The year was 1972 - more specifically, January 17, 1972. The Dallas Cowboys had won their first Super Bowl the day before, 24-3 over the Miami Dolphins. A new sitcom, "Sanford and Son," had debuted on NBC the previous Friday. Don McLean's "American Pie" began a four-week run at the top of the Billboard Pop Charts.

And, an 18-year-old kid named Harold Smith sat behind a microphone professionally for the first time at KPCR in Bowling Green, 45 years ago today.

Having wanted to be on the radio since junior high, I graduated from West Pike High School in June of 1971, entered Career Academy School of Famous Broadcasters in Kansas City in October (if you've never heard of this school, don't worry - I think they went out of business shortly after I graduated), learned the basics of radio, got my FCC license and left school early because Paul Salois decided to take a chance on the new kid.

harold smith 1972

I started in radio with the unenviable task of following Joe Lewis, who at that time was probably the best known country DJ in this part of the country.

The last four-and-a-half decades have passed quickly, and I have been blessed to cross paths with many good folks over the years.

I've had bosses ranging from G.B. and Glen Meyer to Randy Miller, Ed Foxall and Debbie Harshman to David Fuhler, Julie Boren and Jerry Symons to Steve Willoughby, Dave Greene and Julie McEuen.

Co-workers over the years is quite a list. I won't even try to name everybody because I wouldn't want anybody I didn't include to feel they did not make a difference in our travels together.

Then, there were the "celebrities" you get to meet in this business. That list for me includes people like Hal Holbrook, Kenny Rogers, Muse Watson (Mike Franks on NCIS), Bill Medley, Mark Lowry, Jack Buck and many others.

Harold Smith and Kenny Rogers

But, first and foremost, I've been extremely blessed by the listeners who have allowed me into their bedrooms and kitchens, their cars and tractors for the last 45 years.

In case you're wondering, this is NOT a retirement blog. As long as Townsquare will have me, I'm not planning on going anywhere.

To continue to be in a business where I get to let you know what's happening - who won last night, what's the weather going to be, is there school today - continues to be the coolest way to make a living I can think of.

Thanks for listening. See you on the radio.