NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

August 1, 2013

A trusted companion over many years

As I See It
Ralph Ayers

---- — Oh, hum, another month has gone by and we’re in the middle of Homecoming. I, for one, am on the sidelines. Oh, hum! As I now have all this time on my hands, I do have lots of time to think, and in doing so, I’d like to share these thoughts with you, if you don’t mind.

My thoughts this month bring up an immediate question, and that is what do over 76 million people do daily? They listen to the radio! Yes, in spite of television and other competition, the radio is still the winner. When I think of radio, it brings me back to the ‘20s and ‘30s when all we had for entertainment and news was the radio. Come to think of it, I heard about Pearl Harbor on the radio, the surrender of Italy and Japan on the radio and the deaths of Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy on the radio.

Yes, I listened to “Amos and Andy,” “Jack Armstrong,” “Myrt and Marge,” “The First Nighter,” the big bands and great entertainers for many years, along with national and local news the minute it broke.

Why do I tell this story when most of us know and could tell the same tale? My reason has a purpose, and that is to recognize and congratulate our local station, WNPB, which, since 1959, has been with us, offering quality entertainment, news and public service, as well as music and vocalists we understand and employees who know and understand their role in our lives.

Let me mention Bob Fuller, who, I believe, made it happen, along with former announcers John Evans, Tom Healey and Alan Mozier, who kept to the script. And, of course, Win Damon, who, I’m sure, could broaden his horizons but remains the voice you recognize when you hit the button in the wee hours of the morning and find a voice as enthusiastic as you would find announcing the play-by-pay at our local sports events in the late evening.

Yes, this station, our very own, now on AM and FM, shares local talent, like Mary Carrier, who has offered you some Irish songs for two hours every Sunday morning for 25 years. Never turning down a request to do a live show on the spot, the mobile van will broadcast when asked and promote your cause. On a personal note I once did a talk show that was fun and I had a hand in having our local station become an emergency broadcast station for this area.

I may not have given our local station as much congratulations as they deserve, but I do wish to convey the message that I consider the owners and employees of WNBP a local jewel; and as long as they remember to announce my birthday each year and be eligible for the gifts our merchants offer, they will stay in my good graces.

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Ralph J. Ayers of Newburyport calls himself a “local yokel.”