Ron & Jen

Ron & Jen’s Great Escape – August 2, 2023 – Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien

by Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien, commentary


It’s so funny to me now looking back at the 80’s. I said for many, many years how “I HATED THE 80’s”, but now I realize… I really didn’t. 

As a teen I was caught somewhere between U2 , the COSBY’S, and the GRATEFUL DEAD. I was stoned a lot of the time and walked to the beat of my own drum. I fought for the gay community when the AIDS crisis was everywhere and changing the face of this nation. I hung out in bars I shouldn’t have been in, bunked school, partied with the Marshall Tucker Band and fell head over heels for “Jake” in “16 Candles”… I watched the Challenger explode over and over on TV, HBO was in its infancy, and everyone had the same cable company in my neighborhood. I went to “Bloomingdales”, “Filene’s Basement” and remember getting the very first Nintendo and Atari systems. I went to see the film, “The BIG CHILL” as a 14-year-old, but didn’t understand it… (though I loved the music) I watched the birth of MTV, used a dime to make a phone call at the pay phone, watched MADONNA become Madonna, and was blown away when I heard “Beat It” for the very first time at prep school. I loved EDDIE VAN HALEN on that album. “THRILLER” changed the music industry. 

Ahh… yes. The good ole days. I mention this because somewhere in there, and I can’t remember exactly when, we all watched “VACATION” and winced as Clark Griswold made his way across country in the ugliest station wagon ever on the way to “WALLY WORLD”.

THAT movie turns 40 this summer (40… yes you read that correctly) and I can’t help but long for those days and that nutty family once again. 

The world we live in has gotten way too fast, way too complicated, and way too freaky. People would rather text during a meal out with friends,  dissolve lifelong friendships (real ones… not fake friendships on FB) because they have differing political views, and ostracize people because of their religious belief system. 

Because of what I just laid out, I’ve reviewed some of my relationships and life, considered new boundaries and really… have shrunk my circle for the sake of REAL experiences with people who are genuinely interested in me, not just interested in knowing who I sleep with, if I fail, or if I’m still sober. There are those out there. You know who you are.

Clark Griswold put his family first and wanted a simple, fun, vacation. Sure, he jumped into the pool with the beautiful Christine Brinkley, but what guy wouldn’t have back then…. He gets a pass. (Joke… for those easily offended… that is called a joke… I am not co-signing cheaters).

I’m gonna watch “Vacation” this weekend , well, because, why not. I’m going back in time to when friends meant “real people” and iPhones were not exposing how obsessed people are with themselves. 

I didn’t hate the 80’s after all…or maybe I’m just getting old. Well, I am old-ish. I’ll be 55 in September. September 6th to be exact (hint, hint)

PS… I want my 2$

(If you know, you know)

Till next week my friends,




Actor Paul Reubens, best known for his work as Pee Wee Herman, lost his private battle with cancer this week at age 70. His creation of the man-boy character led to the success of the TV show PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE and the movie PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE was supposedly a kids’ show but it was creatively written on two levels to appeal to both children and adults much like the cartoons Popeye and Fractured Fairy Tales. PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE was directed by a young Tim Burton, was written by Phil Hartman and had one of the best soundtracks ever done by one of the best, Danny Elfman. Some found the character silly (well, he was giggling all the time) but if you really dig down and be honest with yourself, isn’t there a little Pee-Wee in all of us… or don’t we wish there was? A time of innocence and the simplicity of a day long play session. So, here’s a spin of a bow tie to Reubens’ creation. RIP, peace, Pee Wee. May your always ride your Red Schwinn DX Cruiser with Specs by your side, and dance to TEQUILA with Large Marge.



Expect to pay more for Halloween candy this season. The Wall Street Journal reports the cost of sugar is soaring and the culprit is an agriculture policy requiring 85% of U-S sugar purchases to come from domestic suppliers. The price of raw sugar increased to its highest level since January of 2011.


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!