Thursday, February 03, 2005

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Proposed CCC expansion takes another turn in the legislature

Drug bust at Port of Sweet Grass nets 73 pounds of cocaine Jan. 27

Annual Chamber Banquet draws satified crowd

"Gabby Cabby" comes to Shelby

Davis expands political interest after stint as legislative page

Obituaries appearing in this week's issue of the Promoter are as follows:

Warrior to Warrior

SHS senior class, Bashor donate funds to Flag Fund

No Name Calling week heightens awareness in elementary students

Shelby Promoter

"Gabby Cabby" comes to Shelby

by Barbara Simonetti

NYC cabbie and news broadcaster Pete "Gabby Cabby" Franklin will be in Shelby Feb. 18-20.

Area residents will get a real treat when internationally-known Pete Franklin, the "Gabby Cabby" will be in Shelby Feb. 18-20 doing a series of benefit events for KSEN broadcaster Jerry Puffer.

Proceeds from the events will go to Puffer, who was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder in November of 2002, to defray his medical and travel expenses.

Franklin's daily news broadcasts and commentaries about life in New York City from the perspective of a cab driver are listened to by over 300,000,000 listeners in 71 countries around the world. His show can be heard on KSEN Radio Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.

Puffer and Franklin met when Puffer did a series of interviews with him while he was a broadcaster in Philadelphia. They became friends, and although the two have only met in person twice, the friendship has lasted over 15 years.

After Puffer found blood in his urine in 2002, he went to his physician, Dr. Robert Clary, at the Marias Healthcare Center.

"Dr. Clary saved my life," said Puffer. "He got me in for testing within days, and had the tumor removed within two weeks. If he would have just brushed it off, I would have brushed it off, too.

"He's a great doctor and has been a good friend to me. We're very fortunate to have someone like him here in Shelby," Puffer added.

When Puffer was first diagnosed with cancer of the bladder, he wanted to keep his illness a secret. Over time, he decided to go public in order to make others aware of the risks associated with bladder cancer.

"Jerry wants to make sure other people get checked for bladder cancer," said Pastor Fred Brown, of the New Life Community Church, who is helping to organize the events.

Puffer is being treated with immuno therapy, a series of treatments that instill minute amounts of tuberculosis directly into his bladder for several hours at a time. They are both expensive and uncomfortable.

forms of cancer.

The treatments are powerful-and expensive. Puffer travels to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment, at $2,500-3,500 per session. In 2004, Puffer had six treatments in the spring, and another two in December. He underwent two more treatments in January, and has another three scheduled in February.

His devotion to his listeners at KSEN is evident, but his radio persona is only one aspect of his personality.

"Jerry gives back to the community in his radio broadcasts," said Brown.

Puffer is a walking oxymoron, according to his friends. He's extroverted and strong on the radio, and quiet, intelligent and introspective in person.

"You can sit down and talk with him about theology or Plato, and he's very intelligent," said Brown. "He's an enigma wrapped up in an anomaly."

Getting to know a very private man isn't easy. "Having cancer has humbled him to open his life to other people," said Brown. "He's very guarded, but he's learning how to open up for himself and other people," Brown added.

"I can sum him up in one word: Personality," said KSEN General Manger Julie Martin. "He can be very quiet, but he also has a funny side. He's a combination of all good things. He comes across on the radio more boisterous than he truly is, and he's not how people think he'll be. He's a kind and gentle man."

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