I’m going to be writing a series on Wisconsin as soon as I have time to do it, but one timely Wisconsin memory for me is listening to Paul Harvey.
I discovered this morning that Paul Harvey died on Saturday. I knew very little about him, except for his love of storytelling and his voice. I didn’t know what he looked like, how old he was or where he was born.
I know more about him now — He was born in Oklahoma and spent most of his life in newsrooms. He looked much younger than his 90 years.
I remember hearing Paul Harvey throughout my life. His “the rest of the story” is as comforting to me as grilled cheese and tomato soup. The last few times I’ve heard Paul Harvey, since we don’t listen to whatever radio channel he is on in our day-to-day lives, was in Wisconsin at my parent’s house, or else on the way to Wisconsin.
In my parent’s “cabin” in Wisconsin they have one television channel which comes in fuzzy most of the time. They don’t have Internet and my cell phone does not work there. But they have radio. We get our news and entertainment mostly from an old stereo system that sits under the soon-to-be useless television in the living room of my parents lake home in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin.
During the day I have the stereo on and tuned, usually, to the local public radio station, but when there is nothing interesting to listen to on public radio (shocking but true — we can only listen to so much polka) I switch channels. The next radio station that comes in clearly there is WMQA — an ABC affiliate. ABC airs Paul Harvey and when we’re in the house, we listen to him. If we are getting ready to go somewhere, we”ll wait until we hear the whole story he has to tell for the day. His stories are usually saccharine sweet — something one might find in Reader’s Digest or the Chicken Soup books, but something about being in the Northwoods makes us a little more receptive to that kind of storytelling.
I’ll miss his voice and his stories — but since I’ve only heard a fraction of what he had to say, maybe they’ll replay them — like the peanuts comics — and I’ll still get to hear his voice in Wisconsin.