German American radio host retires
They're breaking out the lederhosen and cooking up the bratwurst in Oregon this weekend. The 46the annual German American Festival will sell 50,000 potato pancakes and nearly 10,000 bratwurst. The festival is all about ethnicity and tradition and that is being carried on from one generation to another.
You've heard Pete Petersen's voice for years saying, "Come to the fest and bring a guest!" on those radio commercials for the festival. Petersen is also the long-time host of Toledo's German-American hour radio show on WCWA-AM. He started hosting the show on a whim. Petersen says, "I thought, what can I lose? If I don't like it, I can walk away. No contract or anything."
33 years later, the German native and Toledo resident is still behind the microphone. He's only ever missed one Sunday and that's because he was hospitalized. Now, at age 88, Pete has finally decided to retire. Sunday will be his last broadcast. He says, "I'm gonna play some songs that are very popular. I'm not going to overdo it. Just a nice goodbye and please support my successors." One of those successors is Tim Pecsenye. He says, "It's a tough legacy. I mean somebody has to fill those shoes and Pete did it by himself for those 33 years. Now it's taking two people to do the job." Pecsenye will co-host along with fellow German American festival society trustee Jack Renz. Pecsenye adds, "We both enjoy German music and enjoy German culture and we really have a passion for this program and also for what it can become and what it has been."
It's a passing of the torch -- and the mic-- to the next generation. Pete told Tim, "I'm always available for help If you need it. But best of luck to you!" Tim laughed as he told him, "Like I said, we're not paying you royalties for use of the commercials."
The radio show can be heard each Sunday between 9 and 10 am on WCWA-AM 1230. It is also streamed over the internet at www.1230foxsports.com.
local, kristin emery
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