Friday, January 3 2014, 02:59 PM MST
Person 2 Person: Dick Nourse
Dick Nourse began his broadcasting career as a DJ at a radio station in Grand Junction Colorado. After graduating from college with a degree in theater he came to Utah and spent 43 years anchoring the news. Shauna Lake sat down Person 2 Person to learn more about this Utah icon.
Shauna Lake: You just got back from your 55 year high school reunion. How fun.
Dick Nourse: I've been to every reunion. We used to have them every 10 years since 1958 but now we're having them every 5 years.
Shauna Lake: What was your childhood like? How many brothers and sisters did you have?
Dick Nourse: I had a brother and a sister. My brother was 13 years older and my sister is 10 years older than me. I always joked that I was kind of a mistake but my mother heard that one time and that was the end of me commenting on that. She said no; no don't ever say that again in my presence. And I really was kind of her baby. Even at 55 and 60 years old before she passed away. I was still the baby.
Shauna Lake: Talk about your illustrious career as a news anchorman...A long, long, long and storied career. Was that something you set out to do?
Dick Nourse: Yeah, I guess it, I remember the end of World War 2; I was 5 years old and I remember just about every detail. I would listen every night with my dad to the radio, Gabriel Heater from the Broadcasting Network, and he would broadcast the news at 9 or 10 and we'd listen and I thought you know someday that would be fun to do. I was a little kid I had a lot of big ambitions. And then as I got into high school I started doing some radio work for the high school and loved it got my first job at 19 after my first year of college as a disc jockey. And put myself through school being on the radio as a disc jockey and I loved it.
Shauna Lake: What was the connection that viewers have with you? It's kind of unspoken but you must have felt when you ran into people in grocery stores what was the thing they connected to with you.
Dick Nourse: I realized early on if it wasn't for them then I wouldn't have a job and I was only as good as they were, because they watched and it hit home and hit hard when I had my first bout of cancer in about 1980. I had been entertaining some thoughts of moving on. I had had some other offers and then I came down with cancer and I thought the people who came out of the wood work at that time before internet, the cards, the letters and phone calls. I had 3 of those big trash bags full of get well cards and they were all basically the same message. We miss you on television. We love you we hope you get better soon. It got me thinking a lot. I don't think I would have found that in New York or la and maybe I had found a home. And I had.
Shauna Lake: And that cancer was lymphoma?
Dick Nourse: Non-Hodgkins.
Shauna Lake: And you've had other bouts?
Dick Nourse: I did I had a couple in 96. I had a spot on my prostrate and so I just had it out and my wife was pregnant with our youngest son, the one who is ill now. And then this latest bout this past year with the throat cancer. Which is clear. There is no sign of cancer. My throat is a little gravelly and sore at times but at least Im cancer free and Im getting back to as normal as I can at 73 years old.
Shauna Lake: Youve had so many blessings so much success and you've had a few challenges as well one in your son that you mentioned he's had some health challenges. What is it that he has?
Dick Nourse: He has osteogenesis imperfecta. It is a form of a brittle bone disease. Unfortunately they just keep finding out more about this one. We didnt realize he had it until he was about 4, and he broke an arm and it wouldn't heal, they did a bunch of tests on him and they found out that he had a level of this that they thought at the time that he might grow out of not the disease itself but at least the incident of breaking bones but instead its gone the other way and it's gotten worse.
Shauna Lake: Do you ever miss TV news?
Dick Nourse:I miss it a lot. I don't miss the hours and the deadlines and all that so much, but I miss people that I worked with. People on the street still are great someone will recognize me. It's surprising even younger generations will say I think I know you. I remember you and that's nice because Im to that point now where there are many youngsters coming up who will have no idea who I am. And I will miss that when I walk down the street and nobody says anything
Shauna Lake: Did it annoy you when it would happen when you were working all the time?
Dick Nourse: No I loved it. I did and I would always stop and talk and maybe that was another connection.
Shauna Lake: And that's why you are who you are and had the career you've had.
Dick Nourse: I guess and I would do it all again. I really would.
Shauna Lake: It's been so nice to talk to you and get to know you a little bit better Person to Person.
-Written and produced by Angie Dennison
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)