Mark Edwards, Craig O'Neill, Matt Turner, and Ed Buckner on the KTHV anchor desk.
Matt and I met while he was a sports anchor in Northwest Arkansas, so I got to know him before he joined our THV family.
Back then we became friends and talked on a professional level. Our journeys in life took different paths since then and conversations became less frequent. It all changed when he joined Today's THV.
It's amazing how much of an impact people make on our lives. We made up for lost time by talking just about every day.
His dad was a big part of his life and so was mine. We shared stories about their impacts on our lives and like most, we always hoped they were looking down from heaven and proud of our accomplishments.
After his first week at KTHV, I gave him a fist bump and told him what a great job he did that week and said, "your dad would be proud".
Once the Hog Zone shows began, I was nervous about how people would receive them. He joked about coming on but told me I was "the best at what I do." Then he added a fist bump and said, "your dad would be proud."
It seems like we solved the worlds problems each weeknight after the 10 p.m. show. We were usually the last two anchors to leave.
On Tuesday night after the 10 p.m. newscast, he told me how he was playing around with his camera at home and managed to record his daughter's first steps on video. He was so proud!
I had Wednesday off and Thursday I left for Auburn, but I saw him in the hallway as I rushed out of the building. He looked at me, smiled, then he gave me a fist bump.
I said I'll see you on Monday.
If you know me, you know I truly believe God puts people in your life for a reason. I never suspected that brief encounter would be our last.
I heard of his passing at 9:35 Sunday morning. I was in Birmingham, AL, headed back to Little Rock so I had 5 hours to think. Then it hit me!
His employment was brief but the life lesson was so surreal. The daily sports talks, working together, and the afterwork conversations always lifted my spirits. What transpired over two months seemed like eternity. And to think, the last conversation was so brief and rushed.
I will miss my friend, but I'm so grateful I got a chance to know him.
My thoughts and prayers are with Julee and Preslee today. I can only imagine the difficulties that lie ahead for them and the rest of Matt Turner's family. I pray for peace and strength in their time of need!