Brett Johnson of Scripps Howard News Service reports that "Ozzie Osborn and Ozzy Osbourne both grew up poor and became rich. Ozzie Osborn can think of one other thing he and the namesake famous rock star have in common.
" 'I sang quite a bit, but not like him,' said Osborn, who lives near Santa Paula, Calif. 'I used to sing at Port Hueneme Harbor Days. But I was more into 'Old Man River' and songs like that.'
"Ozzie Osborn, now 83, milked cows for 25 cents a day during the Depression near Joplin, Mo. His father, a carpenter-sharecropper, later moved the family to California. In 1939, Ozzie entered the Navy and fought in wars, went on to a 22-year career with the service branch, settled in Port Hueneme, and retired.
"He then developed homes and other dwelling units, and bought land at the right time. In 1971, he bought a 193-acre ranch between Santa Paula and Ojai and moved there. In the mid-1990s, he built his own little nine-hole golf course near Santa Paula and called it 'Ozzie Osborn's Par 3.' It's open to the public, he still plays. He never drank or smoked — still doesn't.
"Ozzy Osbourne, now 54, killed cows in a slaughterhouse in his teen years in Birmingham, England, after dropping out of school in part because his family was so poor that he thought it best to get a job. He went to join a band that became BLACK SABBATH, enjoyed a smash solo career buoyed by a hit song, 'Crazy Train', bit the heads off a bat and a dove, urinated on the Alamo and got thrown in jail, and was sued by parents who alleged his lyrics made their son commit suicide (Ozzy won in court).
"His ongoing Ozzfest concerts are among the continent's top-grossing shows.
"And that's how things would have stayed, two guys with the same name living polar lifestyles in almost different universes — were it not for two things: The first is Ozzy's hit MTV show, which had its second-season finale earlier this month the second is that Ozzie Osborn chooses to keep his name and number in the phone book.
"You guessed it. That has turned the otherwise tranquil Osborn household into a sort of Ozzfest West. Fans, thinking they are reaching the home of the rock star, call the Osborns day and night, sometimes at 2 in the morning. They've had to move the phone into the living room to get some sleep. They also get fan mail with requests for autographed photographs and the like, which they just throw out.
"But mostly, it's the calls, sometimes a half-dozen or so a day, from Florida, Pennsylvania, all over.
" 'We get a lot of them,' said Ozzie's wife, Rhonda. 'The kids really think it's a neat thing to call. But half the callers are adults. ... I get called Sharon. And they want to talk to Jack and Kelly.' " Read more.