Posts Tagged ‘Great American’

Paul Harvey An Irreplaceable Loss

March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009, 6:25 AM
Over the weekend, America lost still another conservative voice.  This one, this beautiful, common sense, brilliantly measured, voice was not the last, he was the only voice, of his kind.  Paul Harvey is silenced, and there can be no the “next” Paul Harvey.
In a business where anyone who can have an opinion can be an expert, Paul Harvey was ‘the’ expert at expressing important, political, or everyday, thoughts, ideas, and events, into clear, easily understood, but not ordinary wordage.
Mister Harvey was a main reason that I chose radio/TV as my profession.  He was my first, and obviously, my best role-mode.  And, I failed him miserably.  Being from his hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, being in the city where it started for the news business’s most eloquent, most clear, to the point, without complications, voice, was a wonderful burden that I enjoyed as much as any I have ever carried.
No one ever said that I sounded like Mister Harvey, but I always had a hope that a fraction of his style was reflected in my news reading, and my story writing, during my 36 years in the business.  Did it?  I hope so, and that is all I have, with one exception.
In 1976, I was working at KLOR radio, in Ponca City, Oklahoma, a small town in the extreme north-central part of the state.  I did a newscast that followed Mister Harvey’s 12-12:15 news, and I was listening to his broadcast when I heard him mispronounce  the name of Salina, Kansas, as “Saleena”.   I called Chicago, and I was amazed by the fact that I got to him.  I was suddenly embarrassed that I had called.  After telling him that I was from Tulsa, that he was my role-model, that I thought he was the best, (he was the best) I told him about the pronunciation mistake.  He shocked me, truly shocked me.  He was not apologetic, he was grateful, he said “thank you for your help…” (at this point I was mortified that I had called, because I understood full-well what made him so great) and he would make a mental note of the mistake, and not repeat it, again.  It was as if, no not “as if”, he did elevate my self-worth, my profession pride, and he made me see his truly giant size.
I never had the occasion to speak to him, again.  Truth is, I did not need to speak to him, there was nothing I could add to his life, and he added to my life by just being Paul Harvey, the newsman, writer, great American.
I am 63 years of age, and it is certain, were I to live to be 163 years of age, there would/could not be another Paul Harvey.
“Good day” it was not when we lost Paul Harvey.