I really don’t have anything wise and deep to say about the late great broadcaster Paul Harvey, who died over the weekend. He played a pleasant, comforting and sometimes amusing part in the soundtrack of my life. It’s been said a million times since Sunday.
One thing that struck me as I thought about Harvey’s twice-daily broadcasts was how many times I listened in while sitting in line at a fast food drive-through. Lots of stations ran his first segment over the noon hour, so there you go.
I remember sitting in a Burger King line in Des Moines on a cold gray day in February 1993, listening to Harvey talk about the first World Trade Center Bombing. I was a Gazette intern at at the time, a senior at Drake.
I changed jobs, cars and towns. But a slow-rolling line, his unique, clear voice, interrupted by a garbled voice taking my order, will always be intermixed in memory.
I can’t recall any powerful Paul Harvey moment that sticks out in my mind, no more than I recount a life-changing lunch I got at a drive-through. But I liked listening to Harvey’s brand of throwback radio, just like I enjoy pulling into McDonald’s — reliable, familiar and thoroughly American.
Comfort food, comfort radio. And you could have fries with both.
When crazy things happen, it’s nice to have a few of those dependable things. It seems like our inventory has been dwindling lately. Now, we say goodbye to one more.