There are a pair of empty shoes in Dallas, TX. I imagine they are sitting in a dark closet or box somewhere with, perhaps, the smallest of lights shining through a window, shining through a crease in the closet door, and shining into a tiny hole in the box. Even with a hint of light, these shoes probably cannot help but mourn for their owner. I don’t blame them for longing for the man that filled them. That man kept them so busy and gave them such purpose. The soles of these shoes spent every day with that man, supporting his feet on his career path as he led his team and created one of the most entertaining, heart-filled, and successful morning radio shows heard all across America. These shoes sustained that man’s passionate stride when he took the spiritual journey that led him to giving birth to the charity that would allow children with chronic and/or terminal illnesses and their families to go to Disney World each year. These shoes did have the opportunity to relax, though, as that man sat and did his radio show and became a regular part of my life between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. That man made me laugh, he made me cry, and he inspired and motivated me during difficult times in my life.
That man was Kidd Kraddick.
He died right here in New Orleans during his charity, Kidd’s Kids, golf tournament on July 27, 2013. While I heard the initial news reports loud and clear, read the Internet stories often, and listen to the show currently, I still cannot believe it. I wake up every morning thinking and feeling, “I cannot believe Kidd Kraddick is gone!” I know I am not alone in this feeling, for he had many fans and touched countless lives. This blog post is dedicated to all of you, as well as to Kidd Kraddick.
In May of 2003, my dad died, and I turned to Kidd’s show for laughs and inspiration more than ever. He delivered. Thank you, Kidd.
In 2004, I had my first “real” job, and Kidd Kraddick’s show kept me company every morning as I got ready for work and on my commute. I often found myself crying as much as laughing while listening to the show. One of the most memorable shows was around Christmas time. People were calling to share that loved ones would not be able to buy Christmas for their families, so Kidd put an “all call” out to his listeners to help provide Christmas to these families that would otherwise not be able to have a Christmas dinner, a Christmas tree, or presents to open Christmas morning. Kidd made that happen. People needed Christmas. Christmas was delivered. Thank you, Kidd.
The year of Hurricane Katrina, Kidd Kraddick came to New Orleans and aired his show from Cafe’ Du Monde in the French Quarter to let listeners all across America know exactly what was going on in the New Orleans area since the storm, and he was also raising money and meeting needs any and every way he could through his show. I was able to attend and let his listeners know all about CASA Jefferson and the foster children who needed advocates to represent them. Many listeners were interested in advocacy and called in wanting to know how they could help CASA Jefferson because of his show that day. Foster children needed advocates. They were delivered. Thank you, Kidd.
Since having Nathaniel, I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show nearly as much as I used to listen. However, on the drive to those early morning doctor’s appointments, and other occasions I happen to be able to actually listen to a morning radio show, I have and do listen to it. It never fails to entertain or inspire me. I may not be able to listen every day, but some things will always be true and near and dear to my heart. I have been and will always proudly be a member of two other nations in addition to the good ‘ole USA – the Who Dat Nation and Kidd Nation.
I was very glad the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show was not cancelled, and I sincerely hope no one tries to take his place. To fill his empty shoes would be a tall task. It is a task that would have to start in that box in that dark closet and follow the hint of light up to the heavens…up to only Kidd Kraddick, himself. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking up always to remember my dad and other loved ones who have gone to soon. I’ll be looking up to remember Kidd Kraddick and all the wonderful things he did while he was here. Sometimes, I’ll “Keep looking up, because that’s where it all is.”