My mother bought me an eight transisitor radio as a gift for my Catholic confirmation. Given the large number of women in my house, and the reality of a single household television set that was the 1950s, I was now set to listen to ball games and talk radio shows.
I fell in love with Barry Gray, Long John Nebel and Barry Farber, and I wanted very much to do the radio when I grew up. I was dissuaded, though, by my high school speech teacher who—given the syles and biases of the day—instructed that only men with deep voices had any chance. He added, for effect, that women's voices were not pleasing to the ear. It made sense at the time, but I still held out hope that one day things would change.
My education and career took me to Wall Street where my first job, before taking off on a teaching and communications track, had me supervising a customer service unit. Well, those of you of a certain age will remember when the Yankees's John Sterling did sports talk on WMCA back in the early '70s. Whenever I had to take a long string of calls, I imagined I was John. Before him, I used to listen to the iconic Bill Mazur whom I actualy got to work with before his retirement a few years ago.
Life happens, and in my case, that meant promotions to good paying jobs and a family to support. Thus, my next 30 years were spent accordingly. During those years, I would tell anyone and eveyone that I would leave as early as possible to do the radio. Very few people, including me, believed it.
Well here I am after almost 10 years on the air, six of them host of Good Morning Westchester on WVOX, actually looking back on this wondeful decade.
This bit of a preamble is so that you will know that you have been part of a little boy's dream come true. It is time to move on, but I cannot do so without saying thank you.
Thank you to Bill O'Shaughnessy, Don Stevens and a great soul of a woman most of you don't know, by the name of Cindy Gallagher. She holds the center there on 5th Avenue. They gave me the chance of a lifetime. Thanks also to our sales chief, Judy Freemont, who always let me know that she appreciated what I did. And a special thanks to John Harper, the station's "voice" who stands as the only mentor I have ever had in my life.
Most all, though, I want to thank you, the residents of the City of New Rochelle, and Westchester. Even though I was not from the Queen City—though I did take up residence on Woodland, then Davis Avenue for a few years—I was never made to feel like an outsider.
And like most people, I came to love New Rochelle. There is a lot to love. It is diverse, historic, artfull and fully aware of itself and its place in the world. I am sure that that is why its citizens are so passionatley involved in the affairs of government and education. Whether the discussion is about the school board, the City Yard or the beloved Armory, you all care.
Also, a very, very special thanks to the callers. I am sure you did not know that you were part of a dream; that eveytime I picked up the phone there was Barry Farber, John Sterling or John harper siting there on my shoulder, or that I never lost the feeling that it was all to good to be true.
And to the public officials who were compelled to take me seriously even though I never fought in the arena that I was employed to cover. I said it on the air, and I will say it here: I have no idea why they want to do this to themselves. Thank you.
How lucky am I? I got to do on the air almost everything I ever wanted to. I have interviewed any number of public figures, including governors and presidential candidates, authors and artists, scientists and sports figures, actors and celebreties. I am still pinching myself.
I am sure I will be involved in local affairs and broadcasting in some way in the future. I have more to say. For now, though, it is time to move on. But I must say again, thank you for being a part of a dream come true.