I’m going to talk about Rush Limbaugh today. People either loved him or hated him. Kind of like President Trump. I always wonder about people who hate others so easily, but that’s another blog for another day. Hate comes easy for some people, I know. But today there is not going to be any hate here.
Years ago David and I started a little vacuum cleaner and sewing machine repair store. We sold sewing machines and vacuum cleaners and David did the repairs on ones brought to our store. I was the only one in the store all day as David worked for the National Guard during the day and was only in the store at night after I went home. Some days seemed pretty long so I started listening to talk radio. I listened to Mike McConnell on WLW out of Cincinnati. He was a really good talk show host and was very interesting. But one day, he was talking about sports, something which didn’t interest me at all, so I started searching through the channels to see if I could find something else to listen to. Suddenly, I heard this man talking on our local radio station and he was saying things that I believed in. He had a very compelling voice and made me think of an elder professor giving a lecture. He was also very funny and played great music. That man was Rush Limbaugh. Sorry to Mike McConnell, but I started to listen to Rush every day. At that time there were Rush rooms at businesses where people could go and listen to Rush. My store became a Rush room. Our customers had to listen to him whether they wanted to or not. No one ever complained and I’m pretty sure if they did I would have not turned Rush off.
At that time in the eighties, Rush wrote books and did Rush to excellence tours all over the country to packed auditoriums. I bought his first book and was surprised at how he looked because I had this distinguished older man in my mind, and there he was a chubby, younger man.
I listened to Rush in our store for ten years. After we closed the store, I listened to him at home. He got me through some years in our nation’s history when things weren’t going so well. The Clinton years were horrible and if not for Rush’s sense of humor and fun parodies, I would have been been upset all the time. But he showed us the humor in all the things that were happening. I listened to him after 911. He calmed his listeners when it seemed that nothing would be right again. He got me through the Obama years. I always believed Obama was the worst president we have ever had. Then President Trump was elected and all was right with the world and our country blossomed into what it was meant to be. Both President Trump and Rush wanted our country to be the best it could be and we were for four years. Then Rush made a tragic announcement. He had stage 4 lung cancer. He hadn’t smoked for years, but cancer got him. He kept on talking through his treatments and when he couldn’t be there he had some excellent people to replace him, Mark Stein and Todd Herman being two of them. At the State of the Union, President Trump gave Rush the Medal of Freedom. A very high honor. Those watching saw Nancy Pelosi make a fool of herself behind Trump, going so far as to tear up his speech after he was done. Very sorry to see such a tantrum. Then the 2020 election came. Sadly, people’s hate ruled out any thought and we got not the president Biden. Not sure he’s legal, but he’s in the White House now. And our country is bleeding again. So sad. I wished that Rush would get us through the next four horrible years, but it was not to be. This week when I turned on my radio I heard a woman’s voice and wondered who it was taking over for Rush that day, but it was his wife announcing that Rush had died. How hard that must have been for her. Millions of people cried that day.
I can’t imagine not hearing Rush’s voice on the radio any more. He was the voice of reason in a very chaotic and angry time. People are so angry all the time now it seems. And the hate. It was hard to understand how people could hold so much hate inside themselves for two men. I don’t know who will fill his space, but I hope it will be somebody with the same love of our country that Rush had. He truly felt like we lived in the best country on earth. A beacon to other people. So many people want to come here, legally and illegally. Rush and President Trump both knew the treasure we have here in the United States. They talked about it every day.
Now they will run reruns of Rush’s shows for a time, but one day his voice will not be heard. Good-bye, Rush. You were and are a treasure that is gone too soon. Rest in Peace. One day, I hope to hear your voice again.