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.