This past Saturday began like most Saturdays do. You know, the usual; getting up, doing a ittle housework and cleaning up the yard. But then a magical thing happened. Like the collection of character who gathered t Bilbo Baggins' house at the beginning of The Hobbit, my own collection of characters began arriving.
They are the good friends I've collected over the years. They came in in groups. There were friends form work, friends from Sports West, family members and family friends. They didn't all know each other, but I knew every one of them. They have my life here in Reno. And over a few hours they all met in person.
Since I moved here 30 years ago, every job change has been a forced change. You know, they kind where they give you a box and ten minutes to leave. That's a terrible way to leave people you've worked with for years.
But this time the change is a life choice. It's one everyone's known about for months. It's one I've planned and saved for. And while a few other people have asked if they could throw me a party I never had any intention of letting them. No, this was my chance to throw the party and invite those who have believed in me, even when I hardly believed i myself.
And I'm about to do something I rarely do, which is name people, because i know I'll leave someone out. But I feel I need to.
In one corner of my back porch was an entire community from Sports West that has welcomed me with open arms even if I can't always keep up with them. And in another corner were the members of the foundation of television in this market.
John Howe was the News Director who took a chance on me back in 1982 and brought me to Reno, Ed Pearce still grinds out stories daily; Dan Fitzsimmons rocked weekend sports in the 80's and is now a financial advisor and of course Tad Dunbar is who I co-anchored with for 18 years at Channel 8. I don't know that any of them even liked me when I arrived, but I think it's safe to say I grew on them. And to see then all together at my house was amazing.
Cathie Leary, who has been my dear friend for 30-yers was here early to help as she always is. My kids were all here as were Mack and Earline McGrannahan, Neal and Mary Cobb, Warren Lerude , Rebecca Cronon and so may more.
And now, just like Bilbo Baggins, I'm packing for an amazing journey for my own. While I can't take you all with me in person, please know that you will all be with me in spirit. I'll be tapping into all you've taught me over the all these years. Than you to every one of you for believing in me and for stopping by last Saturday for what, to me, was truly a 'legend'-ary send-off.