|Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 9:28 AM- -|
I thought this past weekend would be filled with Clemson basketball, Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines, and a great day of recruiting news with Clemson's junior day Saturday.
The first and third parts of the weekend turned out to be better than expected, but this weekend was one I don't want to have again anytime soon. We lost two good men this weekend.
I met Mike Brown maybe 30 years ago at Mac's Drive In, but that night he wasn't introduced as Mike, he was "Ice Cream."
I got to know Mike much better when Dabo hired him as his agent and later played a huge part in the success of Dabo and Kathleen's All In Foundation.
Mike would occasionally call me when he had long trips back to his old home in Atlanta. He would give me some scoops on coaches and who was going to fill the coaching vacancies. He was a very bright guy that was well connected, and he had great information to share.
I know Mike was very proud of Clemson and Dabo, but later in our friendship, he would call more often about the foundation. It got to the point where when the phone rang, and you saw his name on the caller ID, you knew it concerned the foundation. Through the foundation, Mike's hard work helped hundreds if not thousands of people.
He was a great Tiger, and he will be missed.
Monday morning I got a phone call I wasn't prepared for. Gary Edison's wife, Rebecca, called to give the bad news that Gary passed Sunday night. Everyone at WCCP was shocked from the news that we lost a great friend.
Gary was a great friend who I saw almost every workday for about 15 years. He was a Direct TV representative that worked at an office at our radio station and my day wasn't complete until I went back to his office to get my daily wisdom of politics, sports, movies, or life lessons.
Gary taught me how to smoke a "Boston Butt" for my tailgate. He was the kind of friend that you asked to pick you up when you dropped your car off for new tires or to be worked on.
He was very proud of his son Hunter, who interned in the digital media services offices for Clemson football before he graduated and moved to Winston-Salem.
Gary was known for having the best tailgates at Clemson football and great margaritas by his pool.
He became sick around Thanksgiving and was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia earlier this month, but his death was unexpected, much like Mike.
Both gentlemen were taken from us too soon. Both had so much more to give, but I won't forget the lessons I learned from both. Perhaps the last lesson I learned from both of these friends was that life is short and to be grateful for every moment.
See that's just it. I didn't have these huge life events with either of these friends. Instead, it was the daily interactions that make life. The little things.
Three weeks ago Clemson beat Alabama for the national title and I know Mike and Gary enjoyed every second. Three weeks later we are without two good Tigers.
I will never forget them and feel extremely blessed to call them friends. I am a better person today because I was lucky enough to call them friends.
I will miss you guys but know you will watch us defend our title this fall.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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