You probably don't know this, but Travis and I were cousins. Growing up, we weren't allowed to play with Travis very much. He was a hemophiliac, and his mom was worried if we played too rough with him, he might get hurt. But we did get to play board games and that kind of stuff with him.

If you don't know, I hate to break it to you, but Travis died Monday night. It was an accident at his home.
I think everybody loved Travis' columns in the Democrat.  He was an opinion columnist, and always made you THINK.  Sure, not always did people agree with him, but he inspired a lot of debate.  He loved Sedalia, and loved all the little stories that floated around. I remember lots of different columns he wrote, but my favorite was his deep exploration of the Beaman Monster legend.  He really took it seriously and didn't make fun of anybody who had a story about it to tell.

Every time he saw me, he would tell me that he wanted to get into a fake media war with me.  He wanted to write columns and "fight" with me. We never did it, though, not sure why.

He was very active in summer camps for kids with Hemophilia.  I think he wanted to be with other people who were in his situation, and make the kids feel normal for once.

He loved the Missouri State Fair so much.  He loved to people watch and it was always amusing to hear his takes on the people and their... 'amusing' choice of clothing. Concerts were always a big deal to him at the Fair, because he loved his contest every year.  He would choose a reader and treat them to see a show with him, and that was the part he loved the most.  He always loved meeting and interacting with his readers. Comments and letters were always something he loved, and he loved telling me all about it.  Every year he would come by to the station's outpost and visit.

What I'll miss most are the conversations we would have at family parties.  Every year, one of our 'aunts' always has a Christmas party out on her land. Everybody in the family and lots of people we don't know go.  There are kids running everywhere and a ton of food. Travis and his dad would sit with us, and he'd always have a fun story about what he was writing about next.

I'm sorry to see him go.  He will definitely be missed. We'll let you know as soon as we know about arrangements.  I'm sure a lot of people will want to pay their respects.

Update: A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 21 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Rea Funeral Chapel.

Sadly yours,

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