Today has had more emotions than I can remember in a long time. Dawn and I fell asleep really early last night and got up at a reasonable hour this morning. I think we were wiped out from St. Patty's Day. We got up and watched the rest of Fringe, which we missed because we fell asleep with a few minutes left. I fired up the grill and did a little yard work while I was doing that. My neighbor came over and we decided to tackle the problem of the mulberry trees that are making a mess out of our fence line. He is going to start this weekend and I will try and finish next week on my "off" days. It was just a great day to be outside...I couldn't pass up the chance to ride the moped to work. Since I have rebuilt it and put on the bigger carburetor it is only getting about 50 miles per gallon. However, with only having a tank that is 0.8 gallons, I can only go about 35 miles until I have about 5 miles on the Reserve...an extra fuel supply to get you to a gas station. Now that I know that, I can plan better and not get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
I was called before leaving for work and left a voicemail of sad news, but I will finish this entry with that.
Work was pretty good. The weekend staff is my favorite because we all have to work weekends, so we all mesh really well and just get our jobs done and there isn't any interruptions. I shot some fun video of me holding up the "Super Moon." The full moon is the closest it has been in over 20 years so it is larger than normal so I rolled up my sleeves and had the photographer shoot video of me holding it up in the sky. I also decided that I was going to save some time when it comes to doing school talks. They always want to see the station, but taking 100 kids on a tour is out of the question, so I decided I would bring in my personal video camera and have someone shoot video of me giving a tour. It turned out awesome. So now I can show that video and answer questions about it while I am doing the school talks, or like this week...I am meeting with the city of Miamisburg to talk to their police, EMS, etc. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Quick look at the forecast, chance for showers/storms later tomorrow and that will remain scattered pretty much until Thursday. The warm temperatures and a few waves of energy will keep things wet on and off for a while. A cold punch of air will arrive later in the week...could that mean a few flakes of snow?!?!?! Maybe, I will keep you posted.
Now to the phone call. Our Assistant News Director called me to personally tell me that our News Director, Pat Casey, passed away this morning. Pat, 54 years old, had been battling brain cancer for the last year. Pat was a one of a kind person. He had vision and drive to deliver the news like no other person I have met. Even though I have been in the industry for a handful of years, I have been under 8 different news directors' management. Pat hands down ran the smoothest operation thanks to the hours and his attitude. He comes from a HUGE Irish family and he called me on St. Patty's Day two years ago...so I knew he meant business. He offered me the position here and I was thrilled to return to the area where I grew up. While he was healthy he would put in easily 60 hour weeks and still want more. He would make the best of a bad situation and would take breaking news to the people and in situations when breaking news happened. He would pull out the best ratings in the area in situations like the airshow plane crash or the Hurricane Ike wind storm.
I was called today because the Assistant News Director said he knew that I had a close relationship with Pat and he wanted to let me know before an email was sent out to the staff. Pat and I did have a close relationship. When I started two years ago he told me I could not use the name on-air that I used in Lima, Andrew Buck Michael. He said there was no way I could use three names and I had to chose between Andrew Michael and Buck Michael. I told Pat that my mother would not let my dad name me Buck as my first name when I was born, so she would be upset, and I also am not in the adult film industry, so I was not going with Buck Michael. Pat smiled at that comment and said we would go with Andrew Michael. He then jokingly said the rest of the staff could have 10 free slip-ups a year if they called me Buck on-air since they all call me that off-camera. Pat would have us meet him in his office every afternoon with close to ten people crammed in his small corner room to give them updates on the weather, sports, then news. He loved knowing everything that was happening. I remember pulling into work one day about ten minutes early from my drive from Sidney. Pat was pulling out of the parking lot to run to the other building and said, "Ten minutes early?!?! You won't get anywhere in life with that kind of attitude!" He then smiled and pulled away.
While living in Sidney I asked Pat: "When am I going to get station-issued gear and start a Northern Bureau for you guys?" He smiled and joked, "As soon as you buy your own camera." Sure enough I bought my own professional grade equipment and that changed my news/weather outlook completely. By pairing that up with my laptop, I was able to travel anywhere in the world and send stories back to the station via wifi with an FTP server. Pat then would only call me the "FTP Boy". I would walk into his office while he was on a conference call and he would tell the others on the call that the "FTP Boy" just walked into the room. He would tell everyone about what I was able to do with FTP and technology and he was truly amazed. The joke he made about me buying my own gear has allowed me to report on breaking news, breaking weather, and even travel to Philly to watch the Reds play in the playoffs. Thanks Pat.
He knew what stories people would want to see and would talk about around the water cooler the next day. He may have caused some people to pull their hair out by pushing their limits, but in the end they would pull off what they thought was impossible. Pat left behind his wife and his three children. While I have not been able to interact with Pat a lot over the last few months due to his condition, I have followed his wife's blog and he was still the same old Pat that inspired me and that I will always respect. Rest In Peace, Pat.
Andrew Buck Michael
After hanging out with some co-workers and reminiscing, I remember Pat's last day at the station... very unique day, a day that defines Pat. He was in and out for a while and after talking with everyone, his last day working was December 30th. I remember this day VERY vividly. There was an earthquake centered in Kokomo, Indiana around 7 or 8AM. I remember phone calls coming into the newsroom about the shaking here in the Miami Valley while I was doing the weather on the morning news. Pat jumped into action and had me out the door as soon as I was off-air to head to Kokomo, IN. I went there to shoot some teases for the news and a short story about what it was like in Kokomo. Pat was very big on updates from the road and he didn't like to talk much. Once he got the point he was on to the next task. I called to tell him I had everything shot and was heading back to the station, he responded, "Good job" and then hung out. Always on top of his game, even while battling the brain cancer for nearly a year at that point in December. We lost a great man.