Boel is on the Way Back

John Boel is on his way back

I caught up with former WLKY-TV anchor John Boel today.

As I expected, he sounds as if he’s been a model rehab patient.  He’s back in town, celebrating his three-month sober anniversary on Sunday, watching the Packers with his pal Terry Meiners. Boel, in his direct and humble way, said he goes to three AA meetings per week, 2 counseling sessions. He’s found a sponsor in his recovery effort, has lost 32 pounds and is running and cycling every day. He can’t drive, because his license has been suspended.

“I’m trying to get well,” he said. “The folks at rehab told me that the only thing I had to change was everything, and I’m doing that.”

I wouldn’t have expected Boel, perhaps the best investigative reporter this town has seen, to be any less enthusiastic about getting back to the work of telling stories. He says he’s been working on a book about his experiences reporting on the news in Louisville, and sent 20 chapters to a publisher. He’s involved in a pilot for a television show, a sort-of Extreme Makeover for small towns.

For a guy who’s laying low, it sounds like a pretty busy life to me.  There’s no doubt Boel is humbled, remorseful. . . and determined to reclaim his life.  Don’t expect him to be anchoring any newscasts, but I suspect Boel’s career in local media isn’t over.

It’s been 3 months since he was arrested, drunk, for the second time in two years. He had to admit he had an alcohol problem, and it cost him his job. He went off to the Hazelton Clinic in Minnesota for rehab.  On Sunday, he’ll be watching his Packers in the Super Bowl, stone cold sober.