Last night Nashville television viewers said goodbye to long time local sports anchor Hope Hines. Hope was a staple, having been on the air at Nashville's CBS affiliate since the early 1970's. I don't mind saying, that's about as long as I can remember.
For whatever reason, during all my years in Nashville I was a "News Channel 5" girl. If I turned on the evening news it was for then national anchor Dan Rather, and if I turned on local news it was to see Chris Clark, Amy Marsalis, Ron Howes, and Hope Hines. I am not sure what fixed this preference, although my parents still watch all their news on Channel 5 so it must have started there.
One thing I found interesting during our move to Pennsylvania is how attached we become to our local anchors and other news people. In the beginning it was disconcerting enough to have to watch news in an area I knew nothing about. I didn't get the traffic reports, I didn't know the townships or the local officials. Harrisburg was a much smaller market than Nashville and their newsrooms (and the on-air broadcasters) seemed like amateur hour in comparison to those in Nashville. Add to that being in a different time zone and having the evening news come on at 11 rather than 10....well, I felt like my life was in an uproar.
When you think about it, we allow these people into our homes every day. They bring us the information we need to plan, to live, and to be informed about what is going on in our community. Although now I am about an hour from Nashville, I still watch the Nashville news every morning and evening. There's something so comforting about being back and being able to watch those familiar faces again. Even though Chris Clark (legendary local news anchor since the 60's) retired while we were gone, they did me the favor of hiring a younger look-a-like version, just to keep us all comfortable.
I remember years ago hubby and I were in the Carribean, winding up the vacation from hell. (that's an entire post on its own) We moved into a nice hotel for the final 2 days of our vacation after sleeping 3 nights in an outdoor cabin on a mountainside with nothing but a concrete floor, a roof, and screened walls around it. When we arrived at our luxurious room and both took long, hot showers and each collapsed on our own clean fluffy bed. We were so delighted to turn on the TV and find who else but Chris Clark doing the Nashville news via satellite. There was something about that which provided comfort and allowed us to relax and enjoy our final two days. I can't explain it.
So here's to Hope Hines and all the other local news people. You let us all in. Let us all feel as though we somehow know you. Thank you for coming into our homes everyday and keeping us informed. And sometimes making us laugh. Watching the tribute show last night it seemed apparent that Hope was every bit as congenial in real life as he is on the screen. Always joking, willing to be humble and laugh at himself, and friendly with everyone around him.
What am I gonna do this football season? No Coach Fisher. No Hope Hines. It's not gonna be right. Mike Keith, you better not retire anytime soon. There's only so much change a girl can deal with.
We're gonna miss ya', Hope! And JB, too!
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