Just for a minute, I am going to assume that everyone who reads this had a good relationship with their fathers OK?
Everyone of us clashed with our dads at one time or another, it is natural teen angst. My dad was a tough as nails military man, while I was a long-haired, tattooed, wannabe rock star. He must have hated it. Yeah, he would threaten me with a trip to the Army barber now and then, but I gave him good cause. One day he had to take off from work (in the army), drive half an hour to the Nuremberg police station and pick me up. I had been caught with friends skipping school and we were wandering around the Red Light District, just looking. That was the longest drive home ever.
Dad didn’t yell. The whole trip back was silence. I squirmed in my seat, coughed and tried to stop the squirming and be as still as possible. When we got home, he would let me have it. He was never violent, I got the belt maybe twice in my life and those times it was for something worse than looking at hookers. Imagine a 30 year, Vietnam vet. Combat tried and tested yelling at you. Pretty scary. Guess what I did? Fainted. BAM! Flat on my face and slowly woken by our dog licking my face. It wasn’t over though. Because I fainted, the discussion turned to “Are you on drugs?”. I wasn’t, I was scared. Finally he dismissed me to my room. I put on some Motley Crue and tried to relax, cursing my dad for not understanding me.
My dad is gone now, passed years ago but I still miss him every day. I would give anything to have just a few more hours to really talk to him. This is similar to the spot my friend Kerri Kasem is in now, but she has hope. Her dad, the legendary radio and TV host of American Top 40 Casey Kasem, is in poor health. His wife (you may or may not remember her from that horrendous Cheers spin-off The Tortellis) Jean Kasem, has been blocking Casey’s children from seeing him. I really hate to say this, and it pains me to do so, but Casey Kasem is not long for this Earth. A man is dying and is ditz wife bars his kids from even seeing him without an armed guard present! She has even gone to the lengths as to brag that she was about to star on the next season of Housewives of Beverly Hills! Made a fake Facebook account under Casey Kasem’s name just to trick people into tweeting their support for her in this role. REALITY CHECK! Casey Kasem does not use the computer, he unfortunately can’t. Also, he is a man of such standards he would never peddle trash like that. Never in my life have I ever heard an ill word spoken of him. And because of that formerly blond (yet still a) bimbo, his children don’t get to spent the right kind of time with a father who is near his end.
“Well I heard it was about the kids wanting money.”, wrong! Kerri has money, her sister does as well. Kerri’s brother is the number one radio host in Singapore and has two TV shows! They don’t want money, they just wanna see their dad. Casey raised them right. Last night on KABC talk radio, Kerri recounted her childhood. She didn’t have the regular Hollywood kid upbringing. Casey never gave her a credit card to go buy frivolous things, if she wanted something Casey told her to work for it. Boy has she taken that to heart now.
Kerri’s sister signed an agreement, but Kerri would not. I believe she was right in refusing as no child should have to bargain, beg or sign away a parent. With that, she decided to fight, to go to work. Sure she could have just gone to court and had her own battle, but she knows that there are thousands out there in her exact situation. There are no laws for a judge to rule on for children’s rights when it comes to ailing parents. Kerri and her layer Troy Martin, have partnered with Assemblyman Mike Gatto who is sponsoring the new bill aimed at giving children the right to see their ailing parent. She has started a foundation, Kasem Cares and is taking donations to help pay lobbyists and get this law passed as fast as she can. She is short on time and knows it, but she also wants to hear from you. She wants your story if you have been in this situation or still are. She fights not only to see her dad, but to make sure others don’t have to endure the heartache she has.
I would also ask you to tweet Assemblyman Mike Gatto @mikegatto and thank him, use the hashtag #ThisBillShallPass Go to Kerri Kasem’s Facebook and give her your stories and support. She really reads everything you post there. Donate at KasemCares.org Do something. I would give anything for just one moment with my dad, don’t let her moments be taken by formed, wannabe actress. (I am so pissed at her, sorry)
Above all, keep Casey Kasem in your thoughts, Kerri as well.
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” #ThisBillShallPass