From Greensborosports.com to Harvard….

I came across this today from blogs.law.harvard.edu and our work here is going straight to Harvard or at lest that’s how I am reading this.

This entry comes from Doc Searls Weblog and he writes about the death of Jack Armstrong/John Larsh and he got on to this subject after the reading the account of Jack Armstrong’s death here at Greensborosports.com. The info was then in turn shared among those at the Harvard Law Education link….The word is traveling.

Here’s Doc Searls account on “Noticing Death” based on his readings about Jack Armstrong from Greensborosports.com:

Holy ****, I wandered around the Radio-Info message board for San Francisco, where there is this notice about another death: Jack Armstrong, late of KFRC. A detail… Extremely saddening news… I hoped I never had to write… Our extremely amazing Dad and your friend Jack Armstrong aka John C. Larsh passed away yesterday March 22, 2008 at his home in North Carolina.

John Larsh? Could this be the same John Larsh I knew back at Guilford College? Sure enough: Larsh used to work at 1320 WCOG radio here in Greensboro and his dad was a professor at the Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. John Larsh briefly attended Guilford College.

Jeez. He was a kid, a couple years older than me, who still hung out at Guilford even though he wasn’t going there any more at the time.

The big kahuna at ‘COG then was John Coffman, or “Johnny C”. On Saturday nights, all the local teenagers went cruising up and down Walker and West Market Streets, threading through the parking lot of the Boar and Castle, a legendary run-down car hop place with a famous sauce. Johnny and WCOG played from every radio in every car. I can still hear “A Lovers Concerto” by the Toys and “One Two Three” by Len Barry over the low thrum of “glass pack” mufflers on souped up cars creeping along at two miles an hour. I knew Johnny too, though not from radio. Johnny had a side business selling cookware, and for awhile I made a bit of money working for him. John died of cancer not too many years after that.

But my reeling mind is still flashed back to 1965, when Johnny wasn’t budging from his night slot at ‘COG, and John Larsh was a way-better jock than Johnny anyway. So John headed off to Cleveland, where he worked for what was then WKYC/1110, one of the original (literal) clear channel stations. It boomed into Greensboro every night. I remember how John stirred up some controversy by saying that the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” wasn’t music. Guess he changed that tune, because here’s this story, at that same link, about how John, now Jack Armstrong, prevented 35,000 Beatles fans from rushing the stage in Cleveland when the Fab Four played there. John/Jack went on to work everywhere, it seems. Funny, I always wondered what happened to him. Now I know.

John was 62. Now, as then, two years older than me.

At the end of every show back then, John used to say “Remember, when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot, hang on and swing”.

Still swinging, John.

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for posting about my Dad. He really was spectacular at what he did and being a father.
    I know we all miss him – A LOT!

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