I'm standing at the foot of my parent's bed. My father lowers the newspaper and looks at me over the top of his glasses. "Again," he says, "and this time watch your pacing. You were rushing at the end."
I had agreed to enter the Optimist Oratorical Contest at the urging of my 8th grade English teacher.
For weeks, each day ended with multiple performances of my speech. My father would critique each offering; commenting on my inflection, pacing, posture and gestures.
Later in life, as a 10pm news anchor in Honolulu, it occurred to me that most people were probably watching me then just as my parents had so many years ago... lying in bed, looking at me over the top of their reading glasses. And yes, they were probably critiquing my performance.
My first job at 15 was at my small hometown radio station in Southwest Missouri. Radio brought me to Hawaii in 1976 and I worked for KORL, KKUA, KQMQ and KRTR before taking my first television news job at KITV in 1987. I became the only TV weather guy in town, suffering the slings and arrows of those who thought dedicating anything more than 15 seconds of a newscast to weather in Hawaii was a waste of time. Then in 1992 Hurricane Iniki hit - and that changed everything. I was on the air 16 hours straight.
I went on to anchor the news at KITV, moved to KHNL in 1995 to help begin their news operation and went back to KITV in 2000. From 2002-2009 I was out of broadcasting, running a start-up and then working in resort real estate in Southern California.
The opportunity to work on Sunrise at KGMB brought me back to Hawaii in the summer of 2009. Four months later KGMB, KHNL and KFVE struck up an innovative partnership that brought the stations together under one roof.
Being a part of the Sunrise team hardly seems like work. We have such a good time every morning it almost makes that alarm at 1:45am bearable. Almost...