After 50 years at 1300 Liberty Street, Ray Hershel is retiring.
Through the years, Ray has shared tens of thousands of stories with you. He's been the steadying force at our station, as thousands of people have passed through our building as anchors, reporters, photographers and people who've worked behind the scenes.
Some of those people wanted share their thoughts about Ray.
Durham Caldwell hired Ray in 1968 and became his mentor.
"He's done a good job. He has, I don't know if I should use the word, endeared himself to his audience, but I think that's what he has. He's always come across as somebody who does a fair and accurate piece of work," Caldwell explained.
Kathy Tobin anchored the news with Ray for some 10 years.
"He's a real person. What you see is what you get. The Ray you see on television is the same Ray, with the same ethics and morals and standards. He's just a good guy and he sets out to do the right thing every day and I think that shows on television," Tobin said.
[CHECK IT OUT: CLICK HERE for a complete look at Ray through the years]
He went by the air name of Dave Scott. Dave Lorenzatti worked with Ray for some 17 years.
“I recall the very first day he came to work, I believe he was just newly out of school, and he impressed all of us on the staff with his professionalism with his inquisitiveness and always wanting to learn,” Lorenzatti noted
Videographer Kevin Culverhouse has worked with Ray for 35 years. He remembers covering the shooting death of Holyoke Police officer John Dinapoli with Ray in December 1999.
“Ray's standing next to me, we're kind of taking the whole scene in, and the captain comes up, he says 'Ray, I have 30 seconds' and gives us the information we needed to carry the story. I could have had any other reporter with me, wouldn't have gotten that soundbite," Culverhouse said.
Joan Freedman Goodman anchored the news with Ray in the early 1980s.
"You were so generous in your mentoring, you were generous in your spirit and sharing your experience and through the years, I saw how professional you are," Goodman said.
Pete Dragon was a reporter and anchor who worked with Ray in the eighties.
"Ray, you've been a real credit to your profession, a real pro's pro, and while we haven't worked in while, three decades, I still consider you a friend," Dragon said.
Some final thoughts from Durham Caldwell: “The interesting thing about Ray to me is, looking at him, he looks almost the way I remember him the day he walked in 50 years ago. He doesn't appear to have aged very much at all.”
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