Ron Steele, the legendary anchor for KWWL-TV in Waterloo, had successful open heart surgery and is now recuperating.

His TV home, KWWL, reports he'll be away from the news desk anywhere from two to three months.

Our paths have crossed only a few times over the years, but I'll never forget the first time. It was in the early 90's and Ron and I were paired for Salvation Army bell ringing at Lindale Mall. I'd watched Ron on TV growing up and couldn't believe I was going to be standing beside him. I also expected him to realize he was a star, if you know what I mean. I couldn't have been more wrong. I was amazed at how down to earth and friendly this broadcasting legend was.

Now, more than 20 years later, and with 42 years on the air at KWWL, the outpouring of well-wishes make it clear Ron Steele hasn't changed one bit. Here's to a speedy recovery Ron. We'll be watching for you again soon.

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[via KWWL]