Legacy and Lament: How I Remember My Dad

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I was asked a deep question this past week that was clearly supposed to be difficult to answer. The question was simple: If you could only have one thing in this life, what would it be? Don’t ask me what prompted this person to ask me this question. I have no earthly idea. But after a brief pause to let the premise of the question wash over me, I realized I already knew what my answer was. It’s something I’ve thought about many times before, even if it wasn’t necessarily in that exact context. All I really want…is to create a legacy.

The thing that was particularly apropos about the timing of when this question was posed to me is that it came within 24 hours of a significant anniversary of one of those days in my life that will stick with me forever. May 28, 2014 was the day my father died. And when we’re talking about the concept of a legacy, there is no question that my dad undeniably left one. It is as complicated and imperfect as a legacy could be, but it’s one that impacts me now and will continue to impact me for the rest of my life.

That may sound as though I carry it like a weight on my shoulders, and if I’m being honest, in some ways I do. Lord knows that the events surrounding the last year of his life have brought untold amounts of pain to me and my family. But the totality of the impact he made on the person I’ve become is impossible to ignore, and it’s something I will always be grateful for.


My dad was as close to a rock star as a person could be without being an actual rock star. He rose through the ranks of FM radio until he made it onto WNEW in New York City. In his heyday, he was the host of the Dave Herman Rock & Roll Morning Show, and he was so good at what he did. What I remain most impressed by is how he was able to be on the forefront of so many ideas that moved the industry forward. He created an on-air persona for himself that seemed larger than life. I’m talking about a guy who was rubbing elbows with everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen to Paul Simon. In fact, if you listen to the live album 11.17.70, the voice that introduces Elton freakin’ John to the audience is my father. That’s pretty damn cool if I do say so myself.

But I wasn’t even born yet during the prime of his career. Even towards the end of his run on the air, I was just a child. I didn’t comprehend at the time the magnitude of what he was doing for a living. I couldn’t. To me, he was always just Dad. All of the perks that came with being this radio star’s son just seemed normal to me. It was all I knew.

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Me and my mom just chillin with Peter and Barbara Frampton

My dad was always there for me. When I made the varsity baseball team in high school, he was a fixture at all of my games. He’s the guy who made me a Yankee fan, which also served as my initial introduction into the world of sports, even if he wasn’t the kind of fanatic that I turned out to be. If you know my previous work at all, you know how important the impact that combining a love of sports with a passion for broadcasting has made on my life. Would I have ever entered into the world of sports radio if it weren’t for him? The answer to that question is an easy no.

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The time I met my first baseball hero, Don Mattingly, at an event my dad hosted for K-ROCK

But of course, it was much more than that. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received when it comes to life, love and everything else came out of his mouth. I’ll never forget how he would constantly remind me to do my best to only focus on the things that I have control over, and to worry less about the things that I can’t. That’s the kind of advice that may seem obvious, but to have it framed in those terms was so important to my development as a goal-oriented human being. It’s something that I remind myself of on a weekly basis.

What I’m getting at with all of this is that when it came to simply being a father, Dave knocked it out of the park. At least he did with me. What bothers me is that he didn’t do it for all of his kids. I don’t want to speak to the experience of my siblings, simply because I don’t want to pretend I know their stories better than they do. But I can say for sure that my younger brother did not get the same parent that I did. I was already seven years old by the time Sam was born, and there’s a sense that after raising three other kids over the range of most of his adult life, he just wasn’t ready or willing to do it again at that point.

But without question, if we’re narrowing down the conversation about my dad to only include the context of the job he did raising me, there’s not much negative I could possibly say. Man, if only it were that simple…


Now is the part where things get a lot more difficult for me to talk about. But I’m gonna try. My parents began the process of getting divorced when I was in my early teens. I say process, because it dragged on for years. That time was a dark period marred by legal proceedings, lawyers, custody hearings and therapy sessions that sent my family’s life into calamity. And with all of the good will my father had built with me over the course of my childhood, he would use that to play me like a pawn in the chess match he waged against my mom.

The gaslighting job he did on my mother was executed with such precision, it makes me nauseuous to think about knowing what I know now. He would create situations to make her seem as though she was crazy, and it was so effective, there was a time I actually believed she was. If he was the puppeteer, I was his unwitting marionette.

From my perspective at the time, it seemed like my mom was constantly manic for no reason. What I didn’t realize was that the things that were setting her off coincided with all of these audacious legal maneuvers my dad was attempting behind the scenes. But I didn’t have any grasp of what was going on in that arena. So when I would arrogantly defend my dad, she would understandably lash out at me. When it was happening, my thought process was, “There goes Mom, acting crazy again.” But now I get it. There’s no need for me to get into specifics, but some of the things he did through the courts were absolutely preposterous. And yet somehow, he managed to get everything he wanted.

The result of all of this was that my mom finally realized she needed to get as far away from this place as possible. It was in 2002 that she moved to Vancouver, and that left me and my brother in New Jersey with our dad maintaining full custody. My relationship with my mother was strained so badly that we didn’t even talk for long stretches of time. She and I would reconcile in the following years, and I couldn’t be happier to say that at this point in my life, my relationship with her has never been better. I love her with every piece of my soul, and I’m so blessed to have her influence back in my life. But the thing that devastates me is the realization that for a large chunk of my growth from teenager to young adult, she wasn’t there. There’s no telling how much of a difference her presence would have made in my life during those years, but there’s no doubt she would have made a huge one. Instead, I had to learn how to grow up without my mom. And she had to live with the sting of having her children ripped away from her. Frankly, the blame for that rests squarely on my father’s shoulders.

The family separation would only continue in the following years. In 2005, my dad had designs on living out the rest of his retirement in the Virgin Islands. So despite all of the talk about how crazy my mom was, he wasn’t going to let that ruse mess up his plans on building his dream home in the Caribbean. With me already out of the nest and off at college, and with him having no desire to be a single parent to my now 11-year-old brother, he shipped Sam off to live with my mom in Vancouver. That was a devastating blow to me. My brother and I have always been attached at the hip. In the moment, I kicked and screamed in opposition to the idea that he would be moving to the opposite end of the continent. Of course, that move would be instrumental in my brother blossoming into the brilliant young man he has become. So it’s hard for me to be upset about it now. Also, he and I now share an apartment and are as close as we’ve ever been before. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.


I fondly remember the trips I made to St. Croix to visit my dad. With him living there, it was an easy excuse to take a Caribbean vacation every year, and his house was a beautiful place with an incredible view overlooking the water.

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The pool was pretty sweet too

We had such great times enjoying the beaches and joining him at a local watering hole called Off The Wall for Bingo night, an event that he would host every month as only he could. Right until the end, my dad was an entertainer, even when his audience was 30 drunk people just trying to win a beer koozie. I can’t stress enough how funny this man was. Sometimes it was unintentional, and we would be laughing at his expense. But the guy always oozed personality.

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Despite our relation to the host, my brother and I never won a damn thing at these Bingo nights. But we sure did have fun.

But I can’t say that I ever felt like this was the right place for him to be. I mean, here was this 70-year-old dude from the Bronx trying to adjust to “island time” and spending his days mostly in isolation. There was always something off about it. It just didn’t really fit. And clearly, something changed in him during his time there.

It’s not like there was ever an interaction I had with him where I was like, “Whoa, what’s going on with dad?” It was more just this sense that he didn’t belong there. My dad was a people person, and he didn’t really have a lot of people around him while he was there. Sure, he got along great with his neighbors, and the Bingo nights gave him an opportunity to schmooze with the locals. It just didn’t seem like it was really his kind of scene.

Even in the time that I spent there, he would spend an inordinate amount of time every day on his computer. There was nothing particularly alarming about that at the time, but let me ask you: If you were living in a tropical paradise, would you be logging hours upon hours online with a plethora of incredible outdoor activities to choose from a short drive away? I don’t know. It just felt like it was defeating the purpose of why someone would choose to live in a place like St. Croix.

And then it happened. It was in October of 2013 that my life changed forever…


I had just taken my seat aboard a train headed back to New Jersey after a lovely visit with my friends in Philadelphia. My brother’s birthday was the following day, and since he was attending NYU at the time, I was excited to get back so I could spend some quality time with him. But as I sat down, I answered my ringing cell phone to find my sister, Jenny, on the other end. I immediately could tell based on her tone that something was horribly wrong. When I asked her what was up, she ominously responded, “Did you hear about Dad?”

Naturally, I thought for sure she was about to tell me that he had passed away somehow. After all, he was not a young man and he had undergone open-heart surgery less than a decade prior. Instead, I learned that my dad had been arrested that day. By Homeland Security. In a sting operation. For sex crimes.

I was numb. I rode that train for an hour and a half in dead silence. I can’t for the life of me remember what was going through my head. I don’t know if anything was. I completely disassociated from my surroundings. Could it possibly be true? Was this some kind of sick joke?

I finally got home and laid my head down on my pillow. And then every single repercussion of what this news meant hit me all at once. I would say I cried myself to sleep, but I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I was heartbroken for my family. I was heartbroken for me. But then came the aftershocks. I realized this was going to be in the newspapers. I knew I was supposed to go into work at my New York City radio job the next day. Obviously, my bosses excused me from work and told me to take as much time as I needed before coming back. But the headlines reached me nonetheless.

It may sound strange for me to say, but in my mind, my father died twice. The day he was arrested was the day the man who raised me somehow ceased to exist. I only spoke to him over the phone one more time. He called me from jail on my birthday the following April, and even though he poured his heart out to me, I wasn’t really interested in hearing what he had to say at the time. I was still too angry, even if I was holding out hope that he was innocent as he claimed to be. I couldn’t bring myself to visit him in prison, despite the fact that he had been extradited to Newark – which in a unique twist of fate just so happened to be the same city I was living in at the time.

The last and only time I saw him after his arrest was the night before he died. Jenny had called me that day to tell me that he was having medical complications and that this would likely be my last chance. Seeing him laying in that hospital bed was incredibly uncomfortable, but I’m so happy I was there. His face lit up when he saw me. For a man who was literally on death’s door, he squeezed me so tightly in an embrace that I was ready for him to jump out of the bed and pull the IV out of his arm.

Even though he was pretty heavily medicated, he couldn’t have been more coherent when he started telling me how proud he was of me. Just as I had always been his biggest fan, he made it clear that he too was mine. He told me how he was able to get a radio in his cell and that he would listen to me every night I was on the air. He joked that one day I should take over for John Sterling as the play-by-play voice of the Yankees.

It was in that moment that a lot of the bitterness I felt started to melt away. I didn’t want to be angry. I just wanted to love my dad and be there for him just as he had been there for me so many times before. So that’s what I did.

For a while, he couldn’t seem to grasp the gravity of what was happening, that he was nearing the end. My sisters and I tried our best to communicate with him what the situation was. Finally, I did my best to cut through the noise and give it to him straight. I told him that either the doctors could plug him into a machine, and they could keep him alive…or…

And he stopped me right there with an emphatic, “NO.” So all that was left for me to say through my tears was, “Then it’s time to say goodbye.”

For all of the things that tear me up inside about this story, the thing I’m most grateful for is that the last words I said to my father were, “I love you.” Because I do. I always have, and I always will.


My dad was my hero. And even though he did some unforgivable things that crossed into the realm of sociopathy, it would be foolish of me to ignore all of the good in my life that he is directly responsible for. He’s the reason I’m a broadcaster. He’s the reason I’m a sports fan. But most importantly, in so many ways, he’s the reason I’m me.

When I’m gone, I want to be remembered for my legacy, not just the mistakes I’ve made. And even though some mistakes are far worse than others, my dad’s legacy remains in tact. That’s because even if his reputation is in tatters, the legacy of broadcasting will live on through me. The legacy of music will live on through my brother. The legacy of being revolutionary in our field will live on through both of us. You might not know that yet, but you’re damn sure going to before long.

So as we approach Father’s Day, I’d like to raise a glass to Dave Herman. A ground-breaker. A brilliant mind. A star. And yes, a deeply flawed human being. There’s so much about the events of his life I’ll never understand. But the best job he ever did was as my father. He did so much right. I refuse to only remember him for his wrongs, even if I can’t ever forget them. I love you, Dad. Rest in peace. Shine on you crazy diamond.

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My Journey to Self-Discovery

I kicked around a couple of different ideas on what to write about this week. I could have put some words together on a number of different sports happenings, but honestly, fuck all that shit. Instead, I’ve decided to write about a subject that I can safely say I know better than anyone in the world. That subject is…well…me.

This week marks the two-year anniversary of one of the most important events of my life so far. The first week of March in 2017 was when I left the only home I had ever known. I bounced around quite a bit growing up, but the New York/New Jersey area was the only region I had ever lived for the first 30 years of my life. So when I decided I was packing up all of my shit and moving not just out of the area, but also out of the country, it was easily one of the craziest, scariest and most daunting decisions I had ever made for myself. But goddamn, am I happy I did it.

In this post, I want to explain what went into that decision, and why looking back on it now, I’ve never been more confident that it will go down as one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

Now, I don’t have any interest in going ALL the way back to the very beginning of this story, because it spans well over a decade and goes through the minutiae of my adolescence. Even though some aspects of it make for compelling storytelling, I’m writing a blog post here, not an autobiography.

All you need to know on that front is that my parents went through an ugly divorce. The horrors of that experience led my mom – who is a saint and deserves to have her story told in a better setting than this silly blog – to move to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She would be joined a few years later by my younger brother when my dad decided he wanted to fuck off to the Virgin Islands to live out retirement. This was in 2005.

I stayed in New York because I had a dream to chase. My passions were always pretty clearly defined, even when I was a kid. My dad was a big shot in the NYC radio scene, and I have always been a fanatical sports fan. Put the two together, and I knew what I wanted to be. I was going to work in sports radio, and I was going to be great at it.

In my senior year of college, I had the good fortune of being able to intern at WFAN. For those who don’t know, the FAN was, is, and probably always will be the premiere sports talk station not just in New York, but really the country. It’s essentially where the sports talk format was born and has been home to the brightest stars in the broadcasting game since its inception.

Immediately following my internship, the FAN offered me a part-time job. That gig would beget several other work opportunities at the station, eventually leading to my first on-air position as an update anchor. By that time I had been working there for five years.

The satisfaction of knowing that my hard work was paying off with an opportunity to sit in front of a microphone in any capacity was overwhelming. I remember leaving the office that day and being so overcome with emotion, I cried right there on the busy streets of lower Manhattan. I didn’t even care how many people were staring at me. I was doing the damn thing, y’all. It was the surest sign yet that I was on the right path. This crazy dream I had of being a star broadcaster? It was actually happening. And I was elated.

Over the course of the next couple of years, I felt myself getting better and better at what I was doing. Even though sports updates on the FAN are relegated to just a couple of minutes, three times an hour, I found a way to deliver the scores and headlines in a way that was uniquely me. I guess what I’m saying is, I got really fucking good at that job. It’s not like I was doing anything revolutionary, but I could not have possibly felt more in my element.

But this was never my end game. Just as anyone who has done the same job for years on end would, I eventually got to a place where I wanted to take the next step in my development. And by the time 2015 rolled around, I was ready to leap. I began putting together demo tapes in hopes that I could earn an opportunity to host a show.

It took a while. The first two or three tapes I sent in were, to be blunt, absolute tire fires. Like, they were really, grotesquely bad. But I kept doing it. With every rep, I got a little better, and a little better. Finally, I sent one in that was passable enough that my boss was willing to give me a shot. It was to be on Christmas morning, 2015. My time slot would be from 3-6 AM. Or as I like to call it, zombie primetime. But holy shit. This was huge. More elation. More tears of joy. The arrow on my career trajectory was going up again.

When the day arrived, I was a nervous wreck. But I prepared my ass off for that show. I had a format. I had a plan. And after getting through my opening monologue and taking a handful of calls, I settled in and began to sense that familiar feeling I had felt all those years doing the updates. This is what I was always meant to do. I am GOOD at this.

There was just one problem. When you work in a corporate structure, it really doesn’t matter at all what YOU think of the job you’re doing. There are gatekeepers that decide who is worthy of being elevated, and who is not. And while the purpose of telling you this story is not to cast aspersions on the powers that be, the fact of the matter is that my performance hosting that show did not move the needle a single iota in the minds of the people in charge. Their feedback was constructive, but extremely tame in praise. You might be wondering how many follow-up opportunities I got to host again and hone my craft. The answer is…zero.

I’m not self-righteous enough to say that I don’t bear a large part of the blame for why that was the case. I didn’t do nearly a good enough job of advocating for myself, and the fact is, if I had been more in their face on a regular basis, I think I would have at least earned more chances to prove myself. But I wasn’t and I didn’t. The result was 2016 being a year that relentlessly beat my ass into submission.

That year started with my girlfriend of six years deciding she finally had enough of me putting my career first. Just weeks after the highest moment of my professional life, my personal life was beginning to crumble. My schedule of working late nights and overnights was taking a toll on both my mental and physical health. Socially, I curled up into a ball. I rarely left my apartment that I was now living in alone. Sometimes, days would pass without me even seeing the sun. I was still very much dealing with the fallout of the death of my father two years earlier – which is a whole other story in and of itself, perhaps for another time.

The weeks turned into months, and nothing was happening for me. That was largely because I wasn’t making anything happen for myself. But still, I felt betrayed and unappreciated in many ways, despite that being a completely useless thing to feel. In hindsight, it was also misguided. Nevertheless, the year pressed on and the shit storm in my brain only intensified.

2016 still had one more kick in the nuts to deliver to me, and that came in the form of the election of President Donald Trump. I promise I’m not going to go off on a political tangent here, and I understand that there are many of you reading this who were probably thrilled by this development. But for me, that nightmarish election process producing the worst possible outcome led to me taking inventory of my entire life.

I didn’t want to be where I was anymore, in any context. My personal life had worn me down. My professional life was completely stagnant and becoming more and more difficult to cope with and maintain. My home country felt like it was devolving into a caricature of all of its worst elements rolled into one. I felt like I was battling all of my demons every day. It was time for a change…and a big one.

And that’s when it hit me. I needed my mom. I needed my brother. I needed a change of scenery. So I made the call. I ugly cried over the phone to my mom and told her I wanted to move to Vancouver. I knew that door was always open to me, and part of me feels like a dope for not taking it sooner. But better late than never.

It was March 1, 2017 that I loaded up a van full of my belongings and started driving west. That road trip was a life-changing experience. I saw parts of the U.S. that I probably never would have seen otherwise. I remember driving through the corn fields of Iowa and looking at the farm houses. I’d gaze upon the glowing lights inside and think to myself, I wonder what their life is like.

During that week I was on the road, I had vulnerable, honest and difficult conversations with myself. Even though solitude was one of the things I was undoubtedly running from, being alone with my thoughts over the course of that trip was one of the most blissful experiences I had during the entire journey. Finally, I reached the city limits of Vancouver. It was at that very moment that I was overcome with the most comforting feeling I could have possibly felt at that time boiled down into two words: I’m home.

In the two years since, I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect. Too much time, really. The fact is, time spent looking to the past is time not spent preparing for the future. But let me tell you guys this: ya boy is back and ready to take over the world again.

What I’ve realized is that I hold the power. I’ve spent too much time playing by the rules of others and conditioning myself to believe that the only way to do something meaningful is to climb the corporate ladder. Now? I think that is absolute nonsense. It’s simply not true. I don’t need to attach myself to your business to glow myself up. My business is ME.

That’s not to say that I think I’ve automatically got it made. I understand the process is going to be hard. It’s going to be slow. It’s going to take a fuck-ton of work. It wont always be perfect. But I’m ready. I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life. I’ve got plans again. I’ve never felt more driven in my life than I do right now. And despite having to constantly fight back the feeling that I’m running out of time, I’ve come to the realization that I’m right on schedule.

Keep your eyes on me, folks. I’m up to something. The revolution may not be televised. But I’ve got front row seats with all of your names on them.