26 Apr 2014

When That First College BFF Dies

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So I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up doing what I normally do…surf the web.    I ended up finding the Kent State Alumni Associations website, which apparently I had signed up for decades ago, and it still remembered my usual username and password.  So after trying to get their search engine to work right I thought I’d look up some old classmates.  The first one to come to mind was my BFF (we didn’t have those back then, but you get they idea) from my WKSU/WKSR days, Tom “Mad Dog” Farrar (air name Tom Sullivan).  It took me a few searches, but sure enough, there was his name, and I clicked it, looking forward to catching up with Tom after all these years. After a few seconds up popped the words I just never thought I would see: “This member is no longer alive”.


I was dumbfounded.  How could this be?


So I spent the next hour burning up Google, trying to find out what happened…when…details…anything!  Where is my buddy that was always yelling “WHOOOOO” before Rick Flair ever made it popular…my buddy with his shoulder length hair, twinkling eyes and big-ass smile?  The guy that was always on a natural high and so full of energy…he was a living, breathing can of Red Bull. And then I found it…his obituary. And as I read it, it became clearer and clearer that my skinny little buddy really had passed away nearly 7 years ago from fucking cancer.  Yet another person close to me is taken away by that horrible disease.  FUCK CANCER!


Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan

So I did more Googling and found a post on Ohio Media Watch that had some details, and some fellow broadcasters remembered him on a Radio Discussion board.  The Akron Beacon Journal did a nice piece on him, too. I tried for hours to find some pictures of him from over the years, and all I could find was a thumbnail from a 1986 dance he hosted at the University of Akron…so I will have to depend on my memory of Mad Dog and his crazy antics.


Probably my proudest moment was when he invited me up to the studios of M105 in Cleveland where he was working…my buddy had made “the big time”.  Sadly, that was the last time I remember seeing him.  Years and decades past…I wish Facebook would have been around back then…we probably would have remained in touch.  Never in a million years would I have thought this would have happened to such a vibrant and loving guy.


I am so sad today.  I’ll miss “The Doctor of Rock ‘n Roll.”


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