I started at KDWB in June of 1993. Within a week or so I was with KDWB in the Father Hennepin Days Parade and as we were waiting for the parade to start, there was a KDWB intern who was making everyone laugh by dancing and lip-syncing Jon Secada's "Just Another Day."
He just cracked me up and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him and I knew I had to hire him to be on our morning show.
His name was Eric Guggemos and he was only 20 but he was perfect for the job. Always fun to be around, friendly and positive. We all loved Eric and he's a part of so many memories for many people who worked at and who listened to KDWB back then.
That's Eric in the middle between Pat Ebertz and myself.
And that's Eric with me, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan.
And Eric with Pat Ebertz, Daniel Baldwin, an actress I can't quite remember, Lee Valsvik and me.
That smile on Eric's face is the way he usually looked. And people like that are people you remember forever.
Eric had always been sick. He was born with health problems that bothered him the entire time I knew him, but he never complained. Surgeries, proceedures, medications, doctors appointments, you name it, but Eric was always positive and would rather joke around or give his co-workers and friends a hard time rather than focus on his health.
He left our show in 1996 and worked in the cafeteria at Best Buy for years until he couldn't work anymore.
I didn't see Eric as often but we've remained friends. I had dinner with him and his family a few times, continued to give him a hard time on social media and via text. I would hear about his health and surgeries and sometimes it was good news and sometimes bad.
The latest was bad. Eric can't handle another surgery and the efforts of the doctors isn't working anymore. He's in hospice now and the end is very near. I saw him today and he woke up for a second and gave me a little smile. It's heartbreaking to see him this way but it's comforting to know that Eric won't be in pain anymore.
Eric's life might not have been as long or as healthy as we all wanted it to be, but I believe he was blessed in another way. He had warmth, humor and kindness that drew people to him and made him friends everywhere he went. Any of us would be happy to have impacted so many lives in such a positive way.
I'll miss you buddy. Thanks for being part of KDWB and for being a part of my life.