Posted by: Tim Hunter | March 29, 2014

If I Could, This Is What I Would Say

Nora & Bill

Nora & Bill

It’s scheduled for 3pm Saturday afternoon.  Bothell First Lutheran will be packed with friends, family, church-members and more as we celebrate the life of Bill Strothman.

Since his life ended several weeks ago, I’ve thought about him often.

Bill and I were close in age. I think he had a one year lead.  To me, his passing is yet another reminder that we should take nothing for granted.  Each day, every day, is a gift.  It could all be gone tomorrow.  But you don’t think of it that way, not that it could be over.  That’s the negative side of the equation. It’s that you are blessed to have what you have now, to be where you are, with all of your life experiences intact.

I’ve thought about, “What happens when we’re at Bill’s service and they say, ‘Would anyone like to say something?’”  I know what I would say, I’m just not sure I’d get it out.

I’ve known Bill & Nora Strothman a lot of years.  We go back to the University of Washington days, when we all Communications majors cutting our teeth on mass media at the same time.  We worked together on a student TV show called, “Speakout.” When Fridays rolled around and we finished taping another show, we’d go celebrate on “The Ave” at a place called The Pitcher House, which had a Happy Hour that featured $1 pitchers.

Bill, Nora and I attended the same church for quite a few years, Bothell First Lutheran, where his service will be held tomorrow.  We chatted often, but I would give anything to be able to hear those conversations again.  I just remember thinking how cool it was that, one day we were college buddies, and here we are, years later, raising kids together in the same church.

When I left the Bothell area, I didn’t see the Strothmans very often.  I made to include them at an open house at my Bothell home in 2007.  Occasionally, we’d bump into each other at the Bothell Freedom Festival parade on the 4th of July, where I’ve been the parade announcer for decades.  Come to think of it, I have copies of those parades and I just might have to dig them out and look for Bill.

We stayed in touch, but didn’t see each other often in recent years.  When I think of Bill Strothman in the years to come, and I will, it will be the Bill from the UW days….and the Bill I imagine the way he would be today.  His legacy was how he told a story.   So, as the events of the Oso mudslide tragedy are reported, I just can’t help but wonder: how would Bill have told this story?

Those who knew him also know the magnitude of the person we lost.   But we were also fortunate enough to know the caliber of the person he was.

While we mourn his passing, there was also an incredible life that requires that we celebrate and remember. No worries, Bill.  We’ll remember.

And if I could say all that at his service, I would. But I’m pretty sure I will not even come close.

At least now you know what I was thinking.

Tim Hunter

Posted by: Tim Hunter | March 26, 2014

For Those Not Completely Familiar With My Daily Routine

The alarm clock goes off every weekday morning at 4am.  It has for 10 years.

Oh, sure, I don’t put on my creative director hat until 8:30 or so at Destination Marketing.  Why so early?

Well, shortly after my “retirement” from radio, Ron Chase, who operates RadioOnline, asked if I wanted to be a regular contributor to their Daily Show Prep feature.  This is a service that rounds up news, facts and fun for morning DJ’s, so it saves them from at least three strikes of their snooze bar.  I get up, browse through my usual websites and write up stories, jokes and games for DJ’s all over the world.  Nice gig.

And, considering I used to get up at 2:19am every morning when I was on the air, this is sleeping in!!!

Among the contributions I offer–a daily Top Five List, which I try to make as topical as I can.  Sometimes, they write themselves. Other times, I have to just sit back, let the mind go and strive for the ridiculous.

I realized this morning it had been a while since I wrote something that actually made me laugh out loud.  It could be the exhaustion or that this is just far enough out there to be funny.  You decide.

So, here you go:


  1. “How I met your Proctologist”
  2. “C.S.I. LEGOLAND”
  3. “The Jay Walking Dead”
  4. “Breaking Wind”
  5. “Starsky & Biden”

Yeah, it was #1.

Tim Hunter


Posted by: Tim Hunter | March 21, 2014

The Honesty of a Child

It was going to be Evan’s big 3rd birthday.

So his mom asked what he would like to do on his day.  What would make it special?  Of all the things we do together, how would you like to celebrate your 3rd birthday?

He thought for a moment and then told his mom, “Albertsons!”

If you’re looking for a birthday gift idea for Evan, you might consider coupons.

Tim Hunter

Posted by: Tim Hunter | March 18, 2014

A Day of Sadness

I climbed in the car and began my short commute to work. It was a Tuesday, a day I usually swing by Starbucks and pick up something, but this morning I was running late.
As the car started, the reporter from KIRO was talking about Fisher Plaza. That was odd. It turned out that the channel 4 helicopter had crashed on Broad Street. Several cars passing by caught fire from the jet fuel that spilled, but the two occupants of the helicopter were dead.
Then I remembered that Dan Strothman worked there as a cameraman. Could he have been one of the two people on board?
Dan is the son of a college buddy, Bill Strothman, who wandered around the University of Washington in the mid-1970s along with me and the other Communications Majors.
Some of us concentrated on journalism, others on Radio & TV. Bill’s path and mine collided in the television side of things, back in the days when Channel 9 was on campus and once a week, students would produce a magazine-style show called, “Speakout!”
I probably should remember more details about the TV experience, but what I do recall are those Happy Hours after a shoot at the Pitcher House over on the Ave, with $1 pitchers. The perfect way to wrap up a Friday and head off into the weekend. The Speakout crew was made up of some very talented and determined folks who still run around Seattle today, including Bill and his girlfriend, eventually wife, Nora.
While our paths scattered and after graduation, I headed over to Yakima to play radio, Bill and his camera did quite well and became the go-to guy at KOMO TV. After a few decades of excellence, he decided to venture off and do his own thing as a freelance photographer. I had just exchanged a couple of emails with him a few months ago, hoping that some day we could work on a project together again.
To demonstrate that photographic skills can run in the family, Bill & Nora’s kid, Dan, grew up and followed his dad’s footsteps. There was even a time when Bill was still at KOMO, that Dan found himself working at a TV station in Montana, driving around the old KOMO 4 news truck that had been sold to that station.
Eventually, Dan found himself at his dad’s old stomping grounds, continuing the Strothman legacy. That’s why my heart sank when I first heard about the accident. I skipped the Starbucks run so I could get to work, check on Facebook and see if Dan had posted anything lately.
His Facebook page was a steady stream of “I’m so sorry” and “Our best to the KOMO family” and so I was relieved.  He was alive.  Dan was OK.
A short time later, I found out it was Bill on board.  Apparently, doing a little freelance work as he had hundreds of times before.  The regular KOMO chopper was in the shop, so they had a loaner from Boston.
Just like that. Here. Gone. No chance for a goodbye, other than the usual “See you tonight” as you head out the door.
Even though those days at the UW were 40 years ago, that special group of friends has remained in touch over the years. For a while, I attended Bothell First Lutheran Church with the Strothmans and other college friends, the Ensigns.
The last time I saw Bill? The last time I really had a chance to sit and chat would have been a summer barbecue at my new Bothell House in 2007. It was a perfect day and there were my college friends, just hanging out. The hair was a little grayer, there were more “character lines”, but it was that old gang of mine.
We should have had more of those get-togethers we always meant to organize. The longer you’re around, the reminders become more and more frequent.
Bill Strothman was a pro, a compassionate, caring father and husband and one of the greatest guys you’d ever have the chance to meet. You’ll hear that a lot over the next couple of days.  Anyone who knew Bill had only the best to say about him.
He was also a man of faith and I know that right now he’s experiencing his reward for a life well-lived. I look forward to the day I’ll see him again. Then maybe we’ll finally get around to working on that project together.
God’s peace to his wife Nora, and his kids, Dan and Heidi.

Tim Hunter


Posted by: Tim Hunter | March 14, 2014

Wearing a Shirt is a Commitment

Lately, I’ve been reminded that those billboards we occasionally wear around still get noticed.
When I say billboards, of course, I meant t-shirts. So many plug a product or express a feeling, but wear something from a sport and it really resonates.
It happened when I was roaming around Disneyland one year, wearing my David Ortiz Boston Red Sox jersey. Red Sox Nation is out there and to find them, all you have to do is put on a cap with a “B” or a shirt such as mine. All day long, passersby would yell out, “Go Sox!” or “Boston!”
I’ve gotten a lot of reaction from my “You Mad Crab” t-shirt every time I’ve worn. Most recently, last Sunday when three people in the grocery store said, “Nice shirt!” and one kid came up and asked, “Where did you get that?” It’s actually a good story. I saw it online shortly after the San Francisco game that inspired the shirt, being sold on Facebook by Richard Sherman himself. I saw, I wanted, I ordered. That day they were $29. The following day, they jumped to $39 and soon thereafter, were sold out. No matter how worn out that thing gets, it will never leave this house (unless I’m wearing it).
But you do have to be careful what you wear and be ready to talk the talk. While visiting Vancouver this week, we went into a Vancouver Canucks team store. While I wouldn’t mind getting a jersey, they clocked in at $220. So, I opted for the more affordable t-shirt, a retro look designed after the original Vancouver hockey team, The Millionaires. Yep, that was their name. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Millionaires, and so for a couple of games, the Canucks are wearing retro uniforms. Apparently the t-shirts weren’t selling that well and so I picked one up for 30% off.
On the way home, stopping into the outlet mall, a couple came up to me and struck up a conversation about the Canucks—how it’s been a tough season, how they played last night, etc. It’s amazing how wearing a t-shirt makes you appear like an expert. A couple of “oh yeah’s”, a “that’s for sure” and “Well, there’s always next year” and we enjoyed a special bond.
So, today, which shirt will it be? Maybe I’ll confuse them all and wear a blank one.
Tim Hunter

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