28 years ago, it was the month of August. I was working as Larry Nelson’s producer at KOMO radio, but frankly, had been a bit restless and was considering, “What would be the next step?”
On the personal side, my wife and I were trying to have a second child, but so far, no luck. We were also thinking it was time to get a different car than the 1979 Plymouth Horizon I was driving. I remembered talking with Larry one Friday morning, telling him we were going car shopping that weekend.
To my surprise, Larry downplayed the idea. “Oh, you don’t need a new car!”.
Huh. That was odd. Larry was not one to scrimp, lived in a nice home in Bellevue, drove a Mercedes, if I recall correctly. I wandered back to our office, continuing to write the morning show prep when something clicked.
I immediately went back to the control room and said, “Uh, Lar…..why shouldn’t I buy a new car right now.” He then informed me that, due to budget cuts, I was going to be let go the following Friday.
Eventually, News Director Gary Stewart, Sports Guy Keith Shipman and myself would lose our jobs on the chopping block. With Lar’s heads up, I felt like Hitler evacuating the bunker. I was able to get out all the audio bits I wanted to save and other items that might be left behind in a “put it all in a box” moment.
It was on that Friday I was let go that we found out we were pregnant. I had not told my wife of my impending doom, so that we might enjoy the good news over the weekend. Or, at least one of us could.
When it came to picking a name, I noticed in the sports section that Pete Rose had a new son and had named him Tyrus after the legendary Ty Cobb. Tyrus didn’t really do it for us, but Ty did….and we stumbled across the name Tyson somewhere. (maybe a baby book, I don’t remember. I’m impressed I can recall this much)
As for his middle name, we decided to honor my mom’s brother, who died way too early in life, James.
27 years ago this week, Tyson James Hunter entered the world. Being a parent, you commit things to memory that probably didn’t mean to your kid at the time. I could probably think of a zillion stories about him—his early food allergies, that toe-head of hair, Cub Scouts, the adventures in Little League and basketball, seeing his moments of glory and defeat….
As I enter the geezer years, I can easily look back and say that I probably spent more time with my kids than most parents, but that was always my intent. Having a child is a privilege, an honor, a non-stop journey where you love someone incredibly and then have to find the strength to let them go and be themselves.
I can still feel that tiny hand in mine as we’d walk through the mall or on the street. Thankfully, that one of those great memories that never goes away. He’s got a little of both of his parents in him, but fortunately or unfortunately, he managed to inherit the Goofy Tim genes.
Happy birthday, dude.