Fred Smoot on the beauty of star gazing~
“It’s so free. All you got to do is get away from some lights. So you’ve got to get out of the city a little bit to really gaze … and look up. And it’s free. It’s free. People don’t understand the best things in life are free.”
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town and I’m absolutely, positively say this all the time but I’m so delighted to have, to talk with someone that really needs no introduction to people who’ve been aware of what goes on this world. But, I’ve known this gentleman for at least 10 to 15 years. We have been talking about it to Comcast SportsNet about doing a TV show. We never got around to it but Fred Smoot, you are a hoot and I am so delighted for this industry that you’ve decided to do some radio work.
Fred Smoot – Life’s Philosophy
Fred Smoot: Oh most definitely. I love to talk. I’ve never met a mic I didn’t like. This thing about me, I love to conversate with people and I was saying earlier that I’m an only child so when I do get around people I got good energy and I like to talk. I like to converse. I never met a stranger in my life.
Andy Ockershausen: Fred it’s so … Because when you put it out people give it back to you.
Fred Smoot: That’s what I … I’m one of those people, I really believe in good energy. If you come around with good energy, keep a smile on your face, you can change the way somebody’s day is going. You can make them feel better. And we ain’t on this earth long so every day that I get up I’m smiling. I’m having fun.
Andy Ockershausen: Besides being a philosopher, which you are, you have a tremendous sense of humor. I’ve listened to you do some of your radio shows and it comes through. Fred, you’re a different person. You’re not a dumb football player. You’re not even a football player anymore. You’re one of us.
Fred Smoot: I’m a person and I like to talk to people. That’s what entertainment is. It’s communicating with people. It’s showing common ground and the one thing that brings us all together, that’s colorless is sports. There’s two things that does this, sports and music. It brings us all together, no matter what, so when we talk and have a common ground yes, I want to talk about sports most of the time but I also want to talk about people and I want to see how they’re feeling.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s what I’m so impressed with you, what you do on the air. I’ve heard you on Sports Talk. But one of the things we do with this little bit of podcast that we put together is finding out and talking to people away from whatever it is. I’m not interested in Smoot football. That’s on the record somewhere.
Fred Smoot: You want to know the real Fred Smoot.
Andy Ockershausen: I’m meant the Smoot that grew up in Mississippi.
Fred Smoot: Collard green cooking for you Smoot.
Andy Ockershausen: Church’s Chicken.
Fred Smoot: Oh you know it. That’s down south right there. You got to go down south to Church’s Chicken though.
Andy Ockershausen: But there’s so much to you Fred. You grew up in Jackson. That’s a pretty good sized town in Mississippi.
Growing Up in Jackson, MS
Fred Smoot: Well, it’s the capital city. It’s a city that goes through it’s ups and downs. Things could be a lot better there. It’s a city that you would love the people and the food’s so good Andy O. You know you’re going to get diabetes and you still going to eat the food Andy O.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s an attitude. But Jackson, Mississippi means a lot to a lot of people and you went to Provine.
Provine High School – Pro Sports Factory
Fred Smoot: Yes sir, we are the football factory of the city. I was lucky to play with three or four more pros on my team alone. Good at football, good in basketball. We got a couple of Olympians. We put out a lot of athletes at Provine.
Andy Ockershausen: Were you a good student also?
Fred Smoot: I was a good student, great student. I was the teacher’s right hand man because I always got to sit beside the teacher because I talked too much so I had to sit right there. I was always right there.
Andy Ockershausen: Did they send you up to clean the blackboard and all that?
Fred Smoot: I had to do all kinds of stuff. But it was fine with me. I had to stay after school anyway to play sports so it didn’t bother me.
Andy Ockershausen: It helped you grow up though correct?
Fred Smoot: Yeah. Most definitely. And it made me have a closer relationship with my teachers. It wasn’t just teachers with me. I had to spend more time with them. And then you end up, when you leave there, like when I was at Mississippi State I used to always go back to my high school. When I came here I always go back to Mississippi State so you become attached to the people, not just the brand.
Andy Ockershausen: This was a good sized school. What is it 2,000?
Fred Smoot: Yeah, right at 2,000. It’s inner city so we got schools everywhere.
Andy Ockershausen: It wasn’t like Friday Night Lights. You weren’t stuck out in the boonies somewhere.
Fred Smoot: We were not out in the boonies but we got Friday Night Lights. If you want to see some good high school football, go to Jackson, Mississippi. You got to realize that this time I’m playing against the Deuce McAllister’s of the world. It’s like my All Star team when I was in 12th grade, it’s the Mississippi Alabama game. We played the best of Alabama and Mississippi and my team alone, we had 13 players to go to the NFL off it. We all got drafted the same year. That’s how good we were. Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s incredible. But you worked at it since you were kids in the same school.
Fred Smoot: Yeah, and we played against each other when we were in Little League. We played against each other in middle school. We played against each other like even with the basketball. In basketball it’s like 10 of them went to the NBA. In my high school alone, when I signed on with Mississippi State, me and the center of the basketball team, he ended up playing football with the Raiders. I ended up playing here. And the other three guards ended up going to Ole Miss at the same time starting from freshman to seniors. And then one of them went to the NBA and then down the street you’ve got Monta Ellis. Then across at the other high school you got Mo Williams. It just keeps going.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, it’s like a factory.
Fred Smoot: It’s like factory.
Andy Ockershausen: How did you do with your studies though?
Fred Smoot: Oh, no I always on top of my-
Andy Ockershausen: Did you have an objective other than football?
Fred Smoot | Ghetto Nerd
Fred Smoot: My mom, rest her heart, she left me last year but she was always on me about don’t just be a great athlete, be a great person and learn so I’ve always been what you call a “ghetto nerd”. I’ve always been one of the people, I like to read books, I like to-
Andy Ockershausen: Good for you.
Fred Smoot: Really like I’m trapped in space. I love science.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow.
Love for Astronomy
Fred Smoot: I love looking up. I got telescopes in my backyard. I love to look at the planets. I love to star gaze because I always wonder.
Andy Ockershausen: You could be an astronomer. Who knows.
Fred Smoot: Listen, if I had the time I would. I wonder what’s out there. Nobody ever wants to talk about it.
Andy Ockershausen: We’re talking about it. Hey Fred, don’t give it up. If it’s something you want go for it. I mean you would not only enjoy it, you help other people enjoy it.
Fred Smoot: I don’t think they want a 40 year old astronaut. A rookienaut.
Andy Ockershausen: But study the stars. You’re doing it anyway.
Fred Smoot: I’m doing it anyway.
Andy Ockershausen: But do it for money.
Fred Smoot: Yeah, you’re right about it.
Andy Ockershausen: You know there’re oceanic people that are into it all the time and there’s so much up there you can provide to people.
Fred Smoot: Ain’t it crazy that the ocean scares me a little bit but space doesn’t?
Andy Ockershausen: You can’t drown in space. You can die.
Fred Smoot: You can’t drown in space. I promise you that.
Andy Ockershausen: You obviously were heavily recruited throughout the south but you stayed home in essence.
On Becoming a Mississippi State BullDog
Fred Smoot: It’s hard to leave SEC country. You’re talking about the essence of college football. It’s no bigger conference when it comes to football. I promise you Andy O, that’s what you need to do. I need to take you down to Mississippi State. You need to see the Bulldogs play on a good sunny Saturday in the SEC. I promise you from the tailgate to the game to the passion to the routines to the history, you’ve never experienced anything like that in your life.
Andy Ockershausen: Mississippi State.
Fred Smoot: Mississippi State, alright. Mississippi State Ole Miss, Mississippi State Alabama, Mississippi State Auburn, Mississippi State LSU, we can keep going. It doesn’t matter who we playing that week, it’s a crazy experience.
Andy Ockershausen: Now there was one time they hired a big time coach, maybe you’re too young but he came in with the idea … He came out of Texas or someplace. Came to Mississippi State.
Fred Smoot: Oh no, my guy Jackie Sherrill.
Andy Ockershausen: Jackie Sherrill.
Fred Smoot: That’s my coach. That’s who recruited me.
Andy Ockershausen: I didn’t think you were that old.
Fred Smoot: I’m dead old Andy O. I told you the car looks good on the outside but the motor is no good on the inside. No, Coach, he came into my living room. I’ll never forget it. He talked to mom and he cracked open, he asked my mom for a beer, and they cracked open a Bud Light together and my momma said you’re going to Mississippi State. It was it. It was that simple.
Andy Ockershausen: Done.
Fred Smoot: He won her over so quick. It was over. You’re going to Mississippi State.
Andy Ockershausen: You’re staying home in essence.
Fred Smoot: And then … Because they thought I was going to Indiana. I was about to go to Indiana.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow.
Fred Smoot: I was about to go to Indiana because I liked to play basketball too and Randle El was the quarterback, Antwaan Randle El was the quarterback there.
Andy Ockershausen: Indiana was great baskets in those day.
Fred Smoot: Indiana was great in basketball. And I took a trip to West Virginia. I almost was a Mountaineer. I almost was a Mountaineer. I really enjoyed that trip. They had a lot of great players at the time. It wasn’t that I was just stuck in the SEC, I wanted to experience other things.
Andy Ockershausen: Well how far is Oxford from Jackson?
Fred Smoot: Oxford from Jackson is probably a 100 some miles but Oxford from Stark Vegas is only like 55, 60 miles.
Andy Ockershausen: Well what happened? Did your mom get up to Oxford to see you play in college?
Fred Smoot: Actually I’m going to Starkville. Oxford is . . . That’s Ole Miss. I’m a Bull Dog. That’s Ole Misery. Ole Misery is in Oxford.
Andy Ockershausen: Right. But that’s part of your culture and the south.
Fred Smoot: We compete, we’re rivalries. You know how it goes.
Andy Ockershausen: But you’re rivalries for a lot of things like the best looking women in the SEC. You know that.
Best Looking Women in the SEC
Fred Smoot: You know what, since I’m out of it and I can’t vote Mississippi State is the best at everything I would probably say it’s hard to say the best looking women in the SEC are not from Florida or LSU. I just got to be honest. I got to have an unbiased opinion. It’s probably Florida or LSU.
Andy Ockershausen: Fred, it’s also, me when I see it on television and I don’t spend any time down there but I know what you’re talking about but Fred, I think that’s enough on football. I know you got drafted, you played…., we’ll talk about that but let’s get back to Fred Smoot individual and we’re going to take a break now and give everybody a deep breath and this is Our Town, Andy Ockershausen with the inimitable Fred Smoot.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen. Brought to you by Best Bark Communications.
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town. We’ve had a wonderful conversation with Fred Smoot, talking about his career, and forget the football, but he has a broadcast career now.
Fred Smoot: Oh yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: He’s doing some work with my favorite people in Radio One.
Fred Smoot: Oh, most definitely. I really enjoyed it. They ended up purchasing a company I used to work for, and now it’s not just about sports in the building. It’s a lotta more-
Andy Ockershausen: You’re bigger than sports. That’s what I’m tellin’ ’em.
Fred Smoot: Everybody is. Everybody has their career and the things they like to do and the things they like to conversate about. They just never really let us know that. Like, if you look at somebody bio, it only says the day they born and what job they do. When you meet somebody, usually the second question people ask you is, “What do you do?” All right? Well, that don’t define me. “Hi, I’m Fred Smoot. Let’s talk about something else. You like this. I like this. I like this.” That’s what type of person I am.
Andy Ockershausen: But Fred, that is a natural thing for people to picture you as you are. That’s what’s called … what is it … the word I’m looking for that’s a bad word?
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Bias?
Andy Ockershausen: Bias. You think of Fred Smoot and what he is and, if football comes to mind, he’s bigger than football.
Fred Smoot: But see, that’s a football thing. When people hear athletes, they only equate you to doing that job. They can’t do that no more. Even with a guy like LeBron James, he ain’t just no athlete. He does everything. A lot of athletes are like … I had guys on my team used to song write when we played. They were artists … used to paint. These guys have some of the weirdest quirks you ever … people have to learn, they had to go to college. They found other things they liked, but then the world gets mad at us when we tell them we got more interests outside of football.
Fred Smoot: They don’t want to hear nothing else. When you’re playing football, “You need to focus on football.” Well, guess what? That can’t be my life. I got other stuff I like to do. I like to travel. I like to see new stuff. I like to do things.
Andy Ockershausen: Well Fred, this is one of the things that we’re so delighted to have you here talking about these things, ’cause this’ll live forever, ’cause it happened. But Fred, you got so much to give, and what Janice has suggested and she’s the smartest person in the room for sure, is that you have this to work in … you could work with kids. You’d have those kids going absolutely crazy.
Andy Ockershausen: Is Radio One using you in their other stations?
Fred Smoot: They are. I’ve been … I go do a little bit of everything. I get on every station. I like to talk every subject.
Andy Ockershausen: They have a hundred stations.
Fred Smoot: There’s nothing I don’t run from. I’m a person. That’s what I tell people, you can’t tell ex-athletes or athletes, “Stick to sports.” I pay taxes like you. I go to the grocery store like you. I got the same problems as you. I got family members that’s good. I got family members that’s terrible. It’s more to life than just the titles, ’cause when people give … when you got a title … when your job gives you a title, people only look at you as that.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh Fred, but you’ve given so much. You landed in a good spot with Radio One. Radio One wants to be different. Manny, she told me 50 years ago, she said, “I want this to be as big as this guy.”
Janice: She knew.
Andy Ockershausen: Cathy Hughes.
Fred Smoot: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: A guy lived in Atlanta, and owned about seven stations. She was sitting there with a 250-watt radio station in a trailer and said “I’m gon’ be bigger than he is, some day.” She did it.
Fred Smoot: I only wanna watch movies that start like that. I only wanna that start with drama. Nobody wanna watch a story about a millionaire’s son waitin’ on his daddy to die, get his money and keep on living good. That’s not a movie I wanna watch. It has no ups and downs.
Andy Ockershausen: By having that company, now, and I hope now, TV-Two is a partner. I don’t know whether you know Comcast. Did you know that?
Fred Smoot: Yeah, yeah. I know that.
Andy Ockershausen: So, we’re all connected in some way, but TV-Two might have some opportunity for you, Fred.
We Are Connected Today Like Never Before | We Can Only Wonder What the Future Is
Fred Smoot: Well, we’ll see. The one thing about this ever-changing entertainment business … Like now, you’re doing podcasts, and everybody controlling their own tempos and controlling they own voice. With Twitter, everybody got a voice like never before. We’re connected-
Andy Ockershausen: That is so true.
Fred Smoot: … like never before. My granddaddy … Let me tell you what my granddaddy never had to worry about. He had to worry about the milkman and the mailman. Them the only two men he had to worry about something going wrong with, ’cause Grandma was cut off by the world. He went out. He worked. She took care of the kids. Them the only two threats, and maybe the neighbor. All right? Now, everybody’s connected, to a point now, where if you want to meet that person, all you gotta do is spell their name. Spell their name, and not only is it-
Andy Ockershausen: It pops right up.
Fred Smoot: … changing how we interact. Even now, my kids don’t even got a signature. You know why? ’cause they don’t even practice cursive anymore. Why do they need cursive when they type? Everything manuscript.
Andy Ockershausen: They don’t get extra tutoring for to learn how to write?
Fred Smoot: Like I said, in 20 years, the new generation won’t have signatures.
Andy Ockershausen: I know. They don’t have it.
Fred Smoot: No reason for them to have a signature and, now, nobody really walks up to you and say, “Hey, give me your autograph.” They wanna take a picture. The visual has changed the autograph. Instead of saying, “Look at this name on a thing,” no, “Look at this,” and they post it, and that’s the different thing.
Andy Ockershausen: You’re talking about … Well, you say, “That’s not the future. That’s now.”
Fred Smoot: That’s the now. We can only wonder what the future is.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, my.
Fred Smoot: We can only wonder what the future is-
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you gonna be a big part of it.
Fred Smoot: Listen. I’m gonna live in it. I’m gonna bathe in it. I’m a embrace it, and technology is the thing that’s taking us to different things, man.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, one of the things that you gotta know is what you’re doing with astronomy because I’ve read about it for years. “It’s all in the stars,” people say. You gotta know what the heavens are ’cause that’s what it is, and the heavens are incredible.
Fred Smoot: What we finding out … it’s way more galaxies in a ever-expanding universe and we cannot, as human beings, be so arrogant to think that it’s a million planets out there and only one got seeded with life … over what? Billions of years? No, we can’t be that arrogant to think just one.
Andy Ockershausen: We’re not alone.
Fred Smoot: We can’t be alone. It’s impossible to be alone. Then, you talkin’ ’bout galaxies we haven’t even seen yet. We’re still exploring. Most people … You be like, “What’s a Einstein-Rosen Bridge?” They wouldn’t know what a Einstein-Rosen Bridge is. They wouldn’t have a clue what that is.
Andy Ockershausen: Fred, you got all that passion. How do we find a way … It’s not our job, but we care about you, Fred Smoot.
Fred Smoot: I need a clone so I got more time. I like my time. Yeah, I’m waitin’ on them to clone me so I can get somebody to do some of this extra work, another Fred Smoot.
Andy Ockershausen: I hate to tell you this, Fred. Remember, today you’re as young now as you’re ever gonna be.
Fred Smoot: I understand that.
Andy Ockershausen: This is it.
Fred Smoot: I wake up young every day. I wake up … It’s how you feel inside. It’s how you feel inside and I’m convinced your brain controls your body and tells your body how it feels.
Andy Ockershausen: We’ve had a great discussion with Fred Smoot about several other things, but we’re gonna take a break, now, and find out what the boss wants and come back and talk to Fred. This is Andy O, and this is, Our Town.
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Announcer: You’re listening to, Our Town, with Andy Ockershausen.
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and this is, Our Town, and we’re having a fascinating discussion with one of the really, really good people, and who is so important to us and in part of our lives. We love Fred Smoot.
Andy Ockershausen: Fred, this whole thing of singularity that we’ve heard about and talked about … you know how deep that’s become? It’s the kind of thing, Fred, when you said, “Something’s gonna happen,” it’s already happened.
Singularity in Science
Fred Smoot: Everything’s happened. We just don’t understand them and we haven’t labeled them. All right? So it’s different singularities. It’s gravity singularities with tidal gravity waves and stuff like that, and it’s singularities in space … sometimes, coming to a point of a black hole, coming to the point where it has so much mass inside of it that it explodes. It becomes one singularity, but then it explodes. Think about something being a cajillion pounds, but the size of this penny, but it weighs … it has the mass … of a cazillion pounds. It’s so many different singularities you could talk about, and so many, different things you could about. We talked about the black holes. Now we talked about two black holes-
Andy Ockershausen: We’re not talkin’ ’bout the future. We’re talkin’ ’bout now.
Fred Smoot: We talkin’ ’bout now. The more we send stuff into space, the more information it sends back, and it just keeps sending back pictures. We thought we had to look for a planet to live on. Actually, we can live on moons. All right? It’s moons, like Enceladus, that we can live on
Fred Smoot: that spit out water into the atmosphere.
Andy Ockershausen: Right. We’ve just got to find them.
Fred Smoot: We’ve got to find them. And it has to be in what you call a Goldilocks zone. What makes Earth so perfect … water-
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Fred Smoot: Is not solid, and it’s not gas. If we was too close, it would be gas … to the sun it would evaporate. If we was too far, it would be ice, it would be a solid. We need it to be just right. So the inhabitable zone is where the earth lies, let’s just say compared to Mars, which is fiery hot, and compare it to Neptune, which is icy cold.
Andy Ockershausen: It’s so far away.
Fred Smoot: Because it’s so far. So it ain’t getting the sun rays that we get.
Andy Ockershausen: But we constantly discover new galaxies correct?
Fred Smoot: Yes, we’re finding out that it’s-
Andy Ockershausen: We’re not finished.
Fred Smoot: No. There’s so many galaxies that we’re finding … the farther that the satellites go, the farther that they go, the more we’re finding out there’s so many oddities out there that we can’t explain. That’s what science is. Science is the unexplainable. It’s trying to find out the facts and find out the truth. So it has to be predictions first. Everybody going to make predictions. We’re sometimes gonna be wrong, sometimes gonna be right. That’s science. It’s flawed.
Andy Ockershausen: Well all predictions are like that. Up and down. But Fred, you have that enthusiasm, and you’re a communicator. And we know it because this is our world, Janice and I.
Fred Smoot: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: We grew up in a communications world. And you’re ability to do that … no how do we turn that? It’s not our responsibility, but we’ll help. How do we turn that into a career? You’ve already done it with Radio One.
Fred Smoot: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Getting exposure on their broadcast properties are very important. Because they’re in all around the country. And you have it. Now what do you do with your kids? Are you teaching kids in addition to yours?
Kids and Astronomy
Fred Smoot: This is what I do, you look on my deck at home. You’ll see two or three telescopes. So we sit on the deck, I love to barbecue.
Andy Ockershausen: Do your kids do it with you?
Fred Smoot: Yeah. We’ll stargaze. We’ll just stargaze and look at stars, stuff like that. And then the questions start, like did they want to look in that telescope? No. They want to be playing Fortnight. They want to be on their phone. They want to be tweeting. They want to be doing this. But when you’re doing family time and barbecuing I turn it … when it turns dark, I turn it into a stargazing contest. Who can find this? Who can find Orion’s Belt? Find me this point. Find me that point.
Andy Ockershausen: That is absolutely fabulous.
Fred Smoot: And then they’ll start to ask the questions. And once they start asking questions, usually the answers will stick. They have some we didn’t have. And that’s the TV spews of information.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Fred Smoot: It depends on what channel you’re watching.
Andy Ockershausen: 600 channels.
Fred Smoot: If you’re watching the right channels … you get trapped on the Science Channel it’s gonna usually be something about space on it.
Andy Ockershausen: Fred, what you’re doing is so great now. How do you get that out more? That’s not our responsibility-
Fred Smoot: I think I just need to start, stopping by high schools randomly going into the science class talking about it.
Andy Ockershausen: Football opens the door, but your knowledge-
Fred Smoot: Yeah, it most definitely opens the door.
Andy Ockershausen: But your knowledge.
Fred Smoot: Football gets their attention.
Andy Ockershausen: I understand.
Recent Trip to Rome | The Coliseum
Fred Smoot: Because they look at you … like I just left Rome this summer. I had to go to the Coliseum, I always dreamed about it because if you’re a sports guy. It all started from a gladiator. So they are the definition of what we are. The reason football is so popular, and boxing is so popular. They are the last gladiator sports. They are the man’s man sport. Everybody … all men, they’ve got their favorite team. They’ve got their favorite team, because this is their identity. That’s who they identify with. And when you meet a Steelers fan you know, it’s probably blue collar type guy, tough, salt of the earth, probably tougher than a $2 steak. You understand what you’re dealing with. So to go to Rome and just be in the same place-
Andy Ockershausen: I know you’re a traveler. That’s great. Did you take the kids with you to Rome?
Fred Smoot: No. I went with my girlfriend at this time. When I say I enjoyed it, when we was over there we flew to Monaco, stayed in Monaco for six, seven days. It was beautiful, I really, really enjoyed that trip.
Andy Ockershausen: Well you should. You gotta do that more, Fred.
Fred Smoot: I do it. I do it all the time. And I tell people, you have to go to Rome, because you get a sense as an American. They were the power. Rome was dominant. They are what we are now. They are what the United States used to … I mean Rome is what United States is today. And to see the things they built and to see what they had. It makes you go back and say they are smarter than we thought they were. They built some complex things.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah. You can’t sell us enough. We love it so much we were married in Italy.
Fred Smoot: That’s what I’m talking about.
Andy Ockershausen: And Rome on our honeymoon. We love Italy. Because it is old but it’s still new. You learn a lot.
Fred Smoot: You learn a lot. And you get a feel when you get off the plane and you start to drive through it. You get a feel of culture. You get a feel of … the United States is relatively new to most countries.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh my God yes. We’re babies.
Fred Smoot: Compared to most countries. So when you go there you see stuff. You just walking on stones like, “Man, people 500 years ago laid this stone, a thousand years ago laid this stone.” That’s unbelievable.
Andy Ockershausen: They had water way back before people even knew what the hell it was. They’d send it six or seven hundred miles.
Fred Smoot: They had fountains. They had statues. They had running tubs, bathing houses. They had all kinds of stuff. People don’t even understand that the Coliseum took them 15 minutes to pack the coliseum because it has 190 some odd … to pack it in like 15 minutes. It was the first venue to serve food. They used to flood the bottom of it and reenact ship battles. They did so much stuff in there. It’s crazy.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s because it was Rome. It was those engineers.
Fred Smoot: It was Rome.
Andy Ockershausen: They did it. Well Fred Smoot, this has been so delightful. I hope that we can extend this to other things with Fred. But you’re in a great position at Radio One, which is going to be TV One too.
Fred Smoot: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: It’s gonna be the best. You’re with a great company. But we want to thank you so much Fred Smoot. You bring so much enthusiasm. Janice has got several pages of ideas. She is the idea person.
Fred Smoot: Always gotta have that.
Andy Ockershausen: But everything you talked about we don’t take time to do, that is gaze at the stars. There’s so much to see.
Star Gazing is Free
Fred Smoot: And it’s so free. It’s so free. All you got to do is get away from some lights. So you’ve got to get out of the city a little bit to really gaze … and look up. And it’s free. It’s free. People don’t understand the best things in life are free.
Andy Ockershausen: Are free.
Fred Smoot: All you gotta do is do them. I love to go fishing. I love to do the natural things in life, take time. We’re here for such a short period. We’re such a blip on this … you got to enjoy it.
Andy Ockershausen: You’re a good, good man, Fred Smoot. And we’re so delighted to have had you on Our Town. And we will stay in touch. Because we’re gonna keep harassing you. This is one more talent that you gotta use.
Fred Smoot: Any time, brother.
Andy Ockershausen: We want you very much in our lives, and in the lives of this … to Our Town. You’re part of Our Town.
Fred Smoot: Oh most definitely. Now I’ve been here … I got drafted as a 20 year old. I turn 40 next year, so I’ve been here 20 years like I was in Mississippi 20 years.
Andy Ockershausen: You’re an old man, Fred.
Fred Smoot: I am old. Yes I am. And I enjoy it. It’s a smarter version of me, and I enjoy it.
Andy Ockershausen: You know what’s worse than getting old? Not getting old.
Fred Smoot: That’s the problem. I want to be gray haired, just sitting back. And I can still look up at the stars. Hopefully it’ll still be free.
Andy Ockershausen: And they’ll be there forever, and ever, and ever.
Fred Smoot: In 20-30 year we might be … just like we get in planes and fly to another country … in 30-40 years maybe we’ll be getting on a plane and we’ll be flying up into the stars, you never know.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Elon Musk.
Fred Smoot: Hey, he’s gonna do it. Hey, I call him the world’s Tony Stark. Like he’s the billionaire, playboy philanthropist that gazed in the stars, and he can make it happen.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah.
Fred Smoot: If he dream it, he can make it happen. And he’s making it happen as we speak.
Andy Ockershausen: He puts his money where his mouth is.
Fred Smoot: He makes it happen.
Andy Ockershausen: He does. Well you are our Elon Musk. And this has been Our Town with Fred Smoot. Smoot is not moot. And he’s a delightful man. And we will have more out of Fred Smoot when we get him into this teaching thing. This is Andy Ockershausen and this has been Our Town.
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