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ANDREW HEYWARD: Missie Rennie has been executive producer of SUNDAY MORNING since 1992. She worked very closely with Charles until he retired from the broadcast in 1994.

MISSIE RENNIE: Many people here today have talked about Charles on the road. It was his off-the-road time that the SUNDAY MORNING staff spent with him: We were his colleagues in the quiet time of the weekend when no one else was in the building. We saw him as anchorman, as well as story-weaver. Some of his remarkable anchor skills sometimes go unheralded.

As anchor of SUNDAY MORNING, Charles made us feel proud and made us feel safe. We knew that any event in the world could happen on our clock and Charles would know more about the subject than we could ever learn—whether he was debriefing Ray Brady on the economy or dealing live with the unfolding events of a bombing in Beirut or Baghdad.

As an anchor, he had a remarkable internal clock. He could narrate a ten-minute piece live on the air, which he did regularly. I was a nervous wreck in the control room; he just watched the pictures and spoke at the right moment, as if it had all been skillfully put together by an editor, in an editing room, over a week's time. At other times, I would tell him we were 10 seconds short or 15 seconds long, and he would adlib the addition or subtraction with no discussion. He knew how to pronounce the name of every city in America. As we all debated whether it was "Cay-ro" or "Cai-ro" Illinois, he knew the correct pronunciation—and how to add that local drawl to it, too. He also had his own pace. One time, Ed Bradley was substituting for Charles and we were reviewing the lineup. Ed's question: "How do I do those Kuralt long pauses and have them seem natural?" We agreed only Charles could.

Since Charles's death, our office has been overwhelmed. There is not one member of our staff who has not received several personal letters of condolence from friends. The calls, the letters, the e-mails, the requests for cassettes of his work do not stop. In all that communication, it has been remarkable to see how consistently friends and viewers use the same language when referring to Charles—"father, beloved uncle, papa Charles, the frumpy guy with the velvet voice, grandfather, teacher, star, son, the soul of the nation."

In fact, one viewer, Jeff Neterval, wrote to ask that a new word be added to the dictionary: "kuraltian: the ability or quality to bring to light what is best in anyone or anything, no matter what value the rest of the world has assigned to that person or place."

I have a feeling that Jeff and some of the other people who wrote that and so many other letters are in this audience today. So many of our viewers called to ask when the memorial service was because they'd drive down from Maine or up from Louisiana to be here. It all fits. On the 15th anniversary of the SUNDAY MORNING broadcast, Annie Huckabee drove up from Virginia on the morning of the broadcast to deliver an anniversary cake she had baked for Charles for the occasion. Soon after arriving at the front desk of CBS News, Annie found herself in our studio, being served coffee by Charles. She wrote us last week to assure us that, somehow, a box of cigars and a fine bottle of vodka were making this last trip with Charles. He would've loved
that story. What we miss is the way he would've told it.

Additional Tributes

Phil Scheffler | Dan Rather | Shad Northshield
Ed Bradley | Walter Cronkite | Bernie Birnbaum
Linda Mason | Missie Rennie | Mike Wallace
Andy Rooney

USA Today Editorial
Forgiving Charles Kuralt

The Book
Order The Book | Libraries | Booksellers |
About The Book
| Reviews | Author Biography
Preface
| Foreword | Eastern North Carolina

Addendum to Book
Nobel Peace Prize
| Remembering | Sir Charles
Timeline
| A Tribute | CBS Transcripts |
Letters To Ken McClure|
David Brinkley on Charles Kuralt
Kuralt's Remarks At Hugh & Julia Morton's 50th Wedding Anniversary

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Charles Kuralt's People

An intellectually stimulating collection of insightful and occasionally poignant commentaries, Charles Kuralt's People is very highly recommended reading for students of the human condition in general, and legions of Charles Kuralt fans in particular. — Midwest Book Review Click for more info.

Hard cover, 386 pages, $25.95 plus $3.95 Priority Mail shipping. (NC residents must add 6 percent sales tax.)


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About Kenilworth Media
Publishers of the first edition of "Remembering Charles Kuralt," now carried by The Globe Pequot Press, Kenilworth Media is a small, Asheville, North Carolina-based publishing firm committed to advancing the life works of Charles Kuralt.