Did you know September 2nd is National Live Fearless Day? I've gone by the name "Fearless" for over 45 years (I'll explain how I got it in a bit), and I am always asked what is it like to "live Fearless". The answer to that is it's hard and very trying at times to live a truly fearless life. At least that's the way I have been thinking about it for many years.

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I'll try to give you the Reader's Digest version, as it is a long story of how I got labeled "Fearless Fernandez". I will leave some people nameless nor will I mention the stations I was working for at the time. I did these really crazy - okay, really stupid - things. When I started radio in the early 1970s, I was doing overnights and was known as "The Night Watchman".

One day a chief engineer was telling fellow broadcaster George Owens that he needed a light bulb replaced on one of the radio station's towers and he needed it done right away. I overheard the engineer saying, "We can't find anyone that fast." To which I replied, I've climbed that tower before (Reader's Digest version), and the dare was on.

The best part was that the bulb needing replacing was a lower one. I climbed the antenna, replaced the bulb, and climbed down. Now I know in today's world that would never happen because of OSHA, but then I was a young teen and had God on my side.

The guys were amazed that a one-armed guy climbed the broadcast tower and replaced the bulb. George said, "You are fearless, man!" So he started calling me Fearless Fernandez.

In the early 80s, KEAN welcomed several station managers. One in particular was a man named Lou Murray who had a vision for doing what I called stunt promotions.

We were both similar in the fact that we liked helping charities and raising money for nonprofit organizations in our community. That's when The Fearless was born in my heart to help the needy, poor, hurting, sick, and whoever else needed help in our Big Country.

Lou and the rest of the KEAN Team all worked together to help whoever was in need. My stunts helped raise awareness. I lived in a van suspended by a crane fifty feet in the air for five days and four nights at a local Chevrolet dealership to raise money for both the West Texas Rehab and the March of Dimes which supported the Texas Crippled Children's Association.

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I went on to being buried alive for 48 hours in a coffin six feet under to bring attention to the drug problem in Abilene. The message was "Don't Let Drugs Bury You". We raised money for the Abilene Police Department to purchase a robot that would talk to kids about the dangers of drugs and the Toys for Tots.

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I have also been "Frozen Alive" in a two-ton block of ice to raise money for the Abilene Food Bank which was then running out of food and supplies. The message here was "Put a Freeze on Hunger in the Big Country". That venture raised enough food and funds to resupply the Abilene Food Bank.

Then there was the time I rode a Ferris Wheel for five days and four nights continuously at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo, attempting to raise $1000 for each of the 19 United Way agencies. I seem to recall we went a thousand dollars over thanks to the generosity of West Texans.

Yes, I am not afraid to do anything or try anything to help my fellow Texans. I firmly believe to be Fearless you must live Fearless with a love in your heart to help others. My family and coworkers will tell you, "Rudy 'Fearless' Fernandez does not know how to say no."

Thus, to live Fearless is to have a hunger in your heart, be compassionate towards others, and be unafraid to tackle the hard things in life. Once you become Fearless, life becomes limitless.

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