How do I say goodbye to an old friend?

He was more than a La Crosse media rival.
He was a longtime friend.
From the time he knocked over a typewriter on his first night on the job in our old newsroom office, to the times we shared a radio studio, and to the final road trip we took together for a basketball tournament game, he and I always got along extremely well.
It was a perfect match in those days. While he provided on-air radio coverage, it was my job to report the news in written form. He drove while I pecked away on my old typewriter with a flashlight in my mouth. Then we stopped at a bar or restaurant, called the office, and I dictated my story to make deadline for the next day’s newspaper. There were no cellphones back then.
In those days, it was traditional “them against us,” media wars between newspaper, radio and TV as we attempted to be the first to get the latest scoop. He and I had a pact. If one of us got the scoop and reported it, we always had the courtesy to let the other know what we had.
We not only shared the same WKTY van, but also countless hotel/motel rooms and golf courses at media events through the years. It didn’t matter what event, time or place. Whether it was Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers media days, or corporate events right here in God’s Country, we were together for it all.
He was one of the first to call and console me after learning I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on May 8, 2015.
I wish I would have been the first to call him after he suffered a stroke, and then a sudden heart attack a couple years later.
We drifted apart the last two years, but I prayed for him each and every day and I know he prayed for me, too.
There aren’t enough hours to share all the stories we produced back in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s.
When I called one of our longtime friends Jamie Thibodeau last week, Jamie told me to say an extra prayer for our friend. According to Jamie, our friend was now suffering from leukemia and his time on earth was growing short.
I, and I’m sure all of his friends, said many more prayers in the last week. However, God chose to take our friend to his heavenly home.
I know he is in a much better place now. That’s the best part.
God Bless You Always Mike “Mikey” Kearns! I know I will see you again some day.
Your old friend, Bob Lamb

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