Laura & Dave Ward, Sue Smith at Dave Ward's book signing in the Smith home. (Courtesy photo)
Iconic newsman and venerable broadcaster, Dave Ward has penned an entertaining biography. (Photo by Courtesy photos)
Gretchen Wright, Tama Lundquist, Rachel Rowe, Dr. Mark Khorsandi at Dave Ward's invitation-only book signing. (Courtesy photo)
Laura & Dave Ward with Jeff & Rachel Bagwell and Dave Ward's invitation-only book signing. (Courtesy photo)
ABC KTRK Channel 13 cohorts Bob Slovak, Tim Heller, Melanie Lawson, Tim Abrahams, Kevin Quinn at Dave Ward's book signing party. (Courtesy photo)
Hostess Sue Smith, Melanie Lawson and Jim McGrath at the Dave Ward book signing. (Courtesy photo)
Iconic news broadcaster and senior member of the press with almost 70 years under his newsman’s belt, Dave Ward was far removed from television cameras on this night but nevertheless had an adoring audience fawning over him during one of the most elegant book signings in recent memory.
Sue Smith opened her lavish Memorial area home for a celebration of the veteran newsman and publication of his biography Good Evening, Friends, A Broadcaster Shares His Life. Fans of Ward will recall the “good evening” phrase was his signature sign-on when heading the news on Houston’s ABC-KTRK Channel 13 for more than half a century.
Ward, in a polished suit, sat at a book-laden table in front of a massive fire place, doors in the salon open to a balcony where guests on this perfect night would mingle over cocktails and a grand buffet from Catering by Culinaire.
It was a glossy entourage that turned out to pay tribute to Ward with fans including current and former cohorts from KTRK — Melanie Lawson, Bob Slovak, Tim Heller, Tom Koch, Kevin Quinn, and Tom Abrahams.
Key among guests was Jim McGrath, spokesman and speechwriter for former President George H.W. Bush and for Barbara Bush as well as author of Heartbeat: George Bush in His Own Words and cowriter of former Commerce Secretary Robert A. Mosbacher Sr.’s family memoirs, Going to Windward. With those credentials and talent at play, the book is an entertaining, revealing read that Ward fans will likely scoop up with enthusiasm.
The tome was certainly a best-seller on this night that found the Smith home packed with fans, chief among them Laura Ward, the newsman’s wife of almost 17 years and his most enthusiastic advocate. In the dedication, Ward writes, “For my beautiful wife, Laura, without whom I would not be here. She saved my life quite literally on several occasions. I will love her forever.” You’ll want to get the book to learn exactly what he means.
Among those saluting Ward were Houston Astros legend Jeff Bagwell and wife Rachel, Smart Financial Centre president Gary Becker and wife Amy, former Houston Oiler Elvin Bethea and wife Pat, Gow Media chairman and CEO David Gow, the Richland Companies president and CEO Edna Meyer-Nelson, Faust Distributing president Tyson Faust and wife Tena, Rachel Rowe, Jan Carson and Tim Connolly, Trish and Rock Morille, Brenda Koch and Carol and Tom Sawyer.
The public is invited to a midday book launch and 80th birthday celebration for Ward to take place on his actual birthday, May 6, at the Crime Stoppers of Houston Dave Ward Building. Books will be available for purchase and 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Crime Stoppers of Houston. The party begins at 11:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm.