Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Good Day with Paul Harvey

In my previous career as television cameraman, I sometimes rubbed elbows with celebrities. In 1978, I had barely started my first job at WTAJ in Altoona, PA, when Paul Harvey came to town. While doing genealogical research, he discovered that some of his ancestors with the surname of Arendt came from the nearby town of Hollidaysburg. In front of the Blair County courthouse is a war memorial monument displaying the name of one of his forebears. Paul came to have a look. Since I was working solo that day and had no professional training as a journalist, I didn't know what to ask him. Our assignment editor told me, "Ask him why he thinks his approach has stayed popular even now when more journalism is becoming more investigative and hard-hitting." Paul replied that he always looked forward to coming into work each day and checking the wires to see what interesting things people had been up to. He was very gracious with his time and even posed for a photo with me, grabbing the microphone and, turning the tables, jokingly said, "How about me asking you some tough questions, now, Dave? What about your style of journalism?" I regret that I've lost the picture. But my mother still lives in Hollidaysburg and I sometimes drive past that monument and think about that good day.


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