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Friday, March 02, 2018

Dave Ward can captivate a room and a parade

Dave Ward was the 2018 Downtown Rodeo Parade grand marshal - here is my report on photographing a bonafide TV star


Saturday morning at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's pre-parade dignitary breakfast inside the Hobby Center, TV news icon Dave Ward was busy shaking hands and taking pictures with the movers and shakers of the Bayou City.

I asked him if he ever got tired of people approaching him.

He told me that it's never a bother. If it weren't for the people of southeast Texas, he wouldn't have the career and life he has.

I've been around a lot of TV anchors and reporters in my time, but few have the star power with the viewers like Dave Ward. It was touching to see people light up when they approached him.

Usually the message is, "Mr. Ward, I have been watching you since I was a child!"

I've always thought of him as Uncle Dave. The steady, calm voice that came into our homes for 50 years to assure us no matter how bad things seemed, they would eventually get better.

That sentiment seems to go for you and me all the way to Houston politicians and members of Congress.


Dressed in his best western attire to perform his grand marshal of the 2018 Downtown Rodeo Parade duties, including boots that were a gift from Clay Walker, Ward was about to receive even more cowboy apparel.


Introduced by another popular fixture of Houston TV news, KPRC 2 reporter Phil Archer, Ward took the podium to thank everyone for his parade honors and receive a special grand marshal belt buckle and HLSR jacket.



"Well, I've been from the sidelines for 50 years reporting on the parade, this is the very first time I've been in the parade," Ward told me on a Facebook Live. "For them to choose me to be the parade grand marshal is an honor beyond belief. I really couldn't believe it."

Later on, seated in the grand marshal carriage with his wife Laura, Ward was interviewed by his former station's morning anchor Tom Koch and photographer Andre Dorsey live on abc13 KTRK.


As the Wards moved through the parade route, I heard folks lined up on the street yelling out Dave's name and cheering for him. Every turn of the corner came a new group of positive vibes from rodeo parade attendees.

Now I wasn't following Ward's only move just for this blog...of course that would be reason enough.

For the last few months, the Wards hired my web design company, McGuff Media LLC, to build his website.

You can check it out at:

DaveWardsHouston.com


It will keep you up to date on everything Dave Ward. You can see more photos of Ward at the rodeo parade here.

There is even a video section with clips from throughout this famous anchor's TV career. More will be added. If you have any video addition requests, email me.

Also, on the site, check out Dave Ward taking the Houston Rockets “First Shot” for Houston's Children Charity.

That honor took place the night before the rodeo parade. Imagine shooting the first free throw in front of a Rockets crowd at the Toyota Center, then the next day serving as the rodeo parade's grand marshal! That's just a weekend for one of Houston's most famous TV anchors.

Back to the parade, I asked Ward on Facebook Live how the parade has changed over the years since he started covering it.

"It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger," he replied.

I thought about it, that description for the parade sounds like a metaphor for our city in general these days.




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