Azzo Rezori: And now, a time to say farewell

In less than two weeks, on Monday, Feb. 29, to be exact, I'll be climbing the stairs to the newsroom here at the CBC on University Avenue one last time, writes Azzo Rezori.
Azzo Rezori is retiring next week, after a 29-year career with CBC in St. John's. (John Gushue/CBC)

So it's time to say goodbye.

Goodbye to all this, goodbye to all that; goodbye to whatever else was on the go.

In less than two weeks, on Monday, Feb. 29, to be exact, I'll be climbing the stairs to the newsroom here at the CBC on University Avenue one last time.

Thanks to all of you who tuned in once in a while, so long, and godspeed.

There will be lots of goodbyes. I'll clean out what little is left in my desk, hand in my smartphone and other company sundries, and that will be it as the door closes behind me and I head out into retirement.

Twenty-nine years as a face on Here & Now will come to an end. It will feel like a "delete" swish with very mixed feelings.

I've spent many hours these last few weeks wondering what it's been all about, this career of mine as an accidental journalist who was picked by his family to become a priest but went on to study zoology.

The answer takes me back to the small Franconian village in northern Bavaria where my two brothers and I grew up in rustic isolation while, all around us, a new world was rising from the ruins of the Second World War.

Azzo Rezori, pictured here outside the West Block of Confederation Building in St. John's, circa late 1980s. (CBC)

Classic mythology and folk tales

We lived in a bubble. There were no newspapers in our home. TV still belonged to the future. The dial on our radio was set permanently on the Munich station of the American Forces Network with its swing, jazz, and occasional bursts of English gibberish.

Politics, or any other matter of public interest, was dismissed as vulgar. Instead, we were raised on a steady diet of classic mythology and folk tales.

Thus, we grew up with absolutely no solid facts in our heads, but with any number of stories.

I came to realize only quite recently how much this has influenced the way I've thought and felt all my life, even as a journalist.

I've also had the privilege of working with many wonderful, creative, and utterly dedicated people.

I know my job as a reporter was first and foremost to present the facts, but that was only the rational part of it. Deep down I never stopped wanting to sink and drown in the enchanted depths below the facts.

Enchantment is what human life, with its spooky ability to second-guess itself, is all about.

A politician, a community leader, a felon, a victim — everybody lives under the spell of their own coming and going. Facts give them substance; only the story can give them meaning.

I abandoned the plan to become a priest because I was afraid of getting locked into one single story that was never going to change. I picked zoology as an alternative because I believed that evolution, not the life of Jesus Christ, had the potential of being the greatest story ever told.

From a 1999 episode of Life Journeys, a recurring segment on Here & Now. (CBC)

A key to great blessings

I drifted into journalism because I figured the stories would never end — and I was right, they didn't.

I'm immensely grateful for the time I've been with the CBC. Inevitably there have been ups and downs. Like the rest of the world, we've had to adapt to shifting circumstances, technological, social, and political. So the less said about the good old days, the better.

For me, working for the CBC here has been a key to great blessings.

It assured me respect before I'd earned it, gave me passage as an old friend into communities and homes across the province, put me right into people's hearts where life really begins.

I've also had the privilege of working with many wonderful, creative, and utterly dedicated people. It could not have been a richer life.

For 29 years, Azzo Rezori has been a recognizable face on Here & Now. (CBC)

To everything, there is a season

According to my wife Brenda and my daughter Gaia, I make a wicked spaghetti sauce. There'll be plenty of time and opportunity now to perfect it.

Our house needs upgrading. Old hobbies are vying with new ones for attention. I won't have to get up at 6 a.m. anymore to make it to the gym.

There's something else waiting for me: the magic I put on hold years ago when the time came to get serious about choosing a career, making a living, starting a family, playing by the rules of a world that idolizes the rational and functional.

There's stuff out there which can only be seen from the corners of the eye, where focus and clear definition don't exist and things are what they are, not what we want and expect them to be.

I can't wait to spend more time there again.

So that's how this career ends.

Not with a bang, but with a toodle-oo, and I really did have a blast.

Thanks to all of you who tuned in once in a while, so long, and godspeed.

Azzo Rezori's last day at CBC in St. John's is Feb. 29. (CBC)

About the Author

Azzo Rezori


Azzo Rezori has been working with CBC News in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1987, and reports regularly for Here & Now and other broadcasts.


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