Paul Harvey used to celebrate the resiliency and the ingenuity of Americans. It was only appropriate for his program, “Paul Harvey News and Comment” which was carried on the American Broadcasting Co. network, ABC.
Many times during this COVID-19 monstrosity I have thought of Paul Harvey.
He had a delivery that would give a speech teacher nightmares. He would time his 15-minute show to the second by putting horribly long pauses into his delivery, usually between words. But people knew it was Paul Harvey when they heard just a few words from Mr. Paul Harvey Aurandt (his full name.)
Farmers would be sure to listen each day, whether in the cab of their tractors or the cab of their farm trucks. Many people in other professions made it a point to listen, too.
When one or two of the founders of Amway tried to buy the Mutual Broadcasting System, Paul Harvey needed to be part of the deal. He did not leave ABC and I don’t recall if Mutual ever changed hands.
My point is that Paul Harvey was one of the biggest cheerleaders for America one could find.
His philosophy became ingrained in us or maybe America’s philosophy became ingrained in Mr. Harvey.
We need that philosophy today, especially today.
It’s not enough for media to tell sweet stories about people who have been blessed through this time. If Paul Harvey were here, he would deliver news and commentary that would cause us to straighten our backs, set our jaws firmly and go into battle against whatever challenges await us this day, COVID-19 or others.
That is what I want for us.
Not long ago a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook that said, “You’re tough.”
That meant a whole lot. I met that friend, Dave, when I interviewed him. He was a spokesperson for the Indiana Army National Guard, a group of some of the toughest people you will ever meet.
Dave wanted me to go with him to Camp Grayling for training for one year. I couldn’t do it because I was changing jobs. But Dave did help me become part of a group of journalists that toured Camp Atteberry, south of Indianapolis. I got to shoot a rifle and play soldier for a day.
Dave also gave me a ready-to eat-package of food that was distributed to soldiers in the field. It was packed with so many nourishing calories I could only imagine how many calories it took to feed our fighting men and women each day.
So, my greeting to you today is, “Be tough, my friend. Do the right thing. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands. If you are getting cabin fever, get up and jump around, dance, chase the kids, chase your spouse or take a nap. Whatever gets you through the day. Be tough.”