Remembering Fred Imus

Know this sounds crazy…

But I’m watching the president speak to the nation in the middle of yesterday's market meltdown, and I’m thinking to myself:

"Self, what would Fred do?"

Fred Imus, the irascible brother of the far even more irascible Don Imus.

Fred passed away last weekend.

But I can't stop thinking about him this week.

A man of not only few words, but perfectly happy living in that pregnant pause that so un-nerves those who'd prefer filling the void with noise. Any noise.

Not Fred…who, like his brother Don…had a way of cutting through the nonsense, and making you think, "Maybe it's all those guys yapping who are spewing the real nonsense."

I never met Fred. I never knew Fred. Over the years, I just heard Fred.

And I liked Fred. I liked his brevity. And his wit. And I liked the way he and Don played off each other on the air…

But you know what I really liked?

The way each would wrap up that conversation on air. After the zinging, Don and Fred closing with just three words.

"I love you."

The irascibles. Suddenly…lovable.

David Hinckley of the New York Daily News wrote of Fred, "He came off as a cowboy born after his time, a man who spent a lot of time riding the range of his private thoughts."

A love for a brother whose success he didn't resent.

…reciprocated by that successful brother's eagerness to put him on because he didn't forget.

You got the feeling they had been through much.

Much bad. Much tough. Much hard.

Much more than words could say.

So they didn't say it.

In the end, you just kind of got it.

...this week, in particular, filled with screaming politicians…we could do worse than remember Fred.

I'm sure I speak for don and Fred and their entire extended families...when I say…

The silence…is deafening.

Fred Imus. Dead. At age 69.