Lafayette Loses Radio Legend
A veteran broadcaster and educator passed away over the weekend.
I was out on vacation since Wednesday, so I did not get the news of the passing of Dave Milner until a co-worker told me today, after the services were complete.
Only another broadcaster can truly appreciate the impact that Dave Milner had on all of us radiophiles and the listeners.
My love for radio predates my memory, but I do know that Dave (from his "Michael and Milner" days) played a big part in solidifying that passion, all through the "magic" of radio. He was the guy that I would mimic on bus rides to school, and while listening to the Friday night football games. I actually won a radio contest one morning, and that afternoon my mom brought me to the radio station to pick up my prize, but Dave was gone for the day. :(
When "Anthony Keith" LeBlanc gave me my first job in radio, it was at KROF, overnight (midnight to 6am). I stayed later than I needed to after that first shift so that I could be in the building when Dave arrived for work (I was like a school kid, all giddy and nervous when I met him).
I only worked overnights for 9 months or so, but I would try to stick around the radio station at least once per week, just to get to stand and watch Huey Darby and Dave do their morning show together. Dave did news and sports, and was somewhat of the "straight guy" to Huey's antics, but, given the opportunity, Dave was very witty, and could whip out a joke with the best of them.
After those nine months, I was promoted to the evening show, so I only got to see Dave when I had a remote broadcast or when the station held an event.
After a couple of years of doing the evening show, I was promoted to replace Huey as half of the morning show team. The other half? Dave Milner. Still one of the highlights of my career.
He juggled his radio career with his teaching career, having taught at at USL, UL, LSU (Eunice) and at Northwestern in Natchitoches.
Upon hearing of his passing, some of his former co-workers left comments on the Acadiana Broadcast Legends Facebook Page:
Shawn: Dave was a good guy. I enjoyed working with him at KROF. Sad to hear of another KROF loss. RIP friend.
Mary: Only another broadcaster can truly appreciate the impact that Dave Milner had on all of us radiophiles and the listeners.
Larry: I worked with Dave at KROF. Last time I saw Dave was when I was working at KSMB, Anthony Keith, Dave and I went to lunch. He was still Dave! I would play so many pranks on Dave while at KROF that made him so angry with us. I say US, because he would call Bobby Novosad and I, DAMN KIDS! He was fun! While at KROF, We'd have poker night at Keith's house about once a month- Garland Bernard, Dave, myself and Keith would get together and play poker! He was a fun guy, and always witty! RIP DAVE!
Sean: Larry, I remember those days well! Dave and I did afternoons together on KASC in 1984 and 1985, and I'll always remember our conversations while the music played - and how I'd make him laugh doing stupid voices...he and Paula (Dave's late wife) both were very supportive after Daddy died in February of 1985 - but Dave was there with me every afternoon as I made it through another show in spite of crying through half the songs - he was singularly responsible for getting me through that dark and sad time. He introduced me to radio play by play, and we had a blast doing games on the road, emptying many a half-pint. We won an AP Award for best small market live broadcast for the 1986 STM State Championship Basketball game, though he refused to let me show it off to the ladies! When I became a press secretary, he always used my stuff on air - then gave me a corrected copy! He was a great newsman, writer and broadcaster and was back then a dear friend - and I regret not reconnecting after coming back to Lafayette in '03. I suspect we would have picked up right where we left off...RIP, Milner...
In reading his obituary, I learned that Paula had preceded him in death (for those who knew Dave, I think we can agree that Paula earned her wings while she was still here on Earth!!).
I had lost touch with Dave, only seeing him every few years by coincidence. He always greeted me with a smile, a handshake, and he made sure that I chuckled at least once before we parted company.
Rest well, Dave; please forgive me for not telling you this while you were with us: thank you.
My condolences to Dave's family, especially his granddaughter Miranda, who was his whole world.