Veteran KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Dave Ward signed off on the 10 p.m. newscast for the final time earlier this week and for the milestone adios after 48 years at the helm, close friends and colleagues gathered at Tony's for a late-night fond farewell.
It's not exactly goodbye for Ward. Rather it's the end of his late news stints. He remains front and center on the 6 p.m. news and plans on holding that seat at the news desk for two more years. That 50-year run at the same news station will place him in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Laura Ward organized the celebration of Dave's long-lived career, convincing Tony Vallone to keep his restaurant open into the wee hours. As the party didn't get rolling until around 11, guests were still supping on Tony's killer crispy bacon, French toast, hot biscuits and more well after the midnight hour — on a weeknight.
A microphone was passed around the gathering of close to 60 admirers with colleagues including Wayne Dolcefino, Melanie Lawson, Tom Koch and Ilona Carson congratulating Ward on his remarkable tenure.
Highlight of the night came when Ward took the microphone and said, "This is something I've been wanting to do all of my career, but I never had the guts to do it." With that, he mussed up his perfect coif into a standing mess as guests laughed and applauded.
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams added their congratulations to the praise as did Dan Strickland, Ed Brandon, Gary Becker and Tony Gracely.
Applauding Ward on this sentimental night were Tilman Fertitta, Carol Sawyer, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Brenda Koch, Lisa and Mike McGuff, Deborah Wrigley, Sandy and Dr. Barney Barrett, Carol and Mike Linn, Jan Carson and Tim Connolly and Allen Becker.