This Day in History, DC-Area Broadcasting Legend, Glenn Brenner, Dies @wusa9 @SteveBuckhantz

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As I start this post, it’s 1:33 pm on October 7, 2021, so this post has been on hold for quite some time. It’s not quite the type of post I publish here, but screw it.

There are still some stories trickling in regarding the recent death of comedian, Norm MacDonald, and the specific message of one story sent me down an internet rabbit hole. I asked myself, “During my lifetime, what was the most significant local celebrity death for the Washington, DC area?” My answer: Glen Brenner, sportscaster with WUSA (a CBS affiliate).

Editor's Notebook: Still #1 in our hearts - Sun Gazette

On this day 30 years ago, January 14, 1992, DC lost the most popular broadcaster in the area at the time. Glen died of a brain tumor at only 44 years old. He had run the Marine Corps Marathon just over two months prior, fell ill, and never really recovered.

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This worked because he wasn’t cool at all.

It took about a week for local stations to stop covering the story, with networks interviewing broadcasters from rival networks. I remember his best friend (though I forget his name; Gordon, maybe, but not Gordon Peterson) then on the ABC affiliate, breaking down in tears as he said a public, posthumous goodbye. Steve Buckhantz of the relatively new Channel 5 (not yet a Fox affiliate) had the last one I saw in which he said (paraphrasing from memory), “This will probably be the last we discuss this on air, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever forget him.” I certainly never did. I remember some of his broadcasts. When he reported that the Boston Marathon demanded Rosie Ruiz return her medal for having cheated to win it, he said matter-of-factly (paraphrasing), “in a great showing of humility and sportsmanship, she said . . . no.”

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I don’t think his humor would translate 100% into today’s world, but some of it was timeless, and even as a child in the late 70s, I got the jokes.

R.I.P., Glenn

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Goodbye, My Dear Friend Alissa #RIP

I just found out that a dear friend from law school, Alissa, died this morning. Other than the occasional birthday hello on Facebook, I had lost touch with her a little over 10 years ago (entirely my fault). I’m in the Washington, DC area, and she was in Arizona (with a lot of time spent in Hong Kong). As a result, I’m largely in the dark as to the details, but I now know that she was in declining health for a little while, and while no one expected today to be the day, it was probably something everyone still in touch was prepared for.

I was not. Though not without precedent in my life, this is the toughest pill to swallow. Alissa is my favorite person of any I’ve met, and if not for my emotional damage at the hands of a cruel nuclear family, she and I would almost certainly have spent the rest of her life together. She was not “the one that got away”; I pushed her away. It was not out of malice, as I would never do anything to intentionally hurt her, but it almost certainly inflicted an emotional scar on her. I’m certain she had no idea why I behaved as I did, because I didn’t yet understand my issues. Once I did, I knew I needed to keep my distance to protect her and allow her to move on.

And in fact, unlike me, she did. I’m glad that she found that happiness, but I will never forgive myself for robbing both of us of that possibility. I’ve made a point of never risking doing that to anyone else.

Chicago, 2000

When I first met Alissa, I thought she looked a bit like that actress from Gia. So here I am, 23 years later, and despite not liking Angelina Jolie’s acting style, watching the first movie I’ve seen with her in it since Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and she says,

“When you love something, you protect it. It’s the most natural thing in the world.”

Thena, the Eternals

But it isn’t easy, at least not when you’re protecting them from yourself.

But enough of that shit. Before Facebook took over our lives, here was her last email to me:

Of course- gorgeous…..

I’m always happy to read that.

This next photo is from the last time I saw her. I asked her for this pose, which was timely in 2008. For context, we were at her house, which is in Arizona. I share it because I love this photo. It captures her essence so well. Beautiful but down to Earth and goofy at times.

“I can see Mexico from my house.”

My regret and sorrow runs deep, and I deserve every bit of both.

I’ll continue to miss you every single day for the rest of my life.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc