*Lou's-Day Tuesday*

Note: While Lino and crew are choosing his favorite new Catholic this week, we here at catholicguyshow.com are celebrating Crew Appreciation Week, with each day being dedicated to a member of the show. We here at the fan site wanted to show our appreciation by embracing Lino and his staff all week long.  

Lou. Lou Ruggieri. If Lino is the Michael Jordan of Catholic Media, Lou is the Scottie Pippen, or in NFL terms, the Michael Irvin to Lino's Troy Aikman. He's the perfect support to Lino's zaniness, balancing the show with his own deft sense of humor.

It's so evident when it comes to sound effects on how great a sense of humor Lou has. He always plays the right clip that the moment calls for. It's even more evident when someone else fills in for Lou when he's sick. Whoever it is can never seem to fill his shoes.

Aside from support on the show, Lou provides everyone with a quality man to tune into. Lou has a good heart, and if I was friends with him in real life, I'm sure I'd regard him as a brother and try to make him my best man at an upcoming wedding.

But alas, I'll take what I can get, and hearing Lou on the radio each day is more blessing than I deserve. I found out just how much Lou cares about the fans when Heather, Allicia and I visited the studio a few weeks ago to play Lino's Biggest Fan (I came in second to Heather). Listening to the show, all I knew was that Lou played witty sound clips and offered banter every now and then. Seeing him work in the studio, I was struck at just how busy he was.

He never seemed to take a break, always calling out how much time was left before going on the air. During the show, he's moving all these buttons around, making the sound quality work. It was at that moment that I realized just how much the show would suffer without Lou: True, having Lino around always makes for a great show no matter who surrounds him, but Lou takes the quality level up tenfold.

After the show was over with, Allicia, Heather and I were waiting outside to say goodbye to the crew. Maureen and Lou made their way outside a few minutes before Lino and Fr. Jim. The few minutes of conversation with Lou was a great memory I'll always have. Talking about the horrible commute from New Jersey, how much he really likes the city (not the sports teams) Boston, etc. And then, when it was time to leave, offered Lou a firm, hearty handshake.

A handshake would have been an honor. Instead, Lou gave me a hug. I realize that, as a man, this sounds awkward, but that one hug showed me that The Catholic Channel was filled with people who care about their fans, who actually give a damn about the people who listen to them every day. At the end of the day, Lou is one of the most solid, wonderful people I've ever met.

That's the Lou Ruggieri I'll fondly remember for the rest of my life.

For those of you thirsting for more Lou Ruggieri, I've been able to dig up some goodies.

• The radio show that he hosted during his college days still has a few clips of Lou talking about the best breakfast cereal, bemoaning the fact that meaningless entertainment replaces serious news stories, etc. You can listen to more here. http://www.myspace.com/thestressfactor

• While not heavily advertised on the show, Lou is a huge fan of Shakespeare. Lou's also a really good poetry and song writer. Don't believe me? Check out this poem, called Sorrow (and A Final Wish following it), available at http://www.helium.com/items/1752580-poetry-sorrow. In fact, you can check out Lou's profile at that link for more songs written by him.

I haven't felt quite right,
In oh so many years.
It seems I've found confirmation,
Of my single greatest fear.
I have felt a lump,
Sitting just behind my eyes.
It has grown bigger and stronger,
Before I ever even realized.
It started with only an accident,
Or so I thought so long ago.
But it seems nothing is by chance,
And now I have the proof to show.
The pressure was so slight,
But somehow always there.
From a single reckless night,
I guess this is only fair.
I said I was sorry,
I said I was wrong.
But no one ever heard me,
Time had moved along.
The pain began to come,
Mostly when I was alone.
How could I explain to anyone,
This phantom behind my bones?
The hurt only got worse,
With each pulse of my heart.
It overpowered everything,
I know now, it will never depart.
Screaming doesn’t help,
Crying only makes it worse.
I hate myself for this,
Seems I am my own curse.
Medicine can dull the noise,
But only for a short time.
Because I know this disease,
Is something that’s only mine.
Because this cancer that eats at me,
Is the kind I’ll have until,
The thought of losing you finally remits,
Sadly, that’s the kind that can kill.

"A Final Wish"

The time has come
I lie awake
On this deathbed, soft
But it's all so hard to take
I feel the lights dimming
And I know I'm on my own
The last leg of this race
Is mine to walk alone

I don't know if the end
Is going to be that at all
I don't know if I'll rise up
Or if it's my turn to fall

I've had so much time
To use however I thought I should
Now I'm seeing the life I had

The way I never could

It's not the days I worked
Or the money I put away
It's all the simple things
I miss so much today

The sound of snowflakes
Or a warm ocean breeze
The warmth of the sun
A Cardinal in the trees

But more than anything
There's something I know
There's only one thing
I have never let go

Part of me already left
So long before this time
When I lost the face
That once was only mine

I've seen her every morning
And every night before sleep
She circulates through my veins
And in every tear my eyes still bleed

I've never forgotten her
Or lost the frame of her smile
Her voice whispers to me
"You've only got a little while"

My clock is ticking backward
Counting down till it's through
There's no alarm however,
Just one more thing to do

I want her to know that
Here at the door to the end
There's nothing I wish more than
Knowing her heart is open again

Tomorrow: Winners-Day Wednesday with Lino Rulli!

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