Saturday, July 09, 2016

Raiford at Random...temporairily

Carol Coleman and Bob Raiford
Hosts of Morning TV show on WBT 1954
I first met radio personality Bob Raiford at Central High in 1954 when he spoke to Mr. Balance’s radio class.  As a matter of fact, I was the one who suggested we invite him.  I really didn’t think he would accept, since he was hosting a TV show as well as his night show, RAIFORD AT RANDOM five days a week.

CHS Radio Club 1954

But he did and that was the beginning of a life long friendship. I feel very blessed that over the years, Bob and a number of my broadcast “heroes” that I highly respected and looked up to, actually became my friends. Bob and I  worked together here in Washington for a number of years. We’ve stayed in touch since then and usually talk on the phone every couple of months.

The last time we spoke, he mentioned that he had suffered a strange happening when suddenly…his words became garbled… It only lasted a few seconds, but it worried him.  I knew exactly what he was talking about, because I had experienced the same thing a few months earlier……
My Doc said that it was a “TIA” (small stroke that is not unusual in old people…and not to worry.)
That’s what I told Bob.

I wish now that I had recommended that he go to the emergency room……
However Kelia, Bob’s wife told me that Bob’s Doc said that wouldn’t have helped.
So, I’ve stopped feeling guilty.

Bob and Ed 1996
Kelia asked me not to mention Bob’s condition to anyone…..thinking he would recover and return to his radio show before now, but his progress has been slower than thought, so he decided to finally “retire” from radio.
I’m looking forward to his complete recovery and the return of  perhaps the finest radio voice in its history.

I still remember his talk that day in Mr. Balance’s radio class.  Among other things, he quoted
Alfred Lord Tennyson:

“I am a part of all that I have met…”

The rest of Tennyson’s poem, Ulysses, is:

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Raiford will be back on the air before long.

You can take that to the bank.