Back when Barry Bernson’s journalism career first blossomed, men were all you saw or heard on television and radio. Today, the setting’s much different, but one thing’s the same: Bernson’s quirky style of story-telling and charming sense of humor.
In his new memoir: “Bernson’s Corner: A Reporter’s Notebook,” Bernson shares memories from his 47 years in newspaper, radio and TV – from his “start” in print at age 7 to his 2:46 a.m. wake-up call to report the morning news.
“(Waking up at 2:46 a.m. is) probably the manliest thing I’ve ever done in journalism,” Bernson quipped. “(That) takes a lot of testosterone, pal.”
While his news stories aren’t necessarily any more manly than womanly, he explained “there’s no gender to unusual people. All the people who I’ve done stories on, they were not publicity hounds. They were people who did what they do and had to be sort of uncovered.”
Some of those individuals, featured on a DVD inside Bernson’s book, include the “Plunger Man,” the “Turtle Man,” and the “Engine Imitator,” capable of mimicking the sound of any vehicle imaginable.
Aside from journalism, Bernson narrates books for the Library of Congress through Louisville’s American Printing House for the Blind. The six-time Ohio Valley Region EMMY award-winner has accomplished quite a career in half a century; his memoir a pleasing reminder of the many lives he touched through his work.
Bernson joked his book is simply geared toward, “people with $24.95,” but in all seriousness, he said it’s dedicated to his descendants and anyone who came to know him through TV.
“Everybody should leave something behind when they go,” Bernson said, quoting a Ray Bradbury character. “They should leave a tree, or a garden, or some kind of a thumbprint that lets the world know that you were there. So this was my little thumbprint.”
His thumbprint may be small, but his legacy’s far greater in size. He’s a man who, Bernson admitted, got more out of journalism than he ever could have given. And what he gave to his audience in smiles and laughter is a thumbprint that will certainly never be forgotten.