Every single day that I have walked through the doors at KHAK Radio, there has been a constant. Despite all the faces that have come and gone, there has always been Bob James. He was there when I walked through those doors for the first time as an intern back in 1995. That amazing run comes to an end this week.

I'll be honest. I don't remember what Bob and I's first interaction was. It no doubt centered around our love of sports. So many of our conversations these past two and a half decades did. After interning at KHAK I eventually landed the night slot, from 6 p.m. to midnight. And I quickly made friends at the station with the likes of Josh Klingler, Darren Taylor from KDAT, and of course, Bob. I still remember those epic baseball weekend trips we took to Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

1999 was a big year. I was promoted to the KHAK morning show, and it was the year I married Holly. As we were putting together our wedding parties, Holly asked if I wanted to include anyone from the radio station. Of course, I did. My friend, Bob James.

Holly Brainard
Holly Brainard

Not too many years later, Bob left his job as production director for KHAK and became the program director for the radio station. He went from being my friend, to my boss. And while certain dynamics of our relationship changed, I always knew that Bob was someone I could come to with concerns at work or about life in general.

Bob has guided this radio station with his stellar leadership and attention to detail. Aircheck sessions with Bob would sometimes include minor details that could seem trivial. But he always suggested them because he wanted you to be better, and sound better on the air. I credit him for the morning show host I am today.

Julie James
Julie James

And while I have plenty of work memories of Bob I'll cherish, it is the personal moments that I will hold closest. The times he came to the hospital to hold my newborn children. Attending Hawkeye football games on crisp Saturdays in Iowa City.

Bob has always been there during the tough times too. He has listened when my personal life wasn't ideal. He has been understanding when I've needed time away. And he was a shoulder to cry on when we buried a friend.

Brain and Bob in football gear
KHAK via YouTube

I stood in Bob's office this week and listened to him try and wrap his head around his over 33 years at KHAK. He commented, how do you sum that up? Well, I'll give it a go. How about, hard work. Dedication. Commitment. Sacrifice. Tenacity. Compassion. Friendship. Discipline. Fortitude. Excellence.

Add all those words up, and you get Bob James. Congratulations on your retirement, Bob. Know that you have made a difference in my life, countless other co-workers, and of course, our KHAK listeners.

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Brainard

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