Pfanner’s wife, Cheryl, had a stroke on May 24. He said her odds of surviving were “10,000 to 1.”
But she made it and is recuperating at The Laurels in New London.
Being the only driver in the family, that limits what can be done for Pfanner and his son, John. Both are disabled and home-bound.
“My main concern is to get Cheryll back here,” Pfanner said. “You never know how much you miss somebody until they are not there. She is working hard. Her memory is good. It’s not easy. I do call her in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Hopefully we will get her back.”
Pfanner, 77, may be home-bound that doesn’t keep him from doing what he does best.
He is the king of quickie, as in WLKR’s Quickie Quiz.
Pfanner has won the daily call-in quiz 390 times. Because he can only win once every 30 days, it will take almost a year for him to reach 400.
And it’s not just WLKR.
“I probably call about 10 stations,” Pfanner said. “I enjoy it. Most of the times we give the tickets to our kids or to somebody who would like to use them.”
In fact, a couple of times Pfanner has given his Cleveland Monsters hockey tickets to Reflector employee Karla Bickley, a hockey nut who loves watching the team at The Q.
Pfanner said playing the different quizzes “is something that keeps your mind a little sharper and you have the fun of competing for something.”
“Everybody likes to be good at something and competing gives you the energy to keep going,” he said. “As people get older you enjoy winning something.”
Pfanner worked at WLKR as chief engineer from 1967 to 1973 until he had to take a disability.
“Doc Davies heard me in his office talking about trivia and everything I knew,” Pfanner said. “He suggested I play the Quickie Quiz and we talked about how long it would take me to get 100 wins.
“I started playing the Quickie Quiz in 1973. It took me 10 years and 11 months to get to 100 wins. A lot of guys joined in and competed. Back in 1973 you had a regular dial phone and no computer to Google, so it was tough just to get into the radio station
“I’ve been playing the Quickie Quiz about 44 years. The prizes usually aren’t that valuable but it’s fun to win.”
Pfanner has done a little bit of everything in his lifetime, including politics. In fact, he currently is on the North Fairfield council, but his term ends Dec. 31.
“I think it’s time for younger people to take over,” he said.
His real love is sports.
“The only regret I have is I can’t get out to see more Indians games,” Pfanner said. “The Browns? Not so much.”
The last time the Cleveland Browns won a title was in 1964.
“They beat the Baltimore Colts 27-0,” Pfanner said. “I was at that game. Believe it or not it was nothing to nothing at the half. The Baltimore Colts were heavily favored in that game with Johnny Unitas at quarterback.”
Right now, Pfanner’s real hope to see another championship is from the Indians.
Will they win the World Series next year?
“I hope so. It should be interesting,” he said.
If they do win it all next year, it would come in 12 months — about two months after Pfanner collects his 400th Quickie Quiz victory.
Now that would be something for Pfanner to celebrate.