Captain Rocco Montesano's Retirement

posted by Bryan Quitania -

This is a really emotional thing for me, I have known Rocco since 1996. Our daughters were in the same class at Flour Bluff and still friends today. There was a February ceremony aboard the Lex in 96 when Rocco was introduced to the public as the new Executive Director of the "Blue Ghost"....

Mayor Mary Rhodes was in attendance and she and the Captain made the the announcement that the Big Bang 4th of July Ceremony would be on board the Lexington and tickets would be sold for the 4th of July Party and Fund Raiser. Mayor Rhodes stopped in mid sentence when she saw me in the crowd and said, "Are you back?" "Please tell me you are back and going to be on the radio again." She turned to Rocco and said, "I think we've found an M.C." 

They did and it was my pleasure and honor to M.C. The Independence Day Big Bang Celebration on The Lexington Museum By The Bay with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra for 7 years. The maestro of the Symphony, Bill Buhider, said he thought it would be a great idea if I would conduct the orchestra. 

I was so excited it was hard to breathe. ( It was almost as exciting as when Nolan Ryan pitched to me at Whataburger Field batting practice)"The Stars And Stripes Forever", that was the song, and I went to Symphony practice to get down some professional looking moves...from Bill...the orchestra, all local people, made me look like I knew what I was doing. I also downloaded the song to a CD and practiced at home. I know Pamela got a little tired of hearing it every night the week leading up to the event. Like the trooper she is she never complained, especially when I turned the music up really loud. I told her it helped me feel the music, she just smiled and said, "The neighbors are feeling it too."

Blues Harp player extraordinaire Jim Allison played and I accompanied him on my Sax. It was wonderful (in place of huge!) Imagine a symphony orchestra playing The Blues!

Rocco has also been a regular on the radio with me for over 20 years now. 20 years.

 I couldn't have asked for a better guest, co-host, partner and a friend who made me, not only become a better man, but enjoy the journey. Rocco is still coming in on Friday's, he says until I retire. This is Navy Country!

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