While I was off work last week, I was able to catch up with some of the people who appeared live on WTAP during our week-long celebration of Daybreak's 20th anniversary.
Among them was Kristen Kirby Estes and her husband, Doug Estes. Kristen, after leaving WTAP in 2007, spent a few years in Spokane, Washington before returning to her home town, Mentor, Ohio. Yes, that's the same Mentor, Ohio where I graduated from high school, and who put me in the school's hall of fame in 2006 (an event Kristen covered). And she's working for the school system there, as a Public Information Officer.
Then, there's Shelly Sindland and Amy Paul Cassulo, the first Daybreak anchors in 1994-95. After spending years at a station in Hartford, Connecticut, she built her own photography business. Amy, who went from WTAP to anchoring TV news in Peoria, Illinois, took an administrative position at St. Francis Medical Center in that city.
One still in the business is Mike Kallmeyer, who, after being a weekend sportscaster at WTAP for much of the 1990's, was Daybreak anchor in 1999-2000. From 2006-2012, he was a main anchor at Ohio News Network in Columbus before moving to Dayton, where he currently anchors a morning news program.
In some ways, even though the years have passed, their personalities are still the same as the people I worked with one or two decades ago.
When some of our past news people were here, they met and married people from the Parkersburg-Marietta area. While Shelly, Amy and Mike did not, they all embody a philosophy I've developed over the years-one which explains why they keep coming back to the area to visit:
"You might leave the Mid-Ohio Valley, but the Mid-Ohio Valley will never leave you".