A couple years ago, Sandy Davis read my columns and insisted to her husband, Randy, that he have me on his morning radio show.
I had never met either of them.
Randy invited me to be on WLAQ radio on a Tuesday morning to talk about that day’s column in the Rome News-Tribune. We hit it off immediately. We talked about the column, but then he started asking me questions about a host of other things and I suppose he enjoyed my sarcasm or my willingness to make a fool of myself just to get a laugh.
As soon as that first hour was over, he asked me to come back the following Tuesday.
I became his Tuesday morning guest on “Later This Morning with Randy Davis” from 9-10 a.m.
Listeners (and later viewers on Facebook Live) seemed to enjoy our banter. I was the irreverent, potty-mouthed guest and Randy was the older, wiser and much more well behaved host. We played off each other well and people loved that I never held back with Randy. I love and respect him but on the radio I gave him hell.
The show got so popular that one Tuesday I came in and Randy had arranged for someone to make a new banner for the show. It read THE SEVERO SHOW and then, below that in tiny letters, it said ... with Randy Davis.
I asked him why he had done that. This was his show. Every weekday morning from 9-10 a.m. was “Later this Morning with Randy Davis.” Why change it up on Tuesday?
He said “because I’m an old man and you’re the star of the show.”
He was letting me have the spotlight even though it was his show on his radio station and these were his listeners.
That’s the kind of man Randy Davis is. He doesn’t crave the spotlight. He doesn’t need to call attention to himself.
Randy is in the hospital now and it’s a worrisome time for his family and friends. He fell last week in downtown Rome and was seriously injured. He is on life support. But we’re hoping that the wonderful care he’s receiving will lead to recovery.
I lovingly referred to our weekly radio show as “Tuesdays with Randy,” my spoof on the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” in which a younger man loses track of his college professor from 20 years ago. He discovers Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life and their rekindled friendship leads to some pretty important life lessons.
So I would always joke that the radio show was “Tuesdays with Randy” because I had to “put up” with Randy’s being hard of hearing and his complete lack of tech knowledge and his penchant for saying things that were perhaps not the most politically correct. But of course those were all things I enjoyed because it made our show enjoyable for those who let us into their homes for an hour on Tuesday mornings.
Randy is a giant in this community.
His tremendous contributions to local and area media and sports are just the tip of the iceberg. He’s been a recipient of the Heart of the Community Award, he’s been the grand marshal of the Christmas Parade and he’s got dozens and dozens of other awards and certificates recognizing his years of service and contributions to so many local organizations.
I know this because during breaks in the radio show each week, I’d go into his office and just look around at the walls and see all the accolades he’s collected over the years — from prestigious organizations recognizing his efforts to Little League teams thanking him for his support. He’s done it all. He’s helped in a million tiny ways.
I’d like folks to know that there’s an old man lying in a hospital bed right now who, in his quiet way, has done more for this community than most. His body may not be as strong now as it was, but there was a time when he was full of life and energy. And he used that energy to make our community a better place.
He did it silently and without fanfare. He did it because he loves Rome and Floyd County and not for any recognition. He did it because it’s in his nature to be kind and generous and to help when help is needed.
I don’t know why Randy and I have formed such a great friendship. We have completely different personalities. We have completely different interests and Lord knows his kindness and gentleness shouldn’t mesh with my biting sarcasm and constantly putting my foot in my mouth. Maybe I’m some sort of mission work he’s undertaken.
But whatever the reason, I would like y’all to know that Randy is in the fight of his life right now and it would comfort his family to know that the community he has done so much for is now remembering him in their prayers.
Every Tuesday morning when we get done with the radio show, Randy says to me as I leave the studio, “Be young, be foolish, be happy” and I didn’t realize until I looked it up recently that those are the lyrics to a song. Those are the opening lines and the next verse says ...
“Don’t let the rain get you down, it’s a waste of time, a waste of time. Have your fun, live every day in the bright sunshine, the bright sunshine.”
Randy would hate to think that his present situation was bringing anyone down. So let’s enjoy the bright sunshine. For Randy. And let’s be young, be foolish and be happy just for him.