I started at WAVE in the spring of 1989. The most memorable stories for me included a hostage standoff that lasted all night and ended with percussion grenades. Then there was covering a forest fire in Jefferson Forest with photographer Jimmy Joslyn and almost falling down the mountainside. I clung to a spindly tree with Jimmy and camera hanging on.
Then there was the summer of covering nothing but Red, White and Blue days and any story that had to do with a duck. There was a duck with a plastic ring from coke bottles stuck on its neck. The story involved a brave rescue by a hotel lifeguard and a poignant comment from a police officer saying he was impressed with the young man's bravery. Then there was the invasion of ducks into the baby pool at the home of a family whose name was Fox. Oh, and they had six puppies, several birds and fish. Yes, that was a rousing summer!
When the Iraq War began, a photographer and I were sent in the middle of the night on a weekend to cover the families of solders being sent overseas. We met families in union halls, at outdoor rallies, and in their homes. Their commitment and compassion for their country was truly amazing while their loved ones went off to war. That was perhaps the most powerful time I experienced as a reporter, knowing I was covering an important time in history.
Doing WAVE 3 Sunrise was definitely a highlight. Working with Hugh Finn and Tom Wills was a charmed time of my television career. We hosted argumentative political debates, created on-set haunted houses with the help of the Lion's Club and interviewed the late, great Johnny Cash.
Most of all, it was an honor to be able to facilitate showcasing important groups in the community that made Louisville the very special place it is. I received a Strawberry Award for covering a series of stories on Kentucky Harvest. I spoke to the Naval Ordnance Station about women in the military. I received a Women's Recognition Award at the time for sharing stories of a best friend who became the first African American woman helicopter pilot.
I ended my days at WAVE in 1992 while very sick from early pregnancy. During that time, I covered the trial of the shooters who critically injured the beloved UofL football star Herbert Henry. I remember doing live standups from the courthouse and running to the bathroom in between. I also remember the kindness of Henry's family and how generous and dignified they were throughout the trial.
I must close with a deep and heartfelt thank you to former WAVE 3 News Director Ed Godfrey. I wouldn't have ended up in Louisville without his faith in my work and his gruff, marine-style, professional critiques and support! Many thanks to him and others there at the time for making WAVE 3 a valuable resource in the community and a very formative time in my life.
I now teach at Ivy Tech Community College in Muncie, IN, helping students who need remediation and study skills. One exciting program is in the welding lab (yes even with my heels and bling). It's allowing young men and women to get good jobs within 40 weeks in a high-demand industry. We're hoping to add more programs to infuse some highly technically skilled workers into the Indiana and regional economy.
It was terrible to lose our dear friend and colleague Hugh Finn. His personal mentorship and the friendship of him and his wife Michelle were so meaningful during my career at WAVE. I send my best to Michelle wherever she is now.
Good memories of great friends. Best to all at WAVE TV and congratulations on 65 years!