Thursday, April 24, 2008


Sometimes things happen in life and everything is put in perspective. Ya know how in my post from two days, ago, just below this post, I was listing all the things I had on my to-do list? At least half of the things on that list ...ok ...all of it ... it'll get done. Eventually. Maybe. Who cares, actually?

REMEMBERING: Yesterday I learned that an old friend had died. He was 36. We exchanged emails and text messages here and there, but I really had not seen him in almost a year and half. I credit this guy with a great deal of my success. When I hired into radio in 1996, I really had no idea what I was doing or getting into but only knew the people who sold radio advertising had fancy cars and nice homes. So I figured there was money, there. This guy hired into WRIF, Detroit, on the same day as I did and for reasons I'll never know, he took me under his wing acting like a big brother and a mentor. He had no reason to do that, as he was hired with experience, he had a nice list of clients he was hired in to represent, and he knew at least half the staff already from being in the radio sales business for a few years. But he did befriend me and mentor me. A little less than a year later, another young guy hired in and my mentor also became his mentor and for 4 years we had the time of our lives. We made great sales, we enjoyed every day we came to work, and we enjoyed countless laughs at station events and functions. I can say, unequivocally, that without his friendship and guidance, I might not have made it out of that first year in radio sales, but instead I'm enjoying my 12th year in this business.

His passing is a shock. He had a huge heart, and generous spirit, and everyone loved him. Not 'most' or 'almost everyone' ...and this is not hyperbole ...everyone loved him. He was the guy that made every situation better. Made every situation funnier. He picked up everyone's spirits, everyone's slack, and every tab and not in a show-offy way ...he did it because that's just who he was. The guy that made everything just a little better.

Until Tuesday.

He is gone and no one knows why. No one can believe it. He will be missed by everyone. And if I don't power wash my kid's swingset or renew my MSU football tickets exactly on time, I guess it doesn't really matter.

Also dead, singer-songwriter Paul Davis, who was famous for hits like “I Go Crazy” and “’65 Love Affair” and my personal favorite, "Cool Night." I'll simply embed the YouTube vids of those songs here even though they are wildly inappropriate as any sort of tribute song to my friend Bob Kozaitis (well, "'65 Love Affair" sort of works if you replace the words "love affair" with "not a care", replace "65" with "95", replace "you'd still be mine" with ...ah, hell. I guess you'd have to throw out all the lyrics except for "if I could go back in time", "rock n roll was simple and clear", and "we didn't care was crazy.")

It was crazy.

As my friend Nick said, "Bobby made us laugh until it hurt, he was our mentor in radio sales, and we will miss him dearly."

And as my friend Jenn M used to say ..."this is pure gouda."


Myndi said...

As I told you yesterday, I am really sorry for your loss, and cannot begin to comprehend how the very sudden loss of someone, whether it's someone you talk to every day or someone you haven't seen in a while but still consider a close friend, must feel. I haven't had to endure it personally and I hope I never will. I think writing and talking about it is a great outlet, though.

I also love all of those Paul Davis songs, as big of a dork as that might make me. "I Go Crazy" would have to be my favorite, but they all have great lyrics and kind of transport me back to various memories that make me smile, so thanks for posting those too!

Ben Cossar said...

Now I understand your response to me regarding getting Spunkybean stuff done. I'm really sorry to hear about your friend's passing. Sounds like one hell of a guy. And it sound like he touched a lot of people's lives in his short life. We need to all remember to cherish the time we have with all of our friends and family. Take care, Don.