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For one of the few times
in my life I'm unable to put
words together to properly
express my feelings.
Paul Carey has died at age
88 in hospice care due to
complications from chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) and heart disease.
You know him as the late
Ernie Harwell's partner on
Detroit Tiger radio for 19 years.
To me, Paul was a mentor
and a dear friend.
Most of my time in the WJR
Sports department was spent
prepping the 11:15pm "Sports Final" on Paul's ancient manual
typewriter in the days before tabletop computers or the internet.
How come those sticky, greasy, ribboned ink spools only needed
changing when I was on duty?
I silently cursed him because when he'd leave to join Ernie at
spring training each March, it was me who had to anchor Paul's
creation, the Friday night high school scoreboard show that aired
at midnight. Only it wasn't just Fridays. It was most nights of the
week during the MHSAA March Madness boys basketball tournament.
It was only afterward that I realized Paul flew south without
leaving me any instructions on how to structure the show because
he trusted me with his "baby."
Carey was the Michigan Sportscaster of the Year six times and
was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, the
year after his retirement. Casey began a broadcasting career in
1949 which was quickly interrupted by military service during the
Korean War. Paul spent 35 years working for WJR.
I knew Paul was failing, but the news of his passing is still
a stunning slap in the face.
The last time we saw each other at Comerica Park's Ernie
Harwell Media Center Paul remarked mine was one of the few
faces he recognized, a sad reminder we'd lost so many old friends.
Now, I've lost another.
The man often called "The voice of God" is heaven-bound.
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