This job is my passion. It's really the only thing I know how to do. It's as important to me as breathing. Many people who are on the outside of broadcasting look at those of us who are on the radio or on television as narcissistic. That means we really like to look at ourselves in the mirror. That couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the people I know in this industry got into it because of a passion to help other people.

I don't know Larry Stogner, the man featured in this video, but I do have a deep understanding for the emotion he is sharing with us. Larry has been behind a microphone or in front of a camera for more than half of his life and now. He is having to give that up. He's not sad that he won't be in the bright lights and have his name on billboards. He is sad because he won't get to help his viewers have a better day. He is sad because he won't be able to be there when terrible things happen in his community. He is sad because he won't be able to be the voice for the voiceless.

I think that we as viewers sometimes forget that the people that are on camera at our favorite TV stations are still real live living breathing people. They have feelings, real feelings. They are not on the TV because they want to be stars. They are on the TV because their talents make them great storytellers. They choose to tell the stories that make our community better.  So the next time you post a snarky Facebook comment you're throwing a dart at a living breathing human being who has feelings just like you do.

I am sure Larry Stogner received all kinds of idiotic comments about the way his speech slowed down. He may have been accused of drinking or doing something else before news time. The truth was this. Larry Stogner was fighting a battle with an awful disease. A disease that will most likely take his life. A disease that will pull him away from the very people who would say hurtful things about him. Those are the same people that for nearly four decades he was honored to serve and share a lifetime with.

Most of the time in this industry we are not given the chance to say good-bye. Only the really great broadcasters earn that opportunity. Larry Stogner earned the chance to tell the most important people in his world, besides his wife Bobbie, the truth about where he was going and why.

From your broadcast family that you've never met, good luck and Godspeed Larry. You and people like you are the reason that people like me have taken up this profession in hopes of making the world a better place one story at a time. Thank you for your passion, your courage, and your commitment. Thank you for showing the rest of us what true grace and real class looks like on camera.


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