Thursday, December 14, 2017


As the New Year was starting to come in, I am sitting in a favorite chair looking out the window thinking of yesterdays.

Auld Lang Syne.  I understand remembering old friends and good times.  I know too that life is a fragile thing and we have to get used to loss. This said, I still deeply miss Sweeney, Big Bill Brower, The Best Man and Sweet Willie Turner. Four Irreplaceable.

Jack Sweeney, Navy man through and through, yet always respectful of your own branch of service, and evenhanded if you had no service at all. Sweeney never belittled a person. He was every mother's joy, doubly so if you belonged to a generation further on.  Grandmothers and great-aunts just loved The Admiral with his white teeth and wall to wall smile anchored by deep dimples. When he smiled at the oldsters on his way back from the communion rail, he made their day.

Bill Brower, my co-presenter on many a broadcasters conference was a towering presence. But Bill underplayed being a towering presence as he led countless rookies along the path to becoming true professionals. He also mastered the art of talking without moving his lips. I could hardly keep a straight face as he said things to me, alone, even when we were standing side by side facing high ticket audiences. But when cancer was finally getting the best of him he looked directly in my eyes and said in a firm, loud voice: “Chick, if you're going to tell your kids how to live, you have to show them how to die.”

Paul Deronian, friend for a lifetime and my Best Man.  Always just a phone call away whenever I was facing a firing squad. Paulie was masterful at making average men and women fit right into his multiple friendships with the High and Mighty. His hallmark was courtesy and good manners to everyone in all settings, everywhere, at all times.

Sweet Willie Turner, was never really appreciated in his relatively short lifetime. Dutifully plodding away night after night marking papers in his job as a university math professor. When periodically freed from this tedious chore to pop a few, he unleashed his sense of humor and understanding of just how insane our world was, and is.

Many people, perhaps, could get used to missing guys like these.  But that doesn't include everyone. So I'll just stay sitting here thinking of them and whisper words of Auld Lang Syne. 

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