Paul Harvey died on Saturday at age 90. He was a remarkably original radio personality. My parents used to listen to his mixture of news and anecdote every day, and when I was a child I became transfixed by Harvey’s rumbling-deep voice and strikingly unique phrasing. He’d pause in the middle of sentences for dramatic effect. He’d rush to the end of a story, pause for so long you thought the radio had gone dead, and then you’d suddenly hear him bark in mock-triumph, “Page two!”… his term for changing the subject, and off he was, onto another story, or to a commercial whose copy he read himself and promoted personally.
Harvey belonged to the pre-TV generation, but lasted well into the Internet age. In recent years, I would hear him only on car trips, around noon wherever I was, on the AM radio dial. He had the gift of making it seem as though he was talking only to you. “Hello, Americans!” he’d greet you merrily: patriotism never sounded so much fun.
Paul Harvey, sir… good day!