Tales from the Road

Tales from the Road
Tales from the Road
Memoirs from a Lifetime of Ohio Travel, Television, and More

Format: Softcover, 293 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Illustrations: 48 black-and-white photos
ISBN: 978-1-59851-064-5
Price: $14.95

After a million miles and four decades as a TV reporter, Neil Zurcher (longtime host of “One Tank Trips” on WJW TV8 in Cleveland) has a lot of great stories to tell . . .

He met Prince Charles in a bathroom, and tripped and fell on President Gerald Ford. He raced on an elephant, piloted a glider, and hung from a trapeze. He survived a hotel fire, a tornado, and countless stunts for the camera. He was tear-gassed at an anti-war protest and almost trapped inside the Ohio Penitentiary during a riot. He drove in a day-long high-speed police chase from Cleveland to Kentucky, and got lost in the middle of Lake Erie.

He rode in jet boats, jet fighters, sternwheelers, a World War II tank, and almost every other kind of vehicle imaginable (most frequently his trademark red and white 1959 Nash Metropolitan). He was ordained as a minister in the Free Spirit Association Church and even officiated at a few weddings. And he would do almost anything and go almost anywhere for a good story. And in the process he became one of the most popular personalities on Cleveland TV.

In this book, with his familiar folksy style, Neil shares dozens of his favorite personal stories from a lifetime in Cleveland television. Many will cause a chuckle, some will surprise, and all recall an era of television and of Northeast Ohio that was full of color and characters.

These adventures from the Buckeye State are also a snapshot of Cleveland television in its golden age.

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2 thoughts on “Tales from the Road”

  1. I was born in Sandusky and grew up in Huron. I picked up “Tales from the Road” this morning from a desire to dabble in some nostalgia, having trod the same roads as Neil (only a few decades later). I am still only halfway, but I needed to post this now. I had expected a wholly lighthearted read, looking into people and places I was familiar with, and Neil (not sure if your read these, brother, so I’ll address this third person-ish) has a classic campfire storyteller’s ability to do that. What I was not ready for was Neil’s ghosts. He is not only skilled at observing the lighthearted, but quite adept at describing the weight life foists upon our shoulders as we age. I was hoping for nostalgia with this book, and Neil is delivering, almost too much it seems. I grew up a hair down the road from where his lost love “Betty” is buried. Not only is my grandfather laid to rest in the same cemetery, but I cared for those grounds as a summer job through high school. There are, of course, too many names to remember, but I’m sure I passed Betty on many a hot summer day. “Tales from the Road” proves that our world may be huge, but for those of us who travel its these roads our paths are always overlapping.
    ~Nick Shamhart

    1. Nick,
      Thank you for those nice comments. It is always nice to know that someone understands and enjoys sharing an old man’s memories. My best wishes to you.

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