Gary Eichten

After nearly 45 years at MPR, he's one heckuva guy.

Gary Eichten

Walter Mondale headlined Eichten farewell at the Fitz: Hear the "Heckuva Farewell" for Gary Eichten, held at the Fitzgerald Theater on January 19, 2012. For his last Midday show, Gary interviewed Vice President Mondale, Minnesota's senior statesman.

Good news! Gary Eichten will continue to lend his talents to MPR News as Editor At Large. He will also host a presidential election year series at The Fitzgerald Theater, "The Political Condition." The schedule of events and guest is being finalized.

Video: Reflecting on a Career

Inside The Studio

Listen in as Cathy Wurzer, host of Morning Edition, sits down with Gary for a retrospective conversation. Learn about Gary's observations over the year, his role in the overall mission of the MPR newsroom, and how his commitment to reporting news rather than making news helped distinguish him and MPR as a vital source of information for the community.

Slideshow: Through the Years

Special! MPR Archive Collection: All Gary

Visit the special Gary Eichten collection from the MPR Archive.

Your Memories and Messages for Gary

Read messages for Gary here

Gary, my heartfelt wishes for a wonderful retirement. You and your program have entertained and enlightened me throughout the years. I shall miss hearing you. Truly. Continued blessings, Gary.
- Judith, Le Center, MN

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You are the reason I started listening to MPR. Thank you for your many years of thoughtful insight and tempered, non-confrontational approach towards your interview subjects. You have been one of the last bastions of civility and decency in broadcasting and represent the best qualities of a broadcast journalist. Membership drives won't be the same without you. Best wishes!!
- Douglas, Alexandria, MN

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Thank you for sharing yourself with us! You have no idea how many hours of sanity you gave me during my stay-at-home mom years near Mankato, MN. People would call and ask if I needed a break and I would respond "No, I just listened to a great conversation with my friend Gary... I'm good." :) For keeping us informed, laughing and proud to be Minnesotans... I thank you.
- Kris, Hoyt Lakes, MN

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All I can say is thank you for all you have given our society as a whole. I hope you have the best retirement imaginable. Don't be a stranger now! Ya here?! Oh, and my computer illiterate father in Mankato told me to say thank you, "Icky" Eichten, if I ever got the chance. Apparently he used to play baseball with you.
- Tom, St. Peter, MN

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Thank you for your 45 years of service to Minnesotan. I am member of MPR and will miss you excellence commentaries on issues at home and abroad. Have a good retirement, Gary.
- Faisal, Bloomington, MN

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Dear Gary, The surname, Solomonson, may or may not ring a bell, but my brother, Mike, and I both have fond memories or your humour, common sense and professionalism from when we worked as engineers at MPR. Mike is still in the Twin Cities but I was there only in 1980. Linda Murray wanted me to stay on but returning to teach high school English in Australia beckoned. While I've been here ever since, those early days of information radio and satellite broadcasting live, without static, in my memory. Thank you for guiding me to carefully "consider all things" in life!
- Steve, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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So long Gary - you will be missed! I've loved catching your show daily these past couple of years. You leave behind big shoes to fill. Wishing you the best,
- Lara, Minneapolis, MN

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Oh, gosh, tears are filling my eyes as I try to think of some meaningful words of appreciation to write that haven't already been said and written by so many others. You've been praised and lauded by listeners from all over the States and even the World, so you must have some idea now of how proud we Minnesotans all are to claim you and your wise, even-handed, knowledgeable, kind, generous, witty and thoroughly likable narrative and interview style and methods, so critical in this time of broadcasting bombast. You've become like a best-friend neighbor, wise uncle and much-loved brother to us, giving us the kind of sensible reporting and informative programming we really need and want, and helped show us how powerful public radio can be in our lives. Sure will miss you and your mellow voice. Thanks tons, best wishes and many blessings in your retirement from a couple of MPR sustainers.
- Dean and Lora, St. Paul, MN

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I'm really going to miss your program! You may not have a journalism degree, but there's a lot you could teach others in the field. Enjoy your retirement! (But it wouldn't break my heart if you got a little bored and came back now & then!!)
- Kim, Browerville, MN

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Good luck and best wishes on your retirement! Just like many things, you don't really realize how much you appreciate something until its gone. I have been listening to you for the last 10 years and it wasn't until today that I realized that you were actually not going to be there next week. I will miss you every day. I truly hope we still get to hear your voice, share in your wisdom and insight again on MPR!
- Linda, Lakeville, MN

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Mr. Eichten; Long time listener here - Thanks so much for your wonderful work, respectful dialogue and sense of humor. I have learned a lot in listening to your shows. Sincerely, Gretchen Pick
- Gretchen, Minneapolis, MN

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Mr. Eichten, I was a home visitor in Winona county for a number of years, and I cherished the 25 mile drive from St. Charles to Winona during the midday broadcast because I knew I would hear wonderful interviews "no hype" style. I particularly enjoyed any broadcast from the state fair. The lustre of the fair must have dimmed some years, but we listeners would never know-you were enthusiastic whether you were hosting Garrison Keillor doing a geography quiz, or Howard Sinker doing his wonderful sports quiz, or a politician who was likley relieved to have an informed and even interview. Thanks for keeping me company between home visits throughout all of Winona County. Best Wishes,
- Marie, Winona, MN

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Pam Showers (Galles) : pshowers@myclearwave.net Mankato MN Response Date : Friday, January 20, 2012

Hi Gary, The Free Press in Mankato did a write-up on you a couple of days ago, and I then realized that you had roots here. I was also surprized to see that your Dad was Vic Eichten! I remember that he was a friend of my Dad, Don Galles. I;m not sure how they knew each other, but, my Dad owned the DX station across Front Street from Mankato High School in the mid 50's, and worked for North Star Concrete for 28 years. Did your Dad live on West 6th Street on the corner of Sibley Street? I grew up on West 5th across from Roosevelt school. I remember [your dad] as being a very nice person. Getting back to your retirement, I have always enjoyed listening to your broadcasts on MPR and will miss hearing your voice! Best wishes to you and I hope your thoroughly enjoy retirement!
- Pam, Mankato, MN

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Thank you Gary!! I wish you well! I loved listening to your program- so genuine!
- Lisa, Minneapolis, MN

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As an elementary educator, I didn't get a chance to listen to your program very often, except during the summer months. Your history inspires me to become a journalist/teacher! I feel like I've learned on the job too, despite the college education i've supposed to have received. I've been doing this for 26 years; maybe it's time to become a "rogue" journalist like you!
- Christopher, Saint Paul, MN

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Gary, I will miss your calm, gentle voice and informational topics. Many days you've kept me company and my mind working. I wish you the best in your retirement and say, "Don't be a stranger!" I would hate to think we won't here from you every now and then. Thanks for all the great years of quality broadcasting and for making my days a little brighter!
- Jill, Saint Paul, MN

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Barry Thompson : polarbarryt@gmail.com Madelia MN Response Date : Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Gary, You might not be aware of how popular you are with many of the rural mail carriers in minnesota. On a daily basis we drive our own vehicles through all weather conditions delivering the mail to all the farm houses in the state. Your progarm is on most of our radios. I personally have listened to your show for my 23 year postal career. Thank you for making me a more informed person. And on behalf of all rural mail carriers, I wish you a Happy Retirement.
- Barry, rural mail man, Madelia, MN

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Every day I am sure to turn on the radio at 11 a.m. and listen to the show through the noon hour. I have called in on occasion to giver my own opinion. I will miss that voice and the interviews so well done with persons from different sidea of the political scene. I am not aware of who will be there in your place but they have big shoes to fill.
- Martha, Minneapolis, MN

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I listened to you the whole time I lived in MN - over 25 years. And I have been listening to you online since I moved away. I can't believe you won't be there the next time I check into MPR. But, as a "somewhat retired" person myself I am glad you get to move into a different work format. Enjoy the leisure time that this will afford.
- Alice, Edmonds, WA

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Gary, Congratulations on a brilliant career. I recently relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and found your program a pleasant surprise. I tuned in every day since I returned to hear what was happening on Midday. I was impressed by your wit, your ability to make each guest, caller, etc. feel important. Best of luck and many well wishes. Cheers,
- Jon, Sioux Falls, SD

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Good luck Gary! I will miss hearing that voice and that laugh on the radio every day. I've become quite accustomed to hearing the "usual" shows, such as the baseball show on the opening day of baseball season, the weather show at the start of the fair, and of course the year end economic show. You have had such a great rapport with all those you interviewed, and it was evident in your shows. You're a Heckuva guy, and I hope you have a wonderful retirement!!
- Michelle, St. Cloud, MN

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Thank you, Gary, for your interest in, and presentation of, the Minnesota political scene. I always enjoyed your broadcasts and your calm and humble, yet persistent approach to your subjects. While living in another state for many years, far from Minnesota and in the pre-Web days, I missed MPR and always maintained my membership. You were a constant and I was so glad to hear your voice when I returned to Minnesota. Thank you for all you did for us.
- Kathleen, Minneapolis, MN

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I very much appreciate your thoughtful and apparently unbiased coverage of complex and relevant issues. Although I don't believe you could be without biases, you are commendable in your ability to set them aside while doing your job. Maybe you could become a moderator within the U.S. Senate and House? Your wisdom and sensibilities need to be cloned or packaged in pharmaceutical form. It is bittersweet to have you (and Bill Kling) move out of your long-standing positions; I have come to take those gifts for granted. I trust (hope) you both will continue to share your leadership and thought-provoking capabilities with the us for many years despite your retirement. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And best wishes always,
- Terrisa, Wayzata, MN

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Beatrice Eichten : beichten@fslf.org Little Falls MN Response Date : Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Gary, I have listened to you for years on MPR and appreciated your interviews and your probing questions. Thanks for alla you have done to help MPR become the great radio station it is! There are many Eichtens in and around Minnesota who keep asking and being asked if we are related to Gary Eichten.
- Sister Bea, Little Falls, MN

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I enjoyed the event at the Fitzgerald. You are a real state treasure. I wanted to tell you then how much I appreciate MPR--both news and the classical station. I work with individuals who have serious and persistent mental illness.I work overnights and always have 99.5 on. When I do meds in the morning, I can't tell you the number of times people comment on the nice music. Maybe I'm building music appreciation. Thanks for all your good programs. Happy retirement.
- Mary Ellen, City, MN

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Gary, I have been welling up with tears as I listened to your final broadcast and as I think about life, politics and the airwaves without you. Your balance and objectivity in educating us, as well as the calming effect of your voice (whether it be the news, debates, and all the rest) will be greatly missed. Thank you for all you have done. You have made our world so much better. Love you Gary. Sincerely,
- Brad, Appleton, MN

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Gary, if you just can't stay away from a microphone, the Radio Talking book for the Blind would love to have you as a volunteer reader. It would be a way for your wife to get you out of the house a day or two a week!!
- Jeff, Minneapolis, MN

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Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement, Gary. I have been listening to your voice since we first moved to Minnesota in 1978. I will miss your daily midday show - you have been an exemplary journalist. I am in awe of how patient, fair and open-minded you have been over the years. Thank you for always ensuring that we listeners get quality reporting. Good luck and come back to visit often. We need more people like you on radio! Best wishes,
- Michele, Maple Plain, MN

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Thank you for the professionalism, honesty, humility, and hard work. And all the driveway moments. You're a heckuva journalist. You'll be missed.
- Tim, Minneapolis, MN

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Best wishes to you in your retirement. You will be missed! I am a long time listener and member. I hope you have a Heckofa retirement! Thank you for all your years of unbiased, informative, and fun broadcasting!
- Melody, Hugo, MN

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You have always been such a gracious and helpful resource for me as a League of Women Voters officer when I was looking for help finding authoritative speakers/contributors to our non-partisan organization's mission and programs. Who can I turn to in the future? Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've "mainlined" Midday and MPR for the last 3 decades. I don't know that it's possible to fill your void. What an exemplary and shining light you have been for those of us with a thirst for knowledge and insatiable curiosities.
- Jean, Cottage Grove, MN

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Best of luck in retirement, Gary. You are a brilliant, heart-warming, silly, and amazing man. Thank you for enlightening Minnesota and me.
- Rachel, Northfield, MN

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oh I am sad to know you are gone from MPR - your warmth and super good humor are so friendly and seem like a good old friend to all-- Farewell dear Gary :-(
- Darlene, Virginia, MN

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What impresses me so much with you as an interviewer, Gary, is your unique combination of sincere respect, genuine curiosity and interest, and authentic humility. You manifest one of the central tenets of great journalism -- ensuring that listeners clearly perceive that this is not about you...and in doing so we all see so well that it is only because of you that we get that experience. A thousand thanks.
- Anne, Saint Paul, MN

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Congratulations on your retirement from a long and distinctive career. You have made a great contribution to explaining complex problems by asking important questions on behalf of Minnesotans. I always left work over lunch to listen, and occasionally ask a question. when I got tongue- tired, you picked up the gist, and dug down following up;even on next shows. THANK YOU! Glad to read you will be part of the next election cycle.
- Ray, Circle Pine, MN

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Dear Mr. Eichten, What will we do without you? You have been such an important part of our family these many years, bringing insight and balance to issues and conversations of our day. You have asked needed and provocative questions with respect and decency. Other times you have simply brought delight--even to pledge drives. (We are sustaining members!) You have blessed us and all of Minnesota. May you and yours be blessed in your retirement.
- Katherine and David and family, Saint Paul, MN

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Don't go!!!!! I have always envied my parents generation because they had such trusted newscasters like Walter Cronkite. When I moved to MN 8 years ago I found it in you. Your show has been my source for trusted, educational and thoughtful news in an increasingly angry and chaotic media environment. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You will be missed.
- Katie, Maple Grove, MN

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Gary is like the teacher I wish I would have listened more closely to when I was in school. I've learned so much and will miss his voice and wonderful interviews.
- Laura, Stacy, MN

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Best wishes for a future of interesting and sweet times - you have provided us with many. Thank you and enjoy!
- Jane, Columbia Heights, MN

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Thank you for all your good work.
- Bill, Austin, TX

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I've only been listening to MPR for 6 months or so, but in that time, Gary, and the rest of the mid day staff have made my 30 minute lunch much more enjoyable. Good luck with retirement Gary, I'm sure everyone hopes you come to visit every once in a while.
- Matthew Berg, Morris, MN

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You have been such a wonderful voice to hear during my day. I have many memories surrounding the sound of your voice either in the car while in the garden or coming from the barn. One year I swear the sound of your voice induced all of my ewes to go into labor at the same time. I still have the memory of lambs and your voice in the background talking politics. Smartest sheep that I own :)) Good Luck and thank you for educating everyone in and out of our home.
- Christine, Isanti, MN

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Thank you, Gary, for doing a wonderful job of keeping us informed over all these years. We will miss you dearly and remember you fondly! Onward!
- Colleen, Bloomington, MN

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--My mother was an early supporter of MPR and so I grew up hearing it on a daily basis...as I still do now, many years later. Thanks so much for your many years of great work! I too will miss your voice, whether from the kitchen radio or the one in the car. Best wishes!
- Susan, Bemidji, MN

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What I will miss is that infectious laugh - it is a real belly rumbler with real personality.
- John, Minneapolis, MN

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Gary Eichten is partially responsible for me becoming a member of MPR, and being a sustainer. Midday is now firmly lodged as part of my routine, listening at my cube. "And...It's a heck of a deal". Excelsior, Gary. Ave Atque Vale.
- Paul, Roseville, MN

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Thanks a million Gary. You're the GOLD STANDARD in radio and media interviewing.
- John and June, Leonard, MN

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Gary, It has truly been a pleasure to have 'known' you on the radio. Many mornings I would hear you speak while I did my housework or worked in the garden. Your voice is what made me become a member of MPR while I lived in LaCrosse. I have relocated to Eau Claire (last April) and can't pick up the station, so I haven't heard you since then. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of my father, and wanting to find comfort with another old friend I remembered that I could log on to MPR. I am lucky to be able to listen to you speak this last time. Thanks for all the memories, and that kind laugh you shared with a single, childless girl who lives in a new town with a new job and counted on you all those days to bring me lively discussion.
- Becky, Eau Claire, WI

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Gary, I'll miss hearing your voice, your down-to-earth style, & insightful commentary on MPR. I have listened to you over the years while driving home from the the station. Bye, bye...isn't that how you say it?
- Alix, Minneapolis, MN

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Your calm, intelligent and respectful style of interviewing will be missed. Of course your wonderful voice too. Thank you for your years at MPR.
- Linda, Roseville, MN

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Congradulations on your retirement. Midday Podcasts will not be the same.
- Steve, Calgary, AB

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Gary, you're the best and will be missed! If only you could teach your interview skills to some of those BBC folks we hear on MPR overnight!
- J, Mound, MN

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Gary: My wife and I will miss your unhurried and level, soothing voice at Midday for a long time to come. I tune in here in Florida via the web just to know what's up with politics in Minnesota, and you give us the straight stuff. We appreciate you and wish you all the best in retirement.
- John and Mary, Burnsville, MN

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Thank you, thank you, thank you for making us smarter and better citizens--not an easy task. You have done well, and you deserve to rest. But I will miss your laugh.
- Theresa, Rochester, MN

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Gary, I will miss your clear and pointed questions, the you're-not-getting-off-the-hook-with-that-answer (in a very friendly way) approach to interviewing, the knowledge in your head and the information you pulled out of the heads and hearts of your guests, and the laughter. Heavens, I even enjoyed listening to you (especially paired with Cathy Wurzer) during the pledge drives! Mr. Eichten, you are one of many key reasons I'm a very, very proud MPR Sustainer...and a better informed Minnesotan and citizen of the world. Thank you; you're a heckuva guy!
- Jessica, Plymouth, MN

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Gary you will be missed. Working as a custodian for a college filled me with a healthy appreciation of portable listening devices. And you can bet that every day I would be tuned to MPR to listen to Gary Eichten. Didn't matter who he was talking to, the topics, or how I was feeling. I could just listen to his show. Good luck and thank you from a proud Minnesotan.
- Skyler, Moorhead, MN

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Enjoyed your news and programs, often associated with various projects I was working on. I admire your interview technique, bringing a little info to light and asking your guest to add, or explain something. I don't know who is replacing you (HA) but you could pass on those skills! Thanks for your insight!
- Mary, Pine Island, MN

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Hi Gary -- So what is it about people from the Mankato area, anyway? Everyone I have ever known or known of from that part of Minnesota is awesome, and you are no exception! Many congrats on your retirement; it's very well-earned (and I just donated to MPR in honor of you). But my spouse and I, and many of our friends, will miss your on-air presence something terrible -- it just won't be the same without you. Stay in touch -- and wishing you the best of everything!
- Jenzi, St. Louis Park, MN

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Good luck Gary. You will be missed.
- Scott, Minnetonka, MN

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Gary - I am a transplanted Minnesotan living in Japan and listen whenever I can. Thank goodness for podcasts because that really helped and I no longer needed to tune in online in the middle of the night over here! They allowed me to listen to your soothing voice while on long commutes on trains in the middle of Japan while not feeling so far from home thanks to you. You will be greatly missed - another piece of Minnesota that I will have to say goodbye to....
- Erik, Nagoya, Japan

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I have listened to you at work for the last 5 years. I shall miss your soothing voice. You are the best! God Bless You.
- Christine, Nicollet, MN

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I will miss you so much. I love your interviews, the questions you ask, the ethics that you use in your interviews. As a newly retired person myself, I think I know how you feel. I have found this stage of my life to be even better than expected! Enjoy every single moment you are given; you surely deserve much happiness.
- Noreen, Minneapolis, MN

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Thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm.
- Colleen, Minneapolis, MN

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All the best to you, Gary, in your retirement. I have listened to you for many years and will miss hearing your thoughtful and engaging interviews. You will be missed. Thank you for many years of good, informative radio.
- Gary, Eagan, MN

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Thanks, Gary, for your work at Minnesota Public Radio. Best wishes for you and yours. Take care of yourself. (If you smoke cigarettes, please stop). Start a new hobby? Join a yoga class? Take walks? Breathe easily and fully; you've done wonderful work for listeners. Call in to MPR sometimes. Thanks again.
- Mike, Hilo, HI

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Gary, Your good sense and humor willl be missed. I hope it has rubbed off on others at MPR. Enjoy your retirement, I'll be toasting you with a Grain Belt Premium tomorrow night.
- Mark, Duluth, MN

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Gary, my wife Mary and I are still in denial: we simply can't imagine life in Minnesota without Gary on Midday! I know you're too humble to accept it, but you represent the very best example of what it means to be a Minnesotan! Maybe we'll just listen to your reruns for the rest of our lives and pretend this isn't happening ... Best of luck and have a wonderful retirement!
- Thomas, Hopkins, MN

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I moved to Buffalo, NY in 2004, about the time Bob Edwards was replaced on the morning show. So, in adopting the all new local and national hosts at the WBFO NPR affiliate, I found the unfamiliar voices made me very lonely. It took me a long while before I could listen with regularity. Of course I got over it. Still, even today, now living in NYC, I find a great comfort in hearing the MPR'ers--Gary Eichten being top of the list. I tune in every now and then to hear Gary's voice at Midday. Sad to hear he'll no longer be on the air, but happy for him, and thankful for all the years I have been able to listen to him.
- Ryan, Brooklyn, NY

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I've been listening to you for many years, I will miss you; another change that must be endured.
- Carolyn, Maple Plain, MN

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Ditto on the accolades. You have kept me interested and informed as I drove to my destination many a morning. Good luck to you.
- Sandra, Lakeville, MN

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Hi Gary! Thank you for many, many wonderful years! I will definitely miss you! Good luck with your next project - and the next!! Even our Northern Minnesota will not be the same without you!!
- Marjie, Williams, MN

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Thank you for being a friend! I'll miss your voice and your admirable ways of interviewing and explaining. The best to you in whatever your future holds.
- Marsha, North Mankato, MN

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O Captain! My Commentator! by Walt Whitman and now abused by me…..
1
O CAPTAIN! my Commentator! Your wonderful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel of news has been grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of real news,
Where on the deck my Captain now resides,
Retired and much missed.

2
O Captain! my Commentator! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up-for you the flag of honest news is flung-for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths-for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear Newsman!
This Network beneath supported your clear head;
It was a dream that you were on the air,
You've captured our hearts and heads.

3
My Commentator does not answer the call in lines anymore;
My Commentator does not feed my head and now I have no pulse nor will;
His news was anchor'd safe and sound, now the voice closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
I walk the dial my Commentator left,
Now shallow, empty and with dread.

Cheers, Mr. Eichten Cheers!
- Steve R., Edina, GA

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Gary, I've listened to MPR for 30 years and I've truly enjoyed and been educated by the opportunity to listen to you! Thank you and God bless you!
- Tom, Shoreview, MN

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Dear Gary, I have listened to you a lot in my car. I have never heard you say anything I could in any way be critical of; I have only enjoyed and admired you. Your laugh and humor are great gifts. Congratulations to one hell of a journalist/community and world servant. Wishing you and yours all the very best!
- Pam, Roseville, MN

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Hello Gary: I think you should reconsider your retirement - after all Garrison did. I am thinking another five or so years would be perfect. That is about the time I will retire and won't need a lunch buddy anymore. Actually I wish you the best!
- Keith, Eden Prairie, MN

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You are the best--never to be replaced. You kept my attention when you presented information no matter what I was doing at the time. If we ever get someone on the radio to replace you as you are, we would be astonished. Best wishes for a pleasant, healthy retirement!
- Helen, Golden Valley, MN

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Your voice will linger in my mind as a fond memory long beyond your farewell. Thank you for your humor, your insight, and your gentlemanly respect for your guests. Best wishes for a retirement filled with good health and stimulating conversation.
- Jo, Utica, MN

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I will very much miss your right-to-the-point but always respectful questions you have asked your special visitors. I have always learned from your interviews. I do hope upcoming radio journalists have had the opportunity to learn from you. You are the best!!! MPR is losing one of its finest. Your listeners wish you many happy and healthy years ahead.
- Sally, Bryon, MN

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Thank you for your role in making Minnesota a great place to live. As a constant steady voice of reason, your ability to put your interviewees at ease provided us a bounty of information and insights we wouldn't have gained otherwise. Your love for this community is evident and as a nonnative who had the privilege to listen in for the past twenty years that love was infectious and empowering. You will be sorely missed!
- Susan, Edina, MN

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Gary, you've been a part of my every week day for as long as I've been a steady MPR listener and member (20 years). Thank you for making me smarter about politics and for making me laugh. You're the best and I will sorely miss you. Best wishes to you as you embark on your next big adventure!
- Mary Beth, Minneapolis, MN

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Hi Gary: I'm a long-time MPR member, and an even longer fan of your work! You have been the recognizable voice of MPR for so many years, and we will all miss you. And I am trying to be objective, even though you married my First Bank colleague Joann....
- Wally, Edina, MN

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Gary, You're my favorite! You always treat your guests with respect but still manage to get to the meat of the matter! I'll miss hearing you during the day. Have fun now!
- Anita, Burnsville, MN

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I wish I were half as diplomatic and affable as you -- know you have Minnesota's gratitude for your good, hard work. All the best!
- Laura, Saint Paul, MN

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Our move back to MN was made much more enjoyable after discovering the quality programming of MPR and especially your midday program. Thanks for dedicating so many years of your life to making people like me better informed! Retirement is great!
- Charleen, Battle Lake, MN

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We came to Minnesota 40 years ago via California, South Carolina, and Alabama -- talk about culture shock! But listening to you (and others, of course) on MPR, we began to form a picture of Minnesota life and have continued to listen ever since. Your interviews on local personalities, politicians, etc., have allowed all of us to learn so much more about what is going on in our community. Thanks a million!
- Carolyn, Saint Paul, MN

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LOVE hearing from you two guys today! [ Garrison Keillor live on Midday on January 13, 2012 ] I retired on Nov 1st, and you will LOVE it Gary! My best wishes to you both. I missed the boat to come to the big retirement party....but wanted to wish you fun and safe travels into retirement! Hugs!
- Connie, Saint Paul, MN

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It's hard to put into words how much your program has meant to me over the years. You always seem to address the right questions to your guests. I have learned so much because of your shows. A long and happy retirement to you.
- Jim, Duluth, MN

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Gary, I've listened to you for many years, as my youth transitioned into middle age. You set the "gold standard" of broadcast journalism, and I have rarely heard any journalist interview politicians in the non-biased, direct, yet civil style that has been yours all these years. I will greatly miss your voice on the radio. Thank you, and best wishes for a long, enjoyable retirement!
- Gordon, Two Harbors, MN

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Gary, I have only been listening to MPR for about 7 years, just a fraction of your career on the air, but during that time, I've grown to respect and admire your dedication to providing in depth and dispassionate news converage for all those lucky enough to hear your voice every day. I recently had the chance to tour the MPR newsroom, and I almost lost it when I saw you working at your desk. It was like seeing one of the Beatles! I was so excited. And when you said a simple "Hi" to me, I nearly cried. I know this sounds a little extreme, but you are truly one of my heroes. Thank you for everything, and good luck in your future endeavors.
- Rose, Saint Paul, MN

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Best wishes and thank you for your time at Minnesota Public Radio. I started listening to MPR in my mid-twenties and I know your reporting was one of the reasons I continued to tune in. I feel I learned a lot about the state and and the world through your many interviews. You will be missed! Enjoy your time off!
- Sharon, Bloomington, MN

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Happy wishes from an old colleague! The airwaves won't be the same without you. Read a posting yesterday about someone wanting a better tribute to you than a bobble-head, and then dreamed last night that people were running excitedly toward something that turned out to be - wait for it - a sculpture of you a la those Charlie Brown thingies scattered in public places around the Twin Cities! Hope we can come up with something better than that! Cheers, Gary!
- Andrea, Minneapolis, MN

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It's all been said by others already, Gary. This is just one more vote in the "thanks sincerely" column. You're the best... we'll miss you!
- Richard, St. Cloud, MN

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Gary, Our best wishes on your retirement! You are the voice of MPR, in our minds. You have been part of the news of our times. I can remember being outside raking one fall day and you sharing the sad, sad news about Senator Wellstone's plane going down. We listened with tears in our eyes and knew you felt as sad as we did. Thanks for "being there" for all of us!
- Julie and Greg, Minneapolis, MN

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Dear Gary: I was around, doing PR and Advertising, in the early 70's. You were there and already a fixture. Many congratulations on so many years of wonderful interviews,good humor and the special dedication and intelligence you brought to MPR. Your viewpoint and voice will be sorely missed on the air. Enjoy this next time for yourself tho. You deserve it! Love,
- Merle, Minneapolis, MN

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I guess the time comes for everyone. Good for you! I've listened to you for many years and have learned so much. Thank you for your dedication and commitment. You will be missed. Best wishes.
- Jesse, Duluth, MN

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While I can imagine it might be nice not to get up at 4:30 AM every weekday, and I don't begrudge you a more leisurely life style, I am in mourning and cannot imagine what MPR will be like without you! Time and time again, you have managed to conduct lively and even-handed interviews with people from all walks of life and politicians of every stripe, with nary a note of condescension nor snarkiness, even when your interview subjects presented tempting targets, and you always succeeded in bringing out surprising and interesting information. I have also been impressed by how well-informed you are, on every conceivable topic, and I have learned so much. I do declare that you are irreplaceable, and I will miss your voice. Still, I wish you all the best in this next part of your journey.
- Solfrid, Saint Paul, MN

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Thank You for introducing me to Minnesota when I moved here in 1973 and Thank You for the hundreds of hours of informative programming and unbiased interviews that have always made me proud of being a supporter of MPR. You have always fulfilled my idea of everything a great journalist should be. I wish you all the best in your retirement while selfishly hoping that you will still put in an appearance now and then.
- Ken, Zimmerman, MN

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It's almost time to say "God Speed", Aloha, Shalom, but never good-bye. We will miss you, your wonderful voice, your probing questions (just like the ones we wanted to ask) that left openings for answers, but never were adversarial. We think you were always so open and even that newsmakers wanted to explain their views to you - and thus the several million listeners. We hope you do everything you want to do, and that you perhaps find the time to do a least a couple of pledge drives in the next few years. It's been great Gary - See ya!!
- Helen and George, Golden Valley, MN

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Mental agility faster than a speeding bullet, directness more powerful than a locomotive, able to sum up rambling caller questions in a succinct single phrase. Thanks for your many years of in-depth show preparation, getting up early, and defusing the alarmists of the 24/7 news cycle. I'm glad you were around during a time when a full hour of sensible discussion was still possible. Somehow I don't see you being satisfied with today's Twitter attention spans and news fragments masquerading as discussion. Enjoy your next chapter, you've earned it, and thanks for the memories.
- "Henny Penny," Plymouth, MN

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Gary, for so many years you were the first voice I heard each day. I appreciate your matter of fact reporting style and your probing questions. Best wishes in your retirement.
- Rose, Saint Paul, MN

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Congrarulations and best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy every day of it--you deserve a full life and a long one.. I grew up in Wanda, Minnesota with so many Eichtens. You must fit in there somewhere, especially with your resemblance to Matt Eichten, a handsome fellow who owned a hardware store. Whatever, you have given a lot of people from that small town bragging rights!!! Happy, happy days for the rest of your life.
- Norma, Eden Prairie, MN

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Thanks so much, I live in my car (driving 40000 miles a yr) I look forward to every day hearing you. You will be immensely missed. I joined MPR just because of you.
- Susan, Grand Marais, MN

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My days won't be the same without hearing your level-headed interviews. In a time of politicized responses, you have the knack of cutting through the you-know-what, and getting the critical questions answered. We, the listeners, have benefited from your tenacity. You will be missed, yet, I wish you much happiness as your begin a new stage in your life.
- Nelda, Saint Paul, MN

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Dear Gary, Congratulations, and thank you for your many years of service to MPR and the people of Minnesota. You've got such good common sense and intelligence -- I almost wish you'd run for Governor in a couple years. You'd have my vote! All the best.
- Joe, Rochester, MN

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Thanks for all the "driveway moments."
- Karen, Zumbrota, MN

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My favorite memory is an interview with Gov. Ventura. He was strongly making his case on something he couldn't get support on. In the heat of his persuasion, he asked what you thought. You laughed and said, "I"m just the bus driver here." He seemed to be surprised, but also impressed. You definitely weren't a radio jackal.
- Shirlee, Mankato, MN

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Gary- I will truly miss your program, your voice, your ideas. I have enjoyed listening to you and appreciated your non-judgmental interview style and presenting various political views. Thank you for sharing your journalist gifts with us through the years. Best of wishes on your retirement! I hope you have a number of years to enjoy life and all it offers.
- Carol, White Bear Lake, MN

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Gary, I always admired your grasp of the subject and knowledge of the intricacies of its issues in each and every one of the interviews you conducted, coupled with your keen, unassuming, yet insightful questioning that politely challenged your guests to candidly and honestly respond. You are a master of your craft, and were a joy to listen to. I always learned something. Congrats on a great career and best wishes for an equally "productive" retirement.
- Dave, Woodbury, MN

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I only got to hear Gary the las year or so in my own retirement years. It has been a revelation. He even let me ask questions and offer comments during his show, on rare occasions when I felt I had something useful to add to the discussion. As with all his guests, I was treated with the utmost respect, which I appreciate. I know that it will be impossible to replace you, Gary. Thank you, Gary, for all you have done for all of us.
- Rodney, Minneapolis, MN

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I'd hate to be the person tagged to fill your spot...
- Jim, North Mankato, MN

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Gary, My fondest memory is making you laugh out loud with your very genuine laugh. It happened when I told you about being stuck in an MRI machine for a very long time. They supplied headphones and let me choose the station which was MPR, (of course). I told them to turn it up very loud to drown out the MRI machine noise. What I had forgotten was that it was your favorite time of year, pledge week! I was ready to donate any amount by the time I got out. We greatly value MPR and are proud to be sustaining and legacy society members. Thanks for all the great memories and for all you've done to make MPR a wonderful service. Best wishes.
- Dave, Lakeshore, MN

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Happy Retirement, Gary, I know you will love it , I can speak with the knowledge of 15 yrs retired now. I share most of the days with you , your love of history and politics. Thank you for all the years of bringing good and true information to a public that craves to hear. We definitely need MPR to bring that to us and I will miss hearing your voice and the words " that's a heckuva deal " during fundraising. Good Luck!
- Shirley, Golden Valley, MN

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I will miss your well thought out questions and comments and statesman-like guidance of politicians, pundits and callers. Hope you can pop back in once in awhile after you have time to see what's out there on the retirement scene. Enjoy!
- Kathy, East Bethel, MN

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Best wishes, Gary, for a satisfying retirement. I know you will continue to be a voice and a force for good in whatever world you choose!
- Judy, Hector, MN

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Over the years I've had goofy little conversations with myself about how important MPR news is in my daily life -- like being stranded on a desert island and only being able to have one thing. It would be MPR. A later musing had to do with recognizing that Gary would want to retire one day, and I couldn't imagine life without Gary Eichten. I thought, "MPR just can't let him retire!", envisioning tying him to the desk. I did recognise that for a pretty selfish thought. I will sorely miss this straight-shooter, who I trust and who makes me chuckle with fondness. Gary, I hate that you are retiring, but wish you the very best. And come back anytime!
- Shirley, Minneapolis, MN

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Thanks for sharing informed and enlightened stories and interviews with Minnesota citizens. Your tone and voice are like having a talk with friends around the dinner table! Enjoy the next chapter in your life.
- Kay, MN

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I started listening to MPR because of you Gary and am going to sorely miss your program. Your objectivity, civility, breadth of knowledge, humor and personality have made my husband and me sustaining members of MPR - we consider it the best such station in the U.S. and you have been one of its stars. Good luck in the future.
- Jane, Faribault, MN

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In my mind, Gary Eichten and perspectives on Minnesota and beyond are practically one and the same. You have been a constant thread in my life for many years in Minnesota, and now, from Switzerland, where my wife & I listen to MPR streaming over the Internet. Thank you for being the calm, cool and focused broadcast journalist that you've been. You're a class act, and many of us are that much more proud to come from Minnesota because of your presence and your reliable contributions. Best wishes in your future endeavors, and do come back and visit us once in a while.
- Jack, Eagan, MN

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Dear Gary: I just retired on 9/1/11, giving me time - for the first time in decades - to listen to your morning programs as they happened rather than as rebroadcasts. And now you're leaving! I know there are wonderful reporters/interviewers who can take up the standard and move forward, but no one will do it quite the way you handled your interviews: with patience, with determination to get at the truth, and with humor. I hope you and your wife have warm and wonderful retirement together.
- Julie (sustaining member), St. Louis Park, MN

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Gary, I can honestly say after well over a decade of listening consistently to your broadcasts, I know you very little! I know that you are humble and shy away from too much attention to yourself. But the fact is, you have embodied for me what an expert journalist should be, and that is someone who asks tough questions, supports guests to be at their best, and does his homework so interviews are in depth and deeply informative. I don't know where you personally stand on issues, You have shown me that journalism can succeed without having to deal so much with the personality of the journalist. I deeply respect your work and will miss your work greatly. Please find some time teach other budding journalists what you know! It is a treasure! Thank you! Blessings!
- Patricia, Golden Valley, MN

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You've been an informative, pleasant, familiar and comforting presence in my life, through your radio shows, for many, many years. Thank you for all that. Good luck and don't be a stranger to MPR. Be well and rock on!
- Russ, Saint Michael, MN

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MPR just will not be the same without you! The three stations are on my car radio, but the only station I listen to on radio at home is 91.1FM. You are the one I listen to most often. Peace and joy be with you,
- EJ, Minneapolis, MN

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Dear Gary, I can't find words to express how much your show has meant to me. I have looked forward to your voice, your interviews, and the documentaries you selected. You have informed and educated us in the nicest possible manner. I agree with Hy Berman who said that you have left a legacy for fiuture historians in Minnesota. Along with so many others, I will miss you. It is like losing a very good friend.
- Mary Ellen, Saint Paul, MN

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Dear Gary, I can't find words to express how much your show has meant to me. I have looked forward to your voice, your interviews, and the documentaries you selected. You have informed and educated us in the nicest possible manner. I agree with Hy Berman who said that you have left a legacy for fiuture historians in Minnesota. Along with so many others, I will miss you. It is like losing a very good friend.
- Mary Ellen Jordan, St. Paul, MN

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Thanks, Gary, from your listeners on the SD side of MN's western border. Thanks for your long-standing contribution to serving us. You were definitely worth supporting with our membership dollars--a heckuva deal, if you ask me.
- Michael, Brookings, SD

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Thank you so much for your respectful tenacity, deeply informative shows, and entertaining sense of humor. I will miss you!
- Linda, Brooklyn Park, MN

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You may ride off into the sunset...but I would bet that you will continue to ask no BS questions of every one you meet!
- Mark, Stillwater, MN

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Thanks for being there every day! I'm going to miss that recognizable voice in my home and car! You are the only one that made the fund-raising segments during the year FUN to listen to. The dialogue between you and Cathy were like having your own show but at a new time. Again, thanks for being there, and enjoy your retirement!
- Bettie, Eden Prairie, MN

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You transformed me from a mere listener to a member back in 1968. I was searching high and low for a source of classical music after the Anoka station went off the air. Suddenly I heard your voice asking folks to join MPR and I know I just had to become a member of Minnesota Public Radio! Never looked back. Never regretted becoming a part of this wonderful service.
- Barbara, Plymouth, MN

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Bless your heart Gary for being one of the most familiar and trusted voices of MPR for so long. I will miss your warmth and integrity and especially your laugh! Thanks for all of the insights and information!
- Gloria, St. Paul, MN

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Your sane, direct interview voice was a gift to all of us during these years of increasingly harsh, critical political voices. Again and again you proved that issues can be examined and discussed calmly with facts. I depended on you to keep me informed about how our state was or was not operating. You deserve to retire and will probably be recruited by any number of groups. I am among thousands who will miss you. I am sure MPR will have some open guest spot open for you.
- Jo, St. Cloud, MN

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Have loved listening to you for what seems like forever! Have a wonderful retirement...or just stay!
- Sue, Oakdale, MN

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Yes, you will be missed but you deserve a time to reflect for yourself and to enjoy your family. We will even miss the ever hopeful positive voice on the pledge drives!
- Ivan, Rochester, MN

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Your well-paced, easy to listen to voice has made all the issues you covered easier to understand. Your great understanding of the news and politics enabled you to ask the most penetrating questions that we all wanted to know. You were always there, our kind and knowing friend on the radio. Thanks for being you.
- Earl, Rochester , MN

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Thank you for your 45 years with MPR. Will miss you. Wishing you well.
- I., Eagan, MN

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Greetings Gary, Congratulations on your retirement. You know, we've been friends since grade school and I believe "excellence" has been a key descriptor of you and your work at every phase of life. So proud of you, then and now. Say, Mark, Dave, Dr. Bill, Dave and I were able to get tickets for the Fitzgerald and will be there to celebrate your final "Midday" interview with you. Hope we can get together when you have some time to adjust to retirement. Thanks for so many enlightening and friendly noon hours.
- Dick, New Ulm, MN

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Gary, Live long and prosper. Thanks for all the good interviews!
- Larry, Eden Prairie, MN

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May You have a long, happy & healthy retriement Gary. Your voice & you will be so sadly missed by all of your dedicated listeners once you pull the plug, I hope they can talk you into coming back once in a while to let all your fans hear how you are doing & what you have been doing.... Again, May You have a long, happy & healthy retriement Gary. Very Sincerely,
- Charlie, Pine City, MN

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Congratulations on the culmination of a first-class radio broadcast career! You earned the street (and prairie) cred, and you'll be sorely missed. You're welcome to visit any time here in your old stomping grounds. We'll keep the coffee pot on for you.
- Gully - KMSU, Mankato, MN

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Gary, Thank You! Whenever I hear your voice on MPR, my ears perk up because I know I will be learning something important. You will be missed. From one retiree to another, I can only wish for you the rewards I have experienced by having the time and freedom to pursue interests that have lain dormant. Go! Your best times may still be ahead. Thanks for all you have done.
- Henry, Rochester, MN

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Thank you, Gary, for your brilliant interviews, your wit and wisdom, your Minnesotan charm, and your humility. Your interviewee always took top priority with you, and you never let your own bias get in the way of a good interview. That is rare in today's media, and our community is going to sorely miss you! Take care.
- Laura, Minneapolis, MN

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Wishing you all the best, Mr. Eichten! I'm from Illinois and have lived in Western Europe for 10 long years. Not once have I heard anyone say "That's so American" and mean it in a positive way. It's very tiring, and of course the news here about the US is almost exclusively the bad or the weird. I was so grateful to find Minn NPR on internet radio and get a daily reminder that there are plenty of smart, funny, caring US-Americans. I listen to you as I fix supper (GMT+1) and will miss your show. Well done! Thank you.
- Loretta, Malden, The Netherlands

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Best wishes on your well-deserved retirement, Gary. You delivered your program with wisdom, humor and style, and found ways to make all of the topics interesting. Regardless of my own personal politics, I always learned something from the viewpoints you helped your guests express. That timeslot for mid-day will be a big spot to fill, you will surely be missed. Thank you for your faithful service to MPR members!
- Deanne, Minneapolis, MN

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Hi Gary, I feel a kindred spirit with you, being about your age and growing up near Mankato in the small town of Madison Lake. I've been a great fan of MPR since the mid 70s and so have heard you many many times although I mostly listen to the classical side of the dial. Stay involved and as Keillor says, stay in touch.
- Arthur, Minneapolis, MN

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Besides listening to Gary, I had an opportunity to participate in a panel discussing the choice for the senate candidate a few years ago. I was amazed at his mastery of eliciting responses while handling it very fairly, while making it enjoyable to the participants as well as the listeners. My best wishes as Gary moves into his next life. I would be surprised if we won't hear him on radio once in a while, though. Good luck!
- Godan, Burnsville, MN

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Gary, you deserve to retire and see the world. From my experience, you will revel in broadening your imagination. But I wish you could be cloned and also stay here, interviewing Nick Hays on Russia, Rapp and Shaver on politics,the Carleton professor on Asia and so many others - you covered such a wide range I will miss.
- Deb, Edina, MN

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Gary, I've been extremely impressed by your work on the air as one of the best interviewers I've ever heard. And I feel I've had a personal connection with you for more than four decades. In the late 60s, as a student at St. John's University, I volunteered as a reader for Radio Talking Talking Book for the Blind. You may recall it was a pilot project which used the facilities of MPR's first station, KSJR, in the upper floors of the Great Hall. One day I was in an adjacent room combing through newspaper articles to pick readings when you came in. You gently corrected my pronunciation of a proper name on a previous recording, and we visited for a minute. Ever since, whenever I've heard you, I've pictured you in that encounter. You'll be glad to know that my image of you has always been and will continue to be 40 years younger! Congratulations on an stellar career and best of luck in your well-deserved retirement.
- David, Preston, MN

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Thank you for your great service to all of us. I trust and respect you and appreciate the integrity and honesty you brought to your profession. Wishing you the best as you share your talents in whatever opportunities unfold in the next steps on your path.
- Mary, Le Sueur, MN

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I wondered if Bob Potter's replacement could measure up, so many years ago. Of course, it is now history that i worried for naught. Best wishes on your retirement and forever thank you for the splendid job you did. See you the 19th!
- Susan, St. Cloud, MN

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Best Wishes on your future endeavors and thank you so very much for providing great information with a fabulous delivery. You are a lotus in the muddy waters of journalism today.
- Paulette, Rochester, MN

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Every time I hear 'Appalachian Spring' I am reminded of you. Remember the pledge drive back in the early 80's when callers were asked to submit the name of their favorite composition. You urged folks to vote for Appalachian Spring. And the winner was -----
- Eunice, Ely, MN

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There will be a void in my day when you are no longer broadcasting. I don't know how you will be replaced. The best to you on your new path.
- Judy, Grand Rapids, MN

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You will be very missed. I appreciate the fact that you make everything simple. Including sometimes the interviewee. If there is not clarity you make them stretch to get what they intend to say accross. This is a real art. Enjoy yourself and I am hoping for a book. No pressure!
- Susan, Minneapolis, MN

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Dear Gary, I've been listening to MPR for almost as long as you've been there -- since I moved to Minneapolis in 1972. I can't imagine tuning in for Midday as I often do and not hearing your voice. "Fair and balanced" is always true of the interviews you conduct. You never fail to treat your guests with respect and they respond by telling you more than they probably intended. I have learned so much from you -- as we all have -- and especially now when rancor is rampant on the radio waves, your gentle humor and subtle touch will be greatly missed! Thank you for all you have given us. I feel as though I'm losing a long-time friend!
- Paul, Minneapolis, MN

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Gary, I've been a quiet listener (and member) ever since I arrived in MN in 1979. Your voice has been an anchor for me during all those years. Thanks for all your hard work. Your sincere commitment to Minnesota communities(and to an ever widening global community) has always been tempered, it seems to me, with wit and humility. I'll miss your incisive questions and corny sense of humor, but feel confident that you've inspired many a likely successor. Best wishes.
- Joey, Ely, MN

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When the Midday theme starts to play I start to get excited to hear what the next topic will be. Gary, it's been a pleasure to listen to you. You are one of the many reasons I am a member of public radio. I'll never forget the Jackson club. It was a "heckuva" deal. Thanks and good luck.
- Ray, Bloomington, MN

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Gary - I will miss you more than you can understand. Your humor and wonderful listening skills made you an excellent host, even when you had some difficult and feisty guests on (think Minnesota legislators). Thank you.
- Mary, New London, MN

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Thank you for being such a steady voice all these years. I've appreciated the many opportunities to learn from you -- and usually enjoyed being interviewed as well...:). Sorry to say I called a few hours too late to get a ticket but wishing you a wonderful evening on the 19th!
- Laura, Minneapolis, MN

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Eichten! Good job! Enjoyed playing softball with ya couple decades ago - thanks for the batting tips - and have admired and enjoyed your reporting from as long ago as Watergate! I wish you nothing but hamburger pitches in retirement, pitches that you can put that long bat on and drill over the left field fence.
- Bob Board operator, KSJR, 1971 & 1972, Wayzata, MN

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I've lived overseas pretty much for 40 years, but have always come back for home leave to Minnesota -- and made your intelligent and artciulate Midday public affairs show one of the things I regularly listened to. In fact, these last few years I've even been able to stream Midday wherever I was. I'm retiring this year as well. Ironically, as I make it home you will no longer be on the air. Ah, well.... I'll miss your insightful and entertaining interviews, but trust that you are finding fulfillment as you start down your new life path.
- Lois, Budapest, Hungary

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Gary, I have listened to you for so long that I can't imagine not hearing your voice. I am wondering if you were broadcasting when we learned Senator Wellstone's plane crashed? I was driving across St. paul to my best friend's and I just sat in the car outside her house and sobbed. I was fixed to every word the announcer said. Practically everything I know in the world of news I learned on MPR. It is the only station I listen to and I am so grateful for your years of service along with all the other wonderful reporters/ announcers. MPR makes a huge difference in my daily life.
- Erika, Alexandria, MN

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Congrats Gary! I worked with you way back in late 70's/early 80's, when I was a young reporter & you anchored ATC. The news station was just getting started. I remember how you scared the dickens out of me! All told, though, I appreciate how your wit would put us at ease, your constructive guidance, and the high standards you set and championed for news reporting. Thanks for your contributions to broadcasting and to my career, too!
- Jenny, St. Paul, MN

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I moved to Western Minnesota from my native Germany 18 years ago. At first I was turned off by the radio available: Music programs that were not my taste, interrupted only by advertising. MPR only had only a very weak signal in the area at the time. I quickly learned that there was one channel in the Twin Cities that beat everything I was used to from back home - and that the guy with the infectious laugh was on at noon. I now live 'down here', and more than once have I been late from my lunch break, because I had to listen to the end of that interesting conversation in my car.

In centuries past, big proud sailing ships had statues of naked ladies mounted to the front that showed them the way through the oceans. I sure hope that MPR is still going to find its way after its very own naked lady, Gary Eichten, has gone home.
- Dietrich, Chaska, MN

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Our family had a wonderful sabbatical year in South America, but at the end we were ready to come home. Our plane tickets only went to New York, so we ended up driving home. Somewhere in Wisconsin, we hear Gary Eichten's voice, and I just started crying. It was so good to be home. Thanks Gary, Happy retirement.
- Julie from Minneapolis, MN

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Calm. Respectful. Thoughtful. Even-handed... Seems like we need YOU more than ever in these polarized times -- or more hosts LIKE you! You will be missed. Thanks for all your good work, and best wishes for your future.
- Heidi from Brooklyn Center, MN

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I believe the sign of a great interviewer is the answers they elicit from their subject. Every single time you interviewed someone, I heard something I had never heard from that person before. You are gifted, skilled, knowledgeable and fun. You will be greatly missed.
- Julie from Minneapolis, MN

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Gary, I just don't know what I'm going to do without your voice coming through the ether. Five years after getting my bachelor's degree in English, I'd decided that I needed to go back to school. I worried that I might not have the stuff for it anymore. As it turns out, I felt infinitely more well-equipped for college the second time around, and I have no doubt that your even-handed wisdom in the interview process made that possible. I learned more listening to your broadcasts than I could ever be conscious of. You could deliver a weekly "Eichten Reads the Phone Book" series, and I'd tune in with a smile on my face. Thank you.
- Brandon from Fargo, ND

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My learned companion, Gary. Inspired and inspiring. Filled my mind with thoughts of times past, times present and the suggestion of tomorrow. Filled my heart with the everlasting music of hope. Thank you.
- JLB from Excelsior, MN

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AIRWAVES
For Gary Eichten

Beneath the intros, stories, fund-drive spiel,
the breath itself becomes an instrument.

It plays the graver tones and ("heckuva deal!")
the zany trumpet phrasings. Words are meant

to spell out meanings. But the distinctive swing
that whirls beneath the bobbleheaded laughter

and the taglines, Gary, is another thing
we take to heart, and carry with us after.
- By Peter Campion
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
As read by University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler
12/22/2011 on The Midday program

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Your Fitzgerald party is probably the only thing I'd ever like to go back to Minnesota for in January. I'm sure it will be a smashing success and a marvelous time. Sure do appreciate all the years we worked together. Your retirement makes me feel really old! Hope you and JoAnn have many wonderful years to enjoy -- and Linda and I hope you will come visit us in FL soon. Congrats on a marvelous career!
- Bob from St. Petersburg, FL

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When politics have gotten scary
It sure has helped that we've had Gary
Calmly cutting through the bickering,
Keeping fading hopes a'flickering
That civil discourse lives, in fact.
Gary, with wisdom, skill and tact,
Respect and courage, subtle wit,
Without fanfare, always nails it.

His legacy is without measure. Gary, you're a public treasure!
- Deborah from Minneapolis, MN

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Best wishes to you Gary! You have provided some of the most excellent political interviews on the planet. I know you will miss the pledge drives immensely and you will just have to come back and work those "Heckuvadeals" as one else at MPR can do it like you do. Enjoy your retirement, you have certainly earned it. Your voice and thoughtful questions and good humor will be missed by us all out in 'listener land'.
- Paul from Spring Valley, WI

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I will miss hearing your voice in my car. How will I ever know what is going on in the world without you on the radio? You're a heckuva journalist and a heckuva guy. Your daily presence will be missed. Love the photos.
- Lisa from Minneapolis, MN

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Thanks for the years of hosting Midday and for being the best interviewer in the state for public affairs. I admire your ability to ask the pertinent question without going for "gotchas" or injecting your own ego into the process. It is obvious that you have the respect of your guests regardless of political leanings.
- Ralph from New Brighton, MN

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Happy retirement Gary...I will miss your voice, but sorry I will likely not make to the cities for your well deserved accolades...a long way from home...do well...
- MCP from Grand Marais, MN

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