Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Formby

I would like to use this space to remember what has been, and will no longer be, an important part of my day. From October 1955, when I was 1 year and 7 months old, until the day before his death on July 31, 2010, Clint Formby was a friendly voice over the airwaves. I only had the pleasure of listening to him for the last 20 years or so.

I am blessed to live in a town with it's own radio station, KPAN radio. When I am out tooling around running errands and such, this is the station to which I listen. They cover the local news and the local sports. They cover the local churches and the local schools. They feature the "Good neighbor of the day" and are everything that I think a small town station should be.

One of their radio features was the "Day-by-Day Philosopher". This program was initiated in October of 1955 by Clint Formby and continued 6 days every week until July 30,2010 for a total of 17,160 consecutive broadcasts. Mr. Formby even broadcast from his hospital room when he was ill. It was broadcast at 7:45 a.m. and thus became an important part of my morning, as well as that of my grandson.

When Moose was little, he stayed with us. I am not much for clocks and tend to run my time by what's on the TV and/or the radio. To this day, I get ready to leave the house after the Top Ten is over on my favorite (or at least less irritating) nighttime show.

Moose and I would leave the house in the morning after our local ABC news affiliate finished with their mid-hour update. This made it 7:24a.m. Moose ate better in the car so I would hand him some food, grab his backpack and off we would go. We would stop and get coffee and a paper and would drive to the school parking lot where we would break fast and visit a bit before school started. In the background, always, was the "Day-by-Day Philosopher". More often than not, something he said would catch either my ear or the Moose's. We discussed a variety of subjects that I probably would not have thought to bring up.

It was a great comfort to me to know, without a doubt, that my grandson would not be hearing anything that needed explaining. Mr. Formby's broadcast was always, at the outside, PG-13 but most often G rated. It was never mean-spirited or spiteful but inspiring, friendly, and gracious.

Some of my best morning memories involve my grandson, a cup of coffee, the paper, a semi-deserted parking lot and the congenial voice of a very philosophical man. Thank you, Mr. Formby.


Karmyn R said...

Sorry to hear that such a decent personality is no longer on the airwaves.

Anonymous said...

It's always amazing to me how the passing of someone like a celebrity can leave such a void in our lives.

~sWaMpY~ said...

That's wasn't supposed to be an anonymous comment. It was little 'ole me.

Sayre said...

How lucky you were to have that! The city/town I live in is too big to have something so local. The closest thing we had was Paul Harvey - and he was a national figure.

My dad works at a tiny radio station in Quincy doing public affairs programming. He's the resident public snoop, digging into all the stories of local interest. And they play whatever music they feel like playing, which is mostly old-time country and bluegrass. That's the closest thing we have to what you had.

I'm sorry for your loss - and it really IS your loss... and your township's loss. He sounds like a great person.

bermudabluez said...

I know what you mean about the small town radio station. I love the one we have here too! Sorry to hear about the loss of one of your small town celebrity favorites. You have some wonderful memories.

Pamela said...

like a second skin....
I miss him and I didn't even know who he was!

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