I’ve been aware of, and listening to, Rush in one form or another for exactly half-a-century, ever since his appearance on the Pittsburgh airwaves at the very young age of twenty, when he was calling himself Jeff Christie, and he was the rather ‘mod’ and transgressive disc jockey on WIXZ and KQV–the one the young’uns listened to while their mothers were tuned to fusty old Jack Bogut who was playing Englebert Humperdinck on KDKA. During his few years in the ‘Burg in the early 70s, he formed a lifelong connection with, and love for, the Pittsburgh Steelers football team (that’s American football, not what Auntie Pat–98 in July, may she live forever–calls “Proper Football.”)
Here’s a bit of audio from his Jeff Christie days. As you will hear, he’d got the delivery down pat (“serving humanity . . . “) all those years ago, even when he was just introducing rather cheesy pop tunes and reading the manifests from the local movie theaters:
Mr. Right was a huge fan of Rush, and towards the end of his own life, he’d frequently misunderstand or misinterpret something Rush had said, and would engage in spirited (and sometimes very loud) debates with his friend on the radio, becoming ever more annoyed that Rush wasn’t listening to a word he said. I think he enjoyed those one-sided conversations very much. Somehow, at the moment, those memories are strangely comforting.
But Mr. Right’s affection for Rush paled in comparison to that of my late mother-in-law, whose Christmas present from us for the last few years of her life was a subscription to the Limbaugh Letter and the annual EIB Christmas Ornament (I have them now). I have no doubt that Grandma was standing right behind St. Peter at the Pearly Gates yesterday, ordering him to let her hero in without further ado. And I bet she, and Rush, and Mr. Right are cutting a rug about now.
I’ve known a handful of people over the years who met Rush, or who knew his family back home in Cape Girardeau, MO. My larger sense that almost no one who’s actually known Rush has a bad word to say about him is confirmed by that small group, who universally praise his cheerfulness, his humility, his generosity and his decency.
I’ll miss Rush, who’s been like a member of the family, and a presence in the house, for many, many years.
Two of the finest tributes (IMHO) to Rush can be found at the links below. One is by my friend Boss Mongo, at Ricochet. And the other is by Mark Steyn whose needs no further introduction.
I don’t believe our darkest days are ahead of us. I never have. People have been asking, “You’ve always said you’d tell us when it was time to panic. Is it time to panic?” Well, it’s never time to panic, folks. It’s never, ever going to be time to give up on our country. It’ll never be time to give up on the United States. It’ll never be time to give up on yourself. Trust me–Rush Limbaugh, December 23, 2020.
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, January 12, 1951–February 17, 2021