Remembering Don West
If anyone knows me and my work routine for the past 15 years, you’ll know that - on Friday’s - I’m here in the KPQ building well past 5pm.
Five o’clock on Friday was a special time for Don West.
Its Friday. It's 5pm.
KPQ segways over to the top of the hour headlines from ABC NEWS.
Don's local sports show, that aired weekdays from 2-5pm, on Wenatchee's Newsradio 560 KPQ has wrapped up.
Our boy, DW would wander the hallway - to his office and set down his headphones.
Don would next grab his black leather coat and briefcase.
He'd then close his office door.
Saying bye to Laura, our General Manager was something he would do - each and every day for five years.
Before leaving the building, Don would see me in the KW3 studio -
“CONNOR, WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? It's Friday. Go home to your family”
He’d describe what would happen when he'd arrive to his place - Friday afternoon - after work
“Terri has dinner ready. She’ll meet me in the driveway with a martini - and buddy boy - our weekend begins!
He'd walk out the front door with his voice trailing off
"Seeya Monday! Don’t work so hard!”
I'd picture what would happen next.
20 minutes later, his car would arrive home - the gravel driveway crinkling - announcing his arrival - Out the door comes his wife Terri, with a drink in hand and a kiss and a hug for our boy Don.
Don first arrived in the Wenatchee area about 12 years ago with the TNA Wresting National tour. The year is 2010.
I was at that TNA Wresting event with my morning co-host Latashja at the Town Toyota Center
I didn’t get to meet him that night, but I would eventually get to know him, after he accepted a job to promote Wenatchee Wild hockey in 2012.
He routinely came in and would create havoc on the KW3 morning show.
It was brilliant.
I wished I could experience that again.
Don made Wenatchee Wild hockey a HUGE EVENT.
- we all felt compelled to go and attend -
Attendance for the Wild was high and for good reason. They had the best darn pitchman on the planet promoting them.
Don West joined KPQ in 2016.
This is when i got to see and experience D-dub most every day.
For the next five years - Don would:
* Tell amazing stories
* Loudly voice a commercial from behind a closed door - My favorite? - His spot for D and L Army Surplus Store - WHERE SHOPPING IS A BLAST! (EXPLOSION SOUND)
* Tell me that the boss (or a random client) was extremely upset with me - He'd say it with so much conviction - that at first - would scare the poop outta me. After awhile, I'd realize he was only pulling my leg. He was such a good prankster. Don loved to prank ya.
* Go live on KW3 for one of his beloved clients (Bubly sparking water was one of them) And Don would sell me and everyone listening to - stop by the store on the way home and pick up a container of Bubly - as if our very life depended on it.
* Watch his beloved Chicago Cubs win the World Series. He didn't show up to work for a few days after that.
Me: "Don what was it like for you and Terri when the Cubs won?"
Don: "We cried - we drank - and we cried some more"
* Tell me what is was like to be parodied on SNL by Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan and Robert Downey Jr. (all three were using the famous Don West Shop at Home Network selling schtick in the sketch)
Laura Gooch, our General Manager said this about Don:
"He brought so much energy and laughter to our building and we were very lucky to have him as a part of our broadcasting family. He was a walking sports encyclopedia, a music aficionado, and a television and movie buff; and he loved sharing his afternoons with KPQ's listeners on The Don West Show. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Don's beautiful wife, Terri, and his entire family".