As time passes, you would think it would get easier to talk about the loss of a friend. Well, it isn’t easier and maybe that’s good. I don’t want to forget John Tripp, not only for our close friendship, but for everything he did for others. The list is far too long to mention here. Today marks the 8th year since John left us. It’s a tough day for me, but I'm sure tougher for his wife Barb Tripp and his daughters Sara Betz and Meredith L’Heureux.

John was a husband, a father, a grandfather. He was intelligent, humorous, predictable at times and unpredictable at other times, very outspoken to say the least, a mentor to many, a wonderful Exchange Club member, a 1972 graduate and huge supporter of Culver-Stockton College and a big New York Yankee fan which drew us together.

John came to the Midwest to go to Culver Stockton, a learning institution that he loved so much he renamed it “Harvard on the Hill.” It is a name that many still refer to Culver- Stockton as. He was good at renaming people too, including me. When we worked together at WTAD, I was the Station Manager and he was the Sales Manager. John renamed me “The Big Dog”, a nickname that has stuck and that I still use today on Y101.

John established the Hospice Program at Blessing Hospital, a program that thousands have utilized to aid the terminally ill and their families. It is a program still in use to comfort people during a difficult time. In the Exchange Club, John was a great member who wrote the Club bulletin for years and also was asked to perform the eulogies for club members and he did it eloquently. Public speaking was his forte.

I could write a thousand stories about John from broadcasting Little League baseball games to Texas golf trips. I have so many great memories and I am so grateful I knew him before he died at the young age of 58.

Suffice to say John was all things to all people. He could make you a laugh and he could make you cry. But to me, he was my best friend and I still miss him dearly. One thing I do know, he’d be happy the Yankees are off to a great start.