Central Texas Said Goodbye to One of it’s Voices Today
Last week longtime DJ Chris Cummings passed away. He was on Central Texas radio for many years, including this station multiple times. He had suffered a stroke a few years ago, and retired from the job, but never the life.
Today was his memorial and a few of us told a few stories about the man who was our friend. Here was my story.
Kindness. Kind. These were the words most commonly used to describe Chris last week on Facebook. That is a good way to describe him.
I met Chris the first year I moved down here at HEB’s Feast of Sharing. I was the new guy so I got the garbage detail. No, seriously, it was emptying garbage cans. Chris was doing weekends at the T.V. station as the “Weather Guy”. Do we all remember Chris’s description of a “Wad” of showers? Priceless.
Chris volunteered to help me on my detail, and I thought,
“Man, that’s nice of. Oh. You’re a smoker.”
So our detail took a little longer than normal. Chris asked me where I was from, and when I said North Dakota, he laughed until hacked up the last pack of cigs he smoked. He then started to school me on the greatness of Texas A&M, and how UT was crap. I asked him about Texas Tech, and he again laughed up another pack.
Over the years, Chris would be hired and fired at the radio station, which was entertaining in itself.
Years later, when Chris was working at the station and we were taking our hourly smoke & joke breaks, it came out that I’d yet to go to Austin.
Chris couldn’t believe it. Six years and never been to Austin? Yep, I’ve driven through once on the way to San Antonio, and that was 12 hours of my life I was never getting back. He agreed the traffic was horrible, but I should at least stop in town once.
Told him I’m afraid of big cities. A person is smart, people are stupid. The more “people”, the dumber the town. Remember, they don’t call it a “Lynch Person”, it’s a Lynch Mob.
The next week he came and said he’s signed us up for an improve class in Austin. “It’ll be great.” He said. He went to the show on Saturday night and he said he hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. Well, it took some convincing, but I agreed to do it.
It was on Wednesday Nights at 7:30. The first night, I got off at 5, and started to drive to Belton to pick up Chris. My car didn’t have air conditioning, so I had my window down, when suddenly my lap was full poop. No, it wasn’t me, it was a bird. A bird pooped while flying, and it hit me inside my car. I lost it. I called Chris and said God just told me to go home. A bird pooped on me inside a moving car! When he stopped laughing he told me that a bird pooping on me was good luck. He turned on the charm and talked me off the ledge. I drove home and changed clothes and started out again. We made it to downtown Austin, met the class, and had a good time.
Money was tight for Chris during this time, but he ponied up for 3 classes of improve. We would go early and hit the town. He’d take me to famous food places. We saw the bats take off from under Congress Bridge. After class we’d hit the McDonalds on the way home for a crappy meal as we’d discuss the people in the class with us. I liked the smart girls, he liked the girl who could put her feet behind her head. It was a weird class, but what would you expect in Austin.
Later, Chris would say it was the biggest waste of money he ever spent. I’d just nod and smile, but now, looking back, it was the best money I ever spent, because, for one night a week for 5 months, I got to spend 6 hours with my friend. A friend who took the time, and money, to help me get over my fear of big cities. Kindness. Yes, that was Chris Cummings.