When Michaels and I left 97X in 1995, we needed a way to let folks know where we were working. Q106 did quite a lot of advertising, but we were kept off the airwaves for the better part of that year. When we returned, we had a great opportunity to work with the best spokesman, and a better guy.

Raymond Jack "Ray" Szmanda spent a day with us, and since he had already done radio and TV for decades, he knew exactly what we were after. An absolute pro during the takes, and re-takes of these commercials, shot on a cold and rainy Quad Cities afternoon. Ray also shared some advice with me about raising a family, and congratulated me on our success in radio. I tried to brush it off, a compliment from a pro like him, but he wouldn't hear it. He knew what it meant to build a unique brand. It was a day I'll never forget.

Ray passed away earlier this week, at the age of 91. A great man and a life well-lived. Thanks for your kind words, Ray, to a couple of nobodies in Iowa all those years ago.