Yesterday, we gathered to celebrate the life of a friend who passed away earlier this year.

Our friend was Joe Day. Joe’s name should be familiar to those who’ve lived in New England during the past forty years. He was a highly respected TV news reporter for four of Boston’s major television stations (WHDH, WCVB, WGBH, WBZ). Joe specialized in politics. He covered presidents, governors, senators, congressmen and local elective officials.

But many of us fondly remember Joe’s “people” stories, vignettes about everyday folks living their lives in relative obscurity. That was Joe at his best. On and off camera, he was a modest, plain-spoken guy despite the richly deserved awards he received which recognized his career.

Yesterday, there were smiles and tears as people shared stories about Joe. We were mostly the generation of “old fart” journalists, recalling the days when news wasn’t just a business. Joe Day was at the core of all those memories.

It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces. We have drifted apart geographically and socially in many cases. Sometimes we paused before hugging because we no longer look the way we did in our “head shot” days.

Joe Day’s family marveled at the size of the gathering. It’s one thing to send an email or video tribute. But to turn out in impressive numbers on a hot August Saturday, that says so much about how Joe touched the lives of people around him.

Fame is fleeting and transitory in TV news. Friendship is another thing. Usually it fades quickly after changing jobs, states and retirement. You always mean to stay in touch but it rarely happens.

That’s what makes the celebratory gathering so special. All those folks bonding in their memories of yesterday when our world was young and Joe Day touched our lives, making each one of us a little better just for knowing him.

Such good friends.

Categories: Anecdote, Boston, Events, Friendship, Gallery, Garry Armstrong, New England, News, Photography, Television

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. He sounds like a wonderful, interesting man. My condolences.


  2. Sorry for the loss of your friend, but you do him great honor in celebrating his life. The years are moving too quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much. The years ARE moving too quickly. I continue to enjoy your posts, especially the ones about old Hollywood. Have you caught my pieces about the legends I met along the way in my professional life? Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful celebratiorn of Joe’s life!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What wonderful faces. The fact that they are all smiling tells us something about Joe. Thanks for sharing your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A ‘celebration of life’ is always so much better than a funeral. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a special day- a wonderful gathering to remember someone who meant so much to all there. Love the photos

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great post and picture to honor your friend. My heartfelt sympathy to the loss of your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is a strange sensation when you go back see the people from your former life. They looks so familiar but sometimes it is difficult to put a name to the face.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember Joe from TV, for sure. I’m sorry for your loss, but happy that you had a chance to reconnect with such good friends.
    Everyone should have a “send off” party, I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mom, I’m glad you remember Joe. You can put his face to the stories we are sharing. In my comments at the luncheon, I said I was fortunate enough in my long career to have worked with many people, including those from the days of the legendary Ed Murrow. Joe Day easily was the nicest person I ever had the pleasure of knowing as a colleague and friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It is such a wonderful tribute to your friend Joe. An ideal post on Friendship day !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. For those of us who only see people on television, we tend to forget that they have lives outside the studio. I can imagine how many stories were told – both in the microphone and “off the air”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best stories are always the “off the air” ones. They are also the funniest ones.


    • Thanks, Rick. So many people think of TV people as one dimensional personalities. Larger than life? Yes. But without any human qualities. The “celeb” thing is very nice for the ego but it’s far more satisfying when you’re appreciated as a flesh and blood person. Joe Day was the real deal!


  12. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It was a good party. It was a good tribute. Magic time.

    Liked by 1 person

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