Salute to a Friend…I Never Met

94.9 MixFM Morning Team
(L-R) Bruce Daniels in black shirt, his only non-Hawaiian shirt, Greg Curtis, Mrs.Grant, Bobby Rich.

A well-loved radio guy passed away recently in Tucson. His voice was among the best in the business, easily recognized by his fans in Southern Arizona. The bold voice of Bruce Daniels was silenced at the early age of 61. Not long after his passing, a “celebration of life” was held at a sports bar that was Bruce’s favorite hangout. He loved to talk sports, he loved to talk on the radio, he loved life. A long time friend of mine, Bobby Rich, morning personality at KMXZ, 94.9 MixFM, who had worked with Bruce for a long time, invited me to the celebration of Bruce’s life. I had never met Bruce, but felt as though I knew him from what Bobby and others had told me of him, and from listening to him and wishing that Bruce’s golden voice had been assigned to me. I decided to go, hear more about Bruce, and meet some of the other folks from the station.

The event was at 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon. Bobby had invited me at 10:30 am that same day while we were on the phone co-creating some snappy content for his cool website, Kind of short notice, given the sports bar is on the other side of Tucson, a 40 minute drive. Anyway, I took a shower, put on my cargo shorts and sneakers and pondered what shirt to wear. The golf shirt I tried on first was too “formal” for a sports bar in Tucson. The tee-shirt, while a cool color, on the edge of tacky. Finally, I spotted a Hawaiian style shirt squeezed in among a bunch of other shirts, suggesting it had not been worn for awhile. Black background, with tasteful brown, gold, and off-white flowery design. And lightweight. . .perfect for a 100 degree day. Hawaiian shirt it is. While I was driving to the event, I remembered the last time I had worn this shirt was at a class reunion about seven years ago! Being 100% rayon, made in Bangladesh, it had weathered its time spent on the hanger quite well.

As soon as I arrived at the sports bar,  I saw the fairly large group of people assembled off to one end of the large room. Almost everyone was wearing a Hawaiian shirt! I learned that Bruce loved wearing those flowery shirts, and the original invitations suggested wearing one to the celebration. Of course, I didn’t know about that and am still wondering what made me decide on wearing that shirt. after it had hung in the closet neglected for seven years. Maybe I picked up a stray radio signal that was still floating around up in the sky, powered by Bruce’s God-like voice. Or, maybe just a coincidence. I’m going with coincidence. God has better things to do that pick out my shirts. I will miss hearing Bruce Daniels on the radio. I regret that I never met him in person.

4 responses to Salute to a Friend…I Never Met

  1. Greg says:

    I think you have some finely tuned receptors that receive what’s floating around in the ether. You and dogs. That who can hear that kinda stuff. I bet you know when a storm’s coming before most people too. 🙂 Glad you were able to join us, Bill. Nice to have ya there.


  2. Dr.Boogie says:

    God may not have picked out the shirt, but I’m thinking there was some kind of Divine intervention happening there. Thank you for this touching story that fit so well with all the heartfelt comments made at this Celebration of a life so many only “heard” tiny parts of until his death. And isn’t that sad? We should all have a Living Celebration BEFORE we drop off the edge. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be at their own funeral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon Simpson says:

      I agree with the living celebration idea. I think it is sad ,in a way for people to express how they feel about someone when that someone can’t hear it. I am for having a Celebration of Life before the person is dead;-)


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