Words were everything to Kidd and I know that his words were everything to all of us. I know his least favorite word when it came to work was unprepared and I’m so sorry because that’s exactly what I am right now. So, until I am prepared, I want to share his last words to me. Kidd didn’t want to be unprepared ever, even when it came to golf, something he loved more than anything and just another skill he helped me try and master. So, Saturday morning in New Orleans we headed to the range so he could warm up for the first drive at the Kidd’s Kidds charity golf tournament. Kidd hits a few balls and even though he said he wasn’t feeling well, he always had to end on a good drive. He hits one about 300 yards, but let’s just call it 330 because we know he would round up:) Satisfied with his shot, he handed me the driver and stepped away so I could take over. I figured I’d try and warm up in case he couldn’t do the T-off that was just minutes away. I hit a terrible shot, not unlike passing a soccer ball along the grass, and looked back at him with embarrassment shouting, “Hey it’s been a year since I’ve swung a club, because we haven’t golfed together in so long!” Then I thought about all the tips Kidd has given me over the years. My stance, my hips, my feet, my head, my hands. He taught me how to hit the golf ball just like he tried to teach me how to be a good storyteller. All of the elements coming together for a good finish. I bent down in my golf attire….skirt, jean vest, a hipster hat and Rag and Bone boots which were actually a birthday gift from him 2 years ago and still, without a doubt, my favorite thing in my closet. I hit one of the best drives I have ever hit. Perfectly straight, 200-something yards, let’s call it 220;) I turned around looking at Kidd in his cart, eagerly seeking his approval and he gave me a thumbs up and said “GREAT SHOT”.
Great shot ended up being Kidd’s last words to me. I wish I could tell him that it wasn’t the golf shot that was great. The great shot was what he gave me nearly 5 years ago. The shot at an opportunity of a lifetime. He saw a sliver of raw talent, eagerness and a desire to entertain. He knew how to do what I couldn’t figure out at 24 years old. He was a master at tapping into one’s creative soul, and it’s almost as if he knew I was finished and ready to stand on my own.
I have to say thank you to all of my friends who have reached out.
I have never experienced the loss of someone who was such an integral part of every facet of my life, personal and professional. I feel like I lost the person that knows me better than I even know myself and I’m not quite sure where to go from here. This has been the longest chapter in the book that is my life and I wasn’t ready to write the last words.
Then again, I also wasn’t ready to go with Kidd and get a tattoo a couple years ago. J-Si was supposed to go, I was in and Kidd was so excited to get something meaningful. You know this was a man that chose his words so carefully, so what could he possibly get permanently marked onto himself? Once at the tattoo shop, Kidd walked to the bar next door to grab a beer to calm his nerves. J-SI sends me a message saying he couldn’t make it and there I am on that tattoo table alone thinking…what am I about to do and subsequently regret? I was nearly finished with mine when Kidd comes back in the room and throws his arm out and says, “I want THIS”. 2 words. The Luckiest. The title to a song by his favorite artist, Ben Folds. It was more than just a song to him. It was how he felt about himself. Kidd would never have said it aloud, but behind all the self-deprication he knew that HE was truly, The Luckiest. Finding success while doing what he loved most, making millions of people laugh, cry and just feel a part of something made him the luckiest and I feel lucky to have a been part of it all. Now I’m left with a tattoo down my side that says, “Vivre et lacher prise”, or To live and let go. I think I will always struggle with the letting go part, so for now, I will live.
And now he’s mad that I’ve taken too long with this story and there hasn’t been a punchline, so we’ll be back… and we will be funny. :)
(Note: There is a long silence at the beginning that is part of the audio clip. It is playing correctly.)
All of us who listened to B97 in the mornings lost a friend on Saturday, July 27th. News broke late that night that Kidd Kraddick had passed away while here in New Orleans for a Kidd's Kids benefit. Jammer, Stevie and Tpot joined all the rest of us in our sadness by opening up the microphones and taking calls.