Thank You Tim Cuprisin

Wednesday November 23rd, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

I was stunned and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Tim Cuprisin today. Tim wrote a column about local media in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for years, and would always give me a generous plug whenever I had any radio career developments to report.

I’m not going to lie and say we were close personal friends, but the few times I did meet him in person he was very friendly and I enjoyed interacting with him. He was intelligent, and interested in learning about the comedy business. My memories of him are pleasant.

He was only 53 years old, which is way to young to die in my opinion. Apparently, he’d been sick for quite some time and I had no idea. The last I’d heard he’d moved on to a job at after taking a buyout from the Journal Sentinel. He’s isn’t the only newspaper person to move on in recent times, and I was glad to see he’d found a gig.

I was always grateful for the mentions in his column, and I made it a point to thank him whenever he did it. I offered him tickets to a show whenever he wanted, but he told me he couldn’t accept because it would be a conflict of interest since he was a reporter. I wasn’t trying to do anything but say thanks, but I respected him even more for being so ethical.

I’m glad I took the time to thank him, because at least I got to let him know how much I appreciated his kindness. Nobody ever thinks it’s going to be the last time there’ll be any contact with a particular person, and there are meaningful feelings left unsaid. Too late.

Sometimes it’s something profound. Sometimes it’s something simple but emotionally powerful like “I love you.” Sometimes it’s something simple like “Thank you.” Too many people take it for granted that another person knows what the first person is feeling. It has to be said or written, and it has to be done while the person is alive or it‘s wasted energy.

How many times has someone died unexpectedly, and the first thing the living think of is the very last encounter they had? Was it positive? Was there an argument? Whatever it was, that was the last chance there was in this lifetime to communicate with that person.

I was on good terms with Tim Cuprisin, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I feel badly he was so sick, and sure hope his pain was minimal. I had only pleasant memories and a positive opinion of him, but he won’t get a chance to know that now, and that doesn’t seem fair to me. Why does it take death to bring this out?

Duane Gay was another Milwaukee media person I knew, although not that well. We’d gone to a couple of Brewers games with our mutual friend Mark Shilobrit, and he was an unbelievably nice guy. When I heard he passed from cancer, I had the same exact feeling.

We shared some laughs at a ballgame, but weren’t close friends. Still, it ripped my heart out to hear he died so young and in so much pain. The same with Tim Cuprisin. It hurts to hear of this, and I send all good vibes to his family and friends. I wish this life was fair.


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