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Don Geronimo explains his scary tumble, describes the damage, from his fall off a Sacramento stage.


Don Geronimo, 2008. (Michael Temchine/FTWP)

How does someone manage to fall headfirst off a stage? Talking to Don Geronimo, turns out it's much easier than you'd imagine, and just about as horrific.

The longtime D.C. radio star, home now after a weekend in intensive care, told us what happened at Sacramento's Cal Expo Friday night, near the end of a live show before 2,500 fans celebrating his new West Coast gig.

"I was working on a stage that didn't have an outline, lots of bright lights in front of me," he said. He leaned forward to talk to a guy with a wireless mike up front, with no sense of how close to the edge he was -- and got tripped by his own microphone cord. He plunged head over heels to the pavement, about five feet below.


Geronimo and co-host Mike O'Meara back in the day. 1996. (Courtesy WJFK)

Ever wonder why so many speaking events feature a border of potted plants lining the stage? That's why, said Janet Sorce, his wife of 17 months. "He's not a klutz."

The damage: Geronimo (real name, Mike Sorce) needed 19 stitches in his face. He fractured the bones around his left eye. He got a concussion, he's wearing a neck brace, and "something's wrong with my back." But it could have been worse: He's grateful that an EMT in the front row made sure no one moved him and stopped him from jumping up to tell the audience he was okay (which, duh, he wasn't). "I don't want to be overly dramatic ...," he said, "but she could have prevented me from being paralyzed."

So, uh, welcome to Sacramento! Geronimo, 52, was only a couple months into the new job, his first big market since rethinking his abrupt 2008 retirement. Since June, he had been broadcasting mostly from his Ocean City home; only this month had he and Janet bought a home in California and begun to move. He said moving west was "the easiest decision in the world." After the death of his wife Freda in a 2005 car accident, "I was ready for a fresh start. This was the freshest of fresh starts."

He hopes to return to work after three weeks' recuperation: "I have all this stuff in my head that needs to be taken care of."

By The Reliable Source  | October 28, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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Comments

Coke

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | October 27, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Don was asking someone in the front row if they had any blow.

Posted by: AlligatorArms | October 28, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Eek! Is that photo of the reliable source team a halloween special, or is that the one that stays up all year? Chilling.

Safe home, Don.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 28, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Long time fan back when I could hear your show out of Tulsa, OK...I hope you get better Don and good luck in California, we need someone to bring back the ladies to stir the soup on the air in DC. Miss you, Mike and the gang.

Posted by: panamared12 | October 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Based on his well known behavior at the Don and Mike events they used to hold at bars in Virginia, me thinks alchohol was a factor.

Posted by: buffysummers | October 28, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Don Geronimo:: On behalf of this country's military hero's both enlisted and private who have truly suffered traumatic head injuries, Mike Sorce's continued assertion that he almost died from his fall without a formal quote from a UC Davis Medical Center Trauma physician or release of his medical records for review, is disgusting, but predictable. The Sorce's softball interview yesterday by his new Sacramento CBS 13 BFF Tony Lopez was staged by these two self-serving, disingenuous opportunists who attempted to eulogize their own minor black n' blue misfortune [ make up your mind Don, did you slip on water or trip on a mic cord? Sure working hard to make excuses why you fell]. It didn't work. It only reinforces the industry's growing negative opinion of them - Sacramento will catch on too. Watching the uncomfortable interview though, one funny catechism theme became apparent. Darn stiff couple looked like they were filming a middle-of-the-night commercial for a slimy ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney. AHHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey Reliable Source, I noticed that KHTK Sacramento was inviting listeners down to sign a get well sign for Geronimo. Maybe you can start a fundraising drive to buy Jan Sorce a new blouse. As Gilbert Gottfried would say, "The one she wore on the CBS 13 interview seemed a bit BRIGHT." AHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

You'll be happy to know that Dave Hughes, of DCRTV.COM refers to you as "The 'Reliable Source' hags" on the front page of his website today.

Posted by: IpeeOnGravestones | October 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey Roxanne & Amy, ask Mike Sorce why he fell off the stage and he will give you a million reasons [ slipped on some water, slipped on a mic cord, no border on the stage...] As a public figure and for the sake of transparency, time for the two of you to subpoena Sorce's medical records / toxicology report to see if he was impaired before his fall? AHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Jan "the Lottery" Sorce, back away from the camera and microphone! You have been on the air more these past few weeks than Freda was in 25 years.

Without any previous on-air talent like Freda, your making our ears hurt and our eyes bleed! AHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think someone didn't have their Apple Jacks this morning! Sheesh!!

Posted by: bruinsrulz | October 28, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

From DCRTV, I read "On DC's 105.9 at 7:10 AM this morning: Mike O'Meara sends get well wishes to his old radio partner Don Geronimo."

Nothing like voicing a hurried and pressed concern 6 day's after the accident. AHHHHH YOU SCREWED ME GERONIMO

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Makes you go hmmmmm. From Dave @ DCRTV today "The "Reliable Source" hags at the DC Post do their second piece this week on DC radio vet Don Geronimo's fall off a stage last Friday in Sacramento. And, already, some more nasty comments....."

Let's see, the definition of a hag is –noun
1. an ugly old woman, esp. a vicious or malicious one.
2. a witch or sorceress.
3. a hagfish.

Wow Roxanne & Amy, that seems nasty & personal?

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Did Mike Sorce BUY a home in either Sacramento / Placer / El Dorado County or just LEASE?

Just sayin' better check it out Roxanne & Amy.

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sorce, here's one emotion you should be feeling above all the others.

EMBARRASSMENT!

Idiot, impaired or not, YOU AND ONLY YOU, FELL OFF A STAGE IN YOUR NEW ADOPTED HOME TOWN OF SACRAMENTO.

From that night on, everytime a fan,Jan, or Bart thinks of you, they will remember that moment.

PRICELESS AHHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

So when Sorce, due to his fall, was left in his State of Concussion, was he met in his dreams by the ghost of Carl Grossman?

Must haunt the guy since mentally suffering and clinically diagnosed Grossman was so overally prosecuted by him?

Maybe it was Carl who pushed Sorce and not Freda? AHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So when Sorce, due to his fall, was left in his State of Concussion, was he met in his dreams by the ghost of Carl Grossman?

Must haunt the guy since mentally suffering and clinically diagnosed Grossman was so overally prosecuted by him?

Maybe it was Carl who pushed Sorce and not Freda? AHHHHH

Posted by: yournofreda | October 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@yournofreda- you are not olny a hater but you are so not Freda. You appear classless and unhappy. Please change your ID name because you are doing the real Freda a disservice. She was full of class and someone who we could all love. She was not a hater and your name is in poor taste. AND, if you hate Mike Source so much, why are you paying him any attention at all. Get a life.

Posted by: yourdefnotfreda | October 28, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Hoping he has a safe and recover - glad he is doing better - i LOVED Don and Mike on the radio - helped the mornings seem more fun stuck in traffic .... God bless dude!

Posted by: theatremarine | October 29, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Hoping he has a safe and recover - glad he is doing better - i LOVED Don and Mike on the radio - helped the mornings seem more fun stuck in traffic .... God bless dude!

Posted by: theatremarine | October 29, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

I know that in the Mailbag section of DCRTV.com, several readers have figured out that posts made there using the "AHHHH" moniker are being made by former FM DJ Mr. Paul Bicknell. Is that the same case here?

Posted by: sincerelyjames | October 29, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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