“Get To The Point, Rosie!” : Behka Shares Memories Of Denny Perkins
Well, we've managed to lose another Sedalia treasure this week. I'm not really sure what to say about Denny Perkins. I'm sure you've heard that Denny died yesterday after a long health fight. I'm not sure what to say in general, really. So I guess I'll just share some of my memories of Denny.
When I first started here, I was a college kid working weekends. I was basically just a babysitter to make sure nothing went terribly wrong, and to update the weather forecasts. One day I was in the studios, alone, when I heard the door open. I looked out and didn't see anybody, so I thought I'd just imagined it and went back to work. A few seconds later, a big booming voice startled me: "What are you doing? It can't be work!" It was Denny, and he certainly introduced himself.
Denny loved sports, in particular Smith Cotton Football and State Fair Community College Basketball. He would be there for just about every game, giving the commentary and analysis. He would be on location and call in to go on the air, and I would basically be the one who pushed the buttons to ensure the commercials played. We got into a rhythm where I knew when he was ready to have a break, and for how long he wanted the commercials to be. I remember I was gone for one game or something, and someone else filled in. Denny was not happy about that. When he came back, he said "Those boys don't know what they're doing! You're doing my games from now on." I was chuffed at that, to think that the Radio Pro wanted me to be his producer.
Denny also loved music, all kinds of music. He was a big fan of rock, blues, country, you name it. He was very passionate about it. In fact, he was also pretty passionate about the music he Didn't like. I remember laughing so hard it hurt when he'd tell me all the ways he hated Huey Lewis and the News and Florida Georgia Line. In fact, whenever I see those pop up in our playlist, I always give a little apology to Denny.
He was a big supporter of live, local music. I think that's why he loved Dickie Doo Barbecue so much, because it has that great forum for live music. He was a big supporter of the Nace Brothers, and Locash. He never missed a chance to see live music at the Bud Tent at the State Fair every year. He was a huge supporter of that. And of Budweiser, of course. A very big supporter of Budweiser. In fact, he was such a huge supporter of Budweiser that sometimes he'd sleep in the RV we kept on the grounds during the Fair.
He was always up for a debate. Denny and Frank Powell would go back and forth about politics, and Denny would do the same with Jack Miller all the time. I remember Denny bet Jack $20 that John McCain would win the 2008 presidential election. The next day, somehow Denny's wallet went missing. It was a recurring joke for ages, that Denny's wallet was always gone whenever Jack was around.
Denny wasn't shy to tell you his opinions, and that was a learning experience for me and I'm sure all the kids he coached. He wasn't abrasive to me, but he was blunt. I remember him telling me when I first started hosting, "Rosie, get to the point! You're getting in your own way. They already like you, pushing it won't make them love you."
Speaking of the name Rosie, it was a nickname Denny gave me. He had a great sense of humor. He called me Rosie because my cheeks are often red from a thing I have called roseacea. I remember the day I found out his first name is Denver. The look he gave me when I called him that was priceless. So from that point on, every time he called me Rosie, I called him Denver.
Denny was good to me, from what I remember. When he decided to leave and try this thing somewhere else, I knew I had big shoes to fill. He'd been on the air in our area for literally decades and had a loyal following. I talked about it, and acknowledged that we are two different animals - I was not going to be Denny 2.0. He made sure to publicly say that I was going to do a great job, and that his base should give me a chance. I was happy to see that, to see the guy who'd been everyone's favorite endorse me, so to speak, and ask his people to give the kid a shot.
I want to send out my condolences to his family and friends, and his loyal listeners. I hope we can all share a few stories and memories and remember him the way he would have wanted - with a smile.