Boy George and Laura -- both Looking Gorgeous!

Boy George

Rest in Peace Dear Vincent

WLIW's number one fan and my dear friend, Vincent McArdle passed today (February 14, 2012) at about 5pm.

You may remember him, a longtime member, he was paralyzed and in a wheelchair. (I believe it was he who inspired me to institute the senior and "handicap" discount back then). He started calling me weekly when WLIW was still housed at 1425 Old Country Road. He had just had his accident, and I had just started at WLIW. He would call under the pretense of asking what was going to be on "Mystery!" the following week. From there we would talk about the rest of the schedule and eventually our conversations turned to more varied topics.

Vincent demonstrated to me the true value of public television. This once vibrant man, now homebound at 42, had as his only window to the world, WLIW. It kept his interest piqued and his heart beating. For two of his rare trips out, I was able to get him backstage to meet Andre Rieu and another time, Ronan Tynan. Ronan became a personal friend of his. Vincent was also able to make it to Jimmy and my wedding — this meant so much because I know how difficult it was for him to get around.

Vincent became one of my inner circle. Our regular phone conversations kept us close. He always watched out for me — another hobby of his was to listen to the police and fire radios. He would call me when I lived on West 70th Street. "Laura, where are you?! There is a fire on West 69th: Be careful." "Good, you are still in the office. There is some trouble up on the West Side. Stay there until I call to give you the all clear." Sometimes I would call him from the road if I was lost (pre-GPS!) because he know the NYC roads so well.

The most impressive thing about Vincent is that he never, ever complained about his situation. And he had every right to. He never complained that his law suit with the car manufacturer wasn't settled because they had enough money to keep postponing and he didn't have enough money to fight them. He never complained that he couldn't marry his fiancé because New York City laws would cause him to lose his insurance coverage if he married. He never complained that the elevator in his Queens apartment was out for days at a time, leaving him stranded in his upper floor home. He never complained about this difficult life of pain and inconvenience that he led. He only shared stories and opinions and laughs and made sure his friends were all OK.

Vincent McArdle was the bravest man I ever met. When I told him that, he demurred. He was brave AND humble. The world has lost one of its kindest souls. Thanks for letting me share this loss with you. Please say a prayer for him and Gerri.


Laura Shares a Smile with Singer Tony Bennett

Laura Savini and tony Bennett

Laura Keynotes at LI Alzheimer Disease Conference

Laura was the keynote speaker at Long Island's Annual Alzheimer's Disease Education Conference and Expo in March 2012. The conference fearured seven breakout sessions for professional caretakers and friends of Alzheimer and dementia sufferers.

Alzheimer's Keynote speaker

Page Six October 14, 2011