Catching up with Mid-Shore Radio Legend Big Don O'Brien - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Catching up with Mid-Shore Radio Legend Big Don O'Brien

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 CAMBRIDGE, Md.- When watermen went out to harvest their catch of the day, while farmers went out to seed their fields, and when commuters drove to work, they tuned in to one man for ten years.  Big Don O'Brien.

Described as a legend, and as the voice of the eastern shore, Big Don was who everyone would turn to for a laugh.  Sadly these days, his voice isn't what it used to be.

"The one thing I needed, the lord took away," said Don.

He has been off the radio for a year and a half following a diagnosis of oral cancer.

But in his 40 year career, Big Don hosted tv shows, radio shows, and was even a weatherman.  He came to Delmarva ten years ago, and struck a chord with locals.

"He just became a spokesperson for the people.  He was against big government and wasteful spending and lazy people," said local waterman Scott Todd

O'Brien would often create songs that spoke to life on the eastern shore.  He says, those songs weren't just for fun, they had an impact.

"We got stuff done for the watermen and the farmers.  And Dover Bridge, it's not falling down anymore, it's going up!" said Don with a smile.

He's been off the air for a year, ever since he had surgery to remove the cancer in his tongue and lymph nodes.

"They had to open me up, they took my tongue."

The one thing that Big Don needed, his radio voice, taken away by a cruel twist of fate.

"They did save my life.  I mean this was a very active and deadly cancer, and I forget that sometimes."

And while he was mad at the time, he says he has a new job now; helping people in similar situations.

"I'm able to tell people that whether they have a recovery from cancer or alcohol addiction, or anything, it's not the end."

Also unending is the support for Don.  T-shirts have been made, and at MTS Broadcasting in Cambridge, manager Troy Hill says people want to hear Big Don again.

"Whether it's a small bit in the morning, or a small bit in the afternoon, they're going to tune in for that bit.  Because they want it.  They are craving it," said Hill.

Big Don is not sure if he's ready yet, but in the meantime, he's liking his new job of helping others.

"I'm very blessed to be right here, where I'm supposed to be."

A place he calls home.



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