Monday, November 13, 2006

Ed Bradley - 1941-2006

When I was very young in the early 1980s, every Sunday before we would go back to church for Sunday night service and after the football games on CBS were over, my father and I would sit down in our apartment on Northaven Rd. at Westhall Manor apartments and watch '60 Minutes.'

Sitting at my father's knee, eating a cherry Mrs. Smith's pie that my mother had heated up for us, I remember fondly watching this striking, proud and poised man, Ed Bradley.

At the time, the only other African American male I'd seen on television was Max Robinson at ABC. But, Ed Bradley was as much a part of my weekly regimen as that Sunday Mrs. Smith's pie. The regularity of his clarity of voice, his penchant for excellence in his work and his striving to be the best at his chosen profession truly inspired me then, and throughout the years since.

When I started college at Howard, I was pleasantly surprised that in my immediate circle of friends, Sundays at 7 were reserved for 60 Minutes. I would call my parents back in Dallas on Sunday evenings and we would discuss what Ed Bradley reported on, or what Rooney said in his commentary.

Ed Bradley will be revered as he properly should, as one of the great journalists in American history. He should be right up there with Winchell, Cronkite, Jennings, Rather, Jennings, Wallace, Safer and the rest. He personified cool in his demeanor and his style of reporting, and it truly looked effortless.

Fortunately, I was able to see him be honored by Morehouse College in 2003, by receiving a long overdue award at Morehouse's 'A Candle in the Dark' Gala. Of all the people over the years that received the award and that I was able to see at those events, he was one whose company I cherished the most.

Ed Bradley will be greatly missed, and Sundays will never quite be the same.

I'm Joe, and that's how I see it.