Paul Harvey with Fries

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.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Paul Harvey with Fries

  1. Martha Not-Stewart

    You are right that he was comforting.He was also very positive.

  2. Ed Smith

    It got so that I would have a Pavlovian response to his newscast. When it came on at noon it was time to eat. I first started listening to him in the early ’70’s and thought him awfully quaint and consevative. As time passed, he got consideably less conservative. How did that happen?

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