Friday, January 24, 2014 is Dave Chaffin's last day behind the microphone at KGAB. Dave has decided to step aside and spend time with his family.

I remember the summer of 2001, when Dave came to me with this idea about doing a local morning talk show on KGAB. He asked me if I wanted to be a part of it and, of course, I said yes. Thusly, the "Morning Zone" was born. We went live in August 2001 with Dave running the show and me as the sidekick. Dave was a natural behind the microphone. He could talk with anyone about almost any topic. He always kept his cool, whether he agreed or not. He also would challenge people when necessary in a thoughtful way.

In September 2001, Dave went on vacation and I filled in. I thought it would be no problem, but let me tell you that first morning in front of the microphone I was in a panic. I realized Dave had made it look so easy, but it wasn't easy at all.

I was filling in for Dave on September 11, 2001 when we first heard the news about the planes hitting the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Dave was at Denver International Airport at the time, and called in to report on what he saw there. He and his family came back to Cheyenne. Dave drove to the studios to immediately take over the coverage on KGAB until we turned it over to our Denver Affiliate. I remember the panic around the station on 9\11, but Dave was calm and professional--and never lost focus.

Dave and I also worked together during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Or, more specifically, Dave worked while I was stuck at home due to one of those huge March snowstorms that shut down the city for several days. Dave still managed to be there everyday.

As the years went by, the show continued to grow, largely due to Dave. We started out with mostly local guests, but Dave soon began to book some national guests and experts. The show grew. It was never dull. The Morning Zone even has a paragraph on Wikipedia.

It won't surprise anyone to find out that Dave is more conservative that I am, and sometimes we did not see eye to eye on things. Regardless of that, he always respected my point of view. That is what made him such a great host. Dave gets people. And he respects them.

Let's also not forget about "Rodeo on the Radio" with Dave and his pal Wayne Spencer. Once again Dave was always prepared and always upbeat--even on those extremely hot days when the sun was beating down on the broadcast booth. Dave could interview a politician one minute and a rodeo queen the next. Never flinching, and never skipping a beat.

Dave Chaffin, Wayne Spencer and Ira McKillip with Rodeo On The Radio

On a personal note, I will miss Dave tremendously. He taught me how to be a better radio host and to be patient and tolerant with people. I guess he taught me how to be a better person. So, Dave, I leave you with this quote from one of my favorite childhood books:

"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”  (J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan)

We'll miss you here in the studio.