Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last Respects to a Voice of the Neighborhoods

A funeral service is being held today for Clyde Whalen, a long-time contributor to BNN's Neighborhood Network News in Boston, who passed away Friday, at age 91. In more than two decades with NNN, Clyde kept to his beat with utmost dedication. He reported the news from his long-time neighborhood, Allston-Brighton, then also from his new territory in the Fenway. He did his job as a correspondent with considerable care, whether gathering information from sources, processing stories from newspapers, or practicing his script to make sure he got it right--with his own hyper-local flavor. As a seasoned performer who had traveled the world entertaining on cruise ships, Clyde knew the toil and calibration needed to make something look natural, and he kept on in the same spirit even through his last segments with us earlier this year. By swapping impressions and observations in the newsroom, he helped keep us all more engaged in a neighborhood’s life and atmosphere. Not just another face on a learning curve, Clyde had his own brand, a way with the facts of the day that could arouse the sense of outrage, admiration, or absurdity. And, when it was sorely needed, he was an ambassador who could vouch for NNN’s authenticity as a local phenomenon, and not just a farm team for bigger leagues. All this, plus his inquisitiveness, his sense of humor, and even a daring to be downright puzzled by what's going on, will be missed.