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THE END OF AN ERA

ObiWanCannoli's picture
on March 1, 2009 - 6:28pm

I found out last night that my former boss and a magical man in the world of broadcasting passed away in his home in Arizona at the ripe old age of 90. His name was Paul Harvey and he was a broadcaster. I worked for him before I was pregnant with Mike and then for a while after I had him. I was the receptionist in his office at Michigan Avenue & Wacker Drive in Chicago, the heart of the city. I answered an ad in a newspaper for the position and when I called about it, the friendly and very professional woman who answered my questions about the position asked me then if I knew who Paul Harvey was. I apologized but said I didn't and I honestly think that's what landed me the job. I went to the interview calm but excited about the prospect of working in the city and apparently I impressed her - her name was June Westgaard and she was Mr. Harvey's secretary. There was another guy who worked in the office by the name of Mike who did research for Mr. Harvey and after I was hired there was just the four of us. By the time I'd gotten in at 8:30AM Mr. Harvey had already been in the office for some 4 hours - he usually arrived around 4AM to type up and record the first of his two morning broadcasts - yeah the man typed his own broadcasts! I was introduced to him as Mr. Harvey and he always called me Mrs. Chalifoux (which was my married name at that time). Oddly enough he never, ever called me Terri or Theresa - I felt ancient when he called me that but I soon realized it was out of respect that he did. We had a few famous visitors there on Michigan and Wacker including Dan Akroyd and Sammy Hagar. I worked right next door to WLS-FM radio and that was cool too. I had famous disc jockey friends and got concert tickets now and again. Mr. Harvey even included me in a few of his broadcasts. I'll never forget this - he used to have this "bumper sticker" segment of his show where he would read a goofy bumper sticker a listener would send in and this one said simply: LEGALIZE UPDOCK. Photobucket Uhhhhhh ... I didn't get it. So when he came back in I asked him about it ... his response: "You don't know what 'updock' is?" I told him I didn't! He said, "you work for ME and you don't know what 'updock' is?!" Again, I shook my head and said that I didn't ... "oh come on" he said, "everyone knows what 'updock' is!" I looked at him and said ... WHAT'S UPDOCK? He just laughed and walked away. I'll never forget that day and how he goaded me into "getting" the joke. It stuck with me to the point that when I bought my first van I ordered the license plates UPDOCK. It was pretty funny when people would ask me what the hell it meant. One guy even hollered at me as I was driving "what's updock?!" I have since let that plate expire and went for a cheaper one but I'll never forget it. Mr. Harvey used to vacation in Arizona from where he eventually ended up broadcasting and when he would return he would bring me jewelry - gorgeous chunks of turquoise! It was wonderful! They were big, clunky necklaces and I never really wore them except when I worked for him but I'll always treasure them as gifts from a wonderful, famous man. If you have a chance look up his books, THE REST OF THE STORY - they are delightful tales of real people told in an unusual way. I think you would enjoy it. Well anyway, I'm sad to see him go but he lived to a ripe, old age and his legacy will live on.

He was Paul Harvey ... GOOD DAY!

***EDITED FOR ANDREA***

I gave him ideas for TWO "Rest of the Story's" ... one was about Garfield - and how the guy who draws Garfield doesn't even own a cat because his wife was deathly allergic to them and I even got to call Jim Davis and interview him so that was really cool. And the other story was about Stephen King - how he was terrified of the dark. Suuuuuure I didn't get to call Stephen King and interview HIM but hey, I was an inspiration and that's all that mattered. Thanks for asking babe.

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