When Marlin Torguson was asked to come up with one sentence that best described Buddy Diliberto, the former Casino Magic owner paused for almost 10 seconds, looking for the perfect words to describe a one of a kind radio host.
"He was like somebody that you had to like," he said, comparing the New Orleans radio voice with a sports radio icon Torguson listened to back in his native Minnesota.
"He told it just like it was, even if the people didn't like it."
In 1994, Torguson felt Casino Magic Bay St. Louis needed Buddy D's candor, his voice, and his radio station's power. So he recruited Diliberto to Hancock County.
"I told our marketing people let's see if we can talk him into doing a show at Casino Magic Bay St. Louis," he remembered. "And it worked."
Every Monday night in the fall, Buddy D hosted "The Second Guess Show" from Casino Magic's lobby.
Jeana Tribble was the marketing director who spent the most time with the media personality.
"Buddy D was wonderful to work with," she said.
The Casino Magic marketing director got to work with him on a weekly basis.
"He brought us a lot closer to the New Orleans market," she said, referring to one of the key reasons Casino Magic built its 11 year relationship with him.
"And he was a very warm individual to work with. We considered him a part of our family."
The stage in Casino Magic's lobby was Buddy D's home away from home. Every week during football season, a limo would bring the colorful New Orleans radio host to Bay St. Louis. And for two hours, he would recount the previous day's Saints game.
His sidekicks included the late Irvin Favre, Mike Ditka, Pete Fountain, and recently Mike Detellier.
"It gave us some celebrity faces, and some celebrity affiliations," Tribble said.
The combination of celebrities, WWL's reach around the region, and Buddy D produced a powerful team for Casino Magic.
"Sometimes you wouldn't have a real large audience at the show," said Torguson. "But you had all that WWL-AM radio power out there, blasting your name all over the place."
Quite often, it was Buddy D blasting that name, in a language that was uniquely his. As the Casino Magic marquee says, Buddy D will be dearly missed.
Diliberto's funeral is Tuesday in Metarie.