When Bob Griffin first met Jerry Hanszen back in the 60's, he was a high school band director in Many, Louisiana. Since then, he's become an icon of a local radio station in East Texas with his wife Wanda of 50 years by his side. The Hanszen's have put together a radio group with stations in three East Texas cities since 1988.
"We have an AM-FM in Carthage, KGAS radio, we have an AM-FM in Marshall which is KMHT and we have an AM-FM located in Henderson which is KPIX FM and KWRD AM" says Jerry Hanszen.
With Wanda handling the financial end of the business, Jerry oversees the stations but is very much hands-on in the every day running of KGAS. Besides being the manager, he's also involved with everything from actually being on the air with a daily show to sales and promotions to community projects and talent. So, why is he still doing all of this at 70 when he could step aside and let someone else do it?
Jerry says that "mainly it's because I'm still having fun."
Some of the most fun he has is doing play by play of the Carthage Bulldogs football games.
"I love it. It's just a passion that I have. I like to be at the stadium on Friday night. I follow the Bulldogs all the way. We also have a passion about the band. We're one of the few radio stations that broadcast the band at half-time" says Jerry.
The town's annual blood drive is one of the many civic endeavors Hanszen takes part in. Hanszen is also a member of the Carthage Lions Club and he enjoys being active in their service projects.
"It makes your heart feel good. Anytime you're actively involved to help somebody do something that opens your heart up and just makes you have that special feeling" says Jerry.
Jerry is also a long time volunteer fireman. He used to chase fire and pull the hoses but he's slowed down and now he's the dispatcher.
Jerry says "if you're in a small community, you feel like you've got to do something to help the community itself. It's one of the reason's I'm involved in the fire department to give back to the community what they've given to me."
Despite his busy schedule, Hanszen's good life includes being a deacon at the Central Baptist Church where he also teaches an adult Sunday school class.
The 70 year-old Hanszen says he plans to continue doing what he's doing for a least a few more years but maybe slack off and not work as many hours a day so he can play a little more golf.