Brain Mourns The Loss Of Longtime Morning Show Partner Scott Steele [GALLERY]
Morning show hosts have a unique bond. They work together for 5 plus hours a day, at least 5 days a week. We see each other more than we see our spouses! The bond that Scott Steele and I had on the KHAK morning show was immediate and strong. It would be tested, but I'm happy to say that our friendship endured until the very end.
When Steele and I began working on the morning show together, he knew nothing about country music. He had worked in rock radio nearly all his life. He liked to say he didn't know Kenny Chesney from Kenny Rogers! But Scott threw himself into the format. He researched it. He watched CMT and GAC for videos. Did he become a country fan? Ha! Not really. But he did KNOW country music and he always respected the genre. He even vacationed in Nashville, as recently as this past summer. But the chemistry that Scott and I had on the air was something that we really didn't have to work at. We'd both been in morning radio for a number of years, so once we learned each others tendencies, we were off and running!
Scott brought energy and ideas to the KHAK morning show. He brought the Counseling Corner with him. He started doing the Pedal to the Metal NASCAR report. His mom made football picks! He was the creative spark that I needed to thrive, and I like to think he looked at me the same way. Scott was intense and never afraid to speak his mind. I, on the other hand, tended to not get worked up so quickly. It was a balancing act that I believe made our show great.
I remember the phone call from Scott one afternoon five years ago, telling me that he had been diagnosed with cancer. I asked him how bad it was. He said 'Stage 4." I was stunned. I think Scott was too. But there was an immediate sense of hope. He told all of us right away, that he was going to beat this thing. His mantra? I Will Win. And he did. He kicked cancer's ass numerous times. Sure there were setbacks, but with each one, Scott's hope and determination overshadowed any doubt that crept into our heads. He was going to beat this thing.
How do you determine a "win" when talking about cancer? Scott won. The way he dealt with his diagnosis, the way he powered through treatments that made him sick and STILL showed up for work. The way he inspired thousands of people in their battle with the disease. THAT is winning the battle against cancer.
What I'll remember most about Scott is our friendship. He wasn't a co-worker. He was one of my best friends. We hung out together. Went out and sang karaoke together. He was a Bears fan, I am a Packers fan. There was nothing like football season with Scott. He and Misty came to our kid's birthday parties. They are god parents to our daughter Cayleigh. Even after he left the KHAK morning show a couple of months ago, we still exchanged messages and even met for drinks Thanksgiving weekend. I can't express the joy of seeing him become a father himself. Yes, miracle baby Briggs! I remember Scott telling me how scared he was at becoming a father. Hey, what dad isn't! But I also remember him telling me of the unmatched joy of holding his son. I'm so glad that he had the time he did.
I had the honor of being able to see Scott one final time this week. He was in hospice at the time. We talked for about 15 minutes or so. I could tell he was tired, so I motioned to my wife that we should go. Scott mustered up enough strength to lean over and give me a hug. As I held him, he said, "if you need anything, let me know." I told him that I would see him later. What we both meant was, "Good-bye". Good-bye my friend.