MARK: Let us go to Dayton, Nevada, and Fran. Fran, you’re up first on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
CALLER: Boy, what a blessing. I’ve been blessed twice today. I’m fighting back the tears. I’m sorry.
MARK: You can let them flow, Fran. We’re all… We’re all a bit like that, and there’s no shame in that. Even as a disembodied voice on your radio set, Rush was the best friend to millions of Americans.
CALLER: He… (choking up) He definitely was mine. It’s… It’s a joy to be able to talk to you. I grew up in Sacramento where, in my opinion, it all started for Rush.
CALLER: At KFBK. And I grew up there, and he taught us all. And he changed us all (choking up), and I remember so many times over the years him having a little fun with Rio Linda.
CALLER: He’d always say — he’d always say — “And, for those of you in Rio Linda, it means this.”
CALLER: Rio Linda was just across town from Sacramento from me. I feel so blessed to have learned so much from this icon. And this man at the end, the last while before his demise, the humility that this man showed can’t be forgotten. This man, as great as he was, knew that in the big scheme of things he was a little fish in a big pond. But he taught all of us so much, and he transformed my entire family. (deep breath) Blessings to Kathryn. What a great man. I… I… I don’t know where else to go with it, Mark, other than thank you for taking my call, and it’s a blessing to be able to talk to you as well.
MARK: No, thank you, Fran, and you’re absolutely right about the way… I’ve talked about this before, but the way Rush handled this last terrible year and his humility, as you put it, in front of a… He had a grand and glorious life, and that is what we should be celebrating. As he always said, it was just terrific, and he made sure to let you know. That’s why he talked about the cigars and the planes and the big sporting events and flying to Hollywood to do Seth MacFarlane’s TV show.
He wanted everybody to know what a grand and glorious story this was, and when it turned out to have a complete stinker of an ending, he faced that with the same kind of absolute honesty as the one and only mayor of Realville. Realville has retired that position. It is held in abeyance, as they say, of the great aristocratic families in the Almanach de Gotha. There are no more mayors of Realville. He is as real as it gets. Thank you so much for that call, Fran. 800-282-2882.
And don’t forget that on Monday you’ll be able to speak directly to Kathryn about what Rush means to you.
MARK: Chad, you’re on America’s number-one radio show.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Mark.
MARK: My pleasure.
CALLER: Yeah, I wanted to tell this story. I always wanted to tell it to Rush. Sadly, I wasn’t able to, but I’m glad I can tell it to you. In 1989, I turned 16. I got my first automobile, and it only had an AM radio. So trying to find something, I found Rush, and it didn’t take long listening to it, I got hooked.
And the wisdom that he gave and the influence… I remember my first election I was old enough to vote was George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And his facts and wisdom steered me to vote for George H. W. Bush, because I was graduating high school. I was worried about Clinton’s free trade policies and how it could destroy America’s working class. And not just that. Through the years, he made it fun. I enjoyed his little sayings, like “half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair.”
MARK: Oh, yeah.
CALLER: Or his parodies. I’m a truck driver. I remember my favorite parody always was Barney Frank, The Banking Queen. I remember laughing so hard I about went into the ditch.
MARK: (impression) “I am the Banking Queen.” (laughing) Don’t try that while you’re driving, Chad.
CALLER: No. That’s for sure. Through the years, one thing, you know he would never endorse a candidate. He would give you the facts and let everybody else decide what was best that they wanted. I’m 47 now, and just thinking about it, 30 of those 47 years, I had Rush. And he… I’m trying not to be emotional on it, but I know one thing. He will deeply, deeply be missed. But I know for me, he’ll never be forgotten.
MARK: There are millions like you, Chad, who discovered Rush 1988, 1991, 1989, 1994, and as the years go by, he has just been a daily part of millions of people’s lives. And you were the perfect age to find him at 16 years old on a car which had only AM radio. I’ll tell you something scary, Chad. In continental Europe now, the new cars, they don’t even come with AM radio, because they’ve got nothing on AM radio.
In the United States, you have Rush and all the people who labor in Rush’s shadow. But who knows? If you were a 16-year-old getting your first car in Sweden or Finland or Slovenia, you wouldn’t have the opportunities you had all those years ago when you bought your first car with just that lousy old AM radio and found something that changed your life on it. Thank you so much for that call, Chad. There were millions of Chads across this land.