“Hello, Americans! This is Paul Harvey!”

A poetic tribute to my childhood hero;
The Tenor of Our Grief

[Editor’s note: Paul Harvey celebrates his 89th birthday this week]

“Hello, Americans!” he’s wont to say.
I hear him say it everyday.

His lilting voice conveys the news
while finding ways to spin his views.
Just hearing him, makes me feel warm
when icy headlines make me mourn.

Since I was just a school age lad,
I’ve heard him take what’s really sad
and find a hook to help us cope
through God and country, dreams and hope.

His bumper snickers make me laugh.
His stories have a second half.
His sponsors are like family,
like Hillsdale, Bose, Hi-Health, page three.

My favorite newsman is unique
in what he says and how he speaks.
I think you’d call him my mainstay.
His name is Paul …Harvey… Good day!

*Recently, while on vacation in Phoenix, I unexpectedly encountered Mr. Harvey taking his daily afternoon walk near the Biltmore Hotel. I greeted with a hearty “Hello, American!” He smiled and invited me to join him on his 1 1/2 mile stroll. For thirty minutes I savored a dream come true. Making the most of the fleeting moments, I asked the 88 year old newsman questions about which I’ve wondered since I first heard him on the radio when I was a boy of twelve. It was the highlight of my vacation.

The Tenor of Our Grief
A Tribute to Luciano Pavarotti

The phantom of the opera
holds a mask that hides his tears
A trio has become a sad duet.
The big man with the giant voice
who taught the world to sing
is silent. Pavarotti now is dead.

Those lyrics few could stomach,
Luciano brought to life.
Like a circus clown,
his singing coaxed a smile.
Opera music gained a hearing.
Like a rock star he found fame
though his weight and marriage failures
proved a trial.

Luciano, how we loved you.
No one else can take your place.
May you find in death God’s mercy
on your soul.
With a voice that tempted angels,
you brought Heaven down to earth.
Now it’s time to sing God’s praises
loud and full.