Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 17th 2017

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Outtakes—Great Interviews

By Rick Ouzten

Since February 2015, I have hosted the venerable “Pensacola Speaks” on News Talk 1370 WCOA. The hourly show that runs during the afternoon drive time Monday-Thursday has given me an opportunity to interview many wonderful people. Here are four that have stood out for me:

Rick Wilson
Rick is a national Republican political strategist based in Florida. At the presidential debate in the Las Vegas, I watched him go head-to-head with Trump campaign senior advisor A.J. Delgado, delivering the memorable line: “Republicans need Donald Trump, they need Donald Trump like they need herpes.”

I can always count on Rick saying something to attract headlines. On “Pensacola Speaks,” he described a Hillary Clinton press conference regarding her emails “a clown car crashing into a dumpster fire.”

Alfre Woodard
Having a chance to interview an award-winning actress is always treasured. Alfre Woodard has been nominated once for an Academy Award, Grammy Award, and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four). She traveled to Florida, working to help get out early votes for Hillary Clinton. She was gracious and thought-provoking.

She said, “There are people who along with Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and all of those guys, who would like to take us back to a period, back when people in the early ’60s could stand in state houses and stand in the national political forum and just spew hatred and intolerance.”

Bert Thornton
The former President and COO of Waffle House and the creator of the WH’s Bert’s Chili lives in the Pensacola area. Bert shared the story behind his famous chili.

He said, “If you were foolish enough to order chili at a Waffle House in the early 1980s, we’d scoop it out of a can and heat it up for you.”

The Waffle House president asked Bert who was running the Texas operations to come up something better. Bert met the challenge. Waffle House now serves over 11 million servings of Bert’s Chili annually.

Rupert “Skeets” Fairfield
As the co-pilot of a Huey helicopter in August 1967, Marine Corps Capt. Fairfield participated in the rescue of several Army soldiers who were being attacked by about 40 Viet Cong on the beach. The Milton native and Ole Miss grad left the aircraft to go to the trapped soldiers. He pulled a machine gun from its mount and used it to drive off some of the Viet Cong, shot others with his pistol and managed to rescue three of the wounded soldiers.  His awards for combat valor include The Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medals. It was an honor to speak with him.