A man and woman posing with their dog on a porch.

Ron & Jen’s Great Escape, August 16, 2023 – Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien

by Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien, commentary


A few nights ago, I had the awesome opportunity to meet Rick Springfield at a Summer 80’s concert and, like anyone who loves the guy, no matter how many times I’ve seen him, or how old I’ve gotten, I’m a mad fan girl. I got all nervous, self-conscious and dumb. Hahaha. It’s true. I laugh at myself thinking about it because the first time I met him I CRIED. What a loser. At least this time I didn’t!

The whole night was surreal and there were a ton of people who still wanted to be in high school, those that thought they were, and then the others who had clearly moved on but wanted a slice of nostalgia. I’d toss myself in the last category. The 80’s in high school were definitely like you see in “SIXTEEN CANDLES” OR “THE BREAKFAST CLUB” OR “PRETTY IN PINK”. The haves and the have nots. The power struggles, young beautiful people peaking at 17. The jocks, the nerds, and the stoners, and then the kids who didn’t belong anywhere and were invisible to everyone. Funny thing is those kids now run companies like AMAZON, trade on Wall Street and live in NAPLES, FLORIDA. TRANSLATION: the invisibles rule the world and are rich. 

I bring this up because in ALL OF the madness and weird dynamics going on the other night, another thing reared its ugly head that I had completely forgotten about. The gaggle of MEAN GIRLS that slithered around school looking for someone to trash, humiliate, or ostracize. 

We all can think of a handful of these. I won’t say the leaders name out loud that ruled my high school but it’s there. In my head. Front and center. This person and her minions were a menace and I’m sure sent a whole bunch of young ladies to therapy. Some of the ladies waiting in line to meet Rick definitely were the “mean girls” in their high school and what a shocker were first in line heading the charge as we all waited for him. As we walked by toward the end of the line they glared and checked us out head to toe and on cue made nasty  comments about the flannel I was wearing, my fanny pack and the body shape of my best friend. I didn’t pay them any mind as I got my place in line and waited for instruction on how the meet and greet would work. 

And then, something wonderful happened. After getting mocked and snickered at by these horrible adult versions of “mean girls”, the man running the event came to the people last in line FIRST and told us how it would go and how to proceed. I’ve learned in life that tiny victories where you can get them is the way to go rather than always look for that award winning moment. I do hope my time under the lights will come, but in the meantime, I’ll take tiny victories, and in THAT moment, I had one. Long story long (hey I’m a long winded talker, what can I say) we met Rick, got pics, he signed my Rubik’s cube and the back of the t-shirt I had on, I spoke to him briefly about his belief in God and then went back to my seat. He’s a really nice guy.

As I waited for him to take the stage, I watched the “mean girls” go back to their seats and I couldn’t help but notice how blank their faces were now that their moment of “meanness” had come and gone. It occurred to me how badly I felt for them. How empty they must be inside to revert back to old behavior that tore people down in high school instead of building them up. There will always be “mean girls” in life. Those that want to see you fail because they’re not a success. Those that will find anything wrong with you inside and out… those that have to be first. These types of people are not really bad, they’re actually in our paths to help us grow and teach us how far we have come. I want to thank all the mean girls I’ve ever encountered; you’ve helped me value the things that matter so much more. As I said, there will always be mean girls out there trying to break our spirit, but in the end… I got RICK SPRINGFILED to sign my Rubik’s Cube. Something he said, “he’s never done before”.


Till next week my friends,




The city of Woonsocket has caused a ruckus by inserting arm rests on more than a dozen benches in Social Park making it impossible to lie down. The park is known as a place where people experiencing homelessness spend time and sometime sleep on the benches. The executive director of the advocacy group Rebuild Woonsocket calls it “anti-homeless architecture” and went so far as to call it “an act of violence.” VIOLENCE? Beds are for sleeping. Benches are for sitting.


Read all of Ron & Jen’s columns, here:

Ron St. Pierre is a veteran broadcaster whose career has spanned over four decades. Ron has programmed, performed on and managed WHJJ, WPRO, WWRX, 790 The Score in Providence, as well as WBZT and WKGR in West Palm Beach and WABC in New York City. Ron also anchored sports on WPRI Ch 12 in Providence. He is a member of both the Rhode Island Radio and Television and the City of Pawtucket Halls of Fame. He was born and raised in Pawtucket.

Jen Brien has over 20 years of radio broadcast experience having hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ with Ron as well as her own shows on WRKO and WBZ in Boston, WXTK on Cape Cod and WHAM in Rochester, New York. Jen was born and raised in Woonsocket and served six years in the Army MP Canine Unit.

Hazel, Ron’s dog, makes regular appearances.

“Ron and Jen’s Great Escape” podcast, a more lighthearted look at the events happening around us, can be found on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, with new episodes premiering each Wednesday and listen to Ron and Jen’s Great Escape on NewsRadio 920 and 104-7 FM, Saturday morning, 7am!

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  1. Greg Smith on August 16, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    Great picture and story.