“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy… or they become legend.” Jim Harrison

He was the Gordie Howe of Prince George media.

Ben Meisner was a legend, an icon, a pioneer who was a fixture in P.G. broadcasting for many decades. Just like Howe, Meisner’s consistency and longevity put him in a class by himself, never afraid of throwing an odd elbow to keep any distractors in line.

On the air in his domain as a talk show host behind a microphone, “Gentle” Ben may have appeared cantankerous, belligerent or gruff at times, but underneath that exterior was a warm, caring, friendly family man that enjoyed each day to its fullest. He touched many lives with an outgoing personality. He always strived to do what was in the best interest of the public and his community.

Ben lost his biggest bout with cancer at age 76 but not before putting up a strong battle. The odds were not in his favor, but Ben never backed down from a fight. It simply was not in his vocabulary to quit.

Prince George was his home and he was damn proud of it. Moreover, he loved the clean air and environment that living in the “Hart” provided and that may be appropriate since Ben had such a big heart.

The secret to Ben’s distinguished 60-year career was an ability to relate and stick up for the common every day man or woman that lives next door even when the obstacles appear overwhelming. He understood and appreciated the difficulties of red tape and supporting a family on 40 grand or less a year.

Ben made it his policy to hold politicians, community leaders and decision makers “feet to fire.” Many elected officials were on edge going one on one with Ben, who specialized in interviews and commentaries where he looked the guest straight in the eye, asking the tough questions that the public wanted an answer to. Ben had a knack to expose the truth and not accept stand pat scripted cliché answers.

The good politicians held the highest of respect for Ben fully aware he was a master of his craft. After some 25 years as a staple with CKPG, Ben Meisner, along with his news savvy wife Elaine, started 250 News in 2005. The 10th anniversary of their highly successful news website is next month in May. I have been writing a weekly column for nearly 10 years and it is not a co-incidence that my tenure began when 250 started.

I never thought of myself as a columnist, since I had no training in that field, but Ben helped change my mind. He called and said he had a proposal for me. Ben said his website needed sports with a “bite” and with my long history with CJCI/94.3/Vista radio, asked if I would write a no holds barred sports column/editorial where anything and everything is a go. There were no restrictions, just fly at it; carte blanche. He believed in my ability even though I wasn’t sure I was suited for this kind of endeavour. For eight years, I contributed to 250 and continue to follow a similar path on the myprincegeorgenow.com (Vista radio) website, in addition to appearing in the Prince George Free Press.

I have appreciated the opportunity and the privilege that comes with expressing my views in print and on line. I have been one of the lucky ones to be able to voice my thoughts and concerns on a wide variety of topics, here at home and abroad. I thanked Ben for that as he helped instill a confidence that allowed me to move forward.

Ben was your everyday Monday morning quarterback sports fan. He had a soft spot for his favorite team, the Prince George Cougars. He also was a great lover of the outdoors who appreciated nature and the peacefulness it provides.

Ben was no different than anyone else. He was a dog lover who adored his best friend/wife Elaine and naturally his children, grand children and entire family.

Sure, he loved to speak, but Ben was also a good listener who enjoyed a spirited debate. I am not sure I know anybody that had such a wide and varied circle of friends. Ben cared and followed up his words of wisdom by being the first to back up a buddy.

He truly was one of a kind, just like Gordie Howe, old school, proud, respected, a multi-award winner who enjoyed the competitiveness of getting his nose dirty. Yes, Ben Meisner was the simply the best of his era.

I’m Miller and that’s one man’s opinion.

From the Quote Rack:

A golfer in Bullhead City, AZ reached into a newly-purchased used golf bag for a club and instead pulled out a loaded pistol with the safety off. This brings a whole new meaning to ‘shooting par’.

Report—NFL is looking into Bill Belichick’s camera ideas. The CIA and former KGB are also interested.

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

A woman gave birth in an Uber car in Manhattan. Uber apparently had the car cleaned afterwards for the driver. But then they also gave him a pair of Knicks tickets. As if the poor guy hasn’t had enough trauma?

Passengers had to be rescued after the Coney Island Cyclone got stuck on its first ride of the year. And many New Yorkers are thinking that this spring rather than riding actual roller coasters they’ll just stick to watching the Mets.

Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was celebrating with the Final Four bound Wisconsin Badgers basketball team. When asked if he was looking to recruit a tight end with a basketball background like Gronk or Jimmy Graham, he replied, “No, I’m actually looking for someone that can recover an onside kick.

Dunkin Donuts says they will only use “cage free eggs” moving forward. Att PETA: This only means they will not be putting all their eggs in one basket.

Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (http://alwaysfunny.com/)

And in case you missed it:

Heinz has bought up Kraft Foods in a $36-billion deal. Kraft has reportedly been falling behind its major rivals, so the merger with Heinz will help them ketchup.

A New Orleans man is living in the branches of a live oak to protest the construction of a new golf course. No word on his tree times.

Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat. His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com. Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller