Roger Huston, the dean of harness racing racecallers known as 'The Voice' of The Meadows and the Little Brown Jug, has been voted the Proximity Award in balloting conducted among the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
The Proximity is considered second in prestige, only behind the Hall of Fame, in North American harness racing, and now Roger has a "matched pair" -- because he was inducted into the Communicators Hall in 2000.
A native of Xenia, Ohio, Huston gradually built up his reputation as a racecaller nonpareil early in his career, then got a big break when the Delaware (OH) County Fair, home of the prestigious Little Brown Jug, brought him on to handle microphone duties during that Grand Circuit meet. And nobody has been able to wrest that particular microphone away from Roger in the last 45 years.
Huston has had almost as long and distinguished a tenure at The Meadows, the racino south of Pittsburgh, Pa., and at that track he has established a semi-announcing record that should never be topped: he has been the host (while still calling the races) of The Meadows Racing Network, one of the earliest -- and still one of the best -- signalsendings available to satellite customers, who are betting or just viewing, anywhere.
A flamboyant and enthusiastic soul -- just ask any of the ten rings he wears -- Huston has taken his announcing talents "on the road" more than probably any other announcer, having called the trotters and pacers at 126 different tracks in 17 states and 7 countries.
In addition to being in the harness Communicators Hall of Fame, Roger is a member of six regional Halls of Fame; earned the publicists' Allen J. Finkelson Golden Pen Award; and was leading driver in the C.K.G. Billings amateur series. A trustee of the Hall of Fame, Roger is currently serving his second six-year term on the USHWA-Hall of Fame Screening Committee, a prestigious position, and he is a longtime Director representing Pennsylvania for the Harness Writers.
Still on the sunny side of 70 (but not for long), Roger Huston tires out people half his age with his energy and drive, is a friend of countless individuals of merit in the sport -- and still calls a pretty mean harness race. That package, gathered in one modest man, spells out "Proximity."
Roger Huston will receive his Proximity Award at the Dan Patch Awards Dinner, honoring Stan Bergstein, to be held Sunday, February 12, 2012, at the Double Tree Hilton at Orlando (FL) SeaWorld.
For tickets to attend the banquet, contact Steve Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org; to take a congratulatory ad in the Dinner Journal, for Huston, in appreciation of Bergstein, or to honor any other award winners, contact Kim Rinker at email@example.com. Reservations at the DoubleTree can be made by calling 800.327.0363; mentioning "USHWA" or "DPA" should get you a discounted rate.
by Gerry Connors, for the United States Harness Writers Association