BOSTON (CBS) – Jack Williams’s last anchor shift is today at 5 p.m?

Are you kidding me?

I don’t want to believe it, because Boston TV news will be quite a bit less smart, interesting and fun after tonight.

Read: Jack Williams’ Retirement Coverage

Since I’ve been at WBZ people often ask me: what’s it really like working with Jack Williams?

So once and for all, for the sake of posterity, here’s what it’s like:

Jack keeps a well-stocked candy jar in his cubicle, wedged onto a shelf amid an avalanche of pictures of smiling children he helped find adoptive homes for. If you go into his office to raid the candy jar, as I often do, you are likely to encounter Jack with his nose buried in yet another huge, dense book about American history.

On his desk, thumbed-through copies of at least three daily newspapers; if the TV is on at all, it’s tuned to an historical documentary.

Jack is such a funny, self-deprecating guy, always willing to do his best Ted Baxter imitation, that people forget he is far smarter and more prepared than Ted Baxter ever dreamed of being.

This is manifest in his performance live-anchoring a news story, such as the Marathon bombing aftermath or the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Jack Williams anchoring a newscast in August 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Jack Williams anchoring a newscast in August 2014. (WBZ-TV)

I have sat beside him and Lisa Hughes for hours during these affairs and I can assure you that – with the possible exception of Lisa – there is no one better prepared to report on and add context to important breaking news than Jack.

Longtime WBZ Radio listeners may recall when Jack used to sit in sometimes on the evening talk show, freely sharing opinions that weren’t always conservative enough for some listeners, but were always thoughtful and heartfelt.

Smart, funny, thoughtful, principled.

And here’s another adjective for Jack Williams — Bostonian.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller

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