Recently, I was recognized for my too-many years on the radio. It’s an annual affair that honors a handful of folk that were incapable of holding down a real job, and therefore, opted to settle for a low-wage gig that made us feel important.
From a post on social media, I learned that Kim was coming.
Kim and I worked together for a few years, but that was probably twenty years ago. During those years, we were decent friends. Not terribly close, but I recall sharing a beer together a couple of times, and we always got along well.
As Kim left the radio station and moved away for a career in something more meaningful, she pretty much slipped off my radar. That happens a lot in radio; people move in and out of the business, often, in pretty short order. Some of those you remember, some you don’t. I wouldn’t forget Kim, but we didn’t stay in touch. We just weren’t that close.
Still, because Kim took a job with a large charitable organization, and my radio work sometimes partnered with her charity, we would bump into one another occasionally. Kim’s smile is 10-feet wide, so it was always nice to see her. We’d hug big, I’d ask how she was doing, she’d ask how I was doing, we’d ask how each other’s spouses were doing, and that would be it for the next five or ten years.
As social media became a gathering place for former cronies to come together, I would occasionally see a post from Kim. They usually involved her dog, but I tend to zone out on dog/cat/hamster/wolverine posts, so I didn’t pay much attention.
But now we have this upcoming event, and Kim was coming. Since she is no longer in radio, I couldn’t imagine why she would be attending, but it made me happy. It would be nice to see her again, and it meant there would be someone to pal around with at this event where I would not know many people.
My wife and I greeted Kim and her husband as they took their seats next to us in the auditorium. I was anxious to know why she was there.
“What’s your affiliation with this event?” I asked.
“You,” she said. “You’re being honored and we wanted to be here for it.”
Hm. Wasn’t at all expecting that.
Here’s someone I’ve seen maybe three times in the last two decades, buying tickets (that weren’t cheap!), driving in from another city, all just to be there to show support.
It was a fun night. Besides catching up with Kim, it turns out there were several people there I knew, and we made a few new friends.
I was grateful to be nominated for recognition by the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. It’s nice to be honored for your work, even if it probably is just because you were able to stay with it for so many years. But the highlight of the night was getting absolutely schooled in what it means to be a friend.
I hope that lesson sticks with me.