My friend Casey Bond is the ultimate Renaissance woman.  In a matter of exactly 24-hours, I’ve seen her fix a carburetor, prepare an armadillo for taxidermy, plant a tomato garden, throw a BBQ for friends, install a hot tub and bartend a wedding reception for 300+ guests by herself.

For her – that’s a typical Saturday.

She is singlehandedly the coolest, most fearless chick I’ve ever met. She’s got the business savvy (and bust line) of Dolly Parton.  She’s also got the oozing charm and charisma (and hourglass figure) of Marilyn Monroe. And if Mother Teresa had boobs – I’d compare Casey to her in a white-hot second. Girlfriend is wildly philanthropic and would do just about anything to help a friend in need.


She’s also stubborn, bossy, no-nonsense and all the other things you want in the ultimate gal pal. From the nanosecond I met her, I was determined to be her friend.  We’ve been cavorting around and wreaking havoc ever since.

About a month ago, Casey decided – in true Bohemian fashion – to chuck her life and belongings in KC and move away to a tropical island. People always say they’re going to do that – but Casey followed up on her promise.

As we speak, she and her badass Jeep are on their way to St. Thomas – where she will set up shop and reinvent herself once again. (She’s like Madonna that way … I mean, if Madge had an enormous rack.)

Of course, because Casey is wildly impulsive and decided on a mere whim to do this – I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to her last week.  This week I’m in Atlanta for work and imagine my surprise when Casey took a slight detour to have lunch with me today.  “The universe works in mysterious ways, huh,” I said. “Obviously, there was some sort of cosmic intervention that wanted us to say our goodbyes in person.”

“Cosmic what?” she replied. “Nah – more like I wanted some good ol’ fashioned soul food and I knew you’d throw down with me.” Oh … and did I mention the girl can eat? She can also trap it, skin it, season it and filet it before you eat it. I will miss Casey … but KC’s loss is St. Thomas’ gain.

I just hope they’re ready for Hurricane Casey – in all her girly-girl glory.

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The Power Of Humor Compels Me

Bless my friend Kiki’s heart. She’s usually in a good mood 98.75% of the time. The other 1.25% she can be a raging hellion if things go amiss. A hundred bazillion years ago, we both got our start working at a TV station in Des Moines, Iowa. Kiki was a seasoned veteran – having been there a whole year before I started. Even more impressive? She worked there while still finishing up her degree.

Keek worked her way up to being the newscast director of the Sunday 10pm show… an esteemed position for someone so young. Back in the day, our station was the highest rated CBS affiliate in the country.  That particular show was easily the most watched newscast of the week – often pulling in a 40-45 share.

While she was the big Kahuna – I was the low man on the totem poll dutifully running the teleprompter. I was pretty diligent about my job and tried to do it with grace and finesse. I usually failed miserably because one of our anchors was a hateful shrew and I would fluster easily because of her tyrannical tangents. (That adds absolutely nothing to this story, mind you – I just wanted to call her out for beings such a bitch.)

Approximately three seconds before we’d go on the air – in the midst of last-minute frenzied chaos and script re-writes – I got in to the habit of clicking on my headset and saying, “Kiki?” And she’d respond, “Yes?” And I’d chirp, “Have a great show.” Even when the newscast was in peril of going down in flames, she’d still give me a congenial “thank you” – complete with a lilt in her voice.

That is … until Black Sunday hit.

I can’t remember all the things that went wrong leading up to 10pm … but I remember it being a DefCon 1 sort of situation. People yelling. Live shots failing. Equipment malfunctioning. The only highlight in all this was watching the evil anchorwoman go through a series of small mini-strokes in the moments leading up to the newscast. Despite the flailing of arms and gnashing of teeth – I reluctantly opted to give my usual vote of confidence to our astute director.

With mere seconds to airtime, I clicked on my headset:

Me: “Keek?”

K: (snarling) “WHAT?!?!”’

Me: (sternly yelling) “HAVE A SHOW!”

K: (screaming) “I WILL!”

That was followed by a brief pause … an exhale of air … and laughter. The show was still anarchy behind the scenes – but the viewer at home watching wouldn’t have known it. Once again, a brief respite of well-timed humor had saved the day.  We still talk about the unrelenting rage happening on the set that day. Amazing how a tiny bit of humor could turn Keek’s teen angst into teen spirit. (Note to reader: aforementioned events occurred in 1992 – and this analogy is perfect since Nirvana was at the zenith of their nadir that year.)

Ever want to put a smile on Kiki’s face? Just tell her to “Have A Show”. Works. Every. Time. Hmmm … maybe we should try to incorporate that in to everyday vernacular? Thoughts?

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