10 People I’d love to interview for a podcast.

I’ve been thinking of doing a podcast for some time now. You could say I’ve been building up to it for years. When I was in junior high my friend Roger Johnson and I used to make 8 track tapes (google it) like we were on a radio show. I moved from 8tracks to cassettes in high school (but always said I could quit at anytime) and send them to friends. In college I actually volunteered at a campus radio station as a disc jockey, I had to provide my own music so I was frequently carrying 200 records and 100 cassettes across campus after my shift ended at 1am. When I lived in Russia , I would record letters to my friends and send them home. Over the past 30 years I have hosted a “radio” show that emanates from my head and broadcasts in my car when I am driving by myself. I also have have a vlog, Dave Out Loud, that as has almost as many viewers as my radio program has listeners.

Over the past few weeks, as I have been more seriously considering a podcast, I have been thinking about the components of such things. I started to think about who I might want to interview in a podcast. I started writing down a list of people whom I’d love to interview. The list quickly evolved to well over 10 people, so I had to do a bit of whittling to get to the list below. If I ever do host a podcast I do want to make a quick disclaimer on this list. It is not necessarily the top 10 people I’d like to interview for a podcast. It is just a list of 10 of the many people I’d like to interview. The 10 I ended up choosing I share some type of commonality with, that I’d love to explore in an interview. Some of these people you have heard of others are people I’ve met along the road on the journey that is my life. In no particular order here they are …

10 people I’d love to interview for a podcast

Vladimir Lebedev

Just to clarify when I say Vladimir Lebedev. I do not mean the illustrator or the skier I mean the pastor, musician, translator, student, driver, interpreter, missionary friend of mine from Russia. Vladimir was one of the first people I met when I went to Russia in 1992 and is the person who coined the phrase ministry of bad ideas for me. He is a dear friend who has a wonderful love for and understanding of God’s word.

Allen Levi

I met Allen Levi in 1995 in Irmo, South Carolina where he was doing a concert at the church I was attending. I connect to Allen on many levels, we both write songs, blog, have a passion for missions and youth ministry. We both have lost brothers to illness. Allen stopped practicing law to go into full time music ministry. A few years ago he left music ministry for a while and served one term as a judge in family court. In 2004 my wife booked him to play a concert for my 40th birthday. It was the last time I saw him in person and I would love to catch up with him and talk about his eclectic yet Christ centered life.

Steve West

1/2 my list is composed of people I’ve never met. Steve West is probably the least well known person on that side of the list. I must be drawn to the blogger lawyer type as Steve West is both those things. When I first started reading his blog, out walking, I didn’t even know what a blog was, let alone that I was reading one. Reading his blog over the last 12 years I have discovered movies like Once, Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, and house concerts. The thing I like most about Steve is that although he blogs infrequently that his posts are always thoughtful, insightful, challenging and worth waiting for.

Weird Al Yankovic

The commonality I share with Weird Al, is strangely not the weirdness. Although I am extremely weird. I consider myself a bit of a parodist myself. My parodies are on a much smaller scale then Mr. Y, I once wrote a variation of Hakuna Matata cal led Hakuna Renatta for a girl from our college and career group who was moving from Illinois to Florida. I believe her name was Renatta. I also wrote this one for my my 500th post at a differnet blog.

Amy Roller

One of the nice things about being married to your best friend is being able to book her as a guest on your podcast. I mean I love our conversations why not share them with an audience?

Sheryl Ryan

Sheryl is an OT from California, a breast cancer survivor (like my wife), a facebook friend who is both insightful, funny and compassionate. I’ve known Sheryl since we were teenagers and even though I haven’t seen her since 1990 she is still one of my favorite people.

Gordy Jorian

Gordy is one of 2 friends who has an imdb page. Gordy is another friend I have not seen for decades but spending time with Gordy is always time at the fun table.

Steve Martin

Steve and Gordy have both worked with Kermit the Frog (who would definitely be on this list if it wasn’t limited to people). Steve Martin has been my favorite comedian since I was in middle school. If it wasn’t for Steve Martin, I’d be my favorite comedian ( I wouldn’t be as funny as I am now, as I have learned so much about comedy from him even without the benefit of his Masterclass).

Carlton Fisk

Some of you may be surprised that I went 8 people without mentioning a White Sox player. If I made this list 6 months ago prior to his death, I may have included Ed Farmer on this list. Carlton Fisk is also deserving of a spot here, as he was my favorite non white-sox player in 1980 when he signed as a free agent for my team. He continued and concluded his HOF career on the south side.

Michael Card

Michael Card is one of my favorite singer songwriters. He also an excellent author and makes a mean bowl of chili. Actually I don’t know about the chili part but he does make a mean bowl of podcast.

Well those are 10 people I’d love to interview for a podcast. I guess the next step would be figuring out how to go about making a podcast.

Capital C Columbia

Today’s choice of capital cities was very easy for me as Columbia, South Carolina is the only capital I have ever called my home. I lived there between 1995 and 1997. I left Columbia to pursue the great love of my life, Amy with whom I will celebrate 22 years of marriage on the Saturday before Easter.

While in Columbia, I discovered another great love, The Krispy Kreme donut.

One of the best things about the Krispy Kreme Donut beyond the flaky creamy tenderness found in every bite is the Krispy Kreme donut shop itself especially the cascading waterfall of glaze, which I renamed the wall of glaze. Eventually The Wall of Glaze came to mean the Krispy Kreme itself.

The Wall of Glaze

I am something of a song writer. I say something since I can only carry a tune in a bucket and I so seldom have a bucket with me. It’s often on a list of things I need, but hardly there when I make up songs.

So in the Fall of 1995 I was driving to a job interview and I made up a song about a relationship that takes place over several years but entirely in a Krispy Kreme Donut shop. I named it of course ,The Wall of Glaze.

I sang the lyrics to my friend Jeff. But because I did not bring my bucket with me that day, he recognized it as more of a 50’s do -wop song and not the Bob Seger like ballad I intended it as. He performed it at a campus function and probably promptly forgot about it. It has lingered with me these 25 years and I endeavor to share it with you now.

Here are the lyrics …

The Wall of Glaze Lyrics by Dave Roller Music by Jeff Half Dozen (actually Jeff Six, but half dozen has a more donut themed approach)

It was our first date On a Friday night.
She got a blueberry donut and a medium Sprite
She looked so good and I stood amazed
That I could lose my heart 
At the wall of glaze.
At the Krispy Kreme
At the Wall of Glaze
Just a memory
of my younger days
Of how she looked so good
And how I stood amazed
That I could lose my heart
At The Wall of Glaze .

End of senior year 
Going separate ways 
I was off to the army
Her to the college daze
We promised to write every week 
It would be like we never went away  
How we cried and cried at The Wall of Glaze.

At the Krispy Kreme  
At The Wall of Glaze
 Just a memory 
Of my younger days 
Of how we promised to write every week 
It would  seem like we never went away 
But the tears fell like rain 
At The Wall of Glaze

Well you know the story
 Left a boy came back a man 
I wrote her in my letters 
Things I still don't understand
 Oh my love for her just grew and grew 
I was longing for that day 
When I'd ask for her hand 
At The Wall of Glaze

So on a Friday night 
Got down on my knees 
Put a ring on her finger
 Said will you marry me please 
She said I'm sorry 
But you were just a passing phase 
And she broke my heart 
At The Wall of Glaze

At the Krispy Kreme 
At The Wall of Glaze 
It's the end of the story
 Not the starting page 
I put a ring on her finger
 She said "Boy, you're just a phase" 
And she broke my heart 
At The Wall of Glaze 


(Poignant Musical Interlude) 

Now I sit alone 
On a Friday night 
With a blueberry donut 
And it don't feel right 
I know I shouldn't be here 
But I feel trapped in a cage 
Since she broke my heart 
At The Wall of Glaze

 At the Krispy Kreme 
Called The Wall of Glaze
 Just a memory Of my younger days 
I know I shouldn't be here
 I feel trapped in a cage 
since I lost my heart, 
since she broke my heart, 
now that we're apart 
At The Wall of Glaze.

For more of the A to Z challenge click here. To see my 2015 entry on C is for Comiskey Park click here.

The best game I never watched and why I no longer regret it.

Thursday July 23, 2009 was a typical summer day for the Roller family at that juncture of our lives. Emma was at the library and we had friends from our home school co-op over for a play date. That particular day Fred Prasil had brought his son Danny and daughter Ashleigh over who were close to the ages of my son Charlie and my daughter Lucy.

At the time I was the only full time home schooling Dad I knew but Fred Prasil was the closest thing to that. Fred and I had many things in common. We were both married to wonderful women named Amy who both worked full time in the public schools. We were both avid White Sox fans and could talk for hours and hours about sports.

Fred and I were the only men who taught at the co-op at the time. Fred taught art and gym classes where he was known as coach Fred. His paying job was also teaching gymnastics and other classes. He and his Amy would split the homeschooling duties at their house.

This particular Thursday was no different than the many times I had spent with Fred. The boys played light sabers and legos, the girls played princesses and Fred and I talked sports and held court on a variety of subjects.

I bet we mostly talked about the White Sox as it was the heart of baseball season. We didn’t think of switching on the radio and seeing how our beloved team was faring against Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays. We were enjoying each other’s company too much to think of it.

While we weren’t thinking of it, this was happening on the south side of Chicago…

Yes my favorite White Sox pitcher threw a perfect game and me the die hard White Sox fan that I am missed every single pitch because I was too busy talking White Sox with another die hard fan.

I didn’t realize the perfect game had happened until Fred and his kids had left and Charlie and I drove to pick up Emma from the library. We stopped at the Mcdonalds drive through on the way to the library and I turned the radio on to see if I could catch the end of the game. The post game was already on and people were already calling in to talk about the game. This happens at the end of every game, so it’s not unusual. What was unusual was the type of comments people were making and how excited everybody including the announced clearly was. It took me a few calls to realize what had happened.

At that point I got super excited, started switching channels to find out that Chicago was buzzing with the news. I got my food and drove home. I got out of the car and started telling Amy all about the game, but before I could get too far, she asked, “Where’s Emma?”

I had gotten so excited about the perfect game, that I had forgotten my daughter at the library! This was the reason I had left the house in the first place. Emma was eventually picked up and all was fine.

Or was it? For the next 9 1/2 years Fred Prasil , myself and Mark Buehrle’s perfect fame were inextricably linked together. If I saw Fred, I would think of the perfect game. If I saw Buehrle I would think about that day and how Fred and I could have been listening to the game while we hung out.

A few years after that Fred left the co-op but our families would still get together from time to time. Ashleigh and Lucy were in the same Awana program for a few years and last November I ran into Amy Prasil and Danny at Walmart and found that Fred had some interest in returning to our co-op. I was very excited and talked to Fred a week later and was glad to hear that he would be rejoining the co-op.

A very short time after that Fred died of a heart attack while he was coaching gymnastics. Like any sudden unexpected death it shocked everyone in the Prasil’s orbit. I went from anticipating weekly time with my friend to grieving his loss overnight.

Danny and Ashleigh were able to return to the co-op this year where they have been able to reestablish old friendships and grow new ones. I may not have seen Fred every week in co-op as I had hoped but I was able to see him in them.

And Mark Buehrle and my perfect game regret? I no longer have it. I still think of Fred when I see anything Buehrle related and think of him especially today on the 10th anniversary. But I would not change the day I spent with Fred on July 23, 2009 in any way (I would pick up Emma earlier. ) I always taught my kids that people are more important than things. The perfect game was really a thing, Time spent with friends and the memories they produce now that is as perfect as you can get here on Earth.

But Fred is not here on Earth. Like me, Fred was a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. Fred is in heaven right now enjoying an eternal relationship with his creator and savior. There is nothing more perfect than that!

Bill Buckner & The Cubs

Bill Buckner 1949 – 2019
Chicago Cubs 1977-1984

Bill Buckner, one of my childhood heroes, passed away on Monday. There are multiple news stories like this one from ESPN that will give you a biographical sketch of the former first baseman and outfielder. I want to focus here on his time with the Cubs.

Bill Buckner was traded from the LA Dodgers to the Cubs in January of 1977 along with Ivan Dejesus and a minor leaguer. The Cubs gave up Rick Monday and Mike Garman to acquire them.

Buckner played 7 full seasons for the Cubs and was traded to the Boston Red Sox in May of 1984 for Mike Brumley and Dennis Eckersly in 1984. Buckner had lost the starting first base position to Leon Durham in the off season and appeared in his last game as A cub on May 24th asa pinch hitter in the first game of a double header against the Atlanta Braves. He batted only .240 in limited action in 1984 but still hit .300 in his time for the Cubs.

Buckner played 974 games for the Cubs more than any of the other 4 teams he played for. His .300 batting average for the Cubs was 11 points better than he had hit hit with his first team the Dodgers (The .289 he hit with L.A. was equal to his lifetime average. In his 7+ years with the Cubs Buckner had hit 235 doubles 35 triples hit 85 homers and had over 500 runs batted in all the most he achieved on any of the teams he played for. The only thing that diminished with Buckner from his time on the Dodgers was a little of his speed. He had stolen 93 bases for the Dodges about 15 a year. That went down to about 7 a year on his time with the Cubs.

In 1977 when Buckner came to the Cubs, I had officially made the leap from the Cubs to the White Sox as my favorite team. But i still liked the Cubs and Bill Buckner became one of my favorite players on either side of town. Both teams were in contention in 1977 as well a great year to be a 12 year old baseball fan in Chicago. , The Southside Hitmen easily come to mind but don’t forget the Cubs who were in 1st place from May 28th to August 6th. before finishing 4th. .This was very disappointing for the Cubs and their fans as they had led at one point by 8 1/2 games near the end of June. Equally disappointing for Buckner was that the Cubs made it to the playoffs in 1984 but by then he had already been traded to the Red Sox.

You may have noticed no reference in this column to Buckner’s time after the Cubs. That is because I choose to remember him for his multiple plays for the Cubs and not for one play for the Sox team I don’t follow. It was great to think of him again and how much I enjoyed watching him play. I wish the best to his family. I’m sure multiple baseball fans over the country wish the same.

2019 Hall of Fame – If I had a ballot

In just a few hours the Hall of Fame will reveal the results of the Baseball Writers of America Association (BBWAA) ballot selections for who will be inducted into Cooperstown this summer, .  This year 35 players are on the ballot and  The BBWAA allows writers to vote for a many as 10 of these candidates.  I am not a member of the BBWAA but I do like to pretend i’m one each year at this time.  Since The Writers association nor the hall of fame control my process I imagine what would happen if I had only 13 votes and then 12 and then down until I get to my OUB (Official Unofficial Ballot this year it will be 5 6 or maybe even 7.  As I write this I have not yet decided what the cutoff will be so I’ll be as surprised as you will.  I then continue until I’m pretending I can only vote for 1 player this year.  In effect you get a ranking of who I think the 13 players most worthy of enshrinement are.

For 2019 ballot, I must say that there are many more players worthy of the Hall of Fame who have more impressive numbers than my 13th pick.  However,  the only number I was concerned about was 2005.  That is the year Jon Garland helped pitch the White Sox on to winning their first world series since 1917.  That gets him a vote in my book.

My 12th vote last year has a lot in common with my 12th vote this year.  Actually, they are the same person.  Gary Sheffield has the pedigree of a hall of famer yet like last year there are too many questions for me to really consider him further.

If I was advised that I could only vote for 11 players this year my 11th vote would be for Lance Berkman.  Berkman is probably the Killer B who will not B inducted into C town.  I thought his career  was worthy of some mention and 11 seems  appropriate.

As I state most years, I am a Chicago guy and I see my role as a Chicago guy to bring Chicago players to the attention of those who may not have seen them play regularly. If I were allowed to vote for exactly 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Freddy Garcia.  But not for the reason I just mentioned.  No for the reason I placed Garland 13th.  Freddy won the most important White Sox game in my life time that’s reason enough for voting for him here.


It seems that Mike Mussina is going to make into Cooperstown.  He will probably make it this year or next in his 6th or 7th year on the ballot.  Last year I placed him 11th on my ballot and this year he is up to 9th.  To me he’s a perennial fence sitter when it comes to enshrinement, it’s a good thing for him that many of the actual voters don’t view his career as I do,

I placed Jeff Kent 10th last year  and bump him up to 8th this year. To quote myself …   ” Kent is a very good player but I see him ultimately missing out of enshrinement to Cooperstown”.

 If I was told I could vote for 7 and only 7 HOF candidates this year my 7th vote would go to Todd Helton. He has the highest career batting average of anyone on this years ballot at .316.  Sure he played his whole career in homer friendly Colorado but he still batted .287 on the road with 142 of his 369 homers when out of town.  I was very close to putting him on my OUB.

Speaking of which, If I was told that I could vote for as many or as few players on this years ballot  that I thought were worthy of enshrinement, I would vote for six players.  The 6th would be Roy Halladay.  As mentioned at the outset, I spent some time equivocating on this selection. equivocation being a euphemism on my part for over thinking. My over thinking went like this , When I first hear Halladay’s name I don’t instantly think hall of famer, and since he died recently am I just giving him a sympathy vote.  No.  The truth his his numbers speak well of him and his 2 Cy Youngs one in each league 7 years apart speak of his dominance.  This makes the late Mr. Halladay,  the first of 7 players on my official unofficial ballot (OUB)

If I could vote for only 5 players this year, my 5th vote would go to Larry Walker. Like Halladay,   Walker has not always been on my HOF radar.  As I mentioned last year when he was the 6th player on my ballot and my oub was 5, He has been going up in my estimation each year he has been HOF elgible.

If I could only vote for one Nickname to be included in the Hall of Fame this year it would have to be the Crime Dog.  This year Fred McGriff in his last year of eligibility get’s a bite on my ballot.  If i could vote for only 5 players He would be 5th (jumping up from 7th last year.  Truth is I still think Walker more worthy than McGriff but have McGriff ahead this year since it is his last time on the ballot.

While votes nine through four are kind of Cooperstown fence sitters, I have no mixed feelings whatsoever about my final 3 votes.  2 of which were on my OUB last year and one is in his first year of eligibility.

If I was told that I could only vite for 3 players this year my third vote would go to Omar Vizquel. Vizquel was my 5th choice last year and is a player who is more than just the sum of his stats.  I saw Vizquel play many times against and for my beloved White Sox and have seen what a game changing shortstop he was. 

If it was decided that only 2 players could adorn my 2018 ballot, The 2nd name on that ballot would be Edgar Martinez.  (Edgar was 4 on my list of players last year.) I am one of the few people I know who thought Harold Baines should be in the Hall of Fame. With Baines now in the Hall of Fame, there is no earthly reason that Edgar should not be there as well.  Consider this he has a .312 lifetime batting average and hit .312 on the road.  He has a..515 career slugging percentage and slugged .514 on the road.  What consistency! He may have been a designated hitter,  but boy did he live up to that designation!
If I could vote for only 1 player on this years ballot.  It would be Juan Pierre because he played for both teams and was well liked by both teams which is a hall of fame achievement in my book.

I’m sorry my mind or my computer were just hacked.  No offense to Juan,  but if I had only one vote and even just 1/10th of my marbles that vote would have to go to Mariano Rivera in his 1st year on the ballot.  The most dominant relief pitcher in both the regular and post season.  Yes I hate the Yankees but only because of their greatness.  Rivera enhanced that greatness and is deserving of being on 100% of the ballots.

This year I think that 3 or 4 players will make the HOF.  Rivera and Martinez are perfect bookends, 2 positions that HOF voters aren’t sure about in their 1st and last years of eligibility. In my mind they are locks.  I think either Mussina or Halladay or possibly both will also make it this year.  I am pretty sure Rivera will not be on every ballot because there are some writers opposed to a 100%ballot and some writers opposed to relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame.  So it’s the perfect storm of stupidity that will keep Rivera away from ballot perfection.   The announcement is just minutes away, (procrastinate much?) So let’s go see if I was right.