Today: The Very Strange Departure of Mike Murphy

There’ll be no 71st St. Patrick’s Day celebration for Mike Murphy...

Not on this earth, anyway. No riding atop a garbage truck, waving to the crowd in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade he helped found. Quoth Edgar Allan Poe, nevermore. UFOs have spirited Kansas City’s quirky radio personality away. No more close encounters for us; they’ve got him now.

A few details are beginning to go viral in the wake of his passing Wednesday – starting with that his name was not Mike Murphy.

No blarney.

Insiders have known for years Murphy’s given name was Michael Hervey. Aliens could have looked him up in the white pages – home address and all – if they’d known that. Then zoomed out to Squirrel Manor in Leawood and abducted his critter catcher-loving butt.

Of course, they’d have had to get past wife Cathy – no small feat that – who died last year.

For decades Cathy looked after Mike, guarding him against nosey guys like, uh, me.

I’d call the house to get the latest on things like Murphy’s Cattle Drive downtown. And why KC Mayor Kay Barnes had somebody dig up some 19th century ordinance about not allowing cattle to roam city streets, which exterminated Murphy’s drive, forcing it to flee to Johnson County.

Mike would invariably answer the phone, then nervously hand it to Cathy, who would capably handle whatever questions I had. I’d get maybe a short quote from Mike and so it went. There are more than 120 Mike Murphy hits under my byline in the Star over a 16 year span.

Back to those revelations…

Nobody seemed to know Murphy’s age. I always thought he was a lot younger than he looked owing to his appetite for partying.

Turns out I was right…sort of.

Murphy’s McGilley State Line Chapel obituary lists his’s birth date as July 15, 1939. Which would make his age 71. The visitation will be held from 3:57 to 5:35 p.m. Monday, March 14th. A Memorial Service goes down from 5:35 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. that same night.

Hold it, 3:57, knowing Murphy, that’s gotta mean something.

Let’s see, there’s the .357 Magnum gun – but Dirty Harry preferred a .44 – so maybe not. A query to McGilley about the odd start time drew a giggle from a staffer. She acknowleged it was an usual time that had been requested by Murphy’s family. But, she had no idea as to its significance.

Murphy’s obit will run Saturday and Sunday in the newspaper, the staffer confirmed.

Back to Murphy’s magic number…

"In the year 357 AD an earthquake in Asia, Pontus, and Macedonia, 150 cities and towns were damaged," says.
"In the year 357 AD the reign of Fu Jian, the emperor of Former Qin, commenced in China."  

Oh, and one more weirdness.

When I cropped Murphy’s obit off McGilley’s Web site and went to size it for publication, it measured exactly 710 pixels wide. As in KCMO 710 AM, Murphy’s final radio resting place.

Coincidence? I think not.

So i present it to you here in that exact size and shape. Pretty sure Murphy would have wanted it that way.

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4 Responses to Today: The Very Strange Departure of Mike Murphy

  1. kansas karl says:

    It all means something
    In the time Mike worked hitting the network at the top of the hour was law, the local top of the hour break would start at :57, when Mike worked mid-days on KCMO 810 he had to hit the mark before Ed “superfan” Beiler.

  2. Hearne says:

    You think his family reached back to that?
    Nah. I mean, anything’s possible. But surely it has to be something sexier than that. Or else, they just knew that Mike would get a kick out of people with very small brains such as myself being baffled by what the meaning might be.

  3. John Lewis says:

    Don’t work too hard on this one.
    I can assure you that it means nothing of significance, except for what was the most significant thing Mike gave us: His joie de vivre in the form of carefree silliness. it’s what we loved about him. He taught us to be silly and loving, and this is just his loving family doing what Mike would be doing: Being odd, all for the joy of being so.

  4. Chris Stoner says:

    I love you Mike
    Mike, Oh Mike. WOW we had some good times. I can’t think of a greater guy. As his producer, I could tell you some good stories. All the great ones go too soon. Dr. Marshal Saper, Dave Dawson, and now Mike.

    Gonna miss you buddy. As Henrietta ( with that Ukrainian accent ) said on the rooftop at the hotel in L.A. where we went to do your show…Enjoy your drinks!

    I’ll miss you. I love you.


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