Twenty years ago today (2/24) we lost a great friend and a cherished radio companion when Rick Honey lost his courageous battle with cancer.
Rick left CKNW in 1997, but afternoon host Jon McComb asked a group of Rick's friends to join him in this tribute shortly after his passing. I was honoured to be there along with Wayne Cox, Neil Soper and Mel Zajac. Another Vancouver broadcast legend, Fred Latremouille, joined us by telephone from Hawaii. My thanks to Larry Gifford, CKNW and Corus Entertainment for permission to replay the show.
How do you sum up Rick's life and the impact he had on all of us? His old friend Wayne Cox said it best:
"I first met Rick when he joined NW to host the 3 to 6 'Road Show' when Brian Forst moved to the morning show. I was hosting the noon to 3 shift, so we crossed over every day, and developed a strong off air relationship as the years went along. Rick would arrive for his shift more often than not, dressed in a jacket and tie. I had to remind him that he didn't have to do that, it was radio! But the truth was, he was usually coming to work after attending meetings or luncheons downtown, and was dressed more for that than his work on the radio. He had a wonderful list of contacts in the city. Rick knew all the powerful and influential people in town, and they all knew him.
Nobody could throw a house party quite like Rick. He had a marvelous way of attracting friends from all walks of life. When you went to a Rick Honey party you never knew who you would meet. There were the obvious radio and TV friends, but you could also be partying with a fisherman from Richmond, a car dealer from Surrey... you just never knew, and it was always a fun night with lots of music and lots of laughs.
I was witness to the early days of Rick's passion for magic. Every day before his shift, and while mine was ending, he'd try out the vanishing coin trick on me, then it was the vanishing foam balls, the silks, it went on and on and he got very good. He started using his magic act as part of his MC work at dinners and conventions. Add to that his gift of comedy, and Rick became the Master of all the masters of ceremonies in this city.
Rick was one of the only 'NW staffers who reached out to me after I left. Always checking in to see how things were going, making sure everything was alright. Something I've never forgotten about him. He was a terrific talent, and a wonderful friend. And he left us way too early."