Eichten, my Eichten

Gary Eichten has just started today’s Midday show in his usual style. There’ll be only two more such occasions until he retires to the good life.

His retirement has brought out the literary genius — more or less — in his audience, which has been submitting messages to him for the last few weeks.

Today’s highlight, courtesy of “Steve R.” is worthy of mention:

O CAPTAIN! my Commentator! Your wonderful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel of news has been grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of real news,

Where on the deck my Captain now resides,

Retired and much missed.

O Captain! my Commentator! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up-for you the flag of honest news is flung-for you the bugle trills;

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths-for you the shores a-crowding;

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear Newsman!

This Network beneath supported your clear head;

It was a dream that you were on the air,

You’ve captured our hearts and heads.

My Commentator does not answer the call in lines anymore;

My Commentator does not feed my head and now I have no pulse nor will;

His news was anchor’d safe and sound, now the voice closed and done;

From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

I walk the dial my Commentator left,

Now shallow, empty and with dread.

If we only had a name for this society of Midday fans.

  • On my frst day at MPR, Gary Eichten made a point to walk all the way over to my desk, introduce himself, and welcome me to the staff. That was over 12 years ago and I still remember it.

    Good luck on your retirement, Gary.

  • Hart

    An interesting treatment of Whitman.