Today was the second time I attended a funeral for someone whom I had never met. If you have never had to do this, you could imagine how awkward it feels. Regardless, I felt it was necessary to pay my respects to such a well respected man and the creator of WRNN's Hot Talk Morning Show... Steve Porter.
I learned much about Steve through the eulogies from his brother, a former co-worker, an old friend and his stepson. I learned of his early beginnings as a news reporter working at CBS and NBC radio, traveling with the Secretary of State as a White House reporter and, finally, his impact on radio on the Grand Strand. He had such a rich life... one that young reporters fantasize about. However, his life also had many tragedies that shaped him.
His mother died when he was three while she was giving birth to his brother. His father never remarried so he essentially was grown up by his father and his aunt that lived nearby. After getting married, he had his first son. His son died at one year old from a rare disease. His second son died of cancer in 1994 followed by his wife just four months later. Losing his family lead him to the shores of Myrtle Beach where he questioned his next move, his path, his existence.
He went on to become quite community figure through the news business, of course. He created the WRNN Hot Talk Morning show and he wrote columns for local papers. News was in his blood and it's what made him run. I learned how he met his second wife and together they raised her three children. His passion for his family and his work rang through in each eulogy.
Selfilshly I wondered if he had listened to the show lately. What did he think about me being added to the show? Would he have approved? Would he have given me some constructive criticism... direction... advice? I wonder.
I also wonder if he could have offered me some direction regarding what to do when you find yourself on the shores of Myrtle Beach in the middle of a life change... especially when you feel alone and displaced. I could have really used that! He would understand.
I guess all I can do now is wonder.
I wish I did have a chance to meet him... even if it were just to thank him for creating this morning radio show. If Steve hadn't landed on the Myrtle Beach shores, I wouldn't have landed at WRNN. In case he was listening in recent days, I just hope Dave, Pat and I made him proud for carrying on his vision.
Rest in Peace, Steve Porter.
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