My granddaughter, who is in the third grade, brought home a list from school asking her to write about being thankful.
On the list was, “Why should old people be thankful?” Her answer was “that they are still alive!”
I got a chuckle out of that, but in reality I am thankful to still be alive, plus I am thankful for many other blessings of life including family, friends, church, this newspaper, and the list could go on and on.
This week the News Journal is publishing its annual Basketball Preview of area high school teams. While thinking about basketball I considered how thankful I am for a big snow storm many years ago.
That may sound crazy, but it was because of a big snow storm that I made my entrance to “big-time” broadcasting.
The Kentucky Wildcats were preparing to play Missouri at Memorial Coliseum on New Year’s eve, 1960 and I was preparing to broadcast the game for the school’s radio station.
I was a student at UK then and as a senior I had become the station’s play-by-play announcer, following in the footsteps of Jim Host.
My sidekick, who did the color for the broadcast, and I were about to go on the air when Ken Kuhn, the sports information director at UK, approached our table and said,
“Cawood is stranded in Frankfort and cannot make it to the game.” He asked if I would fill in for him. With a leap and a bound I told my sidekick, “you got it here Pete, I’m going over to the WHAS location.”
I was thrilled beyond words. You must understand that I thought I was the world’s greatest announcer and this was my chance to prove it. (Years later I listened to a tape recording of the broadcast and was throughly humiliated.)
Oh well, announcing that game did bring me a lot of attention. Also, I was paid $50, which was a lot of money for a student back then.
It opened the door for me to become friends with Cawood Ledford whom I greatly admired. Incidentally, that was the only game he missed while broadcasting UK games.
Later I had the opportunity to fill in for Claude Sullivan. As a high school student I listened to him broadcast all UK games on the Standard Oil Network.
He was one of the nicest radio personalities I ever met. He took the time to tutor me on play-by-play while I was a student at UK.
Had it not been for that snow storm I don’t know if I would have had other experiences I enjoyed while broadcasting in Louisville and Lexington.
But when it came time to choose where I wanted to live, I chose to come back to my hometown and follow my beloved Redhounds.
That almost didn’t happen. Kincaid Broadcasting wanted to groom me to replace Sullivan who was battling throat cancer. I was to start at their station in Ashland, but after giving it several days of consideration I made a decision that I have never regretted by coming back to Corbin.
After 30 years my last broadcast locally was in 1991, So now I’ve been away from that profession about as long as I was in it.
I can look back and be thankful for the many friends I made and the fun times of broadcasting games for area teams.
Thankfully I met Terry Forcht over 31 years ago and he gave me the opportunity to be the publisher of this newspaper. Professionally that is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
There can’t be enough “thank you’s” to Terry and the people I have worked with at this newspaper.
Here is wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and not needing any snow storms.