Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goodbye Ernie

It just hurts saying goodbye. Even if you never met the man, if you grew up in Michigan in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and into this century you were touched by this man's voice. Ernie Harwell's voice was a soothing, southern drawl, that called the Detroit Tigers games for more than 40 years. He was an anouncer's announcer.

I wasn't that great of a Tiger fan, just a fringe one. I grew up in the era of Al Kaline, Mickey Lolich, Norm Cash, Gates Brown and Willie Horton. I saw the Bird, the late Mark Frydrich, and watched Denny McClain,  Kirk Gibson, Dave Rozema, and Alan Trammell. These were the players of my youth, and like everyone I heard the games called on WJR by Ernie Harwell. I can remember a time when I moved away from Michigan-far away to southern Florida-I can remember being able to tune in to the "Great Voice of the Great Lakes" station and hear the baseball games at night.-Oh the reception was a bit scratchy, but the familiar voice of Ernie Harwell was as comforting then as a parents voice. It was a voice from home.

Now the voice is silenced.

No one lives forever. At 92, and diagnosed with bile cancer, Ernie knew his time on this earth was limited. He had a great faith and leaves behind his beloved wife of 68 years, Lulu. To all of those who he touched, he leaves us behind too. We thought of him as family, we took him with us up north, to work, on vacation, into our homes and backyard picnics. We will miss him.

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