I have to make a day trip to Ottawa today. And it's a trip I wish I didn't have to take. I have to pay my respects to Breen Murray, a friend and mentor, who guided me during a time I needed it most. In January of 1980, I was a bit reckless. An only child, I had lost my dad to a heart attack 15 months earlier. I rashly quit my radio job in London and had no idea what I was going to do with my life. A couple of weeks later, I received a phone call from CKOY-CKBY news director Paul Taylor. They had a sports opening and he asked if I would I be interested in sending a tape their way. I did, and days later, on Breen's recommendation, Paul hired me over the phone. It was the most important day in my 40-year radio career. Lady Luck was smiling on me. My best friend was in Ottawa at the time and he put me up until I found a place of my own. As for Breen, he took me under his wing and taught me both life and broadcasting lessons that I follow to this very day. He even passed up play-by-play duties (he had called games in the World Hockey League), allowing me to call the games when the station acquired the rights to Ottawa 67's broadcasts. We lost Breen last weekend to cancer and I'm heartbroken. And I'm angry at myself. I tend to hold people at arms length and I never told him how much he meant to me. Someday, over a beer, I kept telling myself. Now I'll never get the chance. I haven't seen his wife Susan, or their kids Shannon and Marc in almost 40 years. They were just children when I last saw them, and now they have kids of their own. One last thing to mention about Breen: His sense of humour was off the charts. He was witty, funny, and he had a tremendous command of the English language. Godspeed, Breener, you were one of a kind.

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