Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, Roger Neel
I hate goodbyes. Never have, never will. Okay, maybe this is not so much a goodbye, as it is wishing a happy retirement, and I'll see you often. Those are good intentions, but in my experience, I know better.
Today, Roger Neel, the Brand Manager of one of our sister radio stations, 1290 AM WNBF is retiring. After 42 years here, and several more at radio stations in Western Pennsylvania, Roger is, as we say in the business, 'hanging up his headphones.'
He first made the retirement announcement two weeks ago, and the well wishes have been pouring in since. Mayor Rich David even proclaimed today June 19th, 2020 as Roger Neel Day in the City of Binghamton.
On Thursday (June 18th) we had a retirement lunch for Roger where our staff toasted one of the most popular radio personalities the Binghamton area has ever had the pleasure of listening to every morning. [Roger Neel Behind The Scenes]
Personally for me, Roger was not just a co-worker, he has been a close friend and ally since our radio stations combined back in 1997. I have seen many radio personalities and staff come and go over my 38 years at The Whale, and I get a bit emotional every time someone moves on to wherever life's path is about to lead them.
These co-workers are more like family, I see them and know more about their lives than I do my own family. So, each time one leaves, it's like when your child moves away from home. Daily work life will never be the same.
As I mentioned, we always plan on keeping in touch, getting together for lunch or drinks, but after 48 years of goodbyes, I know how that story ends. Life goes on and our paths take us in different directions. More importantly, I am always so proud of the life change each co-worker and friend is about to take, whether it's for a new job locally, out of state, career change or to retire from the workforce.
Taking from the title of the final M*A*S*H TV episode, I say to you Roger, Goodbye my friend, Farewell and best wishes for your retirement, and Amen to finally getting to see what the world looks like on the other side of your microphone.