Brett Harris, the man behind the mic

B-98 FM's Brett Harris talks about life with his girls (he is surrounded by them), perfecting the perfect pigtail and his own personal tsunami

by Amy Westbrook Pracht

Harris enjoys sharing his love of flying with daughters Sloane (left) and Sage.

Harris enjoys sharing his love of flying with daughters Sloane (left) and Sage.

He thinks he has mastered his hair braiding skills and his pig tails are looking pretty good; it is all about symmetry and angles. But his laundry skills are a subject he just doesn’t want to talk about, which says a lot coming from a man who makes his living from talking.

“It’s not good, not good at all,” said double-daughter dad Brett Harris, otherwise known to his legion of fans as the other half of the Brett and Tracy Show on B-98 FM. “I have many times come out with an all pink load of laundry; I am just not good at it.” For Harris, mastering the perfect pigtail and still trying to figure out how to do laundry might be classic metaphors for his life over the last two plus years of being a single father to seven-year-old Sage and four-year-old Sloane.

He’s perfected a few things and still learning the rest along the way.

Life With Father

For Harris, who starts his day very early at 3:30 a.m., describing a typical day in his life is like a run down of his four and half-hour morning show. “In the five o’clock hour, I’ll get dinner ready,” said Harris, dictating what an early evening looks like in his three-person household. “Structure, I have to have structure with the girls,” he said, while on the flip side describing his own life as a little on the frantic side. “Whatever structure I can give them (the girls) is important, but never take yourself too seriously.”

Harris entertains listeners daily with his top-rated show.

Harris entertains listeners daily with his top-rated show.

In keeping with his tight morning schedule, Harris is often on his laptop computer preparing for the show when the family’s longtime babysitter, also known as Grandma Ruth, arrives at 4:15 a.m. to take over for him at home as he heads out the door to Clear Channel Communications studio. At the studio, he awaits the other two women in his life, his producer Kathy Deane and co-host Tracy Cassidy. By 5:30 a.m., their number one morning show hits the air…all the while his two daughters are still sleeping at home.

Harris is luckier than most, and he knows it. He has help. However, while Grandma Ruth gets his kids ready for school (from the clothes he lays out for them the night before) and shuttles them off to their school, it is Harris who is in charge of the school pick-ups. By the time his show and essentially on-air work day is over at 10 a.m., he takes over from Grandma Ruth. Joining the ranks of the other parents (mostly moms and babysitters), he promptly takes his place at the door of his daughters’ school for daily pick-up. “I have two pick-up times. I have one at 11:15 a.m. and one at 3 p.m,” he said. “When I pick up Sloane, we usually eat a quick lunch, a tuna sandwich and chips. I can’t forget Sloane’s chips!” Then the duo goes down for what he calls his power nap. “That nap resets me and then by 3 p.m., it’s back to school to pick up Sage.”

Homework, snack, playtime and dinner are all part of the Harris’ schedule. And yes, he does cook about what he describes as 90 percent of their meals. He is a pretty good cook, having grown up in the California wine country. Under his mom’s tutelage, he learned at an early age an appreciation for pasta and garlic. He even grocery shops and plans the meals (shrimp and pasta are the current family favorite). Right now, he laughs at how his girls are all about eating shrimp. “I mean, how many four year olds ask for shrimp?” he exclaimed proudly.

After dinner, his night is far from over as the household heads out to various activities. There are swim lessons for both girls twice a week, sports practice (Sage just finished youth basketball), neighborhood bible studies and play dates.

Before the night is over, there is one more important nightly ritual that must be done before lights out…both girls call mom every night on the phone.

A Tough Two Years

He is very proud of the “double-daughter dad” status he carries with him; it’s the single double-daughter dad status that is not exactly how he thought his life would play out. The last two years have been new territory for Harris as he ended his high-profile seven-year marriage with former Wichita news anchor Sydney Fisher. “It’s been my own personal tsunami,” he said simply. “It’s been the toughest two years of my life with daily adversity,” he said, describing the end of his marriage and subsequent primary custody of their children. “You do this on your own; I have no extended family anywhere near here.”

 
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