Jerry Blavat Finds the Fountain of Youth

He’s 67 but still rockin’, with a new WXPN audience for his doo-wop oldies. Our writer spent an exhausting week together drinking wine, learning about Indians, meeting Connie Francis, watching him hang upside-down on an inversion board — and finally figured out what keeps the Geator with the Heator snappin’ away

Wednesday

The Geator is getting old people laid.

Stop by the Geator’s weekly Wednesday-evening radio show at Philly Park Casino in Bensalem and see for yourself. Check out the pretty ladies at the Circle Bar, an oasis of life and energy at the back of a sad slot-machine floor. The ladies are perfumed and husbandless, picking at gratis plates of neon-orange cheese and pepperoni. They shuttle back and forth between the bar and the “dance floor” — really just a clear stretch of carpet between some slot machines. The Geator stands on top of the bar, bobbing slightly to the beat, tapping his toes, grin frozen to his face. A large man who looks like Jonathan Winters is shining the Geator’s white-and-brown Nike Airs while the Geator spins The Music — “Hug My Radiator” by Dion, “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons — for live broadcast on WVLT, 92.1, out of Vineland, New Jersey. “Oh! … Ha ha ha HEY! You’re here with the Geator … now, why are you shining my shoes, young man? Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a big hand for Jonathan Winters! … ”

I shake hands with “Jonathan Winters,” who is really Ron Motzer, 59, a retired printer from Phoenixville. “A year ago, I almost died,” Ron says, frowning. “He called my wife, every day, for a week.” Ron passes me to Dee, Dee passes me to John. Everybody has a story about why they’re back here every week, same time, same vodka tonics. Ed and Cookie like that they can still jitterbug to the same songs they jitterbugged to 40 years ago. Trudi, age 78, likes the Geator because “he’s not X-rated.” She adds, “I drink water on the rocks. That’s my drink when I come in here. I tell them, no lime please, I’m driving.” She punches my shoulder, laughs, then dips into her purse and hands me a pair of athletic socks that say “USA,” insisting I keep them as a gift.

“This is an unmarketed group,” says Mike the bartender. “Nobody else caters to them except the Geator.”

From the stage, the Geator reels off his schedule for the week — Feasterville, the Jersey Shore, South Jersey. “And then Sunday morning, I get on a plane and go to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,” he says. He’s going to Florida to perform two shows, and also to take a meeting with singers Frankie Avalon and Connie Francis that will result in “some great news.”

For what won’t be the last time, a very sweet 60-year-old woman asks me to dance.

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