Saturday, July 11, 2015


His name is David McEwen but I always call him Cousin David because, well, he's my cousin.

David with my sister Karen
He's also my brother.

Let me explain.

I've know David a long time. He's told me more than once that my father, his Uncle Alfred, always treated him special when he would come visit him in Jackson, Mississippi. Special is always special but when you're a kid it's extra special. That paid off for me when I would come visit. See, I had glasses, spoke 'proper' (that's how my mom and dad raised me) and was in a prime position for all the boys in Jackson to beat me up.

David, who was the toughest of the tough, said, "I don't think so." The guys, who were afraid of David, left his cousin alone. And made his cousin a happy man.

David joined the Air Force, was stationed in Spain, and settled in his beloved Denver when he got out.  He married Sweet Connie
and is the father of three girls-Kim, Meg, and Dari. I, in the meantime, was taking care of business, in radio and television.

It was then that our friendship really blossomed.

He had moved to California, had his own computer company,  and I was coming to LA all the time because I covered Entertainment for CBS.

Man, we had some times.

He'd come pick me up in his F-150 truck at my hotel and we would ride around for hours singing to songs on the radio.

He'd take me to his home for barbecues and just hanging with the family. I remember his grandson, Brandon, sitting in his high chair during one of those BBQs. He had a rib in his hand and a glass of Kool-Aid. He looked at me, laughed, and put the rib first in his Kool-Aid and then in his mouth.

In turn, I would take him with me on interviews.

David told Jim Carrey that he taught his grandkid to spit. The delight on Jim's face was something to see and his laugh was something to hear.

He has a picture of him with the great Richard Pryor. That was a wonderful day.

We sat with Whoopi while she took a break between interviews. Just Whoopi, David and me, talking.

Through it all he listened to my troubles, gave me great advice, and changed from my cousin to my brother.

I can't tell you how many things in my life are the way they are because of his wisdom.

He had a heart attack. I was there. I had a stroke. He was there.

As you can tell from that last sentence, we're older now. Still tight as ticks.

We spend hours on the phone, giggling like my kids, and talking about all kinds of things. Politics, history, comedy, Stephen King, you name it. We watch sporting events together. LeBron in the NBA finals. Me rooting for him, David politely rooting for Golden State, thank you very much. He did live in California.

If Tiger is on teevee, we're watching him and discussing that, and don't get him talking about boxing. He knows that sport inside and out.

And David is still giving me great advice. Smartest guy I know.

We end our phone conversations the same way every time.

"I love you."

David McEwen.

My cousin.

My brother.

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1 comment:

  1. I have a sister cousin and a brother cousin too. I even have a sister friend. These folks mean more than their order in the scheme of one's life. Wonderful essay, Mark! I would love to meet your brother cousin David.