Probably the biggest drawback of getting older is watching chapters of your life close. I know my parents have been through this alot more than I have and maybe, over time, you get used to it, or just accept it as a part of life. As the next generation becomes the relevant generation, we get to watch as things that were once the hottest thing around become the answers to trivia questions. People who were stars in their day are now known to the 55+ crowd, but that’s about it.
Again, I get it, it’s just a part of life. Just like the radio show I co-hosted for 17 years in the Seattle area, “Murdock, Hunter & Alice.” (I was the one in the middle) For years, we struggled to get the show to a stride and just when things could have taken a leap, it fizzled away. If you followed the ride, you know that less than a year after the show broke up, my partner and good friend Alice Porter suddenly passed away at age 44. Way too early for anyone, let alone one of the most alive people I ever knew.
She didn’t leave behind any kids, but it was a major jolt to her husband, Shawn Stich. You know how some events in your life are forever frozen in time? I can recall as if it were yesterday that Wednesday morning when he called me and said if I wanted to see Alice again, I’d better hurry to the hospital. I visited that day and again in the evening. The next day, she was gone.
That was 2004. In the six years that followed, Shawn and I stayed in touch and tried to get together a couple of times a year. We had mutual friends at the Queen City Yacht club, so it tended to be our gathering point. Plus, it gave him the chance to show off the yacht he had worked so hard to restore. The last time we saw each other was in late July of this year. Shawn had just gotten out of the hospital after a health scare that friends said was pretty serious, but he downplayed. That was Shawn. Here are some pictures from our last time together at Queen City Yacht Club, as he proudly showed us around.
Sometime last week, Shawn suffered a heart attack and passed away at age 58. Just a little over six years after losing Alice. In talking with family and friends, I think we all agree he never got over losing her. He carried on, but with the pain of knowing what he had lost. He stay in touch with some of his boating friends from the early days when he was a hydro crew member. He was also notorious for finding a deal, a bargain on a boat and snapping it up. I think he has at least six in his garage at home. The log cabin home he shared with Alice.
We had traveled to Japan together as part of a morning show trip. We went salmon fishing up in British Columbia. He was that big, lovable Irish lug who wasn’t afraid to tell what he really thought. I’m proud and privileged that our paths managed to cross while on this rock. He was a good guy, who’s now with “the little red-headed girl” he was in love with.
Thanks for being my friend and part of an amazing chapter in my life.