During the program George broke tragic news about the sudden passing of Coast to Coast founder and original host Art Bell. In the third hour, guest host Jimmy Church phoned in to chat about Art's impact, and what he meant to him and to the entire radio industry. "For me going into the Coast studios and standing in for [George] and being allowed to guest host is a privilege, but I'm there because Art built Coast to Coast," Church said.
Guest host Dave Schrader also briefly joined the program to share his favorite Art Bell moments. George played a recording of "Thanks For The Memories" he wrote for Art, as well as a classic clip in which Art reported on a plane flying into Area 51 and talked with the pilot live on air. The remainder of the show was devoted to Open Lines with many callers expressing their thoughts on Art Bell's death and legacy.
In the first half, Charles Reichblum, author of the Knowledge in a Nutshell book series, discussed Friday the 13th and related superstitions, as well as shared other interesting tidbits. "We can't escape it... the way our calendars are sequenced there has to be at least one Friday the 13th every year," he said, noting any month that begins on Sunday will have a Friday the 13th. He traced the notion of 13 as unlucky to a Viking legend about a group of twelve feasting in a banquet hall when a thirteenth showed up uninvited to cause mischief. He also referenced the biblical story of the Last Supper in which the thirteenth attendee, Judas, betrayed Jesus.
According to Reichblum, fear of the unlucky number 13 remains with us to this day and is shared by other cultures. He presented evidence for how 13 has been a lucky number for the United States, pointing out the nation was founded as 13 original colonies, the motto " E Pluribus Unum" has 13 letters in it, and the Great Seal shows an eagle with 13 arrows in its talon and a pyramid with 13 levels. Not all things related to 13 have been good for the US. Apollo 13, which was launched at 13:13, did not successfully land on the moon and narrowly escaped being a disaster for the space program.
Reichblum talked about how 9-1-1 came to be used for emergencies, the apparent curse on certain famous musicians who die at 27 (Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, and others), how the greatest hitter in professional baseball history, Ty Cobb, also made more than 7,000 outs, and the curious case of Robert Lincoln who was on the scene for the assassination of three US presidents: his father Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and William McKinley. He also recounted the tale of merchant ship Mary Celeste which was found drifting and deserted in the Atlantic on December 5, 1872, with no signs of foul play. "To this day nobody knows what happened to those... crew members and the captain and his wife," Reichblum said.