It's a celebration here at Newsline 9 as we say farewell to a long-time member of our team. Our engineer, Ron Stange, is retiring after 43 years of service at WAOW.
He may work behind the scenes but that doesn't mean Ron Stange's presence hasn't been felt.
"I've done a lot," Ron reflects. "I've done transmitter work, master control, switching, directing, the first live shot."
Ron began his career at WAOW in 1969.
"My Dad got me into it," Ron says.
Back then things were a little different.
"This is the first camera. It was used for news gathering, the film was on reel," Ron remembers has he plays with the first camera ever used at Channel 9. "Now, it's all done with computers or remotes."
Throughout the years the equipment, the set, the stories and the people have all changed. But one thing has stayed the same, Ron's reliable presence at Channel 9.
"It's like another family, you know you're going to work every morning and you always see the same family."
Reflecting on the last 43 years, Ron says picking a favorite memory or story is impossible.
"There are just so many memories," Ron said. "I just remember all the good times, the fun times we had."
Like setting up Newsline 9's very first live report.
"We did it from the fairgrounds," Ron remembers.
Or covering Packers football games.
"That kept my Sunday's busy."
Or simply watching the way the television business, his business, has changed.
"I think if you find a job that caters to the people, then you've found a job forever."
So as we say goodbye to the man behind the scenes. We here at Channel 9 have a few last words.
"Ron, we could go from joking around one minute to him being so kind and compassionate. He's just the sweetest guy," Morning Anchor Cami Mountain said.
"It's nice to have someone to joke with at 3 a.m. every morning," Morning Anchor Alex Haight added.
And finally, a message from his behind the scenes friend, Pat Powers
"So, Ron, it's time to relax. Don't be getting up early Monday morning, sleep in."
And the rest of us know, no matter what, he will still be watching.
"I won't change the channel."
And we want him to know, no matter what, his laugh and experience will be missed.