I wanted to take a moment to send my very best wishes to a guy I have spent many a 3am with over the last many years, Murphy Houston at KOSI 101.1. I actually had the chance to bring Murph to KEZW several years ago and we worked together here until he was stolen away by the evil FM band and went to work for our sister station, KOSI. I have many memories of our time together, including his not well thought out attack of an African Bee Hive on a golf course, eating dinner from a trough and bar hopping while in a parade!! He's a broadcasting pro and today he signs off his regular weekday morning shift which means I am now the oldest on-air person in the building. Well that just sucks!!! Anyway, Murphy, thanks for the years together and the friendship. I'll miss seeing you around here every morning, but am happy you're leaving the regular grind to be with the ones that matter most!!!
So, as I understand it, the State of Washington has ruled that anytime a playground is built, or renovated, swings cannot be included. Not because of the kids on the swings getting hurt but because of kids walking in front and behind the kids on the swing getting hurt, and their parents suing the schools, and insurance companies now saying they won't cover liability because of so many lawsuits. So children in Washington have now lost the joy of reaching for the sky on a swing and spending hours talking to your best friend on a swing because parents found it easier to sue the schools than tell their kids to watch out around swing sets. Unbelievable. The words personal responsibility just don't seem to exist anymore.
I can't count the number of times I flew off a swing and scrapped myself. Raise your hand if you ever fell of monkey bars or got popped by a tether ball or lost skin on the gravel for a million different reasons. Yea, most of my generations hands went up. I don't recall my parents wanting to file a lawsuit, they threw a band-aid on me and said watch what you're doing. And while I'm cranky, one of my best memories as a kid was seeing half the United States from the backend of our station wagon where me, and my brothers, made beds and played car bingo and ate snacks and waited for semi's to go by so we could try and get them to honk their horns. Today my parents would get arrested for us being back there without a seat belt, or car seat, or other restraint. I rode a bike without a helmet, had fireworks in the backyard on the 4th, cooked popcorn in a metal pan over an open flame on the stove, shot a bb gun in the backyard at paper targets and somehow survived. There is no doubt we are safer today and that's not all bad. But if it's too safe, and too litigious, we sue and safeguard the fun right out of living. Seems like kids can't be kids today because there are rules against that. No wonder they sit inside and blow up the world on video games!!! Just one old crumudgeons opinion!
With nearly 6000 fallen heroes watching in silence, USAF SSgt Vanessa Wyatt re-enlisted this morning at the Colorado Freedom Memorial with her Commander, Supervisor and parents looking on. If was the first re-enlistment ceremony at the Memorial and we certainly hope it won't be the last. In a place where men and women who gave all are honored it was awesome to see their sacrifice remembered with SSgt Wyatt's commitment to carry on with the mission. The men and women who wear the uniform from every generation are among our very best. Congratulations SSgt Wyatt and thank you for your service!
In May of 2000 I came to Normandy for the first time to broadcast the Breakfast Club back to Denver. It was the first, and to this day still the only time a radio broadcast has originated from here. We learned then that 88 Colorado heroes lay among the 9387 fallen at Normandy and 12 are remembered on the Wall of the Missing. After the broadcast we had the chance to walk through the cemetery after it had closed and I was overwhelmed with sorrow that so many from home were here and how could we honor them where they had lived their childhood. That was how the Colorado Freedom Memorial idea came to be, from that walk 14 years ago . Today we returned to the American Cemetery to fulfill a promise I made to come back and let these young men know we had not forgotten them. If only by name we had brought them home. I cried today. For them, for their families, for lives they didn't get to live. I cried for the terrible way they died and then I cried with pride that WE never let go of the idea to always remember them. It was a sad day, and always will be when you come here. But these men were heroes and heroes are never forgotten. We'll at least not in Colorado! God bless them all and thank you everyone who helped a crazy radio guy pay tribute to these and all our fallen.
This is why #18 is the greatest to ever play quarterback. Sure, the stats are huge and he's revolutionized the position. But he did it without forgetting who he was, remembering what's truly important and being a great example of what it means to be a man. Oh that we should all have friends like that. You're a good man Peyton Manning.
“Nobody feels worse than he does. He got up and spoke to the team today. He apologized to the team. He and I have been talking these past couple weeks knowing this might be a possibility. He’s not been able to sleep. He’ll learn from it and... be better for it. As a team we support him. We stick with him. It’s not easy to stand in front of the team like that. You find out during a time like this who your friends are, who sticks with you. Me and Wes and Jacob (Tamme) and Britton Colquitt do a little Bible study together and we’re praying for him. A lot of guys are thinking about him. It’s not an easy time but I think he’ll come back stronger and better.” - Peyton Manning on Wes Welker situation.
In August 1914, 1600 men enlisted into the British forces in the old moat around the Tower of London. Great Britain had just entered WWI and before it ended 888,246 of her sons gave their lives in the Great War. To mark the 100th Anniversary of Britain’s entry in the war ceramic poppies are being placed in the old moat by 6,000 volunteers with the last one to be placed on November 11th, Armistice Day. These pictures of this incredible tribute were taken by my friend Molly McGinnis and show the poppies spilling, much like blood, out of one of the Tower windows and into the now dry moat. I’ll bet it’s breathtaking in person and certainly a beautiful remembrance. 1237 from Colorado gave their lives in WWI. May we never forget.
Over the last few weeks I have been sharing how love and faith have carried me and Diane through our journey with a second stroke and Di's recovery. This morning I want to tell you about my friend who has taken his own difficult road to re...covery but today it's paying off in a wonderful way!!
That person in the bed is Pierce O'Farrill. This picture was taken on July 21, 2012, the morning after the Aurora Theatre Shooting in which Pierce had been a victim. He was shot several times in the foot, arm and chest and will have shrapnel in his arm for the rest of his life as a reminder, as if the dark image of the shooter standing over him in the theatre that night is not reminder enough.
Months of rehab and an unbeatable strength of faith have brought Pierce to today, when he will marry Jackie, a beautiful woman who has been there with Pierce since his recovery began. It will be a beautiful ceremony that might just as easily never have happened, and for many in the theatre that same night won't happen. I know on the happiest day of his life Pierce will carry the memory of those lost on the saddest day of his life.
I am overjoyed for the two of them, but especially the kid I hired as a board operator at KEZW many years ago who was just trying to find his way. Pierce and I had stayed in touch over the years, but I like to think we're closer now than ever. I love him like a brother and am so proud of the man he has become. Bless you both today and congratulations. God gave you a gift in the darkness of that July night. A chance to find each other. Make the most of it!!!
Did you notice it anywhere? Were there any special sales or car deals to commemorate the day, one of the most significant in history? How many people flew flags to honor August 14, or what happened on this day 69 years ago? P...arades? Moments of silence? National Day of Remembrance? Nope. Today is remembered in quiet corners of nursing homes and retirement communities by old men who may not be able to say it anymore, but still can see it. They had survived a war that had claimed the lives of 405,000 of their comrades. It is also marked by the remaining survivors and later generations of those who lost the nearly 3700 from Colorado that left to save the world’s freedom and did not return.
August 14th, 1945, at 5pm Denver time President Harry S. Truman went on the radio and announced to a war weary nation that Japan had accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and the official surrender would be signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd. World War II was over. He asked that VJ Day be celebrated on the day the surrender was signed, but it was too late. Across the nation, a nation that had been at war for three years, eight months and seven days, city streets filled with a celebration like no other. In Denver thousands left office buildings, school campuses and factories like Gates Rubber and Remington Arms, headed to the State Capitol and further downtown where one reveler remembered, “Everyone was kissing everyone!!” August 15th and 16th were declared National Holiday’s and the celebrations continued until thoughts turned to, “what’s next?” Soon veterans would be returning home after being gone for so long. Would they be the same? How had war changed them? Happiness was joined by anxiousness. And the long wait for loved ones to get back home began.
I didn’t see much mention of VJ Day today in the newspaper or on the TV. Perhaps they’re waiting until September 2nd to mention it on the date the surrender was signed. Or perhaps it is old news now. 69 years ago today it was a current event. God Bless all of our WWII generation that stood tall then, and remembers quietly now. May your memories be of heroic deeds and great conquests; may God grant you peace in your sleep and pride for those you lost. Thank you homefront veterans and frontline heroes from a grateful generation you returned home to raise.
It’s one of those text messages you always worry about. Diane and I were at the store and my phone beeps. I glance at it and see the words, “Do we have baking powder?” Harmless, until you realize it’s your 13-year old granddaughter texting, and what the heck is she cooking???? Needless to say we were home inside of three minutes and there was my formerly little girl making pancakes. She had gone on line and got a recipe from a cooking website and was making breakfast. How could it be that the little girl I was just playing airplane with to get her to eat Gerber Carrots was now searching recipes and cooking breakfast? I am learning, and living, one of the great challenges of grand-parenting, being so proud of their accomplishments, but somewhere in the back of my head hearing a whisper, “Enjoy this because…
The first time this happens you’re so busy being a parent, and having a career, and growing up yourself, that the little moments get lost. The milestones are greeted with a casual, “Good job sweetie” and then it’s back to the challenges of the world. You have a million pictures of your first child growing up, a thousand of the second and by the third kid you have group photos, and he’s wearing clothes his brother was photographed in the year before!! Being a grandparent allows you to see what you might have missed the first time. I spent months wondering what Larissa’s voice was going to sound like after she was born. I watched Ethan play T-Ball like it was game seven of the World Series, every time he played. Joshua and I have amazing talks about the things we want to build and the stores we want to open. This is the height of the joy grandparents feel in their life.
Somewhere though, lurking in those quiet moments when you have too much time to think, is the realization that with these milestones, the seasons are changing. No one lives forever and thinking you will cheats you out of the urgency of enjoying every second you have, and I refuse to let an hour go unused. I don’t have time for daily drama and petty people. I assure you the last thing that goes through my mind will not be, “Can you believe what he said?” It will likely be, “I remember when I had the best pancakes I ever tasted.”, or the touch of Diane’s hand in mine, or our Thanksgiving table. Someone once said, “Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments…” I believe this to be true. Grandparents know it to be true. I hope you enjoy every moment…and your own pancakes.