BOSTON (CBS) – I have known and admired Ed Walsh for nearly 30 years, since we first worked together at another Boston radio station, and his imminent retirement is yet another admirable moment in a life chock full of them.
But first, by way of context, consider some of the folks who have preceded Ed in the mornings on WBZ.
From the voice of my childhood, Carl DeSuze, to the great Dave Maynard, the incomparable Gary LaPierre, and now Ed for the past four years, there have been several common denominators to the sound of mornings here.
A distinctively local feeling, for one, not in the form of a stereotypical Boston accent or local name-dropping, but conveyed instead through intelligence, a dry wit, and an intuitive understanding of what it’s like to struggle through and/or enjoy another New England wakeup call and commute.
And another truly Bostonian trait — individuality.
Other cities may suffer with cookie-cutter morning hosts who want to know if you’ve had your second cup of coffee yet, or read the news as if it were a foreign language. But not us. Instead, we enjoy the likes of Ed Walsh, who gets it about the stories he’s telling us.
When Ed talks about something that happened in Metrowest, he’s telling you about where he grew up, in Natick and Wellesley. When he reads a story about an issue involving Holy Cross College, it’s with the wisdom of an alumnus. And when Ed reports a war story, he saw combat with the Navy in Vietnam, so he knows a little something about war.
But back to Ed’s retirement, an entirely voluntary affair that will allow him a chance to enjoy his good health and good fortune in the company of a loving family, including nine – count ’em, nine – grandchildren. One more and you’ve got two basketball teams, Ed, I am jealous.
Talk about going out on your own terms. You’ve left your face on BZ’s own Mount Rushmore, and I hope you’ll drop back from time to time to admire the sight and talk a little politics with me. I’d be honored, the same way I feel about the chance I’ve had to work with yet another Boston radio great.
Listen to Jon Keller’s commentary here:
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.