A Rush Listener Remembers

 

On Wednesday morning, Feb. 17, 2021, I remember turning on the radio to listen to “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” My wife was with me, and when she heard Rush’s wife, Kathryn’s, voice, she grabbed my hand and started to cry. Instinctively, she knew the news Kathryn was about to impart. I believe I was in denial, as I tried to reassure my wife that Kathryn was on to let Rush’s listeners know about his health status. It had been awhile since he had hosted his show, and I just knew his cancer treatments were taking a toll but that he would be back soon. To my dismay, my wife was correct.

Even though I knew that day would come, you can never prepare for such gut-wrenching news. In my world, “The Rush Limbaugh Show” was an almost daily occurrence. I counted on his wisdom and wit to help me repel the liberal, biased media bombardment conservatives endure. I took it for granted that he would always be there, advocating for traditional American values, shining light into the darkness and deceit in which liberals and progressives operate. With all the obstacles he overcame during his career and life, surely he could beat back his cancer. But God had other plans. His talent he loaned Rush was now due, and in God’s infinite wisdom, it was time for Rush to come home.

I’ve heard and read how Rush saved AM radio, how his success helped others start their professions in talk radio. Many testimonials were written and spoken by recipients of Rush’s generosity and his influence in helping others with their careers and success. I am what you might call a Rush enthusiast. I never met him, never phoned into his show, never was a recipient of a new iPhone. However, I was a three-hour-a-day listener, a great admirer of his insights, out-of-the-box thinking, fantastic wit, and sense of humor. Even with, as he said, “half my brain tied behind my back — just to make it fair,” liberals and media elites never stood a chance. He eviscerated their arguments and revealed their banality. Rush’s montages of media personalities and liberal politicians repeating the exact phrases and descriptions are classic. (Remember former Vice President Dick Cheney’s “gravitas.”)

He was the Maha Rushie, America’s Anchorman, El Rushbo, and the Doctor of Democracy. He was a practitioner of go big or go home. He was also an anchor for me, keeping me steady in a stormy sea of liberal lies, distortions, and obfuscations. His exhortation to the mainstream media of “Do not panic — your show prep will continue” reaffirmed that Rush would be right back after an “obscene profit break.”

I was fortunate that I had a U.S. Postal Service city letter-carrier job. During the majority of my career, I had a mounted delivery route. This meant that I delivered mail to customers’ mailboxes from my truck. Because of this, I could put my radio on and listen to Rush for his show’s total of three hours. I hated delivering a parcel or a letter to a customer’s door during Rush’s show. It required me to leave my vehicle and radio. When I approached a customer’s house that I knew had a parcel, I often hoped my timing would have me pull up to the house just as Rush went to a commercial break.

I shared Rush’s love of the Christmas season. As a city letter carrier, I felt I was an intrinsic part of the Christmas spirit. Delivering cards, letters, and packages (even with wrong addresses, as I knew all my customers’ names and correct addresses) made me feel like one of Santa’s helpers. I enjoyed how my customers would decorate their homes and see their family and friends come to visit. It was the spirit of the season. Even when vehicles blocked mailboxes, I would happily dismount my postal vehicle and ensure I delivered the Christmas mail to each mailbox. Yes, even the advertisements!

Part of delivering mail at this time of year also meant I could listen to Rush play Mannheim Steamroller Christmas tunes as Rush’s bumper music. When Rush would say his year-end goodbye right before Christmas, the song he played in the background was Mannheim Steamroller’s rendition of “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”). While that played in the background, Rush, never taking us for granted, would humbly and earnestly thank his millions of listeners for all the support and kindness he felt from us. I’m sure his millions of listeners were also thanking him in their hearts for being there behind the EIB Network microphone.

When Rush finished his thank-you and “Stille Nacht” came to a close, a contradiction of emotions fell upon me. I was happy to hear Rush give his year-end remarks, but I was also sad that I couldn’t listen to him again until the following year began. I thought of Rush like family, and now he was gone for Christmas. I know it was his time to spend with his family and friends, but I still longed to hear his voice.

Little did I know that last Christmas would be Rush’s final Christmas. Again, he thanked his loyal listeners and discussed how he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep doing his show. I feel sorrow come over me during this Christmas when I hear Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music but especially when I hear “Stille Nacht.” Rush is gone — my adviser, truth detector, and warrior. He is up in heaven this Christmas, celebrating our savior’s birth with the man himself. Congratulations, Rush, you took great care of the talent loaned to you from God.

There once was a man from Missouri
Some described him as mean and quite surly
But his wisdom and wit
Made libs have a fit
He was taken from us way too early

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There are 18 comments.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/02/17/grief-my-hero-is-gone/

    Thanks.  I did a number of tribute posts on my personal blog in February.

    • #1
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I’m only a few paragraphs in. Thank you. 

    • #2
  3. PostalSage Member
    PostalSage
    @PostalSage

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/02/17/grief-my-hero-is-gone/

    Thanks. I did a number of tribute posts on my personal blog in February.

    I read your post from the above link. Very moving.  

    I guess I felt moved to write my tribute now since this is the first Christmas I cannot hear Rush’s voice.  I do miss him dearly.

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    PostalSage (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/02/17/grief-my-hero-is-gone/

    Thanks. I did a number of tribute posts on my personal blog in February.

    I read your post from the above link. Very moving.

    I guess I felt moved to write my tribute now since this is the first Christmas I cannot hear Rush’s voice. I do miss him dearly.

    Thanks, and I agree.  I have a whopper of a year-end post in the making.  It will be hard to write, but necessary.  We need him now more than ever, don’t we?

    • #4
  5. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    A great tribute. Rush was a staple for me too. I think he was the most insightful political commentator of the last three decades. He had his finger on the pulse of the Republican base, he knew people and he loved people. A great loss.

    • #5
  6. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    PostalSage (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/02/17/grief-my-hero-is-gone/

    Thanks. I did a number of tribute posts on my personal blog in February.

    I read your post from the above link. Very moving.

    I guess I felt moved to write my tribute now since this is the first Christmas I cannot hear Rush’s voice. I do miss him dearly.

    Thanks, and I agree. I have a whopper of a year-end post in the making. It will be hard to write, but necessary. We need him now more than ever, don’t we?

    I look forward to reading that, Rushbabe. I quote him almost daily. 

    • #6
  7. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    One memory prompted by the Founder’s show the other night was that of February 13, 2012. That morning Ricochet published a piece by Hillsdale professor Paul Rahe titled “The Catholic Church’s Pact with the Devil.”

    Rush picked up the piece and read it almost word for word. The longer he read the more people tried to access it. Rush crashed our server. 

     

    From Rush’s website in 2012.

    I wasn’t an employee then but I was doing some freelance artwork and was texting Scott about it.

    “.. I can’t get into specifics, but let’s just say many tens of thousands of people have visited the site (and crashed it numerous times) over the course of the past couple of hours.”

    That was still Ricochet 1.o. The article is no longer accessible. Rush’s monologue was on YouTube at one time but, it too, has disappeared.

    • #7
  8. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    EJHill (View Comment):

    One memory prompted by the Founder’s show the other night was that of February 13, 2012. That morning Ricochet published a piece by Hillsdale professor Paul Rahe titled “The Catholic Church’s Pact with the Devil.”

    Rush picked up the piece and read it almost word for word. The longer he read the more people tried to access it. Rush crashed our server.

     

     

    From Rush’s website in 2012.

    I wasn’t an employee then but I was doing some freelance artwork and was texting Scott about it.

    “.. I can’t get into specifics, but let’s just say many tens of thousands of people have visited the site (and crashed it numerous times) over the course of the past couple of hours.”

    That was still Ricochet 1.o. The article is no longer accessible. Rush’s monologue was on YouTube at one time but, it too, has disappeared.

    Heh.  You got Rushdotted!

    • #8
  9. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    I’m sure Rush is the reason I finally ponied up for a membership. I’d be listening to the podcast. Rush referenced several Ricochet articles. I figured if it is good enough for Rush, it’s good enough for me. 

    • #9
  10. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    BDB (View Comment):
    Heh.  You got Rushdotted!

    Rushlanched.

    • #10
  11. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    I was not a daily listener, but tuned in once or twice a week. I miss him more than I thought I would. 

    • #11
  12. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    Started listening when I stopped working 9-5 day shift in 1995 and switched to nights. It always irked me to hear commentators who obviously never listened to the show describe him as ‘Spewing Hate’  when most of the show was humor , laughing at humorless liberals. 

    • #12
  13. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    I started listening to talk radio in 1983 in San Diego. It was a local show, and I enjoyed the conversations people were having. We moved to another state (briefly) a couple of years later, and one afternoon I was picking up the children from elementary school when I heard this guy on my car radio talking about “caller abortions”… the sound of a vacuum cleaner came on, and the voice of the person who had been talking to the host was no longer there. It was a bit much to have on with my kids (five of them, 3–11), but believe me…I tuned in the next day to find out who this show host was because he was hilarious! Yup…I was hooked at the beginning–it was 1988.  

    None of my children grew up to like him. I don’t know why. He was hilarious! And as so many people pointed out to Rush:  “You are just saying what I already think, but in a waaaay more articulate fashion than I could say it.”  There were very few times when I disagreed with Rush’s “take” on something. Almost always, he was saying out loud what conservatives already knew and understood. When I started teaching school full-time, I’d listen to his show later on my computer. Hurray for modern technology!

    I miss him constantly. There is no replacement.  

     

    • #13
  14. PostalSage Member
    PostalSage
    @PostalSage

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    I started listening to talk radio in 1983 in San Diego. It was a local show, and I enjoyed the conversations people were having. We moved to another state (briefly) a couple of years later, and one afternoon I was picking up the children from elementary school when I heard this guy on my car radio talking about “caller abortions”… the sound of a vacuum cleaner came on, and the voice of the person who had been talking to the host was no longer there. It was a bit much to have on with my kids (five of them, 3–11), but believe me…I tuned in the next day to find out who this show host was because he was hilarious! Yup…I was hooked at the beginning–it was 1988.

    None of my children grew up to like him. I don’t know why. He was hilarious! And as so many people pointed out to Rush: “You are just saying what I already think, but in a waaaay more articulate fashion than I could say it.” There were very few times when I disagreed with Rush’s “take” on something. Almost always, he was saying out loud what conservatives already knew and understood. When I started teaching school full-time, I’d listen to his show later on my computer. Hurray for modern technology!

    I miss him constantly. There is no replacement.

     

    I agree there is no replacement.  Rush was part of my daily routine, and I felt such a loss when he passed away.  He was so appreciative of the talent loaned to him by God – he knew his capacity to decipher all the nonsense spewed by the liberal politicians and the liberal press was uncanny, and his abilities could have only come from God above.  I think Rush’s generosity and kindness were also gifts from God.  

    I feel privileged to have lived in a time where I could hear him on the radio and benefit from his wisdom.

    • #14
  15. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    • #15
  16. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    PostalSage (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    I started listening to talk radio in 1983 in San Diego. It was a local show, and I enjoyed the conversations people were having. We moved to another state (briefly) a couple of years later, and one afternoon I was picking up the children from elementary school when I heard this guy on my car radio talking about “caller abortions”… the sound of a vacuum cleaner came on, and the voice of the person who had been talking to the host was no longer there. It was a bit much to have on with my kids (five of them, 3–11), but believe me…I tuned in the next day to find out who this show host was because he was hilarious! Yup…I was hooked at the beginning–it was 1988.

    None of my children grew up to like him. I don’t know why. He was hilarious! And as so many people pointed out to Rush: “You are just saying what I already think, but in a waaaay more articulate fashion than I could say it.” There were very few times when I disagreed with Rush’s “take” on something. Almost always, he was saying out loud what conservatives already knew and understood. When I started teaching school full-time, I’d listen to his show later on my computer. Hurray for modern technology!

    I miss him constantly. There is no replacement.

     

    I agree there is no replacement. Rush was part of my daily routine, and I felt such a loss when he passed away. He was so appreciative of the talent loaned to him by God – he knew his capacity to decipher all the nonsense spewed by the liberal politicians and the liberal press was uncanny, and his abilities could have only come from God above. I think Rush’s generosity and kindness were also gifts from God.

    I feel privileged to have lived in a time where I could hear him on the radio and benefit from his wisdom.

    I listened off and on for about ten years. I do not recall Rush ever being intentionally rude to a caller. The same cannot be said of the likes of Levin, Ingraham, Hannity, or those who substituted for them. 

    • #16
  17. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I spoke to him. He was a very gracious host, and I cherish that conversation. 

    • #17
  18. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Thank you for writing, PostalSage. I was missing Rush acutely on the 23rd between 12 and 3. I woke up Christmas Eve morning thinking of him. This first Christmas without the voice of this brother of mine who I just hadn’t personally met is very hard.

    It’s true that he was an outstanding steward of the talent on loan to him from God.

    • #18
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