If I ever looked adoringly into Geezerguy's eyes and uttered the words "My Hero" to him he'd laugh out loud. But he is my hero.
He's the man who spent 33+ years of his life doing a superb job in his career as a Radio News Reporter and News Director. He wasn't a talking head like they are today. He was a Young Newsie, who had a well developed sense of integrity and responsibility. He was respected and honored in the communities where we lived and he worked. What's more he was respected by his colleagues and bosses for knowing where to find the story and how to present it without sensationalizing the facts.
His listeners were loyal and some told me they only tuned into the station when it was time for his reports. He literally kept an entire city from panicking during a devastating flood which chose the city's Emergency Command Post Facility as one of it's first victims. Another time, he left the house on Christmas day, taking a change of clothing, a sleeping bag, and a good portion of our Christmas dinner to the station 16 miles away. Because of the vicious blizzard that raged for several days, I didn't see him again until New year's day! But I listened as he and the other two station personnel who were able to get in (a young announcer and a receptionist) became more and more hoarse before the News Director finally made it to work.
I was so proud of him for the way he did his job. What's more, no one listening to him or working with him, for the last 12 years of his career, was aware of how much he really wished he was doing almost anything else. But he had four kids to raise and support and so he kept at it despite the trend towards homogenized programming and rip and read policies that took over even the small markets he had originally loved.
Then came the morning he walked into the house before noon and told me he'd been let go. Seems the new general manager in charge of eliminating anything distinctive about the station had begun by removing all the experienced broadcasters and replacing them with computers. I was sure Jim was going to be totally depressed, but within two hours he had decided we were not going to look for another radio position -ever again. Two days later he was working for another ex- radio personality firing up his smoker at Doc's Dawgs at 5 o'clock in the morning.
We were going to get ourselves ready to turn our dream of traveling into a reality. The rest of the story you already know if you have been reading my blog and his blog since the beginning. Eighteen months later, we were on the road seeing America, one back road at a time.
On June 21st we'll celebrate the 5th anniversary of our Second Life. Five years living in a 32 foot Winnebago-with me. That's my hero.
See ya down the road,