I wanted to take a few minutes to write a note to both apologize to you and to thank you. The apology is because there are so many things I should have said to you and wish I had said to you, but I didn't.
When you work with someone virtually every day for 20 years, you often take that relationship for granted. That's what I did. It bothers me John that even though I would see you every day, I now can't remember exactly when I last saw you, or what I said to you. My guess it was probably a simple pass in the hallway when I said something like, "Hey John, how's it going?" I wish I had said more.
I never told you how much I enjoyed working with you. Not everyone gets to work with someone who routinely makes them laugh. Not everyone has a job that makes them look forward to work. Not everyone has a job in which they observe and learn from one of the best. I had those opportunities thanks to you John, and I wish I had told you that.
I also wish I had thanked you for bringing a smile to my face every time I see or hear about actor Harrison Ford. You know why. In the late 1990's, I was out at Muirfield Village doing a Memorial Tournament update. A golfer by the name of Harrison Frazer was in the lead. I did my report and at the end you laughed and asked if actor Harrison Ford was really the leader at the Memorial. You wanted to know if Chewbacca was his caddie. I had no idea what you were talking about. I even looked at my script and it was written correctly--Harrison Frazer--so I challenged you by saying "Get the corncobs out of your Logan ears--I didn't say Harrison Ford I said Harrison Frazer!"
Well--when you were challenged John, you didn't back down, so you had your producer Joe Bradley re-rack the tape. Sure enough, I mistakenly had said "Harrison Ford." We all laughed hysterically and I told you my backbone was officially being removed----I would never stand up or question your greatness again. The Harrison Ford incident was a running bit for years and even as I type this, I'm smiling. Thank you for memories like that.
Thank you for showing me how to do radio. No, you never sat down with me and said, "this is how you do a successful show," but simply by observing you, I learned so much. The biggest lesson I learned, and I take it with me on the air every day, is be yourself.
I was asked countless times over the years, from friends or listeners, "What's John Corby like?" The answer I gave and what I think made you connect so well with people is, "He's exactly like what you hear on WTVN from 3 to 7 every day." There was nothing phony about you John and that's why people loved you. There was a reason your WTVN golf outing was called "The Regular Guy Golf Outing" because that's what you were...a regular guy. It's a lesson for everyone. Whether it's at work, at school, at home, in a relationship---be yourself. It's the best path to success. There are a lot of radio personalities that don't get that. They think they need to be outrageous or have a shtick to be successful---but not you. You were John Corby and Columbus loved you for it.
Columbus loved to talk to you John. You made them comfortable. If there was a major news story, controversy or tragedy, you let your listeners become the stars. If you needed to enhance the conversation with a guest, you got one. But you were perhaps at your best on the days when nothing was going on. There is a true talent in being able to talk for three to four hours about bad restaurant experiences, horrible bosses, embarrassing moments, best sports movies, or whatever the topic de jour was. You did it and made it sound easy. That's brilliance. Whether the conversation was serious or complete nonsense, you were the guy on the bar stool everyone wanted to talk with.
I hope you know what an honor it was to work with you. Having the opportunity to work alongside a true legend in Columbus radio was truly a blessing. I never told you that, and I should have. I also hope you know that WTVN will never be the same. We will all move forward--but we will never be the same.
Thank you John, and my apologies. These are all things you deserved to hear long ago. If you see B.C., tell him hello. Oh--and one more thing. Happy Birthday!