Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hope For Homer

Wednesday November 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Today is only Wednesday the 13th, but it sure is behaving like Friday. I’ve had more bad news in one day than I’ve had in the last six months – and I’ve had a rough six months. First off, I was told that Mike Gumbinger passed away last night. I wasn’t super close with Mike, but I am good friends with his brother Mark and we all watched Packer games together in the last several years.

   Mike has been in and out of hospitals the past few years, and it was a long and painful process. I felt really bad for him, and I know Mark went above and beyond the call of duty to wait on him to the point of sacrificing his own life. It wasn’t easy for anyone, and I’m sad to hear he passed.

   Then this afternoon I received word that my friend Steve “The Homer” True had been involved in a car accident in Milwaukee and was in critical condition. I only received sketchy details, so I called my friend Richard Caan who lives in Milwaukee. I thought he could give me more details.

   He sounded distant when he answered the phone, and I told him what had happened to Homer. He said he had just come from the same hospital, and his mother just passed away. What horrible news all around. It was like an episode of the Twilight Zone. There were eerie vibes everywhere.

   I knew Richard’s mother and she had been sick for a while, but it was still a shock to hear that she’d passed. I saw her not all that long ago, and the 1994 Nissan Sentra that was such a constant source of grief was originally hers. Richard had given it to me with good intentions, but it was an unbelievable money sucker. That wasn’t Richard’s fault, and I am still grateful he thought of me.

   The news of Homer is especially devastating. I can’t begin to say enough good things about all he has done to support me through the years. I met him in the early ‘90s when he came here from Madison, WI to work as a sports talk show host on WISN. I was working at WQFM at the time.

   When I ran my first professional wrestling show in Waukesha, WI in October of 1992, I hired him to be a celebrity guest ring announcer for the main event. He not only did a fantastic job, he refused to accept any pay because he knew the budget was tight. I will never forget him for that.

   Then through the years we stayed in touch, and he would frequently come out to support me at comedy shows when I appeared in Milwaukee. He would pay to get in, and often bring friends as well. There are very few souls anywhere that are that flat out good hearted, but Homer definitely is one of them. Not only that, he can do sports talk and play by play on the radio, and do it well.

   His father is a motivational speaker named Dr. Herb True. One time Homer had his dad call me to offer some encouragement about hanging in there with comedy and I won’t forget him for that either. He didn’t have to do any of it, but time and time again Homer has been a friend in need.

   Whenever I have done a benefit show for any cause – and there have been many – Homer will not only show up, but donate cash out of his pocket. He never asks for a receipt for tax purposes either. He gives from the heart, and his is gigantic. I love the guy, and this news really stings me. What makes it even worse is that today is his birthday. I wrote him a heartfelt note of thanks for all his support, but that was before I heard the news. My deepest wish is that he’ll get to read it.

Steve 'The Homer' True - a heart and talent as big as anyone I've ever seen. He can use your prayers tonight.

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