Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Myself

Edan's going away party
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

For nearly eleven years I have worked at the same TV station, WSIL.  I've made many friends while here, including Edan Schultz, the 6 and 10 o'clock anchor and managing editor for the station.

Edan had been with the station more than 19 years and just recently announced that he was leaving for Florida.  His wife found a great job there.  Friends, colleagues, and family members recorded heartfelt well wishes to the long time journalist. The theme was the same in all of them:  Edan is a great guy.  A mentor.  A friend to all who knew him.

New Year's Eve 80's Style
Edan: Blockbuster guy, Me: Papa Smurf, Chad: Mr. Mullet
I echoed those same sentiments in my goodbye to him.  We've shared plenty of good times together, including New Years Eve celebrations, Thanksgiving dinners, and time out on Crab Orchard Lake.  My kids used to call him Uncle Edan and we'd ring his doorbell every year at Halloween.  We hung out with various coworkers until the wee hours of the morning talking about everything you can imagine.

Edan with my daughter
One of my favorite Edan memories from work happened when I first started working at WSIL.  It was before I'd moved to the morning show and was reporting nightside on a new "gentlemen's club" that had moved into the area.  There was a church group protesting the club and I was doing a live shot from the parking lot for the 10 o'clock news.  

Hanging out at the lake
I remember standing there, ready to go on, somewhat nervous as drunk college guys staggered behind me before we went on air.  Then I hear Edan's toss to me and he says "News 3's Kevin Hunsperger has been at the strip club all night, and join us with more."  It took everything I had to not laugh at that, as I wondered if our viewers thought I was inside with dollar bills in hand waiting to file my report.

Even though I'm a few months older, I always looked up to Edan.  He's been a great mentor to me and countless others.  Our boss called him the backbone of the newsroom, and I think that's a very fitting description.  Edan sleeps, eats, and breathes news, and we're all the better because of it.  He'll be missed.  And even though some viewers confuse the two of us, I hope I have just a fraction of the impact Edan has had on this region.  

I realize that some of this sounds like I'm writing his eulogy, but I've been thinking about the idea of telling the people you appreciate and respect while they're still around to hear it.  I look back a couple of years ago when I gave my grandma's eulogy and I wish now that I'd said those things TO her and not ABOUT her.  So I think it's perfectly fine to show a little (or a lot) of love to the people you think are worthy of it.  So be ready for more appreciation blogs here on My 1-2-3 Cents.

1 comment:

  1. These photos are nice. The details from your farewell party were really nice to read. I am pleased that you enjoyed every moment of this party. Well I also have a small business and two of my employees are also leaving so I would like to host such a nice farewell dinner party for them at some local corporate event venues San Francisco.