Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Longtime radio man Legendary Ron Chapman recovers from pre-Christmas stroke
He has high spirits, though he'll be in the hospital for at least two more weeks.
Ron Chapman, who’s meant more to Dallas radio than electricity, suffered a stroke December 23. But the longtime voice of the old top-of-the-pops KLIF and then KVIL will have you know: “This is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me. It’s a setback to my retirement — whenever that was. But I didn’t have to cancel very much.” Always a kidder — even when plugged into hospital machines going beep-beep-beep.
Chapman, who was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Radio Hall of Fame in 2010, has been in the hospital since the night before Christmas Eve and expects to remain there for at least two more weeks. After that, he says, “The rehab will continue for several months.”
He was at home, he says, when his wife Nance immediately noticed something was wrong.
“I began speaking in a foreign tongue,” says Chapman. “My wife was very alert to stroke signs, and the moment she heard my speech change she was on the phone with 911. When Nance called the ambulance, they were there in three minutes. I said, ‘That’s where I should be,’ and I got in. Getting here very quickly seems to have been the difference.”
All things considered, the long-ago host of Sump’n Else! sounds great: He speaks a little slower now than he did a couple of weeks ago, but other than that, he says, his legendary voice was spared by the stroke. It was, as he says, “preserved.” But talking for even short stretches does get “wearying,” he says, which is why he’s hoping to keep visitors out of the hospital room for the foreseeable future.
“My left hand is probably not as effective as my right hand,” he says, “which will stall my burgeoning juggling career.” He also frets that his “clog-dancing days” may be behind him. “I’ve got stuff stuck in me from various directions doing various things,” he says.
When asked about making news of his stroke public, Chapman said, well, “It might as well be official.” But, he added, “So long as it comes out with a happy note.”