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, B100.fm. 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.