Monday, July 28, 2008

In Memory of Buzz

Good Monday morning, everyone!

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who came out to help me celebrate my birthday this past weekend. Today I turn a quarter of a century old, and while I wasn't exactly looking forward to it, my friends & family have made it a pleasant experience thus far. So thanks again!!

On a more somber note, today I'd like to take a few minutes to remember Tim Kilpatrick. He was better known to Ottawa sports talk listeners as "Buzz", a popular voice on the "Three Guys on the Radio" morning show and "The Buzz on Junior Hockey" at the Team 1200 radio station.

On Friday morning, Buzz passed away at the age of 41 from complications of a lung infection. He had gone to the hospital while on vacation over a week ago, suffering from shortness of breath. Last Monday, he reported to his boss at the Team that he expected to be released from hospital the following day, and back to work by Wednesday. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated rapidly, and by Friday, he was gone.

I only get to listen to TGOR every morning for about half an hour while I'm getting ready for work. I've never met Buzz before in my life. But when I heard Saturday morning that he had passed away, I was floored. Absoultely shocked. I hadn't heard he was sick. I thought he was still just on vacation.

I cried. I struggled to deal with this odd feeling of never having met a person, and yet somehow feeling like I lost a good friend.

Buzz was a funny guy, and while his undying support of the Leafs would have me madder than a hatter one minute, in the next, he'd have me laughing out loud. He was always getting teased by his co-hosts for his mispronunciation of words and misuse of the English language. I always looked forward to hearing about his adventures with "The Date" (what he referred to his current girlfriend as), and hearing the other guys bug him about having to go to lame concerts with her (he was not looking forward to seeing George Michael in August).

There are countless jokes and "Buzzisms" and stories. This morning, I sat in my room with tears in my eyes as I listened to Steve and Stuntman Stu reminiscing and talking about all of them. I commend the two of them and the rest of the staff at the Team for putting together a fitting and bittersweet tribute to Buzz this morning. I have no idea how they remained so composed and calm. I expect that this morning's on-air celebration of Buzz's life might be one of the hardest things those guys ever have to do in their lives. But Buzz deserved it, and they did it well.

Things won't be the same without him in the mornings anymore. I think the thing about Buzz that I'll miss most is his unmistakable, infectious laugh. You just couldn't help but laugh along with him.

I lifted this picture of Buzz with Spartacat from Stuntman Stu's Blog - Buzz hated being photographed, and as the guys said this morning, pictures of him are about as rare as pictures of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster - but Stu captured him at the Santa Claus Parade in Ottawa last year , and I think it's a great photo. Also, for more tributes to him by the two men he talked to for four hours every morning, check out their blogs:

We'll miss you, Buzz.


Sharon said...

Awesome Blog Jill, I never listened to Team 1200 in the morning... only on my drives home later in the evenings during Hockey season. So I never knew Buzz, but sounds like he was a hoot which is really important in radio these days.

I can't imagine one of my radio guys passing away, I would be devasted...

Happy Birthday, sorry I couldn't make it out to Gav's but I had some prior commitments Friday (cutting grass) and Saturday (milking cows and Jason and Mandy's stag)

I hope you have a really good b-day Day! You deserve it.

Jill said...

Thanks Sharon! I hope you had a good time at the stag.

As for Buzz - yes, he was a hoot for sure. Too bad you never got a chance to listen to him, you would have loved him - even though he was a Leaf fan!!

Anonymous said...

I had heard that he had passed away Friday on breaking news and was going to email you but it was after noon and wasn't sure when you were leaving for the golf tournament. I figured you would know who he was, on the radio anyways. Well that's too bad, he was sooo young and it seems like it could have been something they could have fixed and made better - a lung infection - we've had them before I'm sure - i guess it was worse!
Happy Birthday again - that's number 4 now that I say it to you. Hope you are getting songs on that IPOD and figuring it out.