When Ted Bird asked people to put his personal email out to the world in the wake of his seemingly sudden resignation from CHOM (his CHOM email address was shut down even before his departure was announced), he was hoping a few people might send him a note and say they would miss him. Turns out a lot of people did exactly that, and even he was surprised by the deluge of emails he got from fans.
One of those emails struck him particularly hard, and he suggested I share it here:
Every morning, Mr. Bird, I wake up at 5:30 so I can catch the very start of CHOM’s Morning Show. I don’t think I’ve had a worse morning than I did yesterday. When I heard the announcement of your resignation, I was extremely saddened. I truly believe that you are the reason that I have been a loyal CHOM listener for so many years.
I read the article about you in the Gazette this morning, and I find it almost comical that you said that the station is targeting a more youthful audience and that you aren’t getting younger. Coming from this 19-year-old, I can tell you that to me you were perfect. I laughed heartily every morning on the way to work. Between telling the city about what you did on your summer vacation, or Revisionist History, I had a hell of a good time. But there have also been times where I have been quite touched by your broadcasts. I was lucky enough to meet the side of Ernie Butler that was not only the humorist, but the loving, doting father as well the genuinely kind man. After he passed away, I made a point to listen to what you had to say, and just to hear you speaking so fondly of him brought me to tears.
I actually met you once just over a year ago as I was working as a cashier at Chapters, and I said “Hi” and although I spoke to you for all of 90 seconds, you were so pleasant. There you were; out with your son for the day, and I had to interrupt with my star-struck awe. But you were really nice about it. It makes a radio listener’s experience much more enjoyable when the host is actually as awesome face-to-face as well as on the air. I have an insurmountable amount of respect for you.
SO, I guess there isn’t much left to say except “Good Luck!” I wish you all the best on your future endeavors. I listened to you throughout my childhood, adolescence, and I hope I can say my adult life as well. Unbeknownst to you, you have taught me so much. Your presence in this city as a radio host has had a substantial and eternal impact upon me. And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
All the Best,
I don’t know how many hundreds of e-mails I’ve received in the last two days, and as much as I’ve been touched by all of them, your’s is the only one that made me cry. And as you know, there’s no crying in radio, goddam it.
I remember very well the day I met you at Chapter’s, and trust me – I was as gratified that you recognized me as you were that I made time for you, however briefly. On the celebrity food chain, local radio personality ranks somewhere between circus clown and fuzzy mascot (think about it – more people have heard of Youppi than have heard of me), and we get just enough public recognition that it’s flattering without being intrusive. But no matter what the level of celebrity, it’s a two way street and even the biggest stars in the world owe it to themselves and their fans to make sure that their connection with the audience is emotionally genuine.
In any event, thanks a pantload for bringing me to tears for the first time since Bucky F#*&ing Dent’s home run helped the Yankees beat the Red Sox in a one-game playoff in 1978 – my first year in radio and 12 years before you were born. Way to bridge the generation gap.
All the best,
Bird is busy writing individual responses to everyone who has written to him. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’s now also cracking jokes on Twitter, to reinforce the image that he now has no life.