Some of you know I that until last year I worked for the CBC. I was very proud to be the Cape Breton Correspondent for Maritime Noon. Today, after 23 years as host of the show, my mentor and pal Costas Halavrezos retired. Here's a little tribute I wrote for his last show:
When my friends and coworkers meet my wife for the first time, they inevitably gush to me later about what an interesting person she is. And while they’re completely correct, I always want to reply, “Really? Tell me about her.”
The truth is, they can’t. They haven’t learned a thing about her. My wife is the kind of person who is really good at getting people to talk about themselves. Selfish folk that we are, we find those type of people very interesting. People such as Costas.
Think about it – after 23 years on Maritime Noon, what can you tell me about the man? I mean, besides the stuff on the website about growing grapes and playing bass?
Is he married? To whom?
How many kids does he have?
Who advised him on that goatee?
Does he have a cat?
Does that cat have finicky eating habits?
I bet you don’t know any of this stuff. And you know what? That’s why Costas is the king of them all. He is a friendly voice, who is infinitely curious about you. Never mind about him.
So you have this guy. You know he’s smart. You know he won’t lob a soft-ball question to someone we need a serious answer from. But other than that, he is a blank slate. So your imagination fills in the blanks.
In my short time with Maritime Noon, I met a lot of people who professed their love for Costas. Each of them has a vision in their head of who Costas is. Each vision of Costas is different. Each vision is correct.
The best part about Costas on the radio is that he is exactly who you need him to be. And who you need him to be is completely different from who the person next to you needs him to be. He is your own private Costas.
The most valuable thing I took from my decade with the CBC is my real-life friendship with Costas. Because I have a secret for all our radio friends – something that if Costas were to hear would inflate his already huge Ego. The secret is this: the real Costas is even better than the radio version. I’d tell you all the guy I know, but I can’t.