Man behind the mic: Branson exhibit on Paul Harvey's family life opens

Published: Nov. 4, 2016 at 9:02 PM CDT
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It's the story of a broadcasting legend, told not through the words of a biographer, but through the eyes of a child.

"In addition to being great people in their line of work, they were the greatest people I have known otherwise," said Paul Harvey Jr.,

son of the late radio icon Paul Harvey.

There aren't any big memorials to Paul Jr's father and mother, Angel, a newswoman herself. Their voices resonated during a time when journalists tended to shy from the spotlight.

"My parents were very modest, outward looking people," Harvey recalled." It never occurred to them to tell their own stories. And, after my dad passed away, I felt strongly compelled that someone should."

Now, a new exhibit in Branson at the World's Largest Toy Museum, recalls Paul Harvey the family man- at home- away from the microphone.

The exhibit is made up mostly of toys from Harvey Jr's childhood. His parents had packed them away more than a half century ago. It was only in recent years that the grown-up son discovered the time capsule of his life and 1950s Americana.

Harvey said, "My mother was able to avoid the heartache of throwing out my toys immediately when I was through playing with them."

Now, toys and family mementos in the exhibit will provide visitors with a look into the past. One of the items displayed includes the cradle used by Paul Sr. as a baby, and passed to Paul Jr. for his use. There is also a loarge collection of cameras Paul Sr. used to capture pictures of his young family.

"We want them to remember Paul Harvey with the core values, and the stories he told that really touched us as we grew up," said Rob Batchamn, Director of Sales and Marketing at World's Largest Toy Museum Complex.

Paul Harvey Sr. passed away in 2009. His son now works to continue his legacy.

"I remember growing up as a 12 year old listening to it on the AM station," Batchman said. ""We all remember 'the rest of the story.' We all remember hearing those newscasts, hearing the 'good day.' And that meant a lot. And, we are bringing that back."

Paul Harvey Sr. was a mighty broadcaster to millions. But, to Paul Jr., he was just 'dad.'

Harvey stated, "If my father had never said a word into a microphone, he would have been the best father in the world. Same of my mother; these were wonderful, wonderful people."