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June 28, 2013

Longtime radio personality retires

(Continued)

He started that piece in 2004 and has recorded 794 of them.

“I think all but two of them were on local issues, which is a lot harder to do than you would think,” he said.

Drake’s commentary is a blend of wit, humor, sarcasm and self-described curmudgeon.

He has targeted many local public figures and organizations over the years with observations and criticisms, sometimes quite harsh.

“I’ve struck a few nerves and been threatened with lawsuits a few times, and people have said they were going to boycott our sponsors,” he said.

“But the lawyers never materialized, and WIRY is still very much on the air.”

Drake said the idea behind “Is It Just Me?” was to be a little provocative.

“I was either trying to tell people something they didn’t know or trying to get them to think a little differently,” he said.

“What fun is it if everybody agrees with you?”

No matter how hard he hit, Drake said, his comments were never personal.

“I had people tell me that they would never listen again, and two weeks later they would be calling to complain about something else I said, so obviously they were still listening.”

DUCKY HATS

While some targets got angry, others had fun with it.

City of Plattsburgh Public Works Superintendent Mike Brodi took matters into his own hands a few years ago after Drake scorched his crews for something.

Brodi appeared at a Common Council meeting, and in good spirits, handed out bright yellow hats that said, “It’s Just Ducky,” on them.

“That was funny,” Drake said. “I still have the hat.”

While people have flooded the station with angry calls, at times, the most response he ever got from the public came when his wife, Delia, passed away last year and the public sent their sympathies.

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