15 Sep Remembering Our Friend Glenn Haege
As tributes and condolences abound concerning the untimely death of America’s Master Handyman Glenn Haege, one who considers himself both a customer and friend is weighs in on Haege’s indelible legacy.
The heart and soul of “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” (which began a 34 year run on Detroit radio on WXYT-AM 1270 in 1983) Haege was known as a man of boundless knowledge and integrity in the field of home improvement. In 2006 the show found a vast audience on weekend mornings on NewsTalk 760 WJR-AM and prior to his death the show had expanded into 130 radio markets in national syndication.
“I could never say enough words about what a great guy he was,” said Steve Safie, owner of SAS Services, Inc. “He was smart and funny and the whole nine yards.”
“I’ve known Glenn for 25 years … He was my mentor, someone I would go to for advice. But he was also a friend; we’d joke a lot, watched a lot of sports together and we had cigars in common.”
For the past 15 years Safie saw Haege upwards of three times a week for advice, entertainment and friendship. “We also did business together,” stressed Safie. “I was a sponsor on his radio show. He recommended our company and it was a great relationship.”
It’s been estimated that Haege fielded more than 85,000 home improvement questions during his time on the air. Additionally, he spent 22 years writing a weekly feature on home improvement for the Detroit News and he authored 11 books on the subject. He was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011.
Haege hailed from Warren, Michigan and attended Northern Michigan University before embarking on a career at the Sherwin Williams Paint Company. When asked if Haege had one specialty subject Safie didn’t hesitate: “Paint. Without a doubt he was a top expert on paint.”
Haege was also known for this high ethical standards, which he often expected from his business partners and advertisers: “As an advertiser I had to make sure customers weren’t complaining. I had to do what I said I was gonna do. If there was an issue I had to resolve it. He didn’t care if you’re friends or not because he’s the one recommending these companies … He wanted to make sure his customers were taken care of.”
A longtime cigar aficionado, Haege was a charter member at the Sterling HeightsMontecristo Lounge, a cigar haven where he was often found ‘holding court’ among his many friends there. Safie reminisced glowingly of Haege’s ability to speak with authority on a wide range of topics, noting that he was always in the center if the action.
“He’s gonna be missed,” said Safie, “and not just because of our business relationship. He’s truly going to be missed as a friend …”
“Not too many guys that you meet were like Glenn,” added Safie. “I can’t say enough good things about him.”