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And There Was Much Rejoicing

Welcome back, Kevin: Entering Control Room 2, to applause from editor Karen Frillmann, web editor Patricia Willens and editor/producer Brigid Bergin.  Bill O'Neill is seated, right.

All Things Considered engineer Kevin Bristow returned to work Monday — and he brought his new kidney with him.

Kevin got the call for the transplant on July 24, "on a beautiful Sunday afternoon," as he put it.  He said he was smoking a fat cigar at one of his favorite haunts, Refugio Cigar House near Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  He was in Upper Manhattan, at St. Luke's, within two hours, and in the operating room within five hours.

He's been out for ten weeks.

Kevin has lived with diabetes for more than 30 years, and started having kidney problems in 1999.  For the last year or so, he's been undergoing dialysis, getting up early for the 3 to 4 hour procedure so he could make it in to work for his ATC shift by 1:30 p.m.

No more! 

While WNYC engineers Bill O'Neill and Jason Isaac filled in admirably during the time Kevin was away, it wasn't quite the same without Kevin. 

A huge baseball fan, he'd routinely provide me with score updates during afternoon Mets or Yankees games.  He also allowed me to dip into his daily stash of seedless grapes, Saltine crackers and peanut butter.

ATC is a tough engineering shift, with lots of audio elements to juggle: live interviews, underwriting spots, sound bites for the newscasts and reporters' stories. Kevin also has to deal with me. He's got a lot of patience, and I'm sure there are many days that he's grateful there's a thick wall of soundproof glass between me and him. 

I appreciate him, and all he does to make ATC and WNYC sound smooth and seamless. I'm glad he's back.

A cake, with gold-swirled dark chocolate panels on the sides, and a Yankees mug for Kevin's Mountain Dew.
A cake, with gold-swirled dark chocolate panels on the sides, and a Yankees mug for Kevin's Mountain Dew. ( amy eddings )
From left: host/reporter Brian Zumhagen, business editor Charlie Herman, newscaster Janet Babin, operations manager Jacqueline Cincotta, and editors Gisele Regatao, Karen Frillmann, Patricia Willens
From left: host/reporter Brian Zumhagen, business editor Charlie Herman, newscaster Janet Babin, operations manager Jacqueline Cincotta, and editors Gisele Regatao, Karen Frillmann, Patricia Willens ( Amy Eddings )
From left: operations director Aaron Cohen, reporter Ailsa Chang, newsroom project mangager Melinda Woehrle, me, web producer Stephen Nessen, reporter Marianne McCune, engineer Jason Isaac
From left: operations director Aaron Cohen, reporter Ailsa Chang, newsroom project mangager Melinda Woehrle, me, web producer Stephen Nessen, reporter Marianne McCune, engineer Jason Isaac ( Amy Eddings )
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