My blog is finicky about accepting photographs, but picture in your mind legendary country music balladeer Eddy Arnold ("Put Your Sweet Lips A Little Closer To The Phone") and you've got the right image of Murray Gaunt — robust, engaging, friendly and classy.
Murray, 73, died in London Ontario, last week, leaving an indelible farm radio legacy across Ontario's mighty Grey-Bruce-Huron region. It's one of Canada's most productive agricultural areas, and it's served ably by CKNX radio in Wingham, where Murray, an Ontario Agricultural College graduate, worked as farm editor until retiring in 1999.
I was pleased when then-editor Terry Boland asked me to write this feature about Murray's retirement for the Ontario Corn Producer magazine, in which Murray opened up about many aspects of his life, including his many years as the Wingham area's Member of Provincial Parliament.
I'll miss Murray dearly. No one was more apt to offer encouragement and support to those in our discipline. He gave a lift to agricultural journalism, and he made the world a happier place. CKNX has a reflective piece on Murray's life here; I write about how he can inspire graduates here in the Guelph Mercury.