weekend bartender is writing an opera.
And then there's Love.
Love first stopped in about three years ago, a pitstop on the way to meet some friends for karaoke. Soon Billy Love and Marco DiTullio were sitting together at the Friendly's piano.
"Man, if me and you had met 20 years earlier," said DiTullio, "we'd be in show business together."
After taking stock of Florida, and at DiTullio's urging, Love decided to pursue his dream of becoming a radio personality. Love bought an hour's worth of weekly airtime from WNWR 1540 AM with plans for a news/comedy/musical variety show. Then he hopped into his Lincoln and drove up to a New York City photography studio to get some headshots taken. It was a sloppy industrial-style walk-up. Love was nervous. But after about 50 clicks of the camera he was pleased. He had about 200 postcards bearing his smiling mug printed up.
"What do you want them to say?" the photo guy asked.
"'Internationally Renowned Radio Show,'" Love answered after a moment. So now Love buys an hour of airtime each week on the radio station and broadcasts The Billy Love Show.
This past week Love did a bit on a man who was fired for playing computer solitaire at work, then segued nicely into Marco's suggestion of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes off of You." He also paid tribute to the recently deceased Don Knotts, and offered a pair of movie tickets to the listener with the most humorous answer to, "What happens to our socks when they disappear from the dryer?"
Everybody at the Friendly was impressed.
"He's getting better," says Chad, a bar manager.
"It's definitely starting to flow more smoothly," says Gary, a salon manager.
Felix, the resident artist, arrives late.
He was at home working on a pen-and-ink sketch of Abraham Lincoln, one of his favorite subjects.
"I always admired him," says Felix of Lincoln. "He had the weight of the world on his shoulders."
Felix passes his work around the bar, and everyone agrees it's a striking portrait. One side of the president's face looks determined and resolute. The other side hangs sadly.
"We all have two sides to our face," says Felix. "I never met a face with one side to it."