I retired from a 40-plus-year career in broadcasting on March 27, and it was the last time I had to get up “in the middle of the night” (2 or 3 a.m.) to go to work.

I was enthralled by the job as a very young child and was able to follow it through. At first it was because it seemed like a cool thing to do, but while at my very first job, I made mention of my full-time Navy duty and it was heard by the base commander, who, a few days later, happened to see my name stenciled on my shirt and commended me for representing the Navy in such a positive fashion. That happenstance visit by the skipper to the Comm Center at Brunswick Naval Air Station happened just as one of our senior supervisors finished coming down very hard on me and my immediate supervisor for me being allowed to juggle a few hours of Saturday overnights-into-Sunday in order to fulfill my lifelong passion.

I learned early on that my words, when used properly, can make a difference. I liked to say, “I have a big mouth and am not afraid to use it,” and over the years that mouth was put to use for a number of civic events and activities. It was always nice to discover that the words still were able to convey the fun or the benefit of whatever was going on, whether it was a high school musical, a seasonal cookout or a fundraiser for area nonprofits, and, for the past 14 years, the annual food drive to benefit Preble Street soup kitchen in Portland.

My retiring was considered and planned for months, with the date having been determined well ahead of time. I was saddened when, as with many wonderful people here in Maine, several of my co-workers had also gone to work for the last time, displaced due to the economic fallout from COVID-19. Even more painful for me was that these co-workers were all part of the heartwarming send-off given me as I left work for the last time.

Yes, I’m the guy who most recently hosted the morning show on WYNZ-FM here in Portland, and I wanted to take a moment to say “Thank you” for the kind words and support as I stepped away. And I was especially surprised and humbled by the “social distancing” escort I received from family, friends, neighbors and co-workers on the way home from the station that morning. Apologies if you got stuck in that little parade.

But my decision to retire also opened the door to the last time I’d have to say “I can’t” to my family, with years of missed family gatherings, celebrations, holidays and more, all due to work. And I’ve immediately been able to help my South Portland-teacher daughters by keeping an eye on the grandchildren for the scheduled online class time each schoolday.

I hope my words will continue to make a difference, and once again to southern Maine radio listeners – Thank you all so very much for the pleasure of your company!

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