Friday, April 10, 2009

Dan Miller: Growing up with our Friend

It would have to be considered a feeble attempt to sum up a man's life in a few lines. Dan Miller anchored the news at WSMV-TV in Nashville during the majority of my life. For those of you not from around these parts we in a good part of Western and South Central Kentucky have been privy to and influenced by Nashville media since television news began. Before cable that's what you got and frankly people like Dan Miller did a great job of reporting the news. Our families sat down every night to supper with the icons of Nashville media. Dan Miller and Chris Clark at NEWS Channel 5 spent a lifetime of bringing home the news to us.

WSMV-TV, WSM-Radio and the Grand Ole Opry, that's what I grew up with. My family had a certain loyalty to WSM. My great uncle had worked in management for National Life Insurance which at one time owned WSM. I believe WSM stood for their motto of "We Shield Millions". My father who was a photographer worked occasionally for WSM as a "runner". When big news hit the local area, then they would call for my father and another runner who would be the voice. They would go out to the scene of a bad accident or bank robbery and cover the story. The footage would be put on the Greyhound bus and within an hour or so it would be in Nashville. Some times my father would have to go out alone to shoot the footage and they would call the house to record the voice part. That was pretty exciting stuff to hear your father on the news.

I can remember sitting around waiting for that call, hoping it would be the famous Dan Miller on the other end. We would always gesture to my Father and quietly yell, is it Dan? is it Dan?

I believe it was the early to mid 70's when a bank in Todd County was robbed and we got to go. After returning home and going through our routine of waiting for the call it finally happened. Dan Miller had made the call himself. I don't recall the finer points but I do remember us bugging the hell out of my Dad while he spoke. We wanted to say hello to Dan Miller. Finally at the end of the interview our father succumbed to our pestering and asked Dan if it would be ok for us to say hello to him.

We got say hello that day to Dan Miller and for us kids he was now even bigger than he was before. Now he was our buddy, our friend. We could say we knew Dan Miller. We could tell our friends that we had spoken to Dan Miller.

Dan Miller took the time to make some kids really happy all those many years ago and that's what I'll remember.

Dan Miller (1941-2009)

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