Lacy Neff was more than a co-worker to me, he was a mentor and a GREAT friend! He did so much for me, I thought this was the least I could do for him, share some stories and carry on his legacy!
When one of your friends passes away, it’s hard to find the words to share about them, So I wrote all of my feelings down and wanted to share them. I also got a chance to speak with some of Lacy’s family and friends who shared memories, in their own words, about him that will put a smile on your face, just like he would have wanted! Here are my thoughts and you can Listen below to all of his family and friends below! We love and miss ya Lac!!!! #Neffstrong
It’s hard to even think about where to begin, just his name is so powerful that the words that follow have to be just as powerful, and if they weren’t he would have critiqued that break and told you how to make it powerful! For all of you non- radio, a break is when we go live on the air, and as a Program Director, Lacy’s job was to tell you how to do your job better in a very nice way… and he was phenomenal at that!!! Lacy Loved radio, scratch that Lacy IS radio. I was told once that once radio is in your blood, it never leaves, Lacy is the epitome of that statement, I mean when he first went to Boston, he was still running the radio station from there, listening, programming, critiquing, he would often call me to check on me, here he is in a need of a new heart and the man was calling me to check on me and the radio station, that’s the kind of person Lacy was!
I would often feel guilty because on these phone calls we discussed my life, radio, the drama at the radio station, drama with the men in my life, because there was always some lol, but we NEVER discussed what he was going thru, I would ask him how he was doing and he would always say I’m fine, it’s nothing I can’t beat, I just take it a day at a time and he would go right back to talking radio because that was his true love, besides Dana and his daughters of course!!
Radio is what brought and connected people to Lacy, including me, whether you listened to him on the radio, met him at some radio station event, he Dj’d your wedding or prom, you grew up with him or you were at one of his crazy club nights, which is a whole other speech, he always had a smile on his face and was genuine to you, THAT was Lacy, and that is why so many people loved him.
For me, I only knew him for the past 5 years, which most of you have known him for 20 years plus, but I LOVED Lacy, for a lot of different reasons, he believed in me, he gave me a shot, didn’t judge me, was a good friend and welcomed me to WV with open arms. To paint the picture a little better, here I was this feisty city girl, who was very misunderstood, who had never been to WV till I moved here to take a job, I knew not one person, he saw thru all of that and welcomed me which few did, but he just saw someone with the same passion for radio as he did, so he gave me a chance, and I will always be grateful to him for that, I would NOT be where I am today if it was not for him. That was just how Lacy was though genuine and would help you accomplish whatever it was you were trying to accomplish.
Fortunately I got to experience him professionally and personally, but even if you didn’t get to experience him on both levels, it didn’t matter, he treated you with the upmost respect and of course greeted you with that handsome smile of his! I want to challenge you to remember that smile every time you are having a rough time, or are missing him. As we say in radio and Lacy would often say, “The show must go on”, he wouldn’t want you to stop the party and be sad for him, I’m pretty sure he would you encourage you to keep partying!
He touched each and every one of us in different ways, and even though I have only had the pleasure of knowing him the last 5, or if you have known him for less than that time, he made you feel like you had known him for 20 years like many of you actually did, but he had a bond with you no matter how long you knew him, THAT was Lacy!
I want to share a story with you that some of you may not know, I think everyone knows how much Lacy loved radio, what you may not understand fully is his love for his home state of WV, and no I am not talking about his love for the Mountaineers or his love for tailgating at the games, I’m talking about his love for WV! 90% of the time in radio as a personality the goal in your career is to get to a top 10 market, a big city, but few get there and fewer have the talent to get there, Lacy had that talent. That big personality was fit for a Top 10 market, that is why he won 5 Marconi awards, which are like Grammy’s in the radio world! WVAQ is what it is today because Lacy programmed it like it was in a big city, he thought big! You may not know that Lacy had a job offer years ago in NY for Z100, which in Top 40 radio you can’t get any bigger and in the Number one market, but he turned it down because he wanted to stay in WV! I remember him telling me this story and saying to him “What do you mean, you turned down Z100, you DON”T turn down Z100”, you would have everything that you ever dreamed in your career!!! He smiled and laughed and replied “ Yeah but I wouldn’t have everything in my personal life”! He didn’t want to leave his family and friends and that’s why he turned it down. An even though he did go up to Pittsburgh for a little while he was close enough to home he was okay with it, but ending up coming back. He also felt that Morgantown deserved what the bigger cities had and brought that big sound to WVAQ! He turned down NY to stay in his home state of WV, but with the radio station he brought NY to WV!
I asked Lacy one time if he could only use one word to describe me what would it be, and he said “Passionate” and if you know me then you know how dead on that is! I tried to reverse that and think of what word I would use to describe Lacy… and I couldn’t because he his more than just one word he’s, Kind, hard-working, Humble, Genuine, Lovable, Wild, Energetic, Funny, A leader, Inspiring, Playful, Fun, and last but not least Caring. So Caring that when one of his friends, and our co-worker, Loray Robinsion, passed away he spoke at her funeral and offered that anyone there could call him at anytime, just to talk, to be comforted, because when Lacy’s mother passed away and he was having a difficult time, Loray had offered him the same and he wanted to extend the same support that she had offered him to anyone who needed it. And that is why I am shring this today, to carry on that support system, so anytime you need to talk or need comforted please feel free to call me at anytime.
I want to encourage you to not just mourn his death but celebrate his life and think about all of the good times, when he made you laugh or made you take that last shot knowing you shouldn’t have! Just remember him the way he should be, alive, smiling and of course hosting the party! So live like Lacy, smile, love what you do and host this party we call life!