Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jerry Sims, 1942-2011

We shook hands through my truck window at a gas station in Wrightsville on April 19, 2011, on our way to see the KAAY transmitter facility.

"Have we not ever met?" I asked you. "I feel like I've known you all my life." But that Tuesday was the first time that particular Sonny Martin and this particular Doc Holiday had ever come face-to-face.

Certainly, each of us had been aware of the other and there was respect between us as brothers in that great KAAY fraternity of the air, but it sure was good to finally meet you. I thought I showed great restraint by not getting all fanboy and saying stupid things like "Man, I grew up listening to you!" Which, of course, I did.

Your dedication to KAAY--even after all these years--made a BIG impression on me. You kept the station's memory alive in your heart and your life, even as you moved on. I meant to ask you how you were able to do that, but I guess that'll be for later.

After Bud Stacey and I ran out of time and had to leave the transmitter building, you made the time to go back. YOU found that emergency studio downstairs that I thought was gone. YOU kept digging for important things that were destined for the scrap heap. YOU carried on.

And did you live a full life or what? I couldn't hit a softball on a bet, and there you are in the Hall of Fame! Wife, kids, grandkids, a job at which you excelled and a game that was your passion--you didn't have a single second for any boredom or regret, did you?

But, Jerry, what in the HELL were you doing, playing softball in this heat last Sunday? Did you think you were IMMORTAL? Ah, my dear friend and comrade, you are now. And I couldn't have kept you out of that game any more than I could have kept Marvin Vines off of that tractor back in 1978. You both went out doing what you loved, and there ain't one person in a hundred who can claim that.

There's nothing left for it now except to commend your great soul and spirit to the Skywave, which will one day carry us all out into the Universe to catch up with what we radiated over KAAY all those years ago.

So long, Jerry (you know we never say goodbye in this business because we always meet again). Say hello to Richard Wiethan (Buddy Karr), Pat Walsh, George Jennings, A.J. Lindsey, Barry Wood and Marvin for all of us who remain.

As long as those three towers shall stand in Wrightsville, your name will live.

With Love,
David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD
Friend of Sonny Martin II

(Folks, if I'd have been any sort of responsible blogmaster, I would have pre-empted the "Trip" series in lieu of news on Jerry.  Please allow me to apologize at this time for not thinking correctly...it had already been scheduled and I didn't think about moving it.  Please see a couple of posts down for more information on Jerry Sims.  Thanks, DBT.  Bud S.)


  1. Good stuff David B..

  2. Bud,

    Don't sweat that trip post being there! One of the first things Live Radio teaches us is that some things are going to be beyond our control. So we keep smiling and move along. Jerry would tell you the same thing.

    David B.

  3. I was saddened, but surprised when I read about Jerry. I think it was about two years ago when he mentioned some of his softball schedule had been canceled due to the heat that summer. I'm guessing it was even hotter this summer. Jerry's family will be in my prayers.

    Ron Henselman