For the nearly 40 years I have been a part of WOBM March 1st always held special meaning because it is the anniversary of 92.7 FM making its broadcasting debut in 1968.

This had even greater significance last year because it was the 50th anniversary of Ocean County’s first commercial radio station and my Hometown View that morning paid tribute to that.  Today is of course the 51st anniversary of when we began broadcasting from our then Berkeley Township studios but unfortunately the March 1st date is now etched in my memory for a different reason.

While that morning a year ago began in a somewhat celebratory fashion it turned somber very quickly when we learned Bob Levy had died rather suddenly while hospitalized.

Bob Levy Broadcast Center plaque (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

Bob was the link to the past and present as he was the original employee starting before the roof even went on the building.  In his 50 years of service and I do mean service he did just about everything although clearly he was best known for his near four decade role as host of Topic A on Sunday morning.

At times I still find it hard to believe that he’s gone and on more than one occasion I have reached for the phone ready to hit his number and discuss something, usually sports-related.  Whether it was the Mets blowing another game in the 9th inning or Tiger Woods in contention on a Sunday we would call one another and usually begin the conversation with “are you watching?”  The other person rarely had to ask “what?’ because we were good at reading each other’s minds.

Bob’s impact may have waned to some over this past year but not me.  I’m still confused as to whether his death on the 50th anniversary of WOBM was either a strange coincidence or a message of some kind. As I’ve said previously I choose to believe the later for the simple reason that Bob was infatuated with death and believed that when he passed he would be forgotten very quickly.

Not so fast because March 1st will always be remembered as not only the radio station’s anniversary but the day a true Ocean County legend left us and I lost a mentor and friend.

Thankfully I have the many stories he shared which always bring a smile to my face.

Street sign for Bob Levy Way (Townsquare Media)