The Gentleman, Van Lane
When you find a person with an overwhelming history,
You sometimes also notice that there is a bit of mystery.
Perhaps some inconsistencies, some gaps that make you pause.
Or things that don’t have rhyme or reason, they’re only there “because.”

But one quite special gentleman, who is a “Gentle Man,”
Has filled his life with opposites since when he first began.
The war years weren’t pretty for anyone to bear.
And yet that’s where he blossomed for a broadcasting career.

The first to bring the PGA to everybody’s home,
And people really wondered who was on the microphone.
In Weirton, West Virginia, a tale he loves to explain,
There was a listener contest, and he became “Van Lane.”

He loved the sports, but did it all, the music and the talk.
You couldn’t climb the ladder if you didn’t walk the walk.
His love was truly radio, the broadcast you can’t see.
And yet the biggest splash he made, was when he did TV.

He worked with all the giants, celebrities knew his name.
But he loved his time with family and his friends just the same.
The people loved his golden voice, and soon he was on top.
But even when the voice grew rough, his passion didn’t stop.

So he became the manager, the teacher and the boss,
He taught his staff to work and plan; beneath their feet – no moss.
Along the way, the women came, and he often said “I do.”
But one above all others was where his love was true.

Of his sons he was the proudest, and his love for them is clear.
But his “radio sons” with whom he worked also hold him dear.
He’s had his share of hills to climb, on mountaintops he’s stood.
He’s had his share of tragedies, and times that weren’t good.

But what a life of joy he’s known, and what joy he did share.
And he can rest assured that his was a life beyond compare.
And now as many years have passed, and with them many friends,
He still puts on the suit and tie, and to his duties tends.

And though the body has aged a bit, and moves a little slow.
His mind is of a youthful boy who eagerly wants to GO!
And everything that this man is… in our hearts will long remain.
The gentle man whom we all love, our very own Van Lane.

Ray Somich, 2010
Your 20-year Student