Kevin West at the news desk
photo by Sam Hall
Most of us in the broadcasting community are in a state of shock today at the sudden death of our good friend Kevin West. He was a fixture on WGOW talk radio for many years until his recent appointment at the Chattanooga Police Department.
When my phone rang on Monday morning and a good friend related me the news, I really didn't know what to say as I just couldn't believe it. He was only 61.
As far as I know Kevin was in good health. He'd just completed his Monday morning workout and collapsed near his office at the Police Department. I was told he said to someone he didn't feel too good, but didn't say more.
We enjoyed several lunches together at the Armando's in Red Bank. We talked for several hours about radio and broadcasting in general. He even took me to lunch at Nikki's many years ago. We shared an order of onion rings that neither of us needed.
He loved radio but especially reporting the news. Kevin had a gift at writing news that most of us don't have and I told him so. Kevin even made the most depressing stories sound interesting.
He also was a patriot loving the United States. He proudly served in the United States Navy. He wasn't ashamed to talk about his time in the service and was the featured speaker at one of our observances at the National Cemetery.
A few days before the Hey Earl Roast I got a call from Kevin saying he had a prior engagement and couldn't come but wished me the best ending with his famous laugh. He said let's find an Armando's soon and go eat again. I wished him the best in his new job and we said goodbye.
I borrowed this picture from Sam Hall because this is the way I'll remember my friend Kevin West.